At the end of last year, researchers at Kyushu University studied the effects of yoga for chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients who participated in the study had fatigue that lasted more than 6 months and did not respond to conventional medical treatment(CBT, GET, Medication, etc.). When researchers added yoga therapy to conventional treatments, patients reported having more energy.
The practitioners designed a gentle yoga practice that could be completed sitting on a chair or the floor. The sequence was 20 minutes long and participants did the practice twice a week with an instructor, as well as at home.
The researchers then measured both the short and long term effects of yoga on the patients. In the short term, patients had higher energy levels, and often felt ‘warm and light’ after the practice.
But perhaps the most encouraging part of the study is the long-term effects they found. Two months after the study had ended, the patients who participated in the yoga had a decrease of both mental and physical symptoms of CFS. The patients who only received conventional treatments did not have improved scores.
Another great find from this study is that there were few adverse reactions reported from the yoga. After the first class, one patient reported feeling dizzy, and two reported feeling fatigued from the effort of concentration. But in later sessions all three patients enjoyed their practice with no symptoms. At the end of the study, 14 out of 15 participants in the yoga group said they would like to continue with their yoga practice. No one who participated in the study suffered post-exertional malaise from the yoga.
Sounds pretty great to me!
As an added bonus, the two participants in the study who also suffered from Fibromyalgia reported a reduction in pain.
The researchers noted that they did have a small sample size and practiced a very specific yoga sequence. But the results are still great news for those of us looking for a lasting improvement in our ME/CFS symptoms.
If you’re ready to get down and dirty with yoga for chronic fatigue syndrome, I’m running an online course starting February 23rd that runs for 6 weeks. More details here: