Supine Yoga for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Previous research has shown that isometric yoga in a sitting position reduces fatigue in patients with CFS

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition characterised by long-term fatigue and other symptoms that limit a person's ability to carry out ordinary daily activities. The fatigue of CFS is not due to ongoing exertion, is not much relieved by rest, and is not due to any other medical condition.

Previous research has shown that isometric yoga in a sitting position reduces fatigue in patients with CFS. However, some patients experience difficulties sitting or practicing isometric yoga in a sitting position for long periods. To date, therapeutic interventions for patients with severe symptoms have not been established. Therefore, researchers for this new study, linked here, developed a recumbent isometric yoga program, which takes approximately 20 min to complete, designed to reduce fatigue in patients with severe CFS. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility, safety, and usefulness of this program.

This pilot study included 12 adult patients with CFS. Six patients were reluctant to practice isometric yoga in a sitting position because of the severity of their fatigue (group 1). The remaining six patients had previously practiced isometric yoga in a sitting position (group 2). For 3 months, the patients of both groups practiced recumbent isometric yoga every 2 to 4 weeks with a yoga instructor and at home on other days if they could.

All participants completed the intervention. In both groups, the fatigue score was significantly decreased after practicing the 20-min yoga program and the Chalder Fatigue Scale score was decreased significantly after the 3-month intervention period. There were no serious adverse events.

The findings from this pilot study are very promising....and exciting! Watch this space as we share future research in this very important area with you.

Namaste. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS