Exercise for Arthritis – Somatic Movement and the Ayurvedic Three-Phase Workout
When you are in the middle of a flare-up or just generally feeling low and lethargic, which so often happens with arthritic conditions, it can be very hard to motivate yourself to get up and do some exercise. Admittedly, sometimes just resting is the best bet, but when you have a good day, or can move about without much discomfort, a little exercise can work wonders. But what types of exercise to choose? Here are a couple of suggestions…
There are three main reasons for exercise when you have arthritis: firstly to invigorate the system to reduce general inflammation, secondly to keep the muscles toned and prevent wastage, and thirdly to keep the joints and ligaments supple.
However, it’s all too easy to overdo it in all of the above, getting you back to square one again, or even worse, triggering another flare-up. What you need is an exercise plan that automatically keeps you within your safe range of tolerance.
There can be few better ways to do this than to combine the Ayurveda-inspired Three-Phase Workout (a term coined by Dr John Douillard) with the beautifully gentle Hanna Somatic Movement routines.
In the Three-Phase Workout, yogic breathing techniques called pranayama are used to lower the heart rate and breathing rate during exercise, thus also lowering the impact exercise has on the body, automatically keeping you in a very beneficial zone and preventing you from overtraining with counterproductive results. An added bonus is that it can make exercise far more enjoyable – blissful even, as it keeps you in that Zen-like state of optimal performance that athletes describe as ‘the zone’.
This means that you can never really overtrain the body, which is so often a cause of arthritic flare-ups, and consequently a loss of motivation to carry on with an exercise programme. The Three-Phase Workout can be applied to any exercise or sport, so no need to learn anything new and complicated – just go with your favourite activity.
Moving on to the Somatic Movement routines, well, these are an absolute godsend to anyone with arthritis. It’s almost as if they were designed specifically for that purpose!
Somatic Movement is a way of perceiving the body from within. This means that during the gentle series of movements, the emphasis is on awareness and learning to identify the body’s chronic pain patterns and release them. They are simple, slow movements done on the floor, designed to unwind long-standing holding patterns to render you pain-free at last.
What could be more perfect for an arthritis sufferer?
So, if you are confused about how to get your body moving again and to iron out some of the stresses and strains that arthritis can put on the body, do check out these two fields of knowledge. They could be the beginning of a whole new you!