The past few years have brought new hope and some evidence that mind body practices, such as tai chi, may offer relief from the chronic and widespread musculoskeletal pain of fibromyalgia.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine
in 2010, it was suggested that the ancient practice of tai chi might be effective as a therapy for this debilitating condition.
Citing a Tufts Medical Center clinical trial, the study states that following a twelve week program of tai chi, patients showed improvements in all areas associated with the syndrome including pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleep patterns and depression.
Mind-body exercises, such as tai chi and Dahn Yoga, offer a slower, more gentle approach to exercise. It may be that lessening the demands placed on the body and practicing postures along with breathing and meditation creates and sustains the energy needed to perform the exercise itself.
This gentler approach and the mind-body connection may be key ingredients for patients who are deterred by other, more physically demanding activities. The most promise lies in the feeling of success and control that can be achieved as a patient realizes not only is this something “I can really do,” but the possible benefits and results become evident as the patient learns body awareness and finds a way back to better health.
No, it’s not a cure, but for some, it’s an effective way of controlling pain and well worth a try.
Please note: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.