What is Fibromyalgia and How Can Yoga Help?

by Melissa West on August 28, 2012


Fibromyalgia is an arthritis related condition which includes chronic muscular pain and stiffness, aches, inflammation, soft tissues tenderness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, cognitive impairment, general fatigue and disturbances in sleep. It affects mostly women between the ages of 30 and 50. Approximately 1 in 50 Americans were estimated to have fibromyalgia in 2004, or between 3 and 6 million people in the US. People who have the loosely defined disorder fibromyalgia typically have widespread pain, and “tender points” throughout the body that hurt when pressure is applied.
The womenshealth.gov website says symptoms of the disorder may include:
Memory problems.
Morning stiffness and difficulty sleeping.
Headaches.
Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
Irritable bowel syndrome or restless legs syndrome.
Painful menstruation among women.
Sensitivity to temperature, bright light or loud noise.

How can yoga help?

Yoga is a wonderful treatment for fibromyalgia because it teaches those who suffer from fibromyalgia how to relax their painfully tight muscles. Holding breath and bracing against pain is naturally released through breath practices and relaxation techniques offered through yoga. I have a new video which will teach you how to soften and release tight and tense muscles. It will teach you how to let go of the heaviness of pain and tension and allow it to flow out of your body. Gentle and supported yoga postures will release tension from your tight muscles and help to reduce pain in your body. The stretches offered in this class focus particularly on the painful zones that I surveyed in my students who suffer from fibromyalgia, specifically: tight hamstrings from muscle spasms, lower back, neck and shoulders. Breath practices will be used to induce calm and help deal with insomnia.

To purchase the new Fibromyalgia Video or to see samples from the video (click here) 

I’m really excited about the yoga for fibromyalgia video I’ve put together for many reasons. Firstly it is divided into two parts so that you have the option of two shorter practices on days when fibromyalgia when you have less energy. The first part is lying on the ground so those with fibromyalgia have the support of the ground underneath them, requiring less energy. The second part is done with the support of a chair, again requiring less energy than standing postures. There is a long guided relaxation exercise to help visualize pain and tension leaving tight and painful bodies. And finally there is a breath exercise to help to create restful sleep.

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