Multiple Sclerosis, otherwise known as MS, is a disease that attacks the central nervous system, and from the spine to the brain. For some, the disease develops quickly, and for others it develops slowly. Tumors, chronic fatigue, loss of balance and blurry vision are all common, and while they isnt a cure as of yet for this debilitating disease, there is hope yoga.
A Study on MS and the Effects of Yoga
Researchers followed nearly 69 people with Multiple Sclerosis over a period of six months. Each one of the participants took a weekly yoga class, along with an at-home exercise session that involved a stationary bike. What the researchers found at the end of the six month trial period is that yoga may not have helped improve their cognitive function, but it did make a drastic improvement in their fatigue a major symptom of the disease. Weekly yoga sessions also seemed to improve their energy level overall.
What Yoga Does and How It Helps Those With MS
Do you have MS and cant possibly imagine the possibility of bending over in a backwards handstand, or twisting up like a thousand year old tree branch? Yoga can help anyone of any age, but for those with Multiple Sclerosis, it can be a true life saver, and a comfort giver. Most of all, its a release and when you focus on the enjoyment (no pain allowed!) you can breathe easy, while letting the stress go. You can perform exercises with or without a wheelchair, and stretch, move and hold each posture with success, while connecting to your body.
Downward Facing Dog
If you have MS but you are mobile or even if you arent, this is an excellent daily exercise to start your day with. Not only will it help improve the blood circulation to your brain, but it can improve your balance. Are you feeling weak in your legs? Improve you blood circulation from head to toe, and all by beginning and/or ending your day with this important yoga pose. If youre in a wheel chair, this exercise can be done as well just improvise by sitting, rather than bending over from your feet in a standing position.
If you can, start in a standing position with the side of a wall behind you, and with the back of a chair in front of you. Place some padding along the back of the chair for comfort. Bend your hips over the back of the chair, and place your hands over to reach the seat of the chair. If youre doing this from a wheel chair, face the wall and place your hands (stretching out your limbs) so that they touch the wall.
If youre standing and leaning over the chair, stretch your body down, until your hands reach the floor. Breathe in and out, deeply and controlled. Focus on your flexibility, and stretch out your body as far as it will go, releasing the tension and tightness as you hold this pose for up to twenty seconds.
Like anything, yoga takes practice. The goal isnt to have it down perfectly, especially if yoga is a new form of exercise that youve never done before. The whole point here is to increase your energy level, decrease your fatigue and move your body so that you can enjoy and become aware of the body you have MS and all.