How Yoga Reduces, and Often Entirely Eliminates, Chronic Trigger Point & Muscle Pain

alt="yoga for chronic pain yoga trigger point therapy yoga for lyme"

Yoga’s ability to shift the nervous system out of the stress response and into the relaxation response is vital to people whose central nervous systems are sensitive, hyped up, and overstimulated —such as the case is in Lyme, lyme co -infections, and related or complex wide spread systemic diseases and conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, various autoimmune conditions, ASD and more.

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Garland Pose: This yoga asana (asana = physical yoga pose) is a killer inner thigh opener and works wonders on tight hips.

Conditions like fibromyalgia almost always present a symptom picture including widespread pain in the muscles and specific trigger points throughout the entire body.

Personally, I experienced trigger point pain very similar to that of someone with fibromyalgia when going through Lyme treatment. Actually, more than similar — the EXACT same trigger points were impacted as those of a person with Fibromyalgia— and I am willing to bet I am not the only one with Lyme who has dealt with or is dealing with this.

((**QUICK NOTE: I am not implying fibromyalgia is actually undiagnosed Lyme disease, a notion which many with Lyme have pushed on people with Fibromyalgia. Let’s face it: having Lyme does not mean we are certain of the mechanisms of fibromyalgia and other unexplained health problems. So, telling people with fibromyalgia they are wrong, doing the wrong treatments, seeing the wrong doctors etc. is highly insulting to their intelligence and ignorant. To anyone in here with fibromyalgia or something else like CFS —please know I will never do this to you, I believe you know your truth far better than me, obviously. Doing this to people shakes their sense of inner wisdom and confidence they rely on to guide them through their healing journey. No one has a right to carelessly diminish that crucial part of the self in another being. Period. So we will not ever do that here.))

Back to yoga for muscle pain and trigger point therapy

To understand how yoga decreases this type of chronic pain to such a dramatic degree, to the point where people report going from bed bound to active again due to the practice of yoga alone, we will use the analogy of getting “writer’s cramp” to make it easy:

Writer’s cramp occurs because the muscles start to shorten, and then become stuck in the shortened position, leading to writer’s cramp. In order to alleviate pain from writer’s cramp fully, normal muscle length must be restored. Yoga helps reduce trigger point pain in virtually the SAME way for people with fibromyalgia and Lyme disease: it returns shortened muscles back to their proper length.

If you are anxious to try yoga or yoga techniques for pain relief and/or trigger point therapy in particular, I don’t blame ya …chronic pain sucks… which is why I listed some yoga videos with tutorials for fascia release for trigger point therapy, as well as yoga videos of actual yoga classes for pain relief that you can do right from the comfort of your home for free.

If you have any friends or family in pain, pass this information along!

Also, let me know what you think of yoga for pain relief in the comments on this post or below any of the videos on youtube

…and don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel before you go (hit the “bell” icon next to the subscribe button as well to get notifications each time I upload a new yoga or self-healing video to be sure you never miss out on new content!)

Myofascial Techniques for Pain Relief:

Yoga Videos for Chronic Pain From Lyme, Fibromyalgia, CFS, Autoimmune Disease & Other Chronic Illnesses

Yoga Pose for Anxiety, Insomnia, Stiff Legs, Brain Fog, and Back Pain

Benefits of Seated Straddle Fold:

-Stretches the groin, hamstrings, spine and inner legs. The inner legs/thighs are often neglected, extra tense and in desperate need of a good stretch. This is especially true for athletes and weight lifters, anyone who works in an office or is seated most of the day for any reason, or anyone who is sedentary for most of the day.

-Stimulates the abdominal organs, which is great for circulation, detox, and digestive health.

-Promotes a healthy pelvis

-Calms the mind, clearing mental chatter for enhanced mental clarity

-Deeply relaxing mentally and physically

-Rejuvenating and refreshing

 -Excellent in times of high stress or anxiety

-Promotes deeper sleep and may prove helpful for insomnia sufferers

HOW TO PROPERLY GET INTO THE POSE: 

-Begin in Staff pose (Dandasana): If you are not familiar with Staff Pose or how to get into it, you simple sit upright, keeping the spine tall, and both legs out directly in front of you

-Take a deep inhale. As you exhale, open your legs as wide as possible into a straddle position (You should not feel any pain, if you do it means you have opened them too wide and need to bring them closer together until it is not painful. The goal in this, and any pose, is to find your “limit” or “edge”. Learn to identify the difference between pain and discomfort. Discomfort isn’t always a bad thing, it means you are getting a deep stretch. Pain, however, is always bad and always means one thing: abort, abort, abort …Get out of the pose, readjust or modify the pose so it’s not painful immediately. You should never experience pain in Yoga.

-Inhale, and as you exhale spider your fingers out in front of you in the center of your legs as far as is comfortable

-Option to take the pose a step further by bending forward and lowering onto your palms or forearms; or, to take it even further, you have the option to bring the torso to the ground

-If you have taken the option to bend forward onto your palms or forearms (obviously moving deeper into the pose is impossible if your torso is already on the ground), try to move deeper into the pose with each exhale. 

Moving with the breath, ripple up through the spine slightly with each inhale, and melt forward again with each exhale. I find that by doing so, and backing off a little and then moving back into it with each breath, helps me stretch further towards the floor with each exhale. When you reach a point where you cannot go any further, or it is painful to do so, stay there. THAT is your limit, or edge –-the point right before it becomes painful, but still gives you the deepest stretch possible. 

 -Try to take at least 10 to 15 breaths in the pose

-You can also do a supported/yin variation of the pose using a bolster or pillows (discussed below), which is my FAVORITE for relaxation (I love Yin Yoga, to those who know me I love it so much I came up with my own name for it do not even call it Yin, I call it  the “Xanax of Yoga”).

It is deeply restorative, so I would choose this variation in times of extreme stress or anxiety, and/or for a deeper sleep or insomnia. Typically, most people choose Yin sequences or the supported variation of poses in times of high stress and anxiety when they need to calm down. They are generally not the preferred type of Yoga in the morning or earlier in the day, as the goal is usually to wake the body up at these times (The photo for this post was taken in the morning, at the end of an early morning session. So, I am doing the normal version of the pose, not the yin variation, and am therefore not using a bolster or prop. 

In the morning, I sometimes like to include this pose at the end of a sequence to help wind down from my flow before ending with a centering meditation and/or Shavasna, aka Corpse Pose)

 
DEEPLY RESTORATIVE YIN VARIATION: SUPPORTED WIDE LEGGED POSE:  

-Place a bolster vertically out in front of you in the center of your legs, as close to your body as possible. If you do not know what a bolster is, it is a prop used in yoga, for restorative and yin poses. A bolster is basically a big firm pillow, and there are two types: round or rectangular. For this pose, I prefer a round bolster as it’s more comfortable. If you do not have a bolster, do not let it keep you from this or any other restorative or yin pose. Simply use a couple of stacked pillows instead, it will work just as well.

-Drape your upper body over the bolster. Option to rest hands out in front of you at the sides of the bolster, or to bend them and place them on the bolster either in front of you or under your head to rest it on as a makeshift pillow.

-If using a rectangular bolster and you find it is too low to the ground to effortlessly and comfortably relax into, you have the option to turn it on its side to make it taller or to stack pillow, blocks, and/pr blankets on it until it’s at your preferred height.

-Relax completely into the pose, letting your body be pulled down by gravity, allowing the torso to be completely supported by the bolster as you melt into it, and releasing any tension with each breath. The pose should feel effortless (…yet, all the while, you will still reap all the benefits of it. Win-win).

-If you opt for the restorative, yin version and take supported wide-legged straddle fold, you are going to stay in the pose longer than you would in the regular variation. Restorative yin poses are held anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes. I find holding the pose anywhere between 3-5 minutes to be sufficient for relaxation, but everyone is different.

-Ultimately, just listen to your body and do what feels good. Throw the timer out the window, and do the pose until you feel sufficiently relaxed. After all, the point is to REDUCE stress, so option to say screw the clock certainly exists.

-When ready, begin to mindfully come out of the pose very slowly and gently. **It is important to come out of all yin poses slowly and gently to prevent injury. Even though it may feel like you are not doing much, yin poses deeply stretch the connective tissues and moving too quickly can cause injury. **
 
 
ALIGNMENT TIPS: 
-Keep the feet activated and flexed while in the pose to prevent the thighs from caving in (tip: also play around with flexing the feet and toes in different directions. Doing so will give you a deeper stretch in different parts of the body). If the inner thighs DO begin to collapse inwards, it just means the legs are spread too wide and you simply need to readjust them, bringing them closer together until your inner thighs no longer cave inwards.

-**CRUCIAL**: Make sure the back is NOT rounded while in this pose. The goal is NOT to get your head to the floor, which causes rounding of the back, improper alignment that can be dangerous, and is a common misconception surrounding any type of forward fold. The focus should be on bringing the belly down rather than the head to the floor (even though your belly may not reach the ground, focusing on bringing it further down rather than the head encourages the back to remain flat, so you don’t round forward). Rounding the back in this or most forward folds tends to just stretch the back alone (which is great if trying to just stretch your back and do not end up straining or injuring it by rounding it) when what we are really aiming for here is to get a good leg stretch in.

-Both kneecaps should remain pointed upwards toward the ceiling

-Keep both heels firmly rooted into the mat or ground

-If the inner legs begin to collapse, it’s a sign that you’ve taken the legs too far apart. Bring them closer until they no longer collapse.

-Keep the shoulders relaxed away from your ears, releasing any tension in them with each exhale and allowing gravity to pull them further down. We tend to hold a lot of stress and tension in the shoulder area, and thus end up hunching them up towards our ears. Instead, you want to relax them and release tension, letting them melt downward while in this pose for ultimate comfort and to avoid any back pain.
….and that’s all there is to it. 

I hope I covered all aspects of what really is a super simple pose for most.

However, if I left anything out, you have any additional questions, or even your own suggestions for the pose that aren’t included please post them below. I love to hear other people’s input, experiences, advice, perspectives and suggestions. 

That’s how we keep growing: by learning from one another, and refusing to ever stop learning in life. 
 

In the spirit of healing,
 

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