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FIBROMYALGIA AND YOGA

INTRODUCTION

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points - places on your body where slight pressure causes pain. The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain, severe fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons - the soft fibrous tissues in the body. Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they were pulled or overworked. .

FIBROMYALGIA
Sometimes fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle twitches and burning sensations. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, and it shows up in people of all ages. A conservative estimate of its prevalence is 2% of the general population, but it may be as high as 3-5%.The majority of fibromyalgia sufferers seem to experience morning stiffness at some point during their illness. At least 70% of people with fibromyalgia deal with morning stiffness on a regular basis. 50% of these people experience chronic morning soreness and stiffness that lasts for hours, day after day. This morning stiffness can have a huge impact on a person's daily activities, making it difficult to sit, stand, or rest for extended periods of time.Fibromyalgia occurs in about 2 percent of the population in the United States. Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event.



YOGA AND FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia and yoga are a great combination for easy stretches, careful strengthening, plus relaxation techniques. One of the oldest forms of organized exercise, yoga dates back over 5000 years. A terrific aspect about fibromyalgia and yoga is that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of different poses, called postures, which provide variety. Yoga also helps integrate your mind and body, creating a healthier you. It is important to perform yoga postures for the whole body, not just postures that target a certain area or problem. The form you use during a posture is more important than how far you can go into a posture.

FIBROMYALGIA AND YOGA
Yoga is not a competition with others. It is for you to discover yourself and your abilities. Yoga can be a good, gentle way to stretch your body and loosen up tight muscles and joints. It also helps with balance and strength, and as you become more advanced, it can provide you with a cardiovascular workout as well. Some people treat yoga just as exercise, but when done in the traditional way, which emphasizes controlled breathing and awareness, it also can help you relax, calm and focus your mind, and deal with emotional turmoil. The World Fortunately, yoga can provide two invaluable things to people with fibromyalgia: relief from symptoms and hope. Though it isn't a cure, yoga can offer a better quality of life. A 1999 study led by Patrick Randolph, Ph.D., at Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center found that a program of gentle yoga stretches and mindfulness meditation reduced pain and improved patients' ability to cope with it.

YOGA POSES FOR FIBROMYALGIA

Mountain Pose

Stand with heels and toes together, arms at sides. Feel yourself tall as a mountain, lifting your chest and dropping your shoulders. Imagine a string lifting the back of your head yet still with your feet firmly planted on the ground. This is the beginning position for all of the standing exercises. Return to this posture between each exercise. Hold for one or two complete breaths.

Dancer's Pose

(Improves poise and balance, relieves back and shoulder tension) Inhale. Shift your weight to one foot. Grab hold of the other foot behind you while raising your opposite hand above your head and exhaling. Hold this position while breathing. Lower arm and leg slowly. Practice 3 times, each side.

Downward Facing Dog

Helps shoulders, hamstrings, calves and back. Begin on hands and knees. Spread the fingers like stars, turn the toes of the feet under and lift the hips towards the sky. Press the chest towards the tops of the legs and relax the neck. Downward facing dog helps with shoulder rotation, allowing that shoulder to graze the side of the face when swimming.

Pyramid Pose

Helps hamstrings, lower back and hips. From down dog, step the right foot up between the hands. The heel of the right foot is in line with the arch of the left foot. Hands are on the floor, on both sides of the right foot. Straighten both legs. The top of the head drops down along the right leg. Repeat on the left leg.

Cat Pose

The Cat Yoga Pose teaches you to initiate movement from your center and to coordinate your movement and breath. These are two of the most important themes in Yoga practice. Keep in mind that the Cat Pose may not be advisable if you have any chronic or recent back pain or injury.

Half Spinal Twist

If done properly, the Half Spinal Twist lengthens and strengthens the spine. It is also beneficial for your liver, kidneys, as well as adrenal glands. Practice this Yoga Pose under the supervision of a Yoga instructor. In this section, learn how to perform the Half Spinal Twist.

Lion pose

Helps bring blood flow to sore throat and head cold for quicker recovery. Place hands on thighs with knees bent. Spread fingers as wide apart as possible. Open mouth as wide as you can, stick out tongue as far as you can, open eyes as wide as you can without blinking. Hold this posture until your eyes start to water, staring at one spot. Repeat until your eyes water a lot.

Cobra Pose

This Yoga Pose improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the muscles in the arms and back. In addition, it is effective in relieving menstrual irregularities and constipation. Learn how to perform the Cobra Pose in this section.

YOGA ASANAS FOR FIBROMYALGIA

NAUKASANA

FIBROMYALGIA NAUKASANA
Naukasana improves the functioning of the lungs, is useful in treating disturbed navel and relieves body stiffness and back pain. It also reduces excess fat from the abdomen. It improves digestion and relieves constipation. Hernia and Ulcer patients should not do this asana.

Steps

• Lie down straight on the abdomen with forehead resting on the floor.

• Keep your feet together and arms extended forward with palms on the floor. While inhaling, raise your arms, head, neck, shoulders, trunk and legs simultaneously as high as possible.

• Keep your elbows and knees straight. Balance the entire weight of your body on the navel. Maintain this posture as long as possible.

• While exhaling, bring down your legs, hands and forehead to the ground. Then relax in Makarasana.


PARVATASANA

FIBROMYALGIA PARVATASANA
This will facilitate early treatment and help avoid stiffness as far as possible. This Yoga pose prevents and relieves stiffness in the region of your shoulders. It also helps in relieving rheumatic pain. Parvatasana also helps free movement and in developing one's chest muscles. Your abdominals are sucked in and your chest expands increasing, to a very great extent, your lung capacity.

Steps

• Start by sitting in Padmasana

• Interlock your fingers. Then stretch your hands vertically above your head. Keep your head bent forward with your chin on your breastbone.

• Stretch up your arms as you pull up your shoulder-blades. Your palms must be facing upwards.

• Maintain the pose for a minute or so with deep, slow breathing. Next uncross and recross your legs the other way. Now interlock your fingers and repeat the pose, with your back erect.


PASCHIMOTTANASANA

FIBROMYALGIA PASCHIMOTTANASANA
Paschimottanasana is a fine stretching exercise of the body. In one continuous movement, almost all the posterior muscles get fully stretched and relaxed. This helps to improve the functions of the abdominal organs and sets right respiratory disorders. It also helps to improve memory. Aged persons and those with stiff spines should do it slowly and steadily in the beginning. All jerky movements should be avoided & be overcome with patience and perseverance. However, persons suffering from slipped disc, hernia, lumbar spondylysis and cardiac problems, and those who have undergone abdominal surgery, should not perform this asana.

Steps

• This posture involves stretching of the posterior muscles of the body.

• While sitting, stretch your legs forward and keep them close to each other. Bend a little forward, make hooks of your fingers and hold the big toes on the respective sides.

• While exhaling, bend forward stretching the trunk along the thighs. Rest your on the knees, which should be kept straight.

• Gradually, the tense muscles can be made supple for securing the complete posture. Inhale and return to the original position.


TRIKONASAN

FIBROMYALGIA TRIKONASAN
This asana makes the spine flexible and gives good exercise to the lateral area. It also vitalizes the liver, pancreas and kidneys, exercises the side muscles and increases the flexibility of the hip joints and waist.

Steps

• Stand straight, feet apart and arms on the sides, palms facing and touching the thighs.

• While inhaling, raise your right arm slowly up to shoulder level, palm facing down with the elbow straight.

• Now turn the palm upwards and raise the hand so that it is in a straight line, touching the ear.

• While exhaling, bend as far as possible to the left. This is the final position of Trikonasana.

• Maintain it for a few seconds and return to normal position gradually.

• The same is to be done on the other side. This completes the process. The lateral stretch should be felt.


ASTROLOGY

Yoga is the primary level which consists of bodily exercises to build a ground for Meditation. The word yoga had been derived from the Sanskrit word yuj which means to join to unite to balance or to integrate. Yoga is a system of exercises for the mental and physical well being. It combines stylized poses with deep meditation and breathing. According to Patanjali, within the human body there are channels called Nadi and centers called chakra. If these channels & canters are tapped, energy hidden in the body can be released. This energy is called kundalini. In the broadest sense Yoga thus means integration at three levels Body, Mind and soul. According to astrological reports for yoga asanas the above mentioned asanas are said to be effective for those who come under the following zodiac sign

• ARIES

• GEMINI

• AQUARIUS

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