How Yoga Can Help Cure Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system of our body. It is a disease where the covers that insulate the nerves in the brain and the spinal cord are damaged, which hinders the ability of the nervous system parts to communicate with the brain. The inability to communicate with the nervous system may cause physical, mental and even psychological issues for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
This disease cannot be cured; however, it can definitely be treated and managed to an extent so that they can lead normal lives. Loss of vision, tiredness, pain, and impaired coordination are some of the symptoms you may face. However, not everyone suffers from the same signs. There are some who may remain symptom-free for most of their life while others could display severe symptoms.
Doctors prescribe physical treatment and medicines that subdue the immune system to help with disease indicators and slow down its progression. The effect of MS on individuals depends on which part of the brain and the spinal cord are damaged by the disease. Recent studies on MS, indicate that women suffering from early stages of MS experience progress in body stability, dexterity and quality of life after practicing yoga for 2 months.
We understand you may want to know which poses help the best with multiple sclerosis, which is why we have a list of Yoga poses for multiple sclerosis just for you.
Tadasana with a stretch – The Mountain Pose
Sit in a chair completely with both your feet on the ground. Extend your spine, so that you feel your spine lift from your waist. Keep your heart open, shoulders loose, while lifting the head and stretching your neck. Place your hands on your thighs or the side of a chair so that it helps to maintain your spinal lift. Pause and breathe. Inhale slowly and lift your left arm above your head as high as you can go.
If needed use your right arm to support your left arm. Keep your arm above your head and exhale. Extend your arms when you inhale. Bring down your arm when you exhale. Repeat this exercise with the right arm.
- This pose helps to improve body posture, tightens the abdomen and the butt, and strengthens the thighs. It also helps to prevent and treat issues with knees and ankles.
Ardha Uttanasana – The Half-Forward Bend
This pose is usually done while standing straight. However, for MS you can change it a bit.
Sit in the chair, the same as tadasana. Place your hands on the sides of the chair, take a deep breath and inhale while you extend your spine upwards. Exhale slowly and bend forward slightly towards your thighs, while extending the spine from the hips. Stay in the bent position. Extend when you inhale and relax when you exhale and on the next inhale return to your sitting position keeping the spine straight.
If you are comfortable extend your arms above your head when you inhale and bend forward when you exhale, bringing your hands to your knees or the wall in front of you. Raise your arms again while inhaling and come back to the starting position. Repeat this pose while you breathe in and out slowly.
- This pose helps to stimulate the kidneys, spleen, and liver and improves the nervous system. It helps to stretch and open the calves and hamstrings, improves hip flexibility and strengthens the knees and spine. It improves growth of cells in the body, relieves tension in the shoulder, neck and back, tones the abdomen and improves alignment and body posture.
Virabhadrasana – The Warrior Pose
Sit in a chair without sides, hold the right side of the chair with your right arm and slide to the left of the chair. Hold the front of the chair with your left hand keeping it to the left of your right leg. While inhaling extend your left leg behind with your toes bent forward while you ground your right foot in front of the chair. Twist your torso to the left while you switch your left hand to the back of the chair with your right hand in the front.
Extend your spine while you inhale. Breathe deeply and stay in the pose. Twist your torso back to the front when you inhale and bring your hands to the sides of the chair again. Repeat the pose with the right leg and arm too.
- This pose helps to strengthen and stretch your legs, shoulders, arms and ankles. It helps to expand your chest, which allows you to breathe deeply. It also increases your stamina and strength if you practice this pose regularly.
You may not be able to cure multiple sclerosis by Yoga, but it can definitely help you manage the disease. Here are a few reasons why you should consider yoga
- It can motivate the body’s defense mechanism and may help to slow down the disease or even stop the advance of the disease.
- Yoga poses help to augment energy in our body and get rid of tiredness. Different forms of exercise may require a lot of energy expenditure, whereas yoga helps you save your energy, which helps to decrease exhaustion.
- It can help you overcome depression, as yoga helps to augment your sense of wellbeing when practiced regularly.
- Yoga has a positive effect on our body and its functioning. Our respiratory system is reinforced, while digestion and body’s immune system is improved. It even helps to calm down the nervous system.
- You can prevent joints and muscles from becoming stiff and weak by practicing various yoga poses and stretches. At times some of the easiest stretches are the most effective on MS. Moreover, these poses can be modified to suit you, despite how differently abled you may be. It can be practiced on your bed or even on a wheelchair.
- MS can both excite and make the brain tired at the same time. Practicing breathing techniques and meditation helps to calm down your brain and allow it to rest, which is very important.
- It doesn’t need exercise equipment; you can practice it at home.
- Practicing yoga regularly helps to improve your sleep patterns, augment your sense of wellbeing, get rid of muscle weakness and improve perception.
Yoga may definitely help with multiple sclerosis; however, make sure you have discussed this with your doctor before you start practicing. To get the best results, you may want to engage a yoga teacher so that you can understand the poses correctly. Chikitsa provides you a list of best yoga teachers in Hyderabad or the city you live in.