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Yoga, tai chi, qigong and other exercises appear to help people suffering from cancer, arthritis, fybromyalgia, multiple scleros

Posted Jul 04 2010 12:00am
Movement Therapies May help to reduce Chronic Pain
By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
July 5, 2010

For more than a decade, Cheryl Clark has lived with the chronic pain that accompanies fibromyalgia. After years of suffering with severe flu-like aches and pains, she finally found some relief — but it didn't come from a pill or a shot. It came from exercise.

Several times a week, Clark heads to the warm-water pool and the gym at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona. Her pain, she says, has gone from a six or seven on a 10-point scale scale down to a one or two.

"It would kill me to walk from the car to the doctor's office. I was using a cane. I didn't have the mind-set that moving is the key … I really got my life back."

Movement-based therapies such as yoga, tai chi, qigong and more mainstream forms of exercise are gaining acceptance in the world of chronic pain management. Many pain clinics and integrative medicine centers now offer movement-based therapy for pain caused by cancer and cancer treatments, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases and conditions. And Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles offers a three-year yoga therapy course as part of the school's yoga studies program.

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