Effects of yoga and the addition of Tui Na in patients with Fibromyalgia – Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec 2007

[Note: Tui Na is hands-on body work known as “Chinese massage” that is used, for example, to treat injury and pain in martial arts schools.]

Objectives: This study aimed to verify whether techniques of yoga with and without the addition of Tui Na might improve pain and the negative impact of fibromyalgia (FMS) on patients’ daily life.

Design: Forty (40) FMS women were randomized into two groups, Relaxing Yoga (RY) and Relaxing Yoga plus Touch (RYT), for eight weekly sessions of stretching, breathing, and relaxing yogic techniques.

RYT patients were further submitted to manipulative techniques of Tui Na.

Outcome measure: Outcome measures [included] the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), pain threshold at the 18 FMS tender points, and a verbal graduation of pain assessed before treatment and on the follow-up. The visual analog scale (VAS) for pain was assessed before and after each session and on the follow-up.


  • Seventeen (17) RYT and 16 RY patients completed the study.

  • Both RY and RYT groups showed improvement in the FIQ and VAS scores, which decreased on all sessions.

  • The RYT group showed lower VAS and verbal scores for pain on the eighth session, but this difference was not maintained on the follow-up.

  • Conversely, RY VAS and verbal scores were significantly lower just on the follow-up.

  • Conclusions: These study results showed that yogic techniques are valid therapeutic methods for FMS. Touch addition yielded greater improvement during the treatment. Over time, however, RY (relaxing yoga) patients reported less pain than RYT (relaxing yoga with touch) patients. These results suggest that a passive therapy may possibly decrease control over FMS symptoms.

    Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007 Dec;13(10):1107-14. PMID: 18166122, by da Silva GD, Lorenzi-Filho G, Lage LV. Pulmonary Division, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

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