Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a non curable medical condition/syndrome that causes chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is often misunderstood by the health service here in the UK, and effective treatment outside of long term pain relief medication is lacking. There is a natural approach to try, to aid the symptoms in a gentle way. Tai Chi and Qigong can be practised by anybody of any age, without restriction on fitness levels or movement ability. Being low impact, the movements are ideal to gently build up to exercise, which in turn helps reduce pain levels, and increases the ability to cope.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms & Effects
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Fibro Fog (common name for the brain fog that sufferers experience)
- Lack of energy and chronic fatigue
- Muscle twitching, soreness & weakness
- Acute and chronic pain
- Difficulty with balance
- Anxiety, stress, frustration, depression (psychological impact of living with chronic health)
- Disturbed sleep and insomnia
How Tai Chi and Qigong can aid the symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Help strengthen the muscles gently through low impact bodyweight exercises
- Increase mobility & flexibility through a gentle approach to movement
- Help manage chronic pain and release physical tension
- Nourish the joints through gentle expansion and compression
- By working with varying health baselines, everyone is individual and exercises to their own ability
- Learning through method not mimic
- Working with your posture in a safe and stable range of motion
- Supports knee health
- Help strengthen bone density
- Increase mental clarity and focus
- Learning the importance of physical symmetry
- Understanding the mind and body connection
- Helps with motivation and challenges.
- Fall prevention, balance and grounding
- Lessen fatigue & gain new energy
- Boost mood and serotonin levels through gentle exercise
- Increase the function and efficiency of the internal organs
- Improve all body systems; circulation, digestion, hormone, lymph etc.
- Reduce stress, anxiety and the symptoms of depression through deep breathing & slow movement (activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and slowing down of the central nervous system)
The practices of Tai Chi and Qigong are gentle ways to approach exercise when living with fibromyalgia. The movements can be adapted to the ebb and flow of each student’s health baseline, from lying down to seated and standing. The Classical Chinese movement arts are both powerful and relaxing. A high importance is placed on a correctly aligned posture relating to life long physiological health. There is a difference between good and bad pain which Tai Chi and Qigong help to teach, so the students can exercise in a healthy and appropriate way. When learning the movements, students also learn about pain as an observation tool and how to pace and manage chronic fatigue. Find out the meaning of qi gong.
- Here is a good resource for fibromyalgia
- Mind and Body Approaches for Chronic Pain: What the Science Says
- Tai Chi Has Similar or Greater Benefits Than Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia, Study Shows
- Tai chi recommended to fight fibromyalgia
- Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Improve with Tai Chi Mind Body Exercises
- Fibromyalgia and Tai Chi: Getting Mindful and Physical by Mark Borigini M.D.
These online group classes offer a more gentle approach to training Tai Chi and Qigong. With seated and standing movements, guiding you through gentle tension relief, physical relaxation and meditation techniques. Open to everyone, for all abilities, especially those living with chronic health, chronic pain and chronic fatigue, or anybody who would like to nourish the mind and body through relaxing movement and stillness.
* Please note that the Taoist practices are not a replacement for conventional medical treatment. Please speak with your doctor prior to starting a new exercise programme. This article is for information purposes only and must not be taken as medical advice. *