Fibromyalgia pain can make you feel sidelined from life. Thankfully, this workout can ease your chronic pain as effectively as medication!
How Yoga Banishes Fibromyalgia Pain
“Medications only address part of the fibromyalgia puzzle; yoga addresses multiple aspects,” says Ginevra Liptan, MD, author of The FibroManual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor ($10.49, Amazon).
Indeed, drug therapies, which can require 10 or more pills a day, are only 30 percent effective at relieving fibromyalgia symptoms, which include widespread pain and mood swings. But research shows that yoga is just as effective — without side effects.
In one study, fibromyalgia patients saw a 30 percent improvement after eight weeks of twice-weekly yoga. “Yoga softens tight muscles to reduce tension and pain,” explains Dr. Liptan. “And deep breathing calms pain signals.” To get the benefits, follow Michele O’Neil’s lead and try 20 minutes of Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) Yoga as many as five times a week, following the DDP Rebuild DVDs or with a certified DDP Yoga specialist (find one at DDPYoga.com).
Commonly known as Child’s Pose, this deep but gentle posture stretches the lower back, hip flexor and thighs, loosening them to reduce allover pain.
To do: Start on all fours. Sit back on your heels, keep your arms outstretched and bow forward, placing your torso between your thighs and allowing your forehead to rest on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
This move stretches the hip flexors and quads to reduce tension.
To do: From standing position, step back with your left foot and turn your toes out 90°. Bend your right knee slightly. Extend your arms overhead. Hold for 30 seconds; bring your arms down to shoulder height in line with your legs. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to start; repeat with opposite leg.
This move strengthens the front and back core muscles, relieving pressure down the spine.
To do: Start on all fours. Keeping your belly tight, extend your left leg behind you and your right arm in front of you, forming a straight line. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly return to start. Repeat with opposite arm and leg. That’s one rep; do 10.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.