Yoga Poses and Workouts
No large published clinical studies have specifically investigated the effect of Ayurveda on MS or its symptoms. Some components of Ayurveda have been investigated individually. These include massage, meditation, and yoga, all of which are discussed elsewhere in this book. These therapies may be helpful for some symptoms that occur with MS, including fatigue, spasticity, pain, depression, and anxiety.
Sussman, Dent, and Lichtman (2000) designed an innovative school quit-smoking program that featured interactive activities, such as games and talk shows, alternative medicine techniques (i.e., yoga, relaxation, and meditation), and behavioral strategies for smoking cessation. Two hundred and fifty-nine students enrolled in the program at 12 schools and another 76 students served as standard care controls (smoking status surveyed at baseline and at 3 months). Objective measures of cigarette smoking were used. Elective class credit and class release time were offered for participation in the program.
Cognitive effects of normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, senile dementia, traumatic brain and closed head injuries, mortality, under-nutrition and malnutrition in children, eating disorders, parasitic infections, neurological effects of HIV and AIDS, drug effects and addictions, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, diabetes, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), stroke, vascular dementia, degenerative brain diseases associated with aging (Huntington, Alzheimer, Parkinson), epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoxia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychiatric disorders (anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar), yoga and meditation, chemical, pharmaceutical, and nutriceutical (e.g., Gingko biloba) agents.
Yoga may be performed in groups or individually. Yoga techniques may be learned in classes, which are about 60 minutes in length. Group classes cost between 15 and 30, and private sessions are 25 to 35 per hour. Benefiting from yoga requires an ongoing commitment several hours per week over weeks to months generally are required. Yoga classes often are available through recreation centers, the YMCA, and schools. A listing of yoga teachers is available each year in the July August issue of the Yoga Journal (2020 Milvia Street, Berkeley CA 94704 510-486-2858 ). Pathways Exercise Video for People with Limited Mobility is a video showing yoga poses designed for people with MS. Information about the southern California yoga and MS program may be obtained from the southern California chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at www.nationalmssociety.org CAL home or 2440 S. Sepulveda Boulevard, 115, Los Angeles CA 90064 (800-344-4867 or 310-479-4456). General information on yoga is...
Hatha yoga and meditation for neurological conditions. In Oken BS, ed. Complementary Therapies in Neurology. London Parthenon Publishing, 2004, pp. 159-167. Ross R. Yoga as a therapeutic modality. In Weintraub MI, Micozzi MS, eds. Alternative and Complementary Treatments in Neurologic Illness. New York Churchill Livingstone, 2001, pp. 75-92.
Ayurveda consists of several components. As in traditional Chinese medicine, pulse and tongue evaluation are important for diagnosis. Diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and specific supplements are used therapeutically. Yoga, breathing exercises, massage, and meditation, discussed elsewhere in this book, are also components of Ayurveda. One type of Ayurvedic meditation, transcendental meditation (TM), was popularized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Another important aspect of Ayurveda, panchakarma, is used for disease prevention. Panchakarma means five processes and includes massages, sweat baths, vomiting, enemas, and bloodletting (through the use of leeches).
Yoga J July August 1997 96-103. Nayak NN, Shankar K. Yoga a therapeutic approach. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Amer 2004 15 783-798. Oken BS, Kishiyama S, Zajdel D, et al. Randomized controlled trial of yoga and exercise in multiple sclerosis. Neurol 2004 62 2058-2064. Pilkington K, Kirkwood G, Rampes H, et al. Yoga for depression the research evidence. J Affect Disord 2005 89 13-24.
Exercise may provide beneficial effects for many different MS symptoms. Because of its many benefits, some form of exercise should be a component of a broad-based treatment plan. As explained in Chapter 20 on exercise, conventional and unconventional exercise programs are available. Conventional exercise programs may be developed with a physical therapist. Hydrotherapy, or water exercise, may be especially well-suited for people with MS who have leg weakness or walking difficulties. Unconventional exercise programs that may provide beneficial effects for those with MS include t'ai chi and yoga.
Easing Your Stress With Yoga
Have You Ever Wanted To Achieve A State Of Total Relaxation But Never Believed That Yoga Was For You? Has the stress of daily life made you tense, uptight and too wound up to be able to think clearly? If so, then you are not alone. 40 of Americans feel that their lives are too stressful and over 60 of Americans say that they find themselves in situations where they feel lost at least once a week.