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Stretching / Yoga Therapy??


ramakentesh
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The pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 is found to be elevated in those with small fibre neuropathy:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20513817

it has also indirectly and conjecturally been suggested as a possible suppressant of NET gene expression:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21241805

(IL-6 operates through GP130 and is the most common proinflammatory cytokine of that family)

But it appears that stretching twice a day for two week significantly reduced expression and serum levels of IL-6:

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/yogastress.htm

So potentially and I will stress that this is highly conjectural perhaps this might help some people with POTS. Certainly worth a try. cheers.

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Thanks for the articles Rama. I don't think it's conjecture that yoga can help some people with POTS. Lots of others here have posted about it. There are other studies showing that it affects other chemicals and mechanisms in the body related to POTS. It also improves circulation and slows down HR. There are some people that have also had a bad reaction to yoga.

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Stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury- While most exercises put the body at risk of numerous injuries such as tears in the ligaments or tendons, muscle strains, bone fractures, and fatigue, stretching acts in the opposite way. It improves muscle balance around joints and increases the fluidity and range of motion of these surrounding tissues. Stretching also helps increase blood flow and provides increased amounts of much-needed oxygen to all areas of the body.

  • Improved Range of Motion- Stretching will improve your flexibility which will give you a greater range of motion in your exercises. This greater range of motion means bigger bang for the buck on each rep of your exercise and greater efficiency in your workouts.

  • Reduce Soreness and Stiffness- We all know the feeling of soreness the next day after a very intense workout. This soreness comes from lactic acid that is built up in the muscles as they tear and break down during vigorous use. Stretching releases that lactic acid buildup from the muscles which reduces the soreness, stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue in your muscles. Stretching also helps to lubricate joints which helps to reduces pain and stiffness in the joints.

  • Yoga has been shown to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate.A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga was a key component to the heart disease program designed by Dean Ornish, MD. This was the first program to partly reverse heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery. In addition, Yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.

  • Yoga reduces stress- The combination of focused breathing and stretching during Yoga has a calming effect that relaxes the body and the mind. Studies have shown a host of biomedical responses from the body after doing Yoga. For example, there is a decrease in catecholamines, the hormones produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters -- dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine -- creates a feeling of calm.

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Just a bit of caution to those that have EDS --we are already too stretched out and don't really need more elongation of our muscles. But, the idea of breathing and exercise in general is good for everyone.

Also, there is a connection to IL6 and liver function - it goes through the P450 pathways and there is some sort of connection with fatty liver associated with this. Things that we are doing with mast cell activation disorder actually address IL6 and other cytokines and also TNF. May be an issue here for more POTS people then we have realized before.

Thanks for the suggestion - however, I don't need to stretch and have to be very careful not to hyper-extend.

Issie

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Yeah Issie I wasn't really factoring in the eds and even Rama I believe has ank spond so don't know if yoga would be an option for him either. But for the others of us who have just plain pots or mass cell issues then it's worth at least looking into, specially for those like me who can't stand up and exercise for more than a couple minutes.

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As mentioned in my first post, and rama's too, yoga works for some and makes some people worse. I don't think anyone was suggesting that everyone try it. As with any other exercise or treatment, we have to think about our individual circumstances and consult our drs. Personally, I find it encouraging, though, when even a few of us are helped by anything.

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Yoga works wonders for me! I feel so much better when I do it. I just avoid the breathing exercises beyond moving with your breath. Anything else makes me super dizzy, especially Sheetali. It's great because many of the poses are upside down, which you have to do cautiously and slowly, but that extra bit of blood to the brain is like crack for me. I'm addicted.

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NM,

What is Sheetali? I have never heard about it. Most of the breathing exercises help me, except the ones where you have to breathe super fast. But I am able to do even those now. Most good yoga teachers always say to skip what you can't do anyway, which takes the pressure off.

I love doing anything bent/inverted and getting the head rush - just have to come up slowly!

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I'd also add that a good yoga teacher understands that yoga is about a balance between stretching and strengthening. Even though I have EDS-HM, I was lucky to study with a few teachers who understood that I was WAY too flexible and needed to focus more on finding stability and balance in my body rather than "stretching". And I frequently still do a handstand against a wall when I'm light- headed to get blood to my head. :) On my really bad days I do some yoga in the horizontal position to keep up muscle tone in legs and abdominals, so there are benefits on that front as well.

Even when people are hypermobile, they frequently have areas that are relatively tighter or they overuse some areas so yoga can still be helpful in finding an overall balance in the body. I think a lot of the time, the issue is finding the right teacher for you and your situation.

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I totally agree with the comment about finding the right teacher. Yoga has been a godsend for me, but in great part because of my teacher. I have had other ones on occasion and they are good, but she is a perfect fit for me. At this point I feel spoiled and very grateful :).

And thumbs up on the inversion head rush!

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Yogini: sheetali is the cooling breath where you roll your tongue and breath through it like a straw. It requires holding the breath and taking full, deep breaths. Both of these aggravate my dizziness. As long as I breath "normally" (controlled, not too deep, don't hold it) I do well.

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Yeah Issie I wasn't really factoring in the eds and even Rama I believe has ank spond so don't know if yoga would be an option for him either. But for the others of us who have just plain pots or mass cell issues then it's worth at least looking into, specially for those like me who can't stand up and exercise for more than a couple minutes.

Actually stretching is also very beneficial for Ank Spond, although thankfully I havent even had a mild episode of that since December and mine is regarded as 'very mild'

I dont know much about EDS and I guess if dislocation is a problem then strecthing may not be ideal LOL. For me it was just a suggestion about perhaps - and I stress perhaps - reducing any potential inflammation that may be effecting or instigating POTS.

IL-6 is just a proinflammatory cytokine - its everywhere in the body, not just the liver.

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Yeah Issie I wasn't really factoring in the eds and even Rama I believe has ank spond so don't know if yoga would be an option for him either. But for the others of us who have just plain pots or mass cell issues then it's worth at least looking into, specially for those like me who can't stand up and exercise for more than a couple minutes.

since December and mine is regarded as 'very mild'

I dont know much about EDS and I guess if dislocation is a problem then strecthing may not be ideal LOL. For me it was just a suggestion about perhaps - and I stress perhaps - reducing any potential inflammation that may be effecting or instigating POTS.

IL-6 is just a proinflammatory cytokine - its everywhere in the body, not just the liver.

So happy to hear that your AS hasn't been an issue for you for awhile. That's good news.

Yeah, I dislocate things all the time and need to strengthen muscles to hold things in place. Think of a floppy doll that has no structure ---things are way too lax. We have to strengthen and shorten muscles to hold things into place. Lots of pain involved in EDS. (I admire those ---like Chaos ----that are so good at yoga and can do it despite their EDS and not hyper-extend things.)

Yeah, I think I wrote that about the liver because I had just read an article on the liver and IL-6. (And since I'm having liver issues.) Rama's right, it is all over the body. What's so wonderful with the MCAS protocol is that it helps cytokines and IL-6 is one of the issues. I can say for sure that my pain is getting better. Hopefully, it will address the autoimmune factors involved in this and inflammation. We will see what time brings.

Issie

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Ah, NM, I do know that breath when you roll your tongue, and I can see how it could make POTS worse.

I totally agree with all of you that having a good teacher makes all the difference. I've tried a bunch of studios/teachers to find my way around that. I like yoga studios better than gyms, as they are quieter and more focused on the student. All good teachers tell you to modify any time you need to and and help you adjust your practice. There are lots of people with all kinds of injuries in class, so it doesn't even feel weird to do your own thing. Chaos that is amazing that you have found a teacher that can work with you with EDS!

As for the head rush, even if i cant squeeze any other yoga in, I try to do a handstand and headstand every morning! Trying to hold myself up away from the wall.

I don't have autoimmune issues, so am not sure I have any inflammation in my body. Didn't know yoga could reduce inflammation so that is interesting.

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Yogini- Actually, I was lucky to get to study with a couple (literally) world reknowned teachers in a small-ish class setting, who pointed out, in front of my local teacher, how excessive my poses were. That helped my local teacher know what to watch for and then also, with my own professional background, between the two of us, we figured out how to work with my EDS issues. It was a lot of trial and error- with a lot of error and not a few injuries over the 15 years I studied with him. But well worth it overall. I learned a ton and as a result, had a lot of teachers in the area sending their hypermobile students to study with me...before I became too sick to teach anymore. Sigh. I really miss it!!!

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Wow, you were a yoga teacher? That is really amazing! I didn't start yoga til after POTS and don't think my body could handle the teacher training. I know it is brutal even on healthy people. I'd do a heartbeat if I could. I hope you feel better enough to teach again soon.

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