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Yoga (cont.)

Yoga for Specific Health Conditions

Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.3 million Americans -- 75% of them are women. Yoga may help people with arthritis deal with pain and stiffness, improve their range of motion, and increase strength for daily activities.

Multiple sclerosis: Certain forms of yoga may help reduce fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to researchers at Oregon Health and Science University who adapted the Iyengar form of yoga for people with MS.

Individuals who are inactive or elderly: If you are inactive, yoga may be the ideal exercise for both mind and body to begin your activity life. Yoga also provides stress reduction in addition to strengthening the bones and muscles and improving posture as well as overall health and vitality. Because you don't have to be in peak physical shape to practice yoga, it is the right activity for sedentary people and for seniors who might not otherwise exercise. Instructors can help modify yoga poses. You don't have to get down on the floor or a mat to practice yoga. It can be started while you simply sit in a chair.

Ongoing research: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health is evaluating yoga as a treatment for chronic low back pain, insomnia, and other conditions. For information about ongoing clinical trials, see National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health.

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