Yoga

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Yoga a system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation used to promote physical and emotional well-being,[1] that originated in ancient India.[2] Many variations of yoga exist, but the styles embraced as a potential treatment for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients tend to be more gentle and restorative in practice.[3]

Types[edit | edit source]

Many different types of yoga exist. Some types of yoga investigated for ME/CFS include:

  • seated or recumbent yoga, which is done while sitting in a chair and without standing, to avoid orthostatic intolerance symptoms
  • recumbent isometric yoga, which was developed as a treatment for ME/CFS[4]

Theory[edit | edit source]

Yoga is both a mind-body therapy and an exercise therapy. Yoga is normally viewed as an "adf-on" or secondary therapy for ME/CFS, typically aiming to reduce some symptoms like pain or fatigue, and improve overall quality of life.[4]

Oka et al. (2014) state that there is evidence that yoga reduces cancer-related fatigue, and it is hoped that yoga may also reduce fatigue related to ME/CFS, but only if activity is kept to below the level that provokes post-exertional malaise since this would increase fatigue and other symptoms.[4] Oka et al. state that ME/CFS patients are deconditioned and hypothesize that the exercise involved in yoga may reduce any deconditioning symptoms.[4]

Yoga has also been explored for improving autonomic nervous system symptoms,[5][6][7] e.g., orthostatic intolerance, which many ME/CFS patients have.[8]

Risks and criticism[edit | edit source]

General reports of harms and adverse effects during yoga have been increasing in recent years, and include:

  • Lower back pain and muscle pain
  • Aggravating existing pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain may occur even in healthy individuals
  • Adverse effects from yoga may be serious rather than mild, including bone fractures, tendon or ligament injuries, muscle strain, myositis ossificans of the forearm, eye disorders, and breathing difficulties
  • A group of 2508 patients with various chronic illnesses or taking medication found that close to 30% had experienced adverse effects of yoga taught by qualified instructors
  • In the same group, 36% of adverse reactions were serious rather than mild
  • People with long-term musculoskeletal conditions, chronic diseases, in poor physical condition on the survey day, people over 70, and people who found the yoga mentally or physically stressful were at increased risk of adverse events serious enough to prevent future yoga sessions[9]

Risks to ME/CFS patients may also include:

Notable studies related to ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

  • 2005, Prospective observational study of treatments for unexplained chronic fatigue[10] - (Abstract)
  • 2014, Isometric yoga improves the fatigue and pain of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who are resistant to conventional therapy: a randomized, controlled trial[4] - (Full Text)
  • 2017, Development of a recumbent isometric yoga program for patients with severe chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: A pilot study to assess feasibility and efficacy[3] - (Full Text)
  • 2018, Changes in fatigue, autonomic functions, and blood biomarkers due to sitting isometric yoga in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome[5] - (Full Text)
  • 2019, The longitudinal effects of seated isometric yoga on blood biomarkers, autonomic functions, and psychological parameters of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study[6] - (Full text)
  • 2019, Changes in circulating microRNA after recumbent isometric yoga practice by patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: an explorative pilot study[11](Full text)
  • 2020, Changes in Heart Rate Variability after Yoga are Dependent on Heart Rate Variability at Baseline and during Yoga: A Study Showing Autonomic Normalization Effect in Yoga-Naïve and Experienced Subjects[7](Full text)
  • 2021, Health-related benefits and adverse events associated with yoga classes among participants that are healthy, in poor health, or with chronic diseases[9](Full text)

Video[edit | edit source]

Seated isometric yoga program for ME CFS. Takakazu Oka, Oct 6, 2018.[6]

Blog[edit | edit source]

  • Aroga Yoga - a yoga and wellness blog by a yogini who has been living with ME/CFS since the age of 13 yrs.

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Definition of YOGA". Merrian-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  2. "History of Yoga". Yoga Basics. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  3. 3.03.1 Oka, Takakazu; Wakita, H.; Kimura, K. (2017). "Development of a recumbent isometric yoga program for patients with severe chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: A pilot study to assess feasibility and efficacy". Biopsychosocial Medicine. 11 (5). doi:10.1186/s13030-017-0090-z.
  4. 4.04.14.24.34.44.5 Oka, Takakazu; Tanahashi, Tokusei; Chijiwa, Takeharu; Lkhagvasuren, Battuvshin; Sudo, Nobuyuki; Oka, Kae (2014). "Isometric yoga improves the fatigue and pain of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who are resistant to conventional therapy: a randomized, controlled trial". Biopsychosocial Medicine. 8 (27). doi:10.1186/s13030-014-0027-8.
  5. 5.05.1 Oka, Takakazu; Tanahashi, Tokusei; Sudo, Nobuyuki; Lkhagvasuren, Battuvshin; Yamada, Yu (2018). "Changes in fatigue, autonomic functions, and blood biomarkers due to sitting isometric yoga in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Biopsychosocial Medicine. 12 (3). doi:10.1186/s13030-018-0123-2.
  6. 6.06.16.2 Oka, Takakazu; Tanahashi, Tokusei; Lkhagvasuren, Battuvshin; Yamada, Yu (December 2019). "The longitudinal effects of seated isometric yoga on blood biomarkers, autonomic functions, and psychological parameters of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study". BioPsychoSocial Medicine. 13 (1): 28. doi:10.1186/s13030-019-0168-x. ISSN 1751-0759. PMC 6836361. PMID 31709006.
  7. 7.07.1 Shinba, Toshikazu; Inoue, Tomoko; Matsui, Takemi; Kimura, Kazuo Keishin; Itokawa, Masanari; Arai, Makoto (2020). "Changes in Heart Rate Variability after Yoga are Dependent on Heart Rate Variability at Baseline and during Yoga: A Study Showing Autonomic Normalization Effect in Yoga-Naïve and Experienced Subjects". International Journal of Yoga. 13 (2): 160–167. doi:10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_39_19. ISSN 0973-6131. PMC 7336948. PMID 32669772.
  8. Institute of Medicine (2015), Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press
  9. 9.09.1 Oka, Takakazu; Lkhagvasuren, Battuvshin (October 7, 2021). "Health-related benefits and adverse events associated with yoga classes among participants that are healthy, in poor health, or with chronic diseases". BioPsychoSocial Medicine. 15: 17. doi:10.1186/s13030-021-00216-z. ISSN 1751-0759. PMC 8499562. PMID 34620198.
  10. Bentler, SE; Hartz, AJ; Kuhn, EM (2005). "Prospective observational study of treatments for unexplained chronic fatigue". J Clin Psychiatry. 66 (5): 625-32. PMID 15889950.
  11. Takakura, Shu; Oka, Takakazu; Sudo, Nobuyuki (2019). "Changes in circulating microRNA after recumbent isometric yoga practice by patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: an explorative pilot study". BioPsychoSocial Medicine. 13: 29. doi:10.1186/s13030-019-0171-2. ISSN 1751-0759. PMC 6886179. PMID 31827600.

tendon a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscle to bone.

ligament the tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint

muscle strain An injury involving a stretched or torn muscle or tendon (tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone).

chronic illness any long-term illness, regardless of the severity. Chronic illnesses are typically incurable, requiring long-term management.

adverse reaction Any unintended or unwanted response to a treatment, whether in a clinical trial or licensed treatment. May be minor or serious.

chronic disease a disease or condition that usually lasts for 3 months or longer and may get worse over time. Chronic diseases are long-term (typically incurable and requiring long-term management) but are not necessarily severe.

tachycardia An unusually rapid heart beat. Can be caused by exercise or illness. A symptom of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). (Learn more: www.heart.org)

heart rate variability (HRV) - A measurement of the variability of the heart rate over time. When the heart rate is consistent, there will be a low heart rate variability. When the heart rate is constantly changing, there will be a high heart rate variability. Heart rate variability is often used by ME/CFS patients to monitor their autonomic nervous system, as high heart rate variability is associated with the sympathetic nervous system and low heart rate variability is associated with the parasympathetic nervous system.

myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.