Thursday, September 24, 2009
What is Multiple Sclerosis and why yoga?
MS is an autoimmune disease with an estimated prevalence of between 400,000 and 500,000 people in the United States and 2.7 million worldwide. 18,000 people in Michigan are diagnosed with MS.
Quality of life is known to be impaired in those with MS due to multiple factors, including physical disability, MS-associated fatigue, and pain. Weakness, spasticity (muscle stiffness or contraction), fatigue, ataxia (difficulty moving) and sensory loss, can lead to significant balance and mobility loss, with increased risk of falls.
The practice of yoga has been shown to improve balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility. Depression, anxiety, and decreased cognitive function are also common challenges faced by people with MS. Yogic breathing practices, meditation, and postures have been shown to decrease anxiety and depression, and increase subjective well-being, as well as cognitive function, in healthy populations and in people with a number of chronic diseases. The results of one randomized clinical trial of yoga for MS which has been published, case studies, and the experiences of many people, indicate that yoga is helpful for people with MS.
For more information about our MS yoga partner, Yoga Spirit Wellness www.yogaspiritwellness.com