Hive Health Media

The Tai Chi Treatment for Fibromyalgia Pain

If you’re a fan of alternative medicine and even if you’re not this is something you may want to think about if you’re living with fibromyalgia.  Tai Chi has been shown to be a beneficial exercise for people suffering with fibromyalgia.  This isn’t a brand spanking new study, having been published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010 revealed positive results when participants in the study, living with fibromyalgia, began a regimen of tai chi exercises.

Tai Chi is a meditative form of martial arts that emphasizes flexibility, focused breathing techniques, and mental clarity.  It is seen as both a hard and soft form of martial arts, meaning it can be either a low impact or a high impact form of exercise.

Tai Chi and Fibromyalgia?

You might be thinking that if this is old news then why is it being shared?  As a fitness trainer my friends often come to me for some help to lose weight from exercising or dieting advice.  Recently one of my friends asked me for help in dealing with the pain of his fibromyalgia and I had to admit that I knew a good place to start but wondered if there was something that could be better for him than stretching, which I know has been shown to effectively alleviate pain in some cases.

One of the problems my friend told me about relating to fibromyalgia was the variety of opinions that doctors could have on treating it and in the worst case scenarios, disregard it as a real condition.  And sometimes new and interesting news can become forgotten about.  The New England Journal of Medicine study found that participants suffering from fibromyalgia that participated in the tai chi fitness program experienced a significant reduction in pain.

Let me say this right now, I’m not a doctor.  I can’t prescribe a treatment for you or my friend for that matter.  I can tell you about things I’ve heard in the fitness world but you should always check with your personal physician first to make sure that it’s something that will work for you.  It is one of the bad parts about the fitness world; people often take on something that they heard about only to discover that it was too much for them to handle or it was very wrong for them to do it.  Sometimes it can even lead to injury.

My friend however did feel that Tai Chi was a good fit for him, after checking with his doctor, and has enjoyed the benefit it has been to him in dealing with his pain.  If this is something you’re thinking about doing make sure to check with your doctor to make sure that it will work for you.  Also make sure to take your time to do some research on the tai chi class that you are looking at.  Find out if the instructor is aware of students with conditions such as fibromyalgia.

If something can help people it shouldn’t be forgotten about.  My friend was glad that I brought up some old news, and maybe it can help some other people out too.

Research on Tai Chi for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia:

“There was strong evidence that multicomponent treatment had beneficial short-term effects on the key symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, including pain, fatigue and depressive mood, and of improved self-efficacy and physical fitness post-treatment. Strategies to maintain the benefits of multicomponent treatment in the long term need to be developed.”

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

“Tai chi may be a useful treatment for fibromyalgia and merits long-term study in larger study populations.”

- Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine

Nathan Ladin is a freelance fitness writer who managed to lose 50 pounds. He now works with weight loss experts, including Slimband, to help people realize that becoming fit and healthy is not a fantasy.

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