We all know that yoga is a great exercise to help keep us fit and feeling young. But now, according to new research from Oregon Health & Science University, performing gentle stretches, meditation and other yoga exercises may also help fight the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Before you jump to any conclusions about this research, it is important to note that it consists of a rather small pool of participants. Fifty three women were enrolled in the study, all of whom suffered from fibromyalgia.
Twenty five of the participants started taking a two-hour yoga class every week, for eight consecutive weeks. These yoga classes included gentle poses, light stretches, breathing exercises and meditation. The other twenty eight women were instructed to continue on with their standard routine for treating fibromyalgia pain.
Before the yoga class, researchers had the women fill out questionnaires and perform a variety of physical tests. After the class was over, researchers would then evaluate each of the women again. The twenty eight participants in the control group were also evaluated in the same manner as those that took the yoga class.
Comparing the Data
When researchers compared all of the data that they had compiled, they found that the women that took the yoga classes appeared to help with the most serious symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety and stiffness.
All of the improvements were significant enough that they had a positive impact on every day activities. On average, the women that participated in the yoga classes reduced their pain by 24%, depression by 42% and fatigue by 30%.
What Researchers Are Saying:
James Carson, Ph.D., clinical health psychologist and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine had this to say about this research:
“Here, we specifically focused on yoga to determine whether it should be considered as a prescribed treatment and the extent to which it can be successful. One likely reason for the apparent success of this study therapy was the strong commitment shown by the study subjects. Attendance at the classes was good as was most participants’ willingness to practice yoga while at home. Based on the results of this research, we strongly believe that further study of this potential therapy is warranted.”
What Can We Learn From This Study?
While this was a very small study, the results still look promising for those suffering from Fibromyalgia. At this point, it’s safe to say that more research needs to be done to say whether or not yoga is truly an effective treatment for this condition.
However, while it doesn’t reach a definitive conclusion, nobody should simply ignore this study. Whether you suffer from Fibyromyalgia or not, there are many benefits associated with yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. So, despite the inconclusiveness of this research, there’s no denying that these are all beneficial activities that can help you follow a healthy lifestule.
So, get out and register for a yoga class now. If you can’t afford to take a yoga class, try to learn a few stretching or breathing techniques online.