By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, October/November 2004.
Yoga reduces fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a condition affecting one in 1,000, according to a recent study published in Neurology. Experts have long known that regular exercise eases weariness associated with MS, but this was the first controlled study measuring the effects of yoga, which proved to have the same results.
Sixty-nine MS patients were divided into three groups: One group participated in a weekly yoga class along with home practice; the second group participated in a weekly aerobics class and home practice; and the third did not take part in any exercise program. Both exercise groups reported significantly reduced fatigue, underscoring the point that any type of exercise will increase energy in MS patients. Some experts speculate that yoga’s meditative practices may also likely help reduce anxiety and stress, working the mind-body front of wellness as well as the physical aspect.