Yoga Helps Fight Multiple Sclerosis

Article by AMS Vans

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 and/or 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 and/or 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 assisti ve devices can be used to hold a yoga pose as well. Even those wheelchairbound 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.

(1)Shirley Kishiyama, M.A., Jane Carlsen, B.A., Julie Lawrence, B.S., Eric Small, M.F.A., Daniel Zajdel, and Barry Oken, M.D. Yoga as an Experimental Intervention for Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis, International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 2002

About the Author

At AMS Vans our goal is to connect people with their destination. We understand how difficult it can be to afford or rent a wheelchair accessible mini-van and how frustrating it can be to find one in good condition. That’s why we do what we do. We are a dedicated to educating our customers and making sure you get the accessible van that is right for your needs.

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