Who uses yoga, meditation, stretching and ki energy techniques to reduce the aches and pains caused by arthritis? More than you might think, according to a number of surveys and scientific studies.
For instance, a report in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine announced that, of more than 230 people interviewed for the study, two-thirds had tried complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a way to ease their arthritis symptoms.
Almost all of those who had tried CAM reported using it regularly. The researched noted that 24 percent of respondents – all of whom were regular patients of licensed rheumatologists – had tried three or more CAM methods in the quest to ease their joint aches.
A review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) said that CAM can cover a wide array of treatments, including deep breathing, yoga, ki energy training, guided imagery, exercise, warm baths and going to bed in a comfortable environment, all of which may ease aches and help people with arthritis get much-needed sleep.
Arthritis affects at least 50 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – a figure expected to increase to 67 million by 2030.
The agency notes that the most common form of the condition is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition that can cause immobility, inactivity and disability.
Fortunately, yoga and certain mindfulness techniques may be able to take one's mind off of joint pain.
A study appearing in the JACM found that participants who took weekly yoga classes for eight weeks experienced improvements in pain level, physical function, stiffness and soreness. All volunteers were obese and had osteoarthritis of the knees. For such a painful condition, researchers employed a gentle, low-impact variety of yoga.
By practicing mindfulness yoga and using meditation to focus and guide one's ki energy, it may be possible to reduce the severity of aches and pains related to arthritis, regardless of one's age or health status.