If you suffer from fibromyalgia pain or some other kind of chronic pain, you know the reality of how hard it is to keep it under control successfully and to find effective pain relief. Fibromyalgia pain is often constant with flare-ups of increased intensity that can last days, weeks, or months, possibly even years. In this fibromyalgia blog post, I want to let you know about a gentle yoga form, known as restorative yoga, to bring relief and help manage fibromyalgia pain.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF FIBROMYALGIA PAIN
You may classify your pain as being on and off, or constant, aching or burning, dull or sharp, for example, and these descriptions are what is known as your pain history. Pain is very subjective and personal, and one person might experience pain in the same part of the body by the same condition in a very different way from another person. Fibromyalgia pain can manifest itself differently from person to person and that one person, with each person with fibromyalgia having a different perception of pain and how it affects their lives. This is why treating Fibromyalgia symptoms varies from person to person.
TREATMENTS FOR FIBROMYALGIA
Obviously, with chronic pain related to Fibromyalgia, the aim of treatment is not so much to get rid of the pain entirely as this may not be possible. However, some treatments can help improve mobility, help achieve everyday activities, decrease the intensity and frequency of fibromyalgia pain, and improve life quality.
It can be something of a trial and error type of process finding the treatments that work best together to improve your day-to-day life.
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE YOGA?
Restorative Yoga is one of the best types of yoga for people with Fibromyalgia. It can elicit the body's relaxation response to counteract chronic stress, which can exacerbate fibromyalgia pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and insomnia. Relaxation reduces stress effects on the body and facilities a natural healing environment instead.
Restorative Yoga is a particular form of yoga practice that includes breathing and meditative techniques to bring the practitioner a deep state of relaxation.
This practice was inspired by B.K.S Iyengar from India and perfected by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., an American physiotherapist and notable figure in American yoga circles.
The purpose of restorative yoga is to create a balance between breathing, blood circulation, energy, and organs within your body and bring your central nervous system to a very relaxed and calm state.
The theory is that when your central nervous system is balanced, calm, and extremely relaxed, then your Fibromyalgia pain can be greatly reduced.
HOW DOES RESTORATIVE YOGA WORK?
As with yoga, restorative yoga uses specific poses, but it also uses various props to provide the utmost comfort to support and promote relaxation. Each pose is linked to a specific system within your body.
Along with poses that alleviate head and back pains, there are even specific RY classes and poses designed for people suffering from chronic illnesses.
Restorative yoga aims to unlearn chronic stress and pain responses to give the mind or retrain the mind to healthier healing responses.
Unlike other yoga styles in restorative yoga, the poses are meant to be held for 10 minutes or longer. This is to attain a complete state of relaxation and elicit the relaxation response with gentle yoga poses and conscious breathing.
BENEFITS OF RESTORATIVE YOGA:
Reduced joint and muscle stiffness
Improved energy and stamina
Acceptance and mental and emotional peace
A greater sense of well-being
Mindfulness improves your ability to listen to your body’s needs.
Greater physical comfort
HOW DO YOU FIND A RESTORATIVE YOGA TEACHER?
It is always important to consult with your doctor or pain/care team before attending any yoga classes or practicing at home. If it is recommended as something you should try, you should be able to find a restorative yoga class at a nearby yoga studio or possibly at a community center.
Always check for certification to be sure they are qualified, so you know you are learning from an expert. There are also many instructional yoga lessons available on YouTube and DVD, which you can learn at home.