Yoga, with its mind-body connection emphasis, may be helpful for trauma survivors with various emotional and/or physical symptoms. I want to share with you a recent study that investigated the usefulness of yoga for those with fibromyalgia. I have written before about the link between fibromyalgia and trauma.
A pilot randomized controlled trial of the Yoga of Awareness program in the management of fibromyalgia
A mounting body of literature recommends that treatment for fibromyalgia (FM) encompass medications, exercise and improvement of coping skills. However, there is a significant gap in determining an effective counterpart to pharmacotherapy that incorporates both exercise and coping. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive yoga intervention on FM symptoms and coping. A sample of 53 female FM patients were randomized to the 8-week Yoga of Awareness program (gentle poses, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga-based coping instructions, group discussions) or to wait-listed standard care. Data were analyzed by intention to treat. At post-treatment, women assigned to the yoga program showed significantly greater improvements on standardized measures of FM symptoms and functioning, including pain, fatigue, and mood, and in pain catastrophizing, acceptance, and other coping strategies. This pilot study provides promising support for the potential benefits of a yoga program for women with FM.
What do you think? Have you had any experience, positive or negative, with yoga? Does this study make you want to give it a try?