Those coping with multiple sclerosis (MS) have access to more ways of managing the effects of their disease than ever before.One "new" way of relieving the symptoms of MS isn't new at all; it is a form of keeping the body fit that is thousands of years old. I'm taking about yoga, as the title of the article implies.There have been a number of scientific studies that have shown yoga to be an effective treatment for MS, and this benefit has been acknowledged by numerous well-known organizations, including The National MS Society, The American Yoga Association and The American Academy of Neurology, to name just a few. Mainstream health care professionals are now endorsing the idea that the regular practice of yoga is an effective therapy for treating the symptoms of MS.The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) obviously believes in the value of chair yoga.
They have extended a grant so that Liz Franklin's Yoga In Chairs« classes can be offered to those with MS at no cost to them. They are also funding scholarships so that yoga instructors can be trained to teach chair yoga classes for MS.Here's what some of the people taking these special chair yoga classes sponsored by the MSF have said about the program.
"I have been taking Liz Franklin's class for a few months now. I have noticed more mobility with less pain and I have learned how to truly relax in order to regroup and pursue daily tasks. Liz takes an active interest in what is bothering us as a class and offers solutions and poses that might help us..Chair yoga alone won't relieve all of the symptoms of MS.
She is truly a joy. I look forward to this class every week. From my point of view this class has been a blessing. I also plan on informing my doctor how much this class has helped me.
" - Paula L.".Yoga has made a rather significant difference in my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. I have noticed that following a yoga session, normally the next day, my ability to walk is improved.
My balance problem is better and the stiffness in my arms and legs is quite improved. I have also noticed some improvement in my mental attitude." - Bill J."I was concerned about being able to 'do yoga', but the way Liz teaches the exercises she makes it easy to succeed and the benefits are great! By being able to breathe more deeply, to having more muscle flexibility and just knowing that even with MS I am able to succeed with an exercise program have helped me mentally and physically.
The exercises are easily incorporated into my daily life. They give me more energy and help me feel better about myself." - Kay H."Just over a year ago I could barely walk. My doctor recommended yoga. However, I found traditional yoga too strenuous and required too much effort getting up and down.
Yoga in Chairs has provided me with all of the benefits of yoga without the physical stress of getting up and down. I now walk with ease. I have regained muscle strength, increased flexibility and feel so relaxed after class." - Mary H."I am really enjoying Yoga in Chairs. I was a little worried at first that I would not be able to do everything but I have not had any problems.
Liz has made me feel very comfortable in the class and has also made me feel that if I can't do everything that is OK. She is a very positive and calm influence. I do feel more relaxed and less stressed after the class. I have a lot of muscle spasticity in my back and the stretching and moving has helped so much.
It's a great class!" - Gaye B."I was skeptical at first but with each week I feel more into the program. The class seems better as we go and I am enjoying it more as time goes on. Thanks!" - Lori B."I have enjoyed Yoga in Chairs. It makes me feel relaxed.
I've learned some valuable exercises from class. Liz has some wonderful handouts. She is a very knowledgeable instructor and makes it seem so easy. By taking this class I am more aware of how I carry my stress and the importance of letting it go." - Marcia S.
"Your class has been very beneficial for me both physically and mentally. I am a newly diagnosed MS patient and quite honestly, I was quite unsure of what physical limitations that I might face. Yoga has shown me that I can exercise on a regular basis and it has helped me with my flexibility and my balance has improved.
While I don't spend an hour a day practicing yoga, I use some of the stretching techniques every morning actually before I get out of bed and I have also been able to use some of your exercises at work as "stress-busters". I have also found that my lower back doesn't ache nearly as much when I do my faithfully do my morning stretches and exercises." - Kerri R."I have also had sleep issues for quite a few years and while yoga has not eliminated them, it has certainly helped me on my focus and my ability to relax, thus helping me with my sleep.
It has also helped me to open my mind and heart to other ideas - physically, emotionally and spiritually." - Mary R."Having only started this class in the last few months, it has already been beneficial and helpful in various ways. I am more aware of my posture and the means to improve it, plus I am more conscious of ways to relieve stress and to relax both fully and/or for moments. I am grateful for this class" - Vicky M.And from one of the student's chiropractors: "The patient started a yoga class, at which point I noticed a rather significant difference in not only how she was feeling subjectively, but also her objective findings in regards to her muscle tone and her gait.
I feel that the yoga class that she was attending has been very beneficial in the treatment of her condition and has afforded her a higher quality of life." - Frank F.
However, most people who are coping with MS will see a benefit from practicing this gentle way of staying fit.If you are considering trying chair yoga to relieve your MS symptoms ask your doctor if it would be right for you.
If you want to find out about Liz' special style of chair yoga, visit http://www.yogainchairs.com.