Yoga for arthritis
The practice of mediyoga programs for arthritis help with slowering the degenerating process of this disease. Yoga therapy programs for arthritis can be helpful with regards to patients on stage 1 and 2. Our patients have experienced reduction in drug dependency, better mobility and functions of the joints as well as decrease in pain. Generally yoga affects the life of the patient in a positive way.
Why does arthritis happen
Arthritis happens when the balance of central controlling mechanism in the brain and endocrine system are disturbed. The factors leading to this disturbance are many, but the most common are the following:
- Diet: Overeating and a diet based on animal products, fried foods, refined and synthetic foods, milk products, excessive sugar and salt.
- Lack of physical activity: This leads to joints becoming stiff and inflexible.
- Mental factors: Fear, suppression of emotions and hypersensitivity can lead to rigidity of the personality which in turn can lead to allergies, endocrine imbalance and physical tenseness. This psychic rigidity can also lead to physical rigidity in the form of arthritis and constipation. Indeed, patients who suffer from arthritis find it difficult to express their emotions, especially anger, in a proper manner. Often they suffer internally and this suffering creates poisons which create imbalance and upset the whole metabolism.
Yogic techniques for arthritis
A well rounded program of yogic therapy includes the following elements:
It is important for the arthritis patient to carry out movements of his joints as these movements improve the blood circulation in the joints and as a result the waste products and toxins stored there are carried away. The problem with the arthritis patient is that the pain usually increases with movement, thus the patient does not move much, which deteriorates the condition of the joints. It is like a vicious cycle.
Pranayama (breathing techniques)
Pranayama regulates the prana in the body through the process of regulating the breathing. Given that a major cause of arthritis is build up waste in the joints, then pranayama is a very important technique for getting rid of the waste product.
Meditation and yoga nidra
Meditation is very important for arthritis patients. This will positively affect the body and mind of the patient, especially since a positive attitude is crucial during the therapy. You can find a general stress relief yoga nidra here
Since one of the reason for arthritis is poor diet, this point is very important for the patients. The following dietary tips will help in the reduction of pain and will allow the regenerative process to work at optimum efficiency.
Patients with arthritis are advised to avoid non-vegetarian food. Moreover too much protein, spicy food, fried food and bakery products are also to be avoided. Since many patients that suffer from arthritis are overweight, overeating and fast foods are to be avoided, as well as cold foods and drinks.
Best foods are indeed fruits (except for banana) and vegetables (except for potatoes and onion), thus foods high in fiber and low in fat, protein and carbohydrates. Intake of milk products should be reduced. Food that are especially beneficial are fenugreek, garlic, spinach, dates and milk boiled with dry ginger. Meals should be consumed before 12pm and no later than 7pm, The midday meal should be the largest and the evening meal the lightest. In addition, fasting once a week is recommended whist snacks in between meals should be avoided.
An active and self sufficient lifestyle is very important, not only for the patient’s body but also for his mind. Even though the patient might be in pain, it is recommended to push oneself to perform activities such as swimming, gardening and other gentle forms of exercise.
Heat and massage
Total immersion in a hot bath and the local application of moist or dry heat, especially in colder periods, relaxes the muscles and loosens painful contractions. Heat also reduces pain and inflammation, increases metabolism, aids elimination of poisons, speeds up the production of natural lubricants, reduces swelling and aids the re-absorption of undesirable calcium deposits from the joints. After the heat therapy a general massage is recommended.