A study that was published in the November issue of Pain found that yoga may help ease some of the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia for some female patients. According to the Washington Post article:
This study involved 53 women, with an average age of 54, who had had fibromyalgia for an average of about 12 years. They were randomly assigned to participate in weekly two-hour yoga classes tailored for people with the condition or to be on a waiting list for the classes, which included gentle poses, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga-based coping instruction and group discussion. All the participants continued their normal care as well, which for some included taking medication. Those in the yoga group were urged to practice daily at home, too. After eight weeks, standardized scales showed greater declines in pain, tenderness, fatigue, stiffness and depression, and bigger improvements in sleep, memory, balance, strength and vigor among the women practicing yoga. About 91 percent of the yoga group, compared with 19 percent of those on the waiting list, reported being better at the end of the study than they were at the start. The yoga group also changed to more productive coping strategies for dealing with symptoms, relying on such things as problem-solving, religion, participating in activities despite pain, acceptance and relaxation.
This study was done on only a very small number of FEMALE Fibromyalgia patients, only 53, so I a much larger study would naturally need to be done. Also, the study didn’t include men and children with Fibromyalgia and those study subjects really need to be included also to get a fair look at how beneficial yoga may be.
In my own personal opinion, I can see where yoga would be beneficial because it involves a lot of deep breathing, relaxing, stretching – all of the things that can help with pain and stress. I have personally found stretching and yoga-type exercises to be beneficial for me and to be so much easier to tolerate than other forms of exercising. What are your thoughts? Have you tried yoga and found it beneficial to your Fibromyalgia, along with your medications you take?