A protocol and pilot study for managing fibromyalgia with yoga and meditation.Int J Yoga Therap 2011; (21):109-21IJ
Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, fatigue, headache, and mood disorders. Recent research has resulted in an improved understanding of fibromyalgia and its possible causes. This article highlights some of the current research, discusses a strategy for using yoga and meditation as a therapy for fibromyalgia sufferers, and presents the results of a preliminary 8-week study using yoga and meditation to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. The study of 11 participants found significant improvement in the overall health status of the participants and in symptoms of stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Significant improvements were also seen in the reported number of days "felt good" and number of days "missed work" because of fibromyalgia. Nonsignificant improvements were seen in measures of pain, fatigue, and how one felt in the morning. Effect sizes were medium to large for most tested areas. This study supports the benefits of yoga and meditation for individuals with fibromyalgia and encourages further research to explore their use as standard therapies for fibromyalgia.