There are so many methods out there for easing the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, so why should you need another one? Well, imagine a gentle exercise routine that you will be much more motivated to keep up because it causes no pain, positively discourages any stress or discomfort, teaches you more about your illness, and actually feels wonderfully soothing! Read on…
If you have the type of arthritis that flares up, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, it can be tremendously demoralizing and you just feel like getting into the most comfortable position and staying there to ride out the acute phase. Well, this may be a valid response for a while, but as soon as you can move without too much discomfort, it is very important to take gentle exercise to minimise joint damage and regain mobility and muscle tone.
Somatic movement education is absolutely designed for this!
I discovered somatics through my good friend, osteopath and somatic movement educator Brian Ingle, N.D., D.O., with whom I have teamed up on my website to make these systems more widely available. At first I doubted their effectiveness, as even to a committed old yoga freak like me, they still seemed too gentle to be of much use. How wrong I was.
When I started to practice somatics, I was amazed at how powerful these gentle movements are in balancing even the most locked-in of muscle and joint knots and imbalances. Then, recently, when I contracted reactive arthritis from a bout of some sort of stomach bug, and ended up with very swollen and painful ankles and one knee, somatics really revealed itself to me as a major godsend, playing a huge part in my recovery.
At those difficult times when even ordinary yoga or stretching just seems like too much, somatics may actually be the only system of movement that is truly comfortable. You never have to go beyond your comfort zone in any of the routines, and even with what might be very minimal movement possible in affected joints, you will find extraordinary relief.
Because somatics is mainly based on awareness during these gentle movements rather than forcing a stretch that the body is not yet ready for, it can also teach you a great deal about the progress of the disease, whether good or bad, and warn you of coming flare-ups, or encourage you that you are easing the stiffness and pain and going in the right direction.
Of course, diet has a great deal to do with managing arthritis, and finding your own personal triggers and food sensitivities will go a long way to warding off or at least minimizing attacks. Improving your diet will of course help greatly too, but to develop the intuition to put them all together in the most effective way for your own unique body type and imbalances, a knowledge of Ayurveda and its systems of body typing and diet is perhaps the best way to go. Also, err on the side of the paleo/grain free diets and you won’t go far wrong.
With somatics and Ayurveda as your partners in healing this horrible disease, you will be in very good company and well on the right track to success. Good luck!
Originally posted 2014-02-09 14:13:31.