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Yoga For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

  1. Have you been tired (fatigued) for a long time more than 6 months even though you are getting enough rest and are not working too hard?

  2. Has your doctor been unable to find illnesses that could explain your symptoms?

  3. Are you able to do less than half of what you used to do because you feel tired?

  4. Have you had problems that keep coming back or don't go away for 6 months or more with four or more of the following signs and symptoms?

What is CFS? 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, also known as "yuppie flu," is an illness characterized by profound tiredness, regardless of bed rest..  Imagine feeling fine upon awakening, but by day's end, feeling as if a bad case of the flu has hit - the fatigue is too severe to get out of bed. In addition, nearly every muscle and joint hurt, the headache is fierce, the throat is scratchy and thinking isn't very clear. Even after six months, many of these symptoms remain. It not only affects the physical status of the person, but it can disturb their social, family and work life.

What are the management techniques available?

Using available energy wisely is the most fundamental thing that CFSs need to learn.  Setting priorities on what needs to be done versus what you would like to see done is imperative.

CFSs frequently have digestive problems that require a change in diet. For disrupted sleep yoga can be of great help. Physical and occupational therapists can often assist in finding satisfactory methods to decrease pain, improve mobility and prevent de-conditioning. counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy are often helpful in dealing with the alterations in daily living made necessary due to reduced energy, pain and mental confusion.

Can yoga help CFSs?

A 30 year bharathanatyam dancer came to our center with CFS and it was surprising to see how tired she was. Although she looked very smart and healthy when we saw her in bed she just could not even move her body by two inches. We had to teach yoga in bed . Almost all practices had to be only at the breathing and mind level. The integrated approach of yoga therapy without any of the physical practices was used .She could get back to normal functioning capacity within two months, started dancing after one year and now leads a fully normal life of a professional house wife with no recurrence of her CFS for the last ten years.

Unlike many exercise programs, Yoga practice does not take energy away from the system; instead, it puts energy back into the system. When Yoga exercises are combined with breathing and meditation techniques, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patient has a daily support system that makes a normal, productive life possible.:

Breathing techniques bring about balance and deep rest. Extreme reactions to stress - especially when they are triggered by a past event or a future fear cause energy demands to increase rapidly. Your breathing techniques put you in touch with an unlimited source of energy that lies within you. By constantly returning the mind to the present moment, you allow the body to deal with what's happening now.

Relaxation and meditation teach conservation of energy and build self-confidence. Forget the body while tuning the mind to the divine mood of ease and effortlessness in meditation; this allows the strength within you to express itself.

The most important component of yoga is that it gives the right understanding of the purpose and meaning of life and offers techniques to erase one's worries ,tensions and frustrations that form the root cause of this psychosomatic problem.

KARNAPIDASANA

Karna means the ear. Pida means Pain, discomfort or pressure. This is a variant of Halasana and can be done along with it.

Technique

  1. Do Halasana and after completing the time limit for that pose, flex the knees and rest the right knee by the side of the right ear and the left knee by the side of the left.

  2. Both knees should rest on the floor, pressing the ears.

  3. Keep the toes stretched out and join the heels and toes. Rest the hands either on the back of the ribs or interlock the fingers and stretch out the arms as in Halasana.

  4. Remain in this position for half a minute or a minute with normal breathing.

Effects

This asana rests the trunk, heart and legs. The spine is stretched more while bending the knees, and this helps the circulation of blood around the waistline.


This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
www.vyasa.org
and Arogyadhama

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