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I was invited to speak at King Edward Memorial Hospital about how yoga can help women with pelvic pain. While there are demonstrated physiological benefits to yoga, such as reducing cortisol, enhancing internal body awareness and improving digestion, I’d like to write about some of the educative components Finding Yoga would consider in the design of a specific pelvic pain program. 1. Absence of pain does not guarantee wellness When asked to name their clients’ biggest challenges, practitioners at KEMH listed everyday living, having fulfilling roles, finding pleasure and acceptance.  You'll note that none are specifically about the physiological sensation of pain. They all relate to mental concepts of the experience of pain.

I’ve been asked several times this week about the best kind of yoga specifically for persistent back pain. The short answer is - it depends. We'd need to find out a bit more about you before we confidently recommend something. If someone asked "What kind of foods should I eat for my tummy pain?" you would probably ask a few questions to understand the problem. Do they know what the cause is? How long has the tummy pain been there? What have they already tried? It's the same with yoga. Briefly, yoga helps people with persistent pain by calming the nervous system through breathing techniques and mindful concentration. This signals to your brain that things are OK, which allows you to be more comfortable with movement.  Presuming you have ruled out anything you're worried about, the kind of yoga to do depends on a number of factors.

Beginners yoga class too muchYou may have heard that yoga is good for persistent pain. An appropriate class can help with your pain care by teaching you to relax, to participate comfortably in exercise, and develop body awareness. But many people with chronic pain find even beginners classes are too much for them.  They say they to feel frustrated when they can't keep up with others in the class.  Here are some guidelines for approaching your first yoga class when you experience chronic pain.

How to travel with FibromyalgiaIt’s coming up to summer holidays, which for many people is a chance to get away, to camp, see friends or explore the world.  For people experiencing Fibromyalgia merely the thought of a long car ride or plane flight will trigger the worry alarm, but it is possible to learn to travel comfortably and visit far away places that enrich your life. Here are some suggestions for preparing your body and your mindset, whether it's a long weekend in wine country, a European sojourn or a long hike in China.

Yoga for Fibromyalgia Melbourne“The Yoga for Fibromyalgia Simple Strategies Workshop is the workshop I needed ten years ago when initially diagnosed with fibromyalgia,” says Melbourne yoga teacher and fibromyalgia sufferer, Peggy Hailstone.

Peggy considers herself more fortunate than most fibromyalgia sufferers: she found yoga before she got sick. However, after a decade of trying to combat the condition she realised fighting the condition was counterintuitive. “You need to treat the condition with the utmost respect. Like a close dear friend who is trying to tell you something you need to hear. You treat fibromyalgia with yoga postures and practices that enable you to hear, listen, and respond to your physical and psychological needs. At first attempt they’re mere murmurs. With practice they become whispers. Over time they give voice to the needs of your soul. I know this from lived experience.”

I am delighted to announce that on Friday 24 October, Peggy and I will co-facilitate a Yoga for Fibromyalgia workshop in Melbourne. Whether you’ve had fibromyalgia for years, or are newly diagnosed, The Simple Strategies workshop will arm you with practical strategies, and useful tools and resources that can be applied and practiced safely at home.