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Autoimmune Disease, Health and Fitness

Can yoga help women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis?

Women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may find some welcome relief in yoga. Research from UC Los Angeles shows that practicing a style of yoga known as Iyengar may help boost mood and ease joint pain, fatigue and other symptoms.

The small study involved women ages 21 to 35 that on average had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 10 and a half years. Roughly half of the participants were assigned to six weeks of Iyengar yoga classes while the remaining individuals were added to a class wait list. Researchers presented their findings last week at the American Pain Society’s annual meeting. According to a recent WebMD article:

After six weeks, they asked both groups about their condition. The group that practiced yoga said they were happier than when they started. They said they could better accept their pain. They also reported better general health and more energy.

The women on the wait list for yoga classes did not experience these improvements.

Past studies echo these latest findings showing that yoga-based interventions may relieve rheumatoid arthritis patients’ symptoms.

Previously: U.S. adults face “significant” risk of developing autoimmune disease, Study highlights impact of rheumatoid arthritis on women’s lives and Rates of rheumatoid arthritis rising in women
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2 Responses to “ Can yoga help women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis? ”

  1. Cathy Says:

    I started with yoga in the middle of 2011 because of a 20 year suffering chronic pains. So, one of the origins were Endometriosis which took so many years before a surgeon found out what was causing the pain. I had a surgery and half of my pain is gone. So I went to the back school in ordre to heal the other pains. Soon they asked me to do some fitness and it became worse, which didn’t make me happy at all. So one day I decided to get some yoga clases and even my physical pain wasn’t going I started to feel mentaly better. I felt like hopeful.
    Then I found these Iyengar classes, and believe me or not I immediately started to feel alot better, because what’s important during the Iyengar classes is to pay attention to the poses in a corect way, the teacher will explain what a mussel or your spine or bones are doing while you will perform a pose, she explains also when to breath in and out. And I love the little chant we do before the start. So to me Iyengar yoga is very serious. At the end I have sciatica and atrosis and those days that I don’t practice I really feel the difference.
    I hope I did express myself a bit well since I am native Dutch speaking person leaving in Belgium

  2. Women Enjoy Myriad Benefits from Yoga « Thais G. Says:

    […] and rheumatoid arthritis; in both disorders, yoga can reduce pain by enhancing circulation and eliminating trapped toxins from the joints. Asanas and pranayama are some of the best yoga poses for joint pain, combining movements with […]


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