Have you ever heard of Lymes disease/can you explain what causes it?
It was vaguely familiar to me but I certainly couldn't have described any symptoms of the illness or the cause, until Stafford based Caudwell LymeCo Charity contacted me recently to request I facilitate a session in a series of online events they were offering to their followers over winter.
Caused by the bite of an infected tick, Lymes is a hugely unrecognized disease on the rise in the UK and can go undiagnosed for years - with sufferers often diagnosed incorrectly with other conditions involving chronic fatigue. The charity works to raise funds to help more research be conducted about the disease, helping sufferers receive a diagnosis and treatment as well as raising awareness of the condition, helping with prevention.
Left untreated, symptoms can include brain fog, memory loss, headache, joint pain, inflammatory arthritis, weakness, pain, stiffness or fatigue in the muscles, a weakened immune system and nerve pain, twitching or spasms (as well as the more recognized rash).
Chronic fatigue is a major symptom for many sufferers, and so I opted to offer a chair yoga session for the event and kept the pace gentle. This is one of the things I really love about chair based yoga - it is a hugely useful way of making the practice more accessible.
After listening to some attendees stories I began to get a glimpse into just how potentially debilitating the disease can be - one previously very active woman now used an electric bike to leave the house for exercise but only had the energy to do so every 3-4 days, and another was now limited to a short 20 minute walk every few days as her form of exercise after a couple of years dealing with the condition.
In our session we moved through some centering and breathing exercises before focusing on building strength, flexibility and stamina with the mental and physical body through chair based yoga and meditation. Yoga is one of the most powerful tools for helping us tune in with our bodies and self regulate, managing physical pain and emotional stress and it was no different in this case last night.
The feedback from the session was wonderful, one participant sharing that her daughter who was currently bed bound had managed to complete half of the session, which was a huge achievement. The event really gave me an insight into how I can serve the wider community even more so and the further applications of chair based yoga.
If you are interested in learning about upcoming chair yoga classes I'll be offering (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) please sign up to my mailing list on the homepage to be the first to receive details and kept in the loop.