Adaptive yoga can reduce some symptoms of MS, as well as relieve the anxiety many people with MS feel.
At age 63, Charles Zuccarini had never set foot in a yoga studio. He had certainly never considered trying yoga to help with symptoms of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), with which he was diagnosed in 2002. However, about four years ago, he found himself at a yoga class.
“A friend who was big into yoga convinced me to try it. I was skeptical because I didn’t see how yoga could help my MS,” Zuccarini says. “But I went in a skeptic and left a believer.”
Zuccarini attended a class at Yoga Moves MS, a Michigan nonprofit organization founded by the yoga instructor Mindy Eisenberg. The adaptive yoga classes Eisenberg teaches are focused on helping those with MS and other neurological diseases.
Eisenberg says yoga has the potential to lessen several physical symptoms of MS and may contribute to improved strength, flexibility, posture, balance, focus, circulation, digestion, elimination, and pelvic floor health and to decreased tension, fatigue, and spasticity.
Zuccarini can attest to this. He experiences numbness, tingling, and swelling on the entire right side of his body and walks with a limp. “After I go to class, I feel better. I can walk better, am more flexible, and it helps me with my balance,” he says.