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Friday, September 4, 2009

Yoga Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy

What is Muscular Dystrophy?


Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic neuromuscular disorders. These disorders can cause major physical problems as they lead to a weakening of the muscles in the body.

Individuals suffering from muscular dystrophy are affected by progressive weakness and degeneration of muscle use. Even performing routine activities like walking and sitting can prove to be a challenge once the disorder sets in.

There are many different types of muscular dystrophy. The condition affects the individual right at birth, or it may manifest later with age. The most common forms of muscular dystrophy include Duchenne, Facioscapcilohumeral, Myotonic, Becker, and Limb-Gridle.

Muscular dystrophy causes a weakening of the muscles and difficulty in undertaking routine movements. The condition sets off muscle wastage and nerve deterioration. Over time it leads to respiratory discomfort, irregular heartbeats, clumsiness, frequent missteps and falls, and loss of mental sharpness. The condition greatly impairs the quality of life and it limits life expectancy.

Unfortunately, as of today there is no muscular dystrophy cure. Patients are provided muscular dystrophy therapy that aims at easing pain and discomfort. This includes physical therapy, respiratory aids, and orthopedic supports. However, there is way to prevent the condition or the deterioration it causes.

Yoga for Muscular Dystrophy

Incorporating a therapeutic practice like yoga can help ease the conditions of muscular dystrophy and greatly improve the quality of life. Muscular dystrophy yoga uses a series of gentle and easy movements in combination with deep breathing techniques to improve muscle tone and reduce pain.

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that aims at rehabilitating and reinforcing a balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Used as a complementary practice alongside allopathic treatment, it can help individual’s cope and live with muscular dystrophy.

Muscle weakness leaves you weak and exhausted. Undertaking regular exercise is almost impossible. It is draining and causes even more pain. Yoga however doesn’t cost you energy, but provides you with a fresh flow of energy. Through gentle movements, the muscles are moved, worked, and toned. The deep breathing techniques help you breathe more fresh oxygen as compared to regular shallow breathing. As fresh oxygen is infused into the body, a fresh supply of nutrients is supplied to all the organs and tissues in the body. It improves blood circulation and strengthens the weakening muscles. Along with maximum intake of oxygen, the body is also able to expel adequate amounts of toxins using breathing techniques of yoga for muscle dystrophy.

Muscular dystrophy yoga also addresses the mental and emotional damage caused by the illness. It helps individuals find the inner strength to fight off depression and anxiety that characterize debilitating illnesses. It enables a person to think positively, and cope with the condition with hope and energy.