There are not many healing options for people suffering fibromyalgia.
But a new Chinese exercise method – based on an old tradition – is giving some very positive results.
And now we have the study to back it up.
If you have never heard of ai chi, you have lots of company. It is a type of water exercise that combines Western and Chinese medicine and that is only now starting to take the Western world by storm.
You stand in shoulder depth warm water and start by simply breathing. Then you progressively start moving your body from your shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, and legs, until your whole body is moving.
Overall, there are 19 movements, repeated very slowly throughout the session.
So does it work to reduce fibromyalgia pain?
A pilot study published in the July 2016 edition of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases say definitely yes.
Researchers recruited 20 women between age 45 and 70 from two clinics who had all been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Before the treatment, they gave their subjects two questionnaires to assess their physical and mental health. This was followed by ten 45-minute ai chi sessions, after which they had to complete the questionnaires again. Hence, the typical before and after treatment evaluations.
The participants reported significant improvements in almost all facets addressed by the questionnaires, especially in pain perception, vitality, mental health, and overall quality of life.
Amazingly, scientists have never studied the health benefits of ai chi before. This might be because it is a relatively new therapy, invented only in the 1990s. It is vastly different from tai chi, so the research on the latter’s health benefits are not relevant here.
If you suffer fibromyalgia, this is your opportunity to break some new ground. Find an ai chi community or trainer in your area and try it out for yourself how it works.