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Category: Hormones and Metabolism
Women who suffer from fibromyalgia - a painful condition affecting the muscles and overall energy levels - may experience improved cortisol test results simply by participating in yoga, according to new research out of York University. Cortisol levels are considered an important component of the condition.
Fibromyalgia is marked by unexplained pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness, sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression. Previous studies have shown that women who suffer from it often have much lower levels of the hormone cortisol, which is generally associated with responses to stress, than healthy individuals.
However, after a group of women with fibromyalgia participated in hatha yoga sessions twice a week for eight weeks, the researchers found that they had much healthier levels of cortisol than they did before the investigation began. Additionally, the participants reported feeling more in control of their situation.
"We saw their levels of mindfulness increase - they were better able to detach from their psychological experience of pain," said Kathryn Curtis, who led the investigation.
The findings may help many women overcome the discomfort of the condition and enable them to restore their quality of life to a higher standard.
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