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Exercise & Fitness
Aerobic exercise or tai chi for fibromyalgia — which is better?
Robert H. Shmerling, MD,
Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Gentle exercise, performed regularly, can have a big payoff for those living with fibromyalgia. According to Everyday health “Physical function responds very quickly to aerobic activity,” says Jones. “Many people with this syndrome become so deconditioned that they live on the couch, especially when fibromyalgia disrupts their sleep. To help improve both pain and sleep, try practicing tai chi, qigong, or yoga with mindfulness in addition to aerobic exercise. Read What Exercise Can and Can’t Do for Fibromyalgia https://bit.ly/2MxA4Jw
It’s because of having trained in Wu style Tai Chi that I discovered the pains I was experiencing was fibromyalgia.I had let my training lapse because of a messy divorce and not being able to get to classes.So some years later I was experiencing back and hip pain and had scans done but nothing showed up. I was taking NSAIDs but they seemed ineffective.My doctor was out of answers.But then I came across an article from Harvard Health saying Tai Chi was helping people with fibromyalgia. I went back to my doctor and told him what I had discovered and the penny dropped.He put me on nortriptyline which helped But side effects were annoying. I’m in the process of changing to duloxetine which is much better. I have been practising a short form of 40 moves for 18 months now and it’s been very helpful in keeping my medication quantities low and pain levels lower as well. I’m so happy that I learned Tai Chi when I did.
Thank you! I have fibromyalgia and have thought about trying Tai Chi.
Great article! I loooove tai chi. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all the toxic chemicals in your life with healthy organic alternatives. Its completely changed my life and how I feel everyday! 🙂
Keep up the great content!
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