Is yoga a natural treatment for fibromyalgia? The pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety that people with fibromyalgia suffer with daily gradually take its toll on body and spirit. Some people with fibromyalgia can’t work a regular job or even leave their home because of the chronic pain, stiffness, and extreme fatigue they experience. Even more disturbing, a recent study showed that fibromyalgia sufferers have a ten-fold higher risk of suicide compared to the average population. Is there a natural solution to this problem? Is yoga for fibromyalgia good medicine?
Yoga for Fibromyalgia: Can It Reduce the Pain of Fibromyalgia?
According to a recent study published in the journal Pain, taking part in a yoga program helps to treat fibromyalgia pain – and improves the overall mood and energy level of women struggling with fibromyalgia symptoms.
Yoga as a Natural Treatment for Fibromyalgia: What a Study Shows
Fifty-three adult women with fibromyalgia took part in a special yoga program called “Yoga for Awareness” for two months. This two-hour program consisted of forty minutes of yoga stretching poses, twenty-five minutes of yoga-style meditation, and ten minutes of deep breathing exercises. Another forty-five minutes was devoted to practicing yoga at home – and taught how to use yoga principles to cope with stress and chronic pain.
The results? Over half of the women who participated in the program experienced less pain and fatigue, and they also reported fewer negative moods – and were generally more optimistic about their future. A control group had no change in their symptoms.
Fibromyalgia sufferers are often more socially isolated than healthy people because of their chronic pain, and this program helped them establish relationships with others who deal with similar challenges.
Is Yoga a Natural Treatment for Fibromyalgia?
Studies show that yoga has potential for treating a variety of chronic pain disorders. The program used in this study is unique since it not only emphasized stretching poses and meditation; it also focused on more effective ways to cope with the challenges of fibromyalgia.
Many fibromyalgia sufferers fail to benefit from medications, and some of the drugs used to treat this condition have side effects. Yoga offers a natural treatment for fibromyalgia that’s therapeutic for both mind and body. Plus, it’s a gentle, low-impact way to introduce people with fibromyalgia to the benefits of exercise.
The bottom line? More research is needed, but, based on this study, yoga looks like a promising natural treatment for fibromyalgia – and one that’s safe for most people.
Medscape.com. “Yoga Eases Fibromyalgia Pain”