January 8, 2014 | Posted in:In The Field

(Lupus Foundation of America) – …“Yoga, tai chi, and Pilates can be very useful for those with lupus,” says Stacy Ardoin, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State University. “I recommend exercise to all my patients at the lupus clinic, and yoga, tai chi, and Pilates can promote stress reduction, flexibility, and endurance.

Participants in yoga, tai chi, and Pilates all benefit physically and mentally from the exercises. However, there are differences between the forms.

Tai chi, a Chinese soft martial art form, uses gentle, slow movements and postures to keep the body in constant motion while the person meditates. “Tai chi may contribute to the psychological well-being among healthy adults and patients with chronic conditions,” says Chenchen Wang, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, who recently headed a study on tai chi and lupus.

Of course, most exercises offer physical benefits, but Pilates, tai chi, and yoga offer mental and emotional advantages, as well. “Recently, I’ve been feeling angry about having lupus and having to change my lifestyle because of it,” admits Gaetz. “I’ve turned to yoga, and it quiets my mind and helps me to release most of my negativity. Lupus has taken so much from me. I feel that yoga gives me an edge to fight back. I’m more in control of my body now, when for a long time I felt my body was controlling me.”

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