The outcomes of the research demonstrate that rheumatoid arthritis

patients who completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga, which is among

the gentler forms of yoga, combining breathing and exercise

techniques, showed significant improvements in disease activity

scores and health assessment questionnaires. There was

however no statistically significant improvement on the quality of

life scale.

The majority of individuals having rheumatoid arthritis don’t

exercise on a regular basis in spite of the fact that people who do,

report less pain and are as a result more physically active. Even

though the study was conducted in a small group of patients the

outcomes reveal clearly the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid

arthritis. The researchers hope the study drives further research

into the benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis as they believe that long term yoga practice could in fact lead to additionally significant improvements.

Individuals were recruited through the Emirates Arthritis Foundation

rheumatoid arthritis database. Disease activity indices, demographic

data, health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and SF-36 (a

standard patient survey commonly used to calculate rheumatoid

arthritis patient quality of life) were noted at enrollment as well as

following completion of 12 yoga sessions.

Results of a separate study show the positive effects of yoga on the

quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, a long-term condition

which causes extreme pain all over the body.

The study looked at the effects of yoga on the QoL of individuals

with fibromyalgia, revealed that QoL scores, following an 8

session yoga program that combines breathing techniques, gentle

yoga postures and meditation, were a lot better than scores 

before the program as well as a significant reduction in anxiety

levels. As anxiety is often a key symptom in individuals with

fibromyalgia, this research provides a positive step in improving

the lives of those suffering from fibromyalgia.

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