By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Can Yoga therapy help people with Multiple Sclerosis? In 2004, an Oregon Health and Science University study found that Yoga significantly reduced fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis. Data and studies regarding Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis are scarce, but physical activity is definitely important for anyone with MS.
What is Multiple Sclerosis and how can Yoga help? Multiple Sclerosis, also known as MS, is generally classified as a neurological disorder. To be a bit more specific, MS is a chronic disease in which there is loss of myelin (the covering and insulation of our nerve fibers), in the central nervous system. MS is often characterized by speech defects, problems with vision, and loss of muscular coordination.
Yoga has managed to fill the gap for many who have MS, because the physical practice of posture and breath can be modified for any individual, regardless of their condition. With the right Yoga teacher, you can learn posture (asana) and breathing techniques (pranayama) from a wheel chair or a hospital bed.
What can we realistically expect Yoga therapy to do for those who have MS? Yoga enables anyone to set goals. The physical practice of postures can strengthen the legs. In turn, a person who has sat in the wheel chair and put their walker aside, for a while, may develop the strength to stand with an assist and hold this posture with less fatigue.
Meditation is also a valuable component of every complete Yoga practice. Meditation releases muscular tension, instills positive energy, and enhances body awareness. As a result of this holistic approach to MS management, Yoga will work well in conjunction with medication and western medicine’s approach to Multiple Sclerosis treatment.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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