Kaiut Yoga and Autoimmune Conditions
From the Western mindset, many of us think of yoga as “a good stretch” or something to counterbalance our cardiovascular, physical activities. Very few of us approach yoga with the expectation that a daily practice could be used as an effective and reliable tool to make positive gains in our health and wellness.
These days, autoimmune conditions are a health care threat. It is estimated that autoimmune conditions cost the US healthcare system over $6 billion per year.
The autoimmune label consists of 80–100 diseases. Many autoimmune conditions vary and are widely scattered over a number of medical specialties usually grouped by body system (digestive, joints, metabolic).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are among the most common autoimmune diseases. Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis and Diabetes mellitus [type I] round out the 5 most common occurring autoimmune disorders.1
Taken together, the number of people suffering from autoimmune diseases ranges from 24–50 million Americans, 16% of the US population. To put it in perspective, autoimmune disease prevalence equals heart disease and cancer combined.
Frustrating for most people living with an autoimmune [AI] condition is that most AI conditions are not presently curable. Symptoms may be relieved by reducing pain and inflammation through NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).2
While more research needs to be done, current studies suggest that yoga can effectively reduce inflammation helping those with AI diagnosis physically and mentally.
A 2015 study [published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research], divided 218 participants into two groups: those who practiced yoga regularly and those who didn’t. Both groups then performed moderate and strenuous exercises to induce stress.
The study revealed that the individuals who practiced yoga consistently had lower levels of inflammatory markers than those who didn’t. Overall, the study concluded that regular yoga practice may positively influence a student’s resilience to inflammation.3
Maybe even more impressive is another study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. The study was a mind-body intervention (MBI) randomized trial (with parallel active and control groups) to analyze the effect of yoga, five days a week for eight weeks on 72 RA patients.
The findings show significant improvement in systemic biomarkers of neuroplasticity, inflammation, immune-modulation, cellular health integrity, and aging in association with the positive clinical outcome of a reduction in depression severity, disease activity, and disability quotient in RA patients following the intensive yoga-based MBI.4
While it appears that yoga may have a positive impact on the physical and mental challenges of AI, it is also worth noting that AI can impact activities of daily life. Kaiut Yoga- as a biomechanical form of yoga- is known to help students improve their daily functionality over time regardless of diagnosis.
Take Tammy for instance. Tammy recently started practicing Kaiut Yoga at Kaiut Yoga Boulder 2-3 times a week. Tammy lives an active life even though she has rheumatoid arthritis. After only 3 weeks of consistent Kaiut Yoga practice, Tammy reports feeling less stiff in the morning. She’s noticing that hiking is easier and she’s recovering more efficiently.
Here’s what Tammy has to say:
When I started Kaiut Yoga, my right ankle brought me to the practice. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was a baby. At the time, doctors gave my parents a poor prognosis saying that I would be in a wheelchair by the age of 16. Thank goodness, my mom and grandparents are stubborn. They navigated a combination of healthy lifestyle and western medicine for me which I continue to use at the age of 47. Yes, I work with my health using alternative therapies and Western medicine. However, nothing has touched my life and improved the mobility in all of my joints like Kaiut Yoga. This practice has undoubtedly changed my life. I can’t wait to feel where I am in a year from now.
Undoubtedly, AI is complex in its nature often involving more than one body system and impacting the lives of many people. Research and science offer hope in that the body can recover and thrive when we stimulate our nervous system intelligently. The Kaiut Yoga method- with it’s focus on integrating the brain, body and nervous system- can be an effective tool to enhance the quality of your life so that you can enjoy all that life has to offer.
If you’re curious about Kaiut Yoga or have a loved one that you think could benefit from the practice. Please check the Kaiut Yoga Boulder schedule.