Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis

Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a mental condition that is characterized by such symptoms as fear, worry, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and heightened sensitivity. Can yoga help those suffering from MS? This article reveals the efficacy of yoga for multiple sclerosis.

Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis

Yoga poses involve stretching and practicing effective breathing techniques. All these improve body awareness and circulation, and release tension. Yoga also reduces fatigue in MS patients. With increased mental and body awareness, yoga helps the patient recognize early signs of stress, before it can overwhelm them.

Research on Multiple Sclerosis and Yoga
One particular study involved 69 MS patients who were assigned weekly exercise schedules of: yoga classes, stationary cycling and home exercises. The patients were then observed for a period of six months. The measures of anxiety, disability, cognitive function and fatigue were taken by the researchers at the start and end of the study.

On comparing these measures, researchers found that patients who practiced yoga experienced less fatigue and had higher energy levels when compared to others. Ironically, the study was not intended to find out if yoga helped in the treatment of MS.

The findings of the study hold importance as this certainly points benefits of yoga for multiple sclerosis. Though more research needs to be done to validate the findings, they do suggest something positive.

In the U.S., the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is affiliated to the National Institutes of Health, funded a research study on the effectiveness of yoga for MS patients. This research revealed that yoga improved fatigue symptoms in MS patients. This is a significant benefit as fatigue is a major symptom of MS. Call your local MS unit to get information about teachers staying near your residence, who can guide you effectively in using yoga for MS.

Yoga Poses for Multiple Sclerosis
Yoga helps address three of the most debilitating symptoms in MS patients. These three are:

  • Loss of balance and flexibility
  • Numbness in the limbs and loss of body coordination
  • Heat intolerance and fatigue

To alleviate the hardship caused by the above symptoms, the following poses can be effective:

  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I)
  • Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II)
  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

More Yoga Benefits
For MS patient, yoga can bestow the following added benefits:

  • Reduction in muscle spasms
  • Improved balance
  • Improvement in muscle tone

Yoga can also benefit people who are severely disabled. Trained instructors can guide disabled people to practice yoga and help them get the optimum benefits from it. A wheel-chair bound person can practice specific yoga postures with assistance from the instructor or by using assistive devices.

Adapt Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis
MS patients can adapt yoga poses to suit their ability and physical condition. If you are not in peak health, you can modify the poses to suit your capability.

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