Ankylosing Spondylitis, Role of Yoga & Healing
Ankylosing Spondylitis is still not so common disease, at least not many people know about it. It is an autoimmune disease that starts affecting the joints in an almost irreparable way. It primarily affects SI joint and moves on to the rest of the spine. It can further affect the rib cage, hip joint and sometimes eyes also. The reasons for having this disease is still not clear although people get the HBL27 test done and generally it is positive in case of a person having AS but this is not the only criteria.
The joints start losing their mobility. Tendons might get fused to form a bone like density. Regular movements become difficult. Spinal Vertebrae begin to fuse, thoracic rotation is almost zero. Hence it is also called Bamboo Spine. Flexion at hip joint becomes difficult.
It affects a person emotionally as well when the person has a feeling that it is “incurable” and that his own immunity is fighting against body cells. Daily routine, that was once normal for a person, becomes an effort. This comes along with embarrassment among the known people. It is not one of those diseases which can be hidden.
We have met people with both early and advanced stages of AS. They were in a state where they were walking like a robot and literally stressed out because of embarrassment of not being able to get dressed on their own, ties their shoes laces, pick up fallen things, unable to drive etc. In one of the patient, it started affecting the rig cage as well and he used to grasp for space for this lungs. He would often feel short of breath.
How yoga helps:
Our approach for such patients is more of preventive. We focus on slowing down the progression of the disease, correction of body alignment, maintain / increase flexibility and increase range of motion (ROM) at impacted joints. Extensive use of props helps the clients in attaining a posture and holds them for longer duration.
Role of healing
We highly recommend healing therapies for our clients suffering from AS. We have seen enormous improvements in our clients after healing session as they are able to release a lot of latent emotions stored in their cellular memory. They feel light and relaxed after every session of Breathwork and Inner Child healing. Conscious mind is not able to relate the impact of unresolved emotions on our body. But once we start unlayering our emotions, we can clearly see how we have burdened ourselves and accumulation of that burden in the body. A disease is a manifestation of such baggage. Sometimes we just have to switch off our mind and trust the process to be able to heal completely.
Time taken to see the results:
A person starts to feel better immediately after regular sessions of 2 to 3 weeks. However, yoga for AS is an ongoing process. It helps tremendously in getting a light feeling thought out the day, people feel a sense of flexibility in the whole body and they are able to breathe more due to opening of rib cage. To deliver early and best results we need commitment form clients in terms of regularity to the classes and doing the ‘at home’ postures religiously, along with diet, a few minutes of meditation and good sleep.