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    Exercise Can Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

    Low-impact exercise reduces pain and fatigue – and increases your ability to function.

    Why exercise helps fibromyalgia continued...

    For Matallana, yoga helped get her out of bed. “I had a yoga instructor come to my home three times a week. At first I was so debilitated that I just lay on the floor and visualized moving again.” Over months she moved to stretching, walking, and water exercise. Three years ago, she tandem-biked 310 miles of a fund-raising bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

    Today, exercise gives Matallana – who has gone on to become the founder and president of the National Fibromyalgia Association -- the energy to be active and cope with her condition. “If I miss a few days, I start feeling the pain more,” she says. “Be consistent and continue when you have bad days, and you’ll have fewer bad days.”

    A yoga move for fibromyalgia

    One yoga move that helped Matallana was the modified tree pose or Vriksha-asana, which can help develop balance, centering, and core strength. To start:

    Stand facing a wall, with your right hand flat against the wall for support.

    Place your feet together.

    Shift your weight onto your right foot and lift your left foot off the floor.

    Bend the left knee and bring the sole of your left foot high onto the inner right thigh.

    Press the foot into the thigh and the thigh back into the foot as you raise your left arm over your head.

    Switch sides.

    As you gain confidence, do this move without the wall for support and instead raise both arms over your head, palms together.

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    Reviewed on August 08, 2008

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