Why Yoga May Soothe Many Types of Chronic Pain

by Christina Lasich, MD Health Professional

A two-hour weekly Hatha yoga class that combines poses with meditation and discussion may help people who suffer from fibromyalgia and chronic pain, such as arthritis.

Strengthen your breathing pattern

Through the yoga pathway called Pranayana, breathing patterns can be restored to deeper breathes that fill the entire lungs at a less rapid pace. The entire body can benefit from improved oxygenation. Breathing patterns are also a good treatment target in those with chronic pain because breath work has long been advocated as a way to relieve stress.

Improve your self awareness

Awareness of body position and posture is extremely beneficial to those in pain, especially those with back pain. Awareness of thought patterns and underlying emotions are learned through the practice of meditation and mindfulness, both beneficial treatments of depression, insomnia, and anxiety which commonly plague those in pain.

Make yoga your social life preserver

Besides getting out among other individuals for the group camaraderie of a Yoga class, a Yoga pathway called Vijnanamaya actually focuses on improving personality and interaction skills. These skills can make life more accessible to those living with chronic pain by improving relationships and helping to build support networks.

Learn to relax

All of the components of practicing yoga can help lower your stress levels, and, in turn, may help lessen your level of feeling pain. Think of Yoga as a potential treatment pathway that could lead you towards feeling better with more oxygen, more awareness and more friends.

Christina Lasich, MD
Meet Our Writer
Christina Lasich, MD

Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.