Is Tai Chi The Best Fibromyalgia Treatment?
Fibromyalgia pain sufferers often use a holistic approach when dealing with their pain. This is because modern medicine is simply not enough to address the needs and concerns of people, who live with chronic pain and suffer from symptoms that destroy their quality of life.
It is therefore often quite useful to use alternative and natural therapies to complement conventional medical care to attain the highest levels of treatment success.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition in which patients have longstanding muscle aches, fatigue, depression, gastrointestinal symptoms, urinary tract symptoms, and tender points located all over their body.
People with fibromyalgia tend to get better with a multidisciplinary approach that involves treating the whole body through holistic care. Tai chi can be a part of this holistic care.
What Is Tai Chi?
Tai chi was originally a form of Chinese martial arts. When brought to the West, it became a healing tool for a variety of conditions, especially those who had psychological components to their condition, including fibromyalgia.
Tai chi is usually an exercise done in the standing position. It involves performing a series of fluid movements, while concentrating on the breathing as it relates to the movements. These movements are usually done in a specific order and there are hundreds of movements to choose from.
Tai chi not only improves balance and coordination but it relaxes the mind and relieves the perception of pain. It is usually practiced daily as a form of exercise for about 30-40 minutes per day. It can be used in individuals at about any fitness level and is a great form of exercise for people who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Is Tai Chi A Good Form Of Exercise For Fibromyalgia?
Tai chi is easy on the joints and strengthens the muscles without causing jarring movements or pain in those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Unlike exercises like jogging, weight lifting, or even walking, tai chi is a non-jarring form of exercise that patients with fibromyalgia can do very simply, causing an improvement in their pain and an increased sense of relaxation that can last all day long.
Is tai chi the best form of exercise those who suffer from fibromyalgia?
There are other exercises you might want to consider. These include the following:
• Qi gong. This is a different form of martial arts that comes from China. This is similar to tai chi but can be done while lying or sitting. It involves doing fluid motions and breathing exercises that are relaxing and can reduce the perception of pain. Qi gong is considered to be a milder form of tai chi that also induces stress-relief and the relief of pain perception. If tai chi proves to be too taxing, try qi gong, which is even easier on your joints and muscles, yet produces much the same effect on fibromyalgia.
• Yoga. Yoga is not necessarily a strenuous exercise but it has effectiveness against fibromyalgia similar to that of Tai chi. It involves striking different poses in tune to breathing exercises. Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that is extremely easy on the joints and muscles and that affects the deepest relaxation on those who have fibromyalgia. Like tai chi, it also improves balance and coordination and affords the fibromyalgia patient the deepest form of exercise.
• Aerobic walking. Fibromyalgia patients can simply enjoy walking outdoors or on a treadmill if the weather isn’t conducive to walking outside. Aerobic walking can improve the cardiovascular system and can help you lose weight but it can be hard on the joints, making it a less attractive form of exercise for fibromyalgia patients who are undergoing extreme pain.
How To Start Doing Tai Chi
Tai chi is actually very easy to pick up. You can study tai chi at a yoga/fitness center or at your local health club. There, the tai chi instructors can help you go through the fluid movements necessary for proper balance and relaxation.
If there isn’t a studio or health club nearby, you can learn tai chi by purchasing a DVD through the internet. Start slowly and work your way up to sessions lasting 30-40 minutes. Your balance and coordination will be improved as will your perception of fibromyalgia pain.