torsdag 9. september 2021

What happened next? and Have you tried yoga?

 Two years ago I had a great trip to the US, and then it was quiet. What happened? Both a lot, and not so much, is the answer.

First of all, Covid happened. To some of "us" chronically ill with great limitations on our daily life already, this was as much a blessing as a curse when it comes to the restrictions on peoples daily lives. We don't do that much social anyway. And a lot more was happning online, enabling us to take part in more activities than before. And a lot of people got to know what it was like to have to stay at home without the choice to go out. Binging tv series wasn't that fun after a while after all, was it?

To me, the last couple of years has felt like an endless routine trying to fit in different treatment schedules. Psychologist for anxiety/handling chronical illness, physiotherapist for help with tensed body from reduced physical activity and stress, osteopathy for some pelvic pain, dry needling for a hip that acted up, and trying to catch up with my doctor and medications now and then.

Hoping I was well enough to go back to my 20% job I pushed too far and went back down into the hole again. 

This spring I tried a program called "Overskudd" (surplus) that uses an advanced heart rate monitor to survey pulse, HRV, breathing frequence, sleep and other physical data 24/7 over time. The goal is to recognize patterns that activate your body, how and when you recuperate, and adjust your acitivities accordingly. Hopefully this will help you to better understand what works and what doesn't work for you, and how to carefully adjust your acitivity levels to get better.

It didn't work for me. After 6 months of tracking, there was very little variation in my data, and very hard to pinpoint any effects one way or the other. If you are curious I do recommend looking into it though, it can definitely be a useful tool for many.

What I did get through the program, was the kick in the butt I needed to try yoga for real. "Have you tried yoga?" is kind of the ultimate bad question for everyone with vague chronical illness. I am not sure if I ever got the question directly, but I did try yoga sessions as a part of a program some years ago ("Aktiv på dagtid" is a program for people on sick leave or disability support, with lots of different types of physical activities). It didn't do anything for me, but I have always had the thought that when I had more capacity I would try yoga at a studio, maybe with an instructor with more knowledge.

The Norwegian ME society has a deal with Yogahaven in Oslo, who offers both studio and online (at least since Covid) sessions in Mediyoga for ME. Mediyoga is yoga based on medical research, and this class is adjusted for ME patients in particular. I can't recommend it enough! It won't make you recover from ME, but it is a good way to loosen up a tense body from not being able to excercise, and there's a lot of focus on rest and breathing. I am not on my second round of courses, and it covers a lot of my simple physio excercises, in addition to helping me to rest better.

I have also tried yin yoga and resting yin yoga, and the latter was some of the best yoga I ever tried. It simply consists of resting in positions that stretches and loosens up your body, and you can have an hour of excercise while almost falling asleep!

So, have you tried yoga? It likely won't heal you, but as long as it is within your capacity it probably won't hurt either. It's a very nice and considerate way of excercise for chonically ill.

Illustration from Pixabay