Yoga and the Benefits
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system in which the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath surrounding the nerves. This disrupts signals sent along the nerves, which in turn causes some signals to become distorted, and some to not be received at all.
‘Sclerosis’ stands for scarring, when the immune system attacks the nerves it creates lesions and scars, the symptoms that are shown due to this are subject to the location of the lesions/scars and why not all the symptoms happen at one time.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms that occur over time:
- Weakness in the limbs
- Balance problems
- Numbness in areas of the body
- Pins & needles
- Loss of vision in one eye/blurred/double vision
How does yoga help?
Yoga is designed to improve breathing, strength, flexibility and the mind and body. By practising yoga in the morning you stretch the body and set ones self up for the day ahead, helping some people mentally and emotionally to go about their normal lives.
Yoga certainly doesn’t cure MS, but it does help control the body and offer a period of relaxation; yoga isn’t a competitive sport but rather be there for relaxation and to build and enhance the body; yoga for m.s sufferers is definitely an important option to consider.
If you are interested in practising yoga, there is no need to go to a specialist; even with MS mainstream yoga is still practicable and the yoga instructor may be able to change certain positions to adjust to those with MS so that yoga for people with multiple sclerosis is a distinct possibility.
What causes MS?
Currently it is uncertain as to what causes MS, yet research suggests that is largely related to environment yet there is the possibility of genetics playing a part.
MS is not inherited directly from mother to child via the umbilical cord or the egg cell, yet those family members of someone diagnosed with MS tend to have a slightly higher chance of developing MS.
Research has shown that the further north or south of the equator you live the higher your chances of MS, those living in the UK and places like North America are at a higher risk of developing MS than those in places like Egypt and Mexico which are closer to the equator. Research suggests that there could be a link between MS and a vitamin D deficiency since Vitamin D mostly comes from direct exposure of the skin to sunlight.
Common misconceptions about MS
‘MS always leads to being severely disabled’
- For the vast majority of MS sufferers, this is largely false as most people with MS are not confined to a wheelchair on a regular basis.
‘MS will pass down to future generations’
- MS is not an inherited condition, the children of those with MS there is thought of a higher risk of developing MS in the future, yet the inheritance of MS is not fully understood.
‘MS is a death sentence’
- MS is in fact not a death sentence as most who develop the disease still have a normal life expectancy.
A last note
Yoga offers a relaxing way to exercise the muscles. Gently stretching ones muscles by performing various mechanical straining positions you can enhance your physical strength, stimulate cartilage in the joints and lower your heart rate.
Yoga introduces you to a healthier lifestyle and with it control over your balance, and an increased amount of mesenchymal stem cells in the muscle area to promote growth of the muscle cells.
If you haven’t tried yoga yet whether you have MS or not it is something worth the effort.
Thank you for reading at www.yoga4pwms.co.uk