Chair Yoga is quickly becoming a preferred method of relieving some of the soreness, aches and pains associated with arthritis. Often used by people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to perform more traditional moves, Chair Yoga is one of the more gentle forms of the exercise that’s practiced by sitting on a chair or standing up using a chair as support.
While it’s not yet recognized as a distinct type of Yoga like Anusara or Ashtanga, Chair Yoga has been approved by the Arthritis Foundation and is recommended by many physicians for patients suffering from the condition. It may also be especially helpful for seniors receiving alternative therapy or post-surgery home care.
More mainstream efforts of treating osteoarthritis include medication and simple changes to one’s lifestyle.
But according to research, Chair Yoga has been proven to be beneficial in helping to lessen the pain seniors feel when dealing with arthritis symptoms. It also allows them to exercise more comfortably despite their physical limitation or disabilities.
Osteoarthritis occurs from a breakdown of cartilage in the joints. This leads to inflammation in the lining causing pain and limited movement.
Patients diagnosed with the condition might also experience joint creaking, grating, swelling and stiffness, limited movement and weakness.
After studying its effectiveness in people with osteoarthritis, researchers suggest in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that ‘Chair yoga should be further explored as a non-pharmacologic intervention for older people with osteoarthritis.’
There are a number of ways Chair Yoga is beneficial to the health of people with sedentary lifestyles. Here are a few Freedom Home Care came up with.
Improves circulation – practitioners engage in range of motion movements in the shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, feet and legs which help to improve heart function and overall health and well-being.
Relieves Aches and Pains – Slow, gentle movements provide lubrication and nourishment to the joints and connective tissue. This also helps to lessen the pain of arthritis and other neuromuscular conditions.
Promotes Mental Clarity – Chair Yoga stimulates the brain and supports the mind/body connection, improving mental processing.
Lessens Stress and Anxiety – Chair Yoga helps calm the nervous system, slow the mind, and allow for peace and relaxation through slow, rhythmic breathing.
Other postures that seniors with arthritis can practice to help them achieve pain relief and a healthier lifestyle include the Knee Stretch, the Arch, the Overhead Stretch, the Forward Fold and Side Twists.