This has been a challenging week for me. I went to my doctor with several concerns; my brain confusion is reaching new heights, I haven’t slept more than four hours a night in about three months, and I’m finding widespread pain throughout my entire body, in particular, in my joints. My doctor confirmed my suspicions that I have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder. (You can read more about fibromyalgia here.) Fibromyalgia is a disease that has no cure, much like the Graves disease I already have, and in fact, I’ve read a lot about the two disorders being linked. No one knows what causes fibromyalgia, but certainly, stress only heightens the symptoms and exercise has been proven to helpful for sufferers.
The problem lies between a rock and a hard place: Sufferers don’t exercise because they are in pain and yet the symptoms get worse without exercise. It’s an endless cycle of pain; one that I’ve become all too familiar with. In turn, it’s easy to allow diseases like this to get you down, emotionally as well as physically. I’ve been having a hard time coming to terms with an all new disease that is going to seriously impact the way I live my life.
I’ve been doing a lot of research, since my diagnosis, on the things I can do to improve my condition. Luckily, yoga just happens to be one of those exercises recommended for fibromyalgia sufferers, since it both reduces stress and provides gentle, stretching exercise that shouldn’t exacerbate pain too much. A new study was recently completed noting that yoga is being investigated as part of a treatment plan for fibro sufferers, as studies have shown that those who participated in a regular yoga program noticed reduced pain levels and improvement in their condition. You can read about that study here.
So, if I ever needed a reason to continue on with my yoga practice, I’ve now found the best one: It can improve my health. And although I’m someone who suffers from several conditions that need constant care, we could all use to improve our health and take time out of our days to give back to our bodies. After all, we’re stuck with these bodies for an awfully long time.