A recent review in Current Rheumatology Reports illustrates a variety of studies showing that practicing yoga assists in pain management and the overall health and well-being of patients with conditions such as arthritis and lupus. These studies also show improvement in mood, relationships, sleep patterns, flexibility, strength, and balance for yoga performers.
Another review of studies looked at the performance of yoga as therapy for 13 different acute and chronic health conditions including arthritis, epilepsy, and fibromyalgia. This review shows a 26% improvement in pain, a 20% decrease in disability as a result of pain, and a 35% improvement in mood.
Yoga is a mental and health discipline of Indian origin but is practiced all around the world today. Hatha yoga is recommended for beginners and those with limited physical ability, such as people with serious arthritis. This type of yoga combines gentle body poses with breathing and relaxation techniques. Before beginning a yoga regimen, be sure to consult with your doctor.
Bartlett S, Moonaz S, Mill C, et al. Yoga in rheumatic diseases. Current Rheumatology Reports, 2013 Dec; 15 (12): 387. doi: 10.1007/s11926-013-0387-2.
McCall M, Ward A, Roberts N, Heneghan C. Overview of systematic reviews: yoga as a therapeutic intervention for adults with acute and chronic health conditions. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013, Article ID 945895, 18 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/945895. Received 20 December 2012; Revised 21 February 2013; Accepted 21 March 2013