Are your issues in your tissues? Say goodbye to menopause joint pain with Yin YogaSep 17, 2023
Menopause join pain brings many challenges and they often show up in the simplest of tasks such as bending down to tie shoelaces, putting on socks, picking up something off the floor or reaching for he top shelf. It feels like our joints have become stuck and are physically holding us back. Well they are. But it might not be your joints that are causing the problems - the issues could be in your connective tissues (or fascia). But don't worry, Yin Yoga offers the perfect remedy to say goodbye to menopause joint pain.
For many years, we’ve thought of the body as a series of separate parts, and it’s been assumed that our muscles, skin and bones hold us all together. However, medics now realize that it’s actually our fascia that envelops us and holds us together - not too dissimilar to the transparent layer of skin surrounding every segment in an orange. Fascia is like a cling-wrap all around all our muscles, bones, nerves, arteries and veins in our bodies, as well as all our internal organs, including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord.
How does fascia affect joint pain?
As well as holding us together, fascia lives between every cell in the body and offers support and reduces friction during everyday movements. It consists of cord–like fibers that run everywhere - even through tendons and cartilage - and they help keep our skeleton in shape, guide our movements and coordinate our postural patterns. But fascia also weaves around our joints too and which can lead to reduced mobility in menopause.
Why do we have joint pain in menopause?
Fascia is a watery substance with a high proportion of collagen. In a healthy state, it’s a relaxed and wavy connective tissue. However, long term stress, trauma, accidents, and even poor posture can cause the fibers tothicken in order to protect the underlying muscle. Also, as we age and particularly enter menopause where the drop in estrogen causes the joints to dry out, we begin to lose collagen and the fascia gradually becomes denser and tighter. This creates a barrier that reduces nourishment reaching our cells which in turn restricts ourrange of motion leading to pain and decreased blood flow around the joints.
How does Yin yoga relieve joint pain in menopause?
This is where Yin yoga comes in. One of the most effective and less well-known styles of yoga, Yin is a subtle and slow practice where every posture targets the fascia. Typically, poses are held for between 2-5 minutes to help stretch and ease the fiber webbing. As the fascia fibers begin to slowly thin out and become ‘unglued’; our movements improve and we can enjoy and we can enjoy greater flexibility and mobility of our joints. However,Yin is not a quick fix. Areas that have been damaged for a long time will take time and patience, so regularstrengthening and stretching is recommended.
Yin provides the perfect balance for those with fast-paced lives or who have an active sports or yoga practice. Even top athletes now incorporate Yin into their recovery programs as a way of increasing flexibility, relieving tightness and relaxing body and mind. Yin Yoga is also ideal for older people looking to regain mobility in their joints.
So, if bending down and putting on socks is a challenge for you, then you need to start practicing Yin Yoga. Not only will your joints thank you for it, it could be the perfect remedy for bringing yourself back into balance in menopause.
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