20 Jun Sarcoidosis and yoga
Jenny wanted to take up more physical activity but was restricted by muscle and joint pain from sarcoidosis. Her condition seemed to be exacerbated by being run down, and while she said she felt most well after a good sleep, she suffered from insomnia. Jeni’s psychologist specialises in pain and recommended her to me.
Yoga can help with chronic pain and fatigue by relaxing the body, calming the mind and improving quality of rest. But an ordinary yoga class, even if for beginners, can be taxing for a fatigued body, and can put uncomfortable weight into the joints.
Jenny didn’t have the physical strength for an ordinary class. She needed to build up her capacity very gently to avoid exacerbating her condition.
After introducing Jenny to full body awareness, and the possibility of being gentle with her body, we explored gentle, effortless movement. The session finished with a guided relaxation that was tailored for Jenny, reflecting the language she used about her health. After the session, Jenny reported that she felt “wonderful”.
In a follow-up, Jenny’s physiotherapist reported that Jenny had had the best night’s sleep in a long time and said that was a big achievement for her. At her next one-to-one, Jenny said she hadn’t been as anxious that week or suffered as much pain.
By calming the body and mind with yoga, those who suffer from pain and fatigue can improve the quality of their sleep, which improves the quality and functionality of their lives. Recognising that we have made choices that enhance our physical health and our capacity to participate helps us to enter into a positive cycle of emotional wellbeing.