Yoga Helps Fight Multiple Sclerosis

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For years, I’ve been giving my wife an injection each evening.

With multiple sclerosis, the body’s immune system attacks the myelin coating on the nerves. Copaxone serves as a decoy, attracting the body’s defense system away from what it shouldn’t be attacking in the first place.

All this time, I’ve been using a plastic, spring-loaded "auto injector" to administer her medication. Years of this practice has caused some trouble with her skin.

So, today a home health nurse came to the house and taught me to inject with only the syringe. I practiced on a device that simulates the resistance of human skin.

I have yet to sink a needle into another human being, manually. But, I am soon to be initiated! The nurse says it’ll actually be less painful for Janice than the auto-injector’s spring-forced assault.

And quieter.

Research has been on-going the past decade or so studying the benefits of yoga as treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). While yoga is no cure all for MS, it has shown to increase the quality of life for someone with MS significantly. Many studies have found yoga can decrease fatigue, a symptom of MS, tremendously.
A study conducted by Oregon Health and Sciences University in 2003, took 69 MS patients and for six months monitored as some participated in yoga, some in other exercise classes, and some in no exercise at all. At the end of the six months, the results showed significant improvement for fatigue in those who practiced yoga or some form of exercise as opposed to those who did nothing. Of the participants who did yoga, 60 % of them found it to be beneficial. (1)
Yoga targets improving flexibility, stamina, strength, and balance. It has also shown to reduce stress and anxiety. All of which are great benefits to someone living with MS. Yoga is also more than physical activity, but a lifestyle which was designed to train your mind, body, breath, and help you connect with your spirituality. Yoga is not only able to provide the physical strength, but mental strength as well in living and dealing with MS.
Yoga can provide so many life benefits to those with MS. So much so, years ago Eric Small, whom was diagnosed with MS at 22, developed a yoga niche called therapeutic yoga specifically to help those with MS or other illnesses andor diseases. That was over 50 years ago Small was diagnosed, and today in his 70’s credits yoga for his great health and physical abilities.
While exercise in general is needed for managing MS, yoga is good because it helps those whom MS has progressed passed the point to where they are able to participate in other exercises and can be adapted to that individuals ability. Many of the stances andor poses such as the Mountain or Warrior can be done with the help of a wall. The Tree and Eagle can be done with the help of a chair. Blocks and other assistive devices can be used to hold a yoga pose as well. Even those wheelchair bound can practice yoga while having an instructor hold their legs and holding the poses for them.
Giving yoga a try could be just what someone with MS needs. Any person with MS trying yoga should ensure that the yoga instructor is certified in the therapeutic use of yoga. Namaste.

Washington Mary has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in Diseases Multiple Sclerosis
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