Yoga for Fibromyalgia | Yoga Therapy

There was a dark period in my life when I was diagnosed with depression. I vividly remember researching for nights on end on my symptoms associated with depression.  Many of those symptoms pointed towards either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.   I was so convinced that I was suffering from either from my constant physical pains and ailments, that I almost did not believe my doctor's diagnosis that I was simply suffering from depression and its manifestation into physical ailments.   So, whilst I'm not a diagnosed Fibro sufferer, I've got a glimpse of what it could look like.  Fibromyalgia runs in my family and I’m familiar of its symptoms on mild level, being once diagnosed by a rheumatologist as having symptoms of Fibro but not enough to be treated as a Fibro sufferer. It is definitely a frustrating disorder to have and one where, on a severe level, can have very damaging impacts on the quality of life.  T

Whilst there's no cure, I'm hopeful that this piece here can help! Leave me a comment with your feedback.

SPECIFIC ISSUE - FIBROMAYLGIA

fibromyalgia-symptom-graphic.jpg

Affecting about 2-5% of the population; mostly women and those who tend to develop during middle adulthood, fibromyalgia sufferers experience heightened pain sensations together with some or more symptoms such as chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, disturbed sleep and impaired neurocognitive abilities.   The disorder is diagnosed with a series of tests.  A common diagnostic tool used for fibromyalgia is the 18 point test - a check on certain points of the body for pain [11/18 usually signifies the need for further pathological tests such as X’rays or blood tests].  Causes of fibromyalgia are not clear but physical trauma or significant psychological stresses (depression, anxiety) or genetics can all be contributing factors that lead to the body’s ‘change’ in processing ‘pain’ from the spinal cord to the brain.  Researchers believe it to be a result of an abnormal increase in the pain-signalling neurotransmitters together with the brain’s pain receptors developing a memory to the pain threshold and overreacting.

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
There is no cure for fibromyalgia but treatment can provide symptomatic relief.  Yoga is helpful for fibromyalgia sufferers to help with pain management, relieve muscle stiffness, manage stress and regulate sleep.

  1. Stress aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The deep breathing and breath work techniques in yoga calms the mind and allows the body to learn how to cope with anxiety and stress.

  2. Deep breathing also helps with pain management.

  3. The meditation and mindfulness practices can help with impaired concentration or the ‘fibro fog’.

  4. The yoga poses/exercises can help stretch out the muscles and alleviate muscle stiffness, also helping with regulating the sleep.

  5. Lastly, seeking God and His grace is an important part to receiving healing from Him. So, prayer and meditation on the Scriptures play a critical role in m my yoga therapy program to deliver peace and healing.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.

  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately. Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been done correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek a medical practitioner’s advice.

15-30 MINUTE FLOW

  1. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Listen to your breath, Watch your belly rise and fall, Lengthen and deepen breaths)

  2. Neck stretches -> dip chin to chest (3 breath cycles), slowly drop head backwards opening front of neck (3 breath cycles) -> repeat once

  3. Lateral neck stretches -> drop ear towards shoulder, do it on both sides -> repeat once

  4. Seated Spinal Twist

  5. Cow face pose with Eagle arms

  6. Seated Bound Angle/Butterfly pose

  7. Extended Childs Pose

  8. Son Salutation with Open Side Angle and Triangle Pose

  9. Lying on back -> Knees to Chest

  10. Happy Baby

  11. Reclined pigeon

  12. Corpse Pose -> Final Resting Position

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia#Exercise

  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/basics/definition/con-20019243

  3. http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Fibromyalgia

  4. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/pain-reliever/http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632546

  5. http://www.wikihow.com/Heal-Fibromyalgia-Naturally

  6. http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/october/fibromylagia/

  7. http://www.doyouyoga.com/8-yoga-poses-for-fibromyalgia/

  8. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-art-of-surrender-yoga-fibromyalgia

  9. http://www.fibromyalgiahope.com/fibromyalgia-and-yoga.html

*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered on www.lovejosephine.com are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient. It is not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. Prior to starting any physical programs, it is advised to get clearance from a medical professional. Upon medical clearance, the suggestions and educational resources offered on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment but not replace medical treatment.