Auto-immune disorders, asthma, MS, cancer and others types of issues which can have latency periods or exacerbations, effect the overall function of our bodies and our lives. Yoga Therapy treats these with pleasant movements, breathing, and meditation to signal the nervous system thereby affecting the body’s response. Yoga for migraine symptoms can also be quelled with specific breathing, and easy movements in the neck, shoulders, and upper back to release tension.
Treatment of Asthma Through Yoga
With asthma, our air sacs have air trapped in them, and we can’t exhale. In a yoga and asthma practice we must press the exhale to encourage the use of muscular effort. Asthmatics should also follow nutrition guidelines to reduce foods that cause mucus.
Asthmatics should avoid the following mucus-causing foods:
- Dairy products
- Salty, fatty, fried food
- Sour items from natural sources like lime, orange
- Raw food
- Cold drinks
Recommended Asana Guidelines for asthmatics:
- Exercise within your limits – too much can trigger an attack, too little is not beneficial
- Rest between postures
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Movements to open the chest
Recommended Yoga Postures for asthmatics:
- Forward bends
- Downward Facing Dog
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through Education, Advocacy and Research.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology is the largest professional medical organization in the United States devoted to the allergy/immunology specialty.
AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma and allergic diseases through education, advocacy and research.
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Through Yoga
With MS, there is damage to a sheath that protects nerve cells, causing nerve signals slow down or stop. The nerve damage is caused by inflammation of the body’s own immune cells which can occur along any area of the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord. Symptoms vary, because the location and severity of each attack can be different. Episodes can last for days, weeks, or months. These episodes alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms (remissions).
Yoga can help to coordinate and balance the motor and sensory areas of the brain since we are using the breath to create a link between the body and mind through easy movements. Even the easiest movement, or thoughts of making a movement can help to trigger motor neurons in either the brain or the spinal cord. Each individual whom has MS has different symptoms and experiences – thus the yoga practice must be individualized.
A session for Yoga and MS can help restore atrophy of certain limbs, create stability, and ignite nerve centers. With that comes a benefit of more muscular control even with bowel and bladder symptoms. There may be fear in using the body, however, being able to work on symptoms through simple practices can elevate mood, which turns fear & depression into compassion & peace.
Recommended Asana Guidelines:
- Exercise within your limits
- Asymetrical movements – mindful of the propensity to favor one side.
- Move through the fear in a comfortable/stable environment with your teacher
- Standing Balancing
- Hands & Knees Stability
- Depending on symptoms postures can be done in wheelchair or bed
- Breathing exercises and meditation can help the brain to rest.
- Eye exercises for the optic nerve, here’s an example: Gaze at your thumb with your arm extended. Move the thumb slowly toward the tip of your nose. Pause there, then reverse following the thumb with your eyes as you extend your arm again. Repeat 10 times, then rest.
NMSS is a collective organization working to inspire research in MS as well as direct individuals to treatment and programs to stabalize their symptoms. Go HERE for their section on Yoga.
Awareness, community groups, bike rides, and more locally!
Links to other Yoga Theapists/teachers whom specialize in MS across the nation.