Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating disease characterized by persistent fatigue that is not relieved by rest. Many patients do not fully recover with conventional chronic fatigue syndrome treatment, which consists of antidepressants, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or graded exercise therapy.
While yoga is one of the most commonly accepted natural therapies and has been shown in previous studies to treat unexplained fatigue, many kinds of yoga are impossible for patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. A study conducted in 2014 found that a simple yoga program consisting of isometric, seated yoga postures significantly decreased fatigue in patients who didn’t get better with standard treatment alone.
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Is Isometric Yoga Best for Chronic Fatigue?
Acknowledging that conventional chronic fatigue syndrome treatment leaves many patients with persistent fatigue and that yoga has been found to be an effective natural treatment for unexplained fatigue, a group of researchers from two Japanese universities hypothesized that yoga is effective in improving fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
First, however, they wanted to find the best type of yoga for alleviating fatigue rather than exacerbating it. They chose isometric yoga after doing research and interviewing trained yoga instructors.
Isometric yoga differs from more traditional and popular forms of yoga in several ways.
- First, the poses consist mainly of isometric muscle contractions, meaning the muscles contract but don’t shorten. This allows the level of resistance to be changed, depending on the patient’s fatigue level, and therefore may help prevent exacerbation of fatigue.
- Second, isometric yoga doesn’t include strong stretching and requires less physical flexibility. This prevents over-stretching, which is detrimental and may increase pain.
- Third, an isometric yoga program can be designed to intentionally avoid standing postures. The researchers felt this was important because a considerable number of chronic fatigue syndrome patients suffer from dizziness, vertigo, and/or palpitations when standing up.
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Biopsychosoc Med. 2014; 8(1): 27.
Originally published in 2015, this post is regularly updated.
The post 20-Minute Seated Yoga Is a Successful Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment appeared first on University Health News.
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