Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Yoga was introduced to me when I was on medical leave and in rehabilitation for my CFIDS/FMS.

Anyone that practices Yoga, a sticky mat is a necessary tool for any yoga workout. The non-slip surface provides a safe and comfortable area in which to practice any pose. Make sure that your mat meets your need for a yoga mat that is rugged yet gives plenty of cushion. You can also find cotton mats. There's new mat that has a microfiber side that wicks away moisture while the other side sticks to the floor. I have not been able to purchase it, but it sounds great.

I have CFIDS/FMS and the chronic fatigue sometimes makes it difficult for me to force myself to practice yoga. So do what I do and at least practice stretching in bed. Any type of movement helps.

Fibromyalgia and yoga are a great combination for easy stretches, careful strengthening, plus relaxation techniques. Improve your mind, body, sleep, and more.

Be sure to check with your doctor about starting any exercise program. Things like high blood pressure and back, neck, and knee problems can be adverse conditions for certain yoga exercises. Also, try to take advantage of joining a class or buying a video with someone that has experience teaching Yoga to patients with fibromyalgia.

It is important to perform yoga postures for the whole body, not just postures that target a certain area or problem. Everything is connected.

The form you use during a posture is more important than how far you can go into a posture. Yoga is for you to discover yourself and your abilities. Practice yoga on an empty stomach at least 2 hours after eating.

For those of us with fibromyalgia, mornings can be very stiff. You may find that taking a warm bath, then putting on warm sweats will make it easier to practice in the morning. You are the only one that can judge the proper time to practice yoga.

The last time that can really help you achieve a deeper sleep is right before bedtime. But, be careful. Too strenuous of an activity at this time of night can ward off sleep for hours. Just gentle, slow yoga at this time of day is best for fibromyalgia and anyone. I just complete stretches right on my bed. Not too many because I end up getting a second wind at the wrong time!

How Long Do I Practice Yoga for Fibromyalgia?

I can tell you from experience that just 5 or 10 minutes a day will be more beneficial for you than doing 20 minutes every other day or 60 minutes, once a week. As I noted before, only you can be the judge on the proper time to practice yoga.

As you start to feel the benefits of yoga you will naturally want to add a little more time to your yoga practice, working up to 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day. I have not been able to go for more than 5 minutes at a time since I started doing it at home alone. I lasted longer during class because I had to!:)

How Do You Get Real Benefits from Yoga for Fibromyalgia in Just 5 or 10 minutes a Day?

First, try to find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. You will find that the loss of a little sleep will not bother you as you gain the benefits of yoga. I know this is hard to believe since you're already sleep deprived, but it does help with the stiffness we experience.

It is difficult to stay focused and concentrate, however, not being distracted is a big key to yoga and it's mind/body benefits. You need to concentrate on so many things going on with your body, that your mind is able to clear.

I experience constant chatter that goes on in my brain, and I have learned that I have to try and stop it in order to concentrate:

1) Your Breathing - Take long, deep complete breaths that first fill the bottom of your lungs, then the middle, then the top. In exhaling, this is reversed - empty the top of the lungs first, then middle, then the bottom of your lungs. Breathe through your nose, it's a natural filter. This strengthens the diaphragm, which pulls air into your lungs.

2) Your Eyes Focusing on One Spot - Stare at a spot directly in front of you or whichever direction your head is pointing for the posture.

3) The Alignment of Your Body - Be aware of what your body is doing. Is it balanced, equal on each side? Are you using the proper form for the pose?

4) The Sensations in Your Body - Are your muscles tighter on one side than the other? Are you feeling a good, comfortable stretch or are you pulling on your muscles too much? During a balancing pose, feel the body sway slightly and how you and your body correct the balance. Feel your blood give energy to your body as you move.

5) Tightened Stomach and Kegel Muscles (the muscles on your pelvic floor that you use to stop urinating) - These are a little harder to accomplish but are well worth the effort. You may only be able to hold these for a second of each pose at the beginning but keep trying to hold them longer. Start by tightening the stomach muscles on your exhale to push out the used air and allow more fresh air in. Then as this becomes easier, try holding your stomach and kegel muscles in while inhaling. This will work your lungs more as the diaphragm cannot expand downward with your stomach muscles tightened. Your rib cage will expand on each breath. When you hold your kegel and stomach muscles while performing yoga postures, you will feel a warmth come over your body due to the increased effort. When you get warmer, your body becomes more able to stretch and change it's shape.

Begin your yoga practice with warm-ups and end with relaxation, for best results.

If You have Neck or Back Problems

Don't compress either the lower back or the neck into a backward bending position, in order to avoid injury.

Don't lock your knees when bending forward in either a standing or sitting position. This will help prevent pulling on your lower back.

Cushion your knees with a pillow under them if kneeling on them hurts. You can also put a pillow under your bottom, over or between your feet, when kneeling to take some stress off the knees.

If you have high blood pressure, sinus problems, or are menstruating, do not practice upside-down postures in yoga.

If a posture is hurting you, ease back on it a little, or stop it altogether. With fibromyalgia and yoga you should only move into a posture until you feel a mild sensation. Never force anything or push until you feel discomfort. The one exception to this may be foot pain as the feet are often weak and tight. Keep trying to work them in the future if you are unable to exercise them at this time.

If you have increased shooting pain the next day, you know you did too much and must take it easier the next time you are able to practice yoga. This is common when starting yoga with fibromyalgia. The cold weather fronts coming through make it more difficult for us to move. Do not overdo. PACE.

Listen to your body and go with what it will be able to do that day. This is very important for people with myofascial pain or fms. If you don't follow your body's signals, you may end up with a lot of pain for a couple weeks.

If you are in a lot of pain and unable to do even the simplest yoga stretches, visualize yourself doing the exercises. I am a believer in visualization and honestly do not practice it as often as I should. The benefits of visualization for setting goals, making your dreams come true and feeling healthier do help.

Practice your yoga for fibromyalgia barefoot on a thin carpet or hard floor with a mat. A carpet that is too thick will make it difficult to balance and be grounded.

When I was on medical leave, part of my rehabilitation was yoga classes. I would go in not wanting to complete them because of how I felt. It was too painful for me to lie down on my back since pressure on the trigger points, especially at the back of my pelvis, created too much pain. When I completed the session, I was glad I did. It was very beneficial.

Try to check out the Internet for lessons on Yoga for people with Fibromyalgia. It is very important that you do not try to practice the wrong type of yoga movements.

I pray and hope that this posting is beneficial for someone out there. Have a wonderful day.

5 comments:

Hailey Harris said...

I just want to give additional helpful information for all fibromyalgia sufferers.

Fibromyalgia is a condition where you feel chronic pain in certain parts of your body; it is a muscular pain especially around the joints. There can also be centralized pain felt in the spinal chord, brain, neck shoulders etc. People with fibromyalgia generally complain of pain in the joints, but it actually is the muscles and the tendons around it that cause the pain, it can be excruciating sometimes and can be a continuous throbbing pain. People suffering from Fibromyalgia also show symptoms of depression, sleeplessness, irritable bowel syndrome, stress and many others, which are caused due to the pain.

Rid Fibromyalgia provides a simple process to helps you eliminate all your symptoms of fibromyalgia and enjoy living your life again. This will provides us the best and most effective solutions on how to rid ourselves from pain.

The Rid Fibromyalgia provides an eBook entitled “Heal the Body” that will teach you the best diet that will allow you to eat your way to wellness, it will also document which vitamins and supplements will target and reverse the illness, how to achieve pain relief through acupuncture, what exercises are safe and will work, and what type of medications may make you sicker, and what will work. This eBook takes a step by step approach in showing you how to rid yourself of the pain naturally so that you can take back your life.

We must know the symptoms of this illness. For us to know what would be the approach we will going to apply. Here's Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and steps to treat it naturally.

We must also be responsible and aware to the things to gain and cope up with this kind of illness. Eating nutritious food with regular exercise would be result to a better life. Here's Basic Tips in Coping Fibromyalgia.

If we say Fibromyalgia Diet, there is no specific recommended diet for fibromyalgia. But a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can certainly help in coping with the illness. Magnesium rich vegetables are recommended for patient's suffering from fibromyalgia. Here's some information for you to help in Fibromyalgia Diet.

We must also think that vitamins are important for Fibromyalgia sufferers. This will give us additional energy and strength to kept a healthy living. But of course, you must be aware that not all vitamins are effective or directly gives you a good result. Find the best vitamins that would easily give a good response if your taking it. The best thing is your healed and keep your body healthy as possible. Here's The Benefit of Vitamins for us to know why vitamins are important for fibromyalgia sufferers.

Also feel free to view this video Fibromyalgia Help. It really gives good information for those who have Fibromyalgia and encourage not to give up because in every pain your getting through has a good solution in the end.

Here's Rid Fibromyalgia, For free info and helpful articles on fighting fibromyalgia.

Fibro Viv said...

Hello Hailey,

Thank you for adding your tips and helpful information. I am sure it will help other viewers.

Take care and God Bless,

Fibro Viv

Hailey Harris said...

Your welcome Fibro Viv, I just want to help people suffering from Fibromyalgia so that, they can enjoy life pain free.

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Thanks for your comments.