When we first mentioned on our social media channels that we were starting a blog series about the different treatments/techniques/lifestyle changes Spoonies make to help them manage their Fibro symptoms, lots of responses came pouring in! Last week we talked about massages, and over the next couple of weeks we'll be talking about a different treatment each week, and one of the top responses we got from our followers was light stretching/yoga for managing Fibro pain, so we're tackling that topic in today's blog.
bestThere are a lot of benefits to both stretching and yoga- they help with the improvement of flexibility, strength and posture, reduced soreness, injury prevention, tension release, increased energy, a calmed mind, as well as help your cardio and circulatory health. Keeping all this in mind, it's easy to see why those who battle Fibromyalgia would engage in these activities. For me, when my pain gets bad, my muscles seize and tense up, and that causes my other symptoms to get worse, so keeping my body loose helps me to keep my other symptoms in check as well.
It's important to note that there are several types of yoga ranging from high exertion to easy going styles - not all yoga is the same, so before you write it off as being "too much" for you, maybe you just haven't done the kind of yoga that works best for you. It's worth a quick google search to learn about the different types of yoga, and if any appeal to you.
If you're nervous about over exerting yourself (as many Spoonies are), you can also start with doing a few basic yoga moves, or light stretches, and if you like it, build on that. Maybe over time doing a full yoga/stretch session or class could work. There are tons of articles and videos out there that show different yoga poses or stretches that are good for Fibromyalgia, lower back pain, sciatic pain, etc., and you can do them for free at home at your own pace where you can stop and rest if you need to, and no one will judge you if you can't touch your toes or finish a sequence.
I like to do some light stretching at least 3 days a week, and throw in a yin yoga class when I feel well enough to do so. I like doing Yin yoga because it's slow and gentle, and focuses on relaxation and loosening up your muscles rather than doing a combination of poses that requires more strength and endurance like a Vanysasa class would. This way I loosen up my tense muscles, ease some of the stress out of my body, and in the end, it makes me feel better than when I don't. Also, if I can afford it, doing an assisted stretch before or after my massages is a great indulgence. Similar to when I get massages, I like to enhance my experience with essential oils or scented candles when I'm in the mood.
Most Spoonies find the most relief when they do several things to help manage their symptoms, and we'll keep talking about some of the more popular methods as this series continues, so stay tuned for more!
Heather, Fabulous Fibro-Fighter and FSC Founder