Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-related condition characterized by chronic muscle pain and stiffness, aches, soft tissue tenderness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, disordered sleep and more. Because the causes for it are unknown it is referred to as a syndrome rather than a disease. Approximately 11 million people in the U.S. are affected by it. Most are women ages 30 – 50.
If you or someone you know well suffers from fibromyalgia, you are more than likely aware of how debilitating it is. I have seen many women- loved ones and friends, suffer so badly from it that they can barely walk or prepare meals, let alone participate in any kind of joyful activity.
Often physicians or health practitioners will suggest yoga to fibromyalgia patients. Vigorous styles of yoga are obviously out of the question for those in the depths of chronic fatigue and muscle pain. More appropriate is restorative yoga, which is passive, yet vibrant, and adaptable to any individual including those with special conditions and needs like fibromyalgia.
Restorative yoga poses are supported by props such as bolsters, blocks, straps, blankets, and chairs. They emphasize relaxation of the muscles. The support helps the body let go of deeply held tension. By letting go of that tense energy, the inner body is spacious, more vibrant, and energized. The props also encourage good alignment which facilitates energy distribution throughout the whole body. By practicing good alignment, posture and balance improve.
I work with several students suffering from fibromyalgia. Some days conscious breathing in savasana is all they can do. Other days they have more energy to work in various poses. Across the board, those suffering who have made the practice a consistent part of their wellness regime have had major improvements in the quality of their lives. It is amazing and utterly gratifying to see this kind of healing happen.
Restorative yoga is not only wonderful for those in critical need of relief from the constellation of negative symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue. Everyone needs to recharge their energy batteries regularly.
We are a stressed out nation! What a wonderful world it would be if we all allowed ourselves to rest and restore as regularly as we truly need it.
Rest thee on a yoga bolster today! If you are interested in private or semi-private restorative yoga sessions in your home or mine, please click here to see my offerings.