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Yoga For Fibromyalgia Pain

Our lead instructor, Eric Peters, knows Yoga for fibromyalgia pain personally. While suffering from back pain most of his life, he has had endured the majority of the 18 symptoms of fibromyalgia. There is now ample evidence that people with fibromyalgia have an over-active sympathetic nervous system. This is more commonly known as our stress response system. When you perceive any bodily threat, your sympathetic nervous system is immediately put on alert.

Due to the pain you are experiencing, fibromyalgia victims default to short, shallow breathing, which triggers their body’s fight-or-flight response. Perhaps the most important discovery Eric has made in his life, is how to release pain and stress through healthy breathing.

Breath work, which is the essence of yoga, is crucial for people with fibromyalgia. Your stomach muscles tighten, your breath shifts up into the chest, and you literally become uptight.  During this, your breath becomes shorter, shallower, and your breathing becomes rapid. Adrenaline is then quickly pumped into your blood stream, slowing down your digestive system. So that energy can now be redirected to your muscles.

Changing your breathing…

When we relearn to breathe, as when we are a baby, we circulate more than a litre of blood through our bodies (versus 1/10th of a litre when relying on chest breathing). Just this one difference alone, will have a profound effect on healing your fibromyalgia.

Customizing the right type of yoga for your mind and body will guide you to move from the stress response to the relaxation response. The slow deep breathing common in yoga practice, is especially effective in calming an agitated nervous system.

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We have known for over 20 years that there are 18 specific spots on the body notable to fibromyalgia, that when touched are sensitive or even painful. Yoga acts specifically on the muscles where these trigger points are located. Pain frequently shows up in the fibre of the muscles, indicating why it is called fibromyalgia. These muscles are around the joints, but not the joints themselves. They are often where tendons and muscles meet, and are also just under the surface of the skin (eg. neck and knees).

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How Yoga Can Help Fibromyalgia

Yoga can offer several benefits for individuals with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and sensitivity to touch.

Gentle yoga poses can help to alleviate muscle tension, reduce stiffness, and relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia. Yoga poses that focus on gentle stretching and relaxation can help soothe sore muscles and joints, promoting greater comfort and well-being.

Yoga also incorporates breathing techniques, meditation, and mindfulness practices that promote relaxation and stress reduction. By practicing deep breathing and relaxation techniques, individuals with fibromyalgia can help calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety, and improve their overall sense of well-being.

Sleep disturbances are common in fibromyalgia, with many individuals experiencing difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. Yoga can help improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and calming the mind. Gentle yoga poses and relaxation techniques can help prepare the body for restful sleep and improve overall sleep hygiene.

Fibromyalgia can lead to stiffness and decreased flexibility in the muscles and joints. Yoga incorporates gentle stretching exercises that can help improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and reduce stiffness, making movement easier and more comfortable for individuals with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by mood disturbances such as depression and anxiety. Yoga practices that focus on mindfulness, self-awareness, and self-compassion can help individuals cultivate a more positive outlook, improve their mood, and enhance overall mental well-being.

Yoga will help to encourage you to tune into your bodies, its sensations, and emotions. By developing a deeper understanding of your bodies’ needs and limitations, you can make more informed choices about their health and well-being.

It’s important if you have
fibromyalgia to work with a qualified yoga instructor who has experience working with individuals with chronic pain conditions. A knowledgeable instructor can tailor the practice to suit your individual’s needs and limitations, providing modifications and props as needed to ensure a safe and effective practice. Additionally, individuals with fibromyalgia should listen to their bodies and practice self-care, pacing themselves and avoiding overexertion to prevent flare-ups of symptoms.