In 1981 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I was 28 years old then. At the time I found it very difficult to cope as I had two young children and a husband to take care of and I was in and out of hospital for two solid years before the diagnosis was finally found. I remember that I was sitting at home one day and a friend came by to sit with me; she brought a book with her it was called A 28 Day Yoga Course, I remember it well and I still have that book today. I looked at my friend when she handed it to me and I thought how ridiculous it was that she should give me a book on yoga when I couldn’t walk or use my hands very well. I didn’t say anything at the time to my friend as she was giving me a gift from the goodness of her heart. Before she left my friend said to me, “All I ask is that you just read to book, I’m not asking you to try it if you don’t want to, but, you just might find it useful”.
A couple of days went past before I sat down and started reading the book, I was amazed that the exercises were very gentle and I found myself trying the stretching techniques. I could hardly walk at the time and my legs were bent at ninety degree angles from the knee, but I tried gentle stretches, just a little each day. After about eight months I found that my hands had started to straighten out more and I was able to walk a little better, my legs weren’t straight but at least I could walk. I also found the breathing techniques helped me to get off to sleep too.
I have continued to do the yoga exercises that I can manage and after all these years I still find them helpful. Yoga didn’t cure me but it certainly helped in other ways. It took a long time but, my hands are normal and no longer turned inwards.
Whilst yoga has helped me all these years, it doesn’t help me with Fybromyalgia, I find that I become more exhausted, and my muscles become very heavy and sore, even with the basic stretching exercises and the yoga breathing wont stop me waking several times through the night when I can’t sleep. I have often read that yoga and exercise help to cure Fybromyalgia, but unfortunately it hasn’t worked that way for me. However, although most Fybromyalgia sufferers have the same kind of symptoms, everyone is different and some people may find it helpful. I continue to do the yoga mostly out of habit and only when my body allows me to do so. I believe that the stretching will help keep my circulation going.
It is the same for other remedies and so-called cures, diet, medication etc, what works for one does not work for all and many will work for some of the symptoms but not all. I think that each individual person who suffers from Fybromyalgia should find out what works for them. I would not dismiss yoga, diets or other helpful remedies that may help suffers of this illness as there is always the thought that the next one you try just might work for you. One thing that we should be careful of is buying medicines or remedies from the internet and always research those “miracle cure” offers if you see any anywhere.