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Try Yoga To Ease the Pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A study presented by the Emirates Arthritis Foundation at the EULAR 2011 Annual Congress the week of May 25, 2011 suggests that practicing Raj yoga may improve disease activity scores and health assessment questionnaires in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Raj yoga, also known as classical yoga, primarily focuses on the mind through the use of meditation. It is one of the gentler forms of yoga and combines exercise and breathing techniques.

The Disease Activity Score is a system that was developed to track inflammatory activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It combines information about swollen joints, tender joints, the acute phase response, and general health.

The study focused on a group of 47 patients in their forties, 80% of whom were women. Twenty-six patients completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga and showed significant improvements in disease activity scores and health assessment questionnaires when compared to the control group of 21 patients.

Practicing yoga has also been linked to better quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia, a long term disease that results in pain all over a person's body. Yoga not only strengthens the body, it also relaxes the mind, reducing anxiety in patients and possibly leading to a better quality of life.

Yoga has increased in popularity in the western world and is an affordable, accessible form of exercise that can be practiced in a group setting or on your own.

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