Mind & Body

Studies show that, for certain patients, using your mind can help alleviate physical symptoms of OA. Yoga, tai chi, and meditation are a few ways to begin creating a mind and body connection.

 

Meditation: An Introduction

Most types of meditation have four elements in common:

  • A quiet location. Meditation is usually practiced in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. This can be particularly helpful for beginners.
  • A specific, comfortable posture. Depending on the type being practiced, meditation can be done while sitting, lying down, standing, walking, or in other positions.
  • A focus of attention. Focusing one’s attention is usually a part of meditation. For example, the meditator may focus on a mantra (a specially chosen word or set of words), an object, or the sensations of the breath. Some forms of meditation involve paying attention to whatever is the dominant content of consciousness.
  • An open attitude. Having an open attitude during meditation means letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them. When the attention goes to distracting or wandering thoughts, they are not suppressed; instead, the meditator gently brings attention back to the focus. In some types of meditation, the meditator learns to “observe” thoughts and emotions while meditating.

Adapted from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine article “Meditation, an Introduction” from NCCAM Publication #D308, February 2006.

Ease Arthritis Symptoms with Meditation

Meditation is an umbrella term for many different mind-body practices that use contemplative thought and relaxation techniques.

Mindfulness/meditation practices can be done either alone or in groups led by a health care professional. Techniques include:

  • 1.

    Deep-breathing exercises to boost relaxation

  • 2.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy (talking to a therapist about emotional issues) to help you focus on positive thoughts

  • 3.

    Focused attention on a specific body part and its physical sensations

  • 4.

    Yoga-based meditation

  • 5.

    Chanting or use of mantras (repeated words or phrases)

  • 6.

    Guided imagery or concentration on positive visual images or scenes

  • 7.

    Contemplative walking, common in Japan and in Buddhist traditions

Copyright © 2012 Arthritis Foundation. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this topic visit www.arthritis.org.

 

What Is Yoga?*

Yoga, a blend of physical exercise and mental relaxation or meditation techniques, dates back more than 5,000 years to ancient India. Today, people around the world practice any of more than 100 different styles of yoga on a regular basis. Among them are many people with arthritis, who find yoga is easy on their joints, relieves their symptoms and promotes relaxation.

If you have arthritis, it’s important to find a yoga instructor who understands your physical limitations and can modify poses for you if necessary.

Most people practice yoga in a class setting, either at a gym, community center or yoga studio, led by a trained instructor. However, you can practice yoga at home on your own, using a DVD, book, tape or printed pose instructions. It’s important to wear flexible, comfortable clothing that allows you to move into the various poses with ease. There’s no special footwear required – most people practice yoga barefoot.

In general, look for those that involve gentle stretching and relaxed breathing techniques that may ease arthritis symptoms, improve function and reduce pain.

*Be sure to check with your doctor to see if these physical activities are right for you. Copyright © 2012 Arthritis Foundation. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this topic visit www.arthritis.org.

 

Tai Chi*

Tai chi, which originated in China as a martial art, is a mind-body practice in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Tai chi is sometimes referred to as "moving meditation" — practitioners move their bodies slowly, gently, and with awareness, while breathing deeply.

There are many different styles, but all involve slow, relaxed, graceful movements, each flowing into the next. The body is in constant motion, and posture is important. Individuals practicing tai chi must also concentrate, putting aside distracting thoughts; and they must breathe in a deep and relaxed, but focused manner.

People practice tai chi for various potential benefits, such as:

  • Improved physical condition, muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility
  • Improved balance and decreased risk of falls, especially in elderly people
  • Eased pain and stiffness — for example, from osteoarthritis
  • Improved sleep

*Be sure to check with your doctor to see if these physical activities are right for you. Adapted from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine article “Tai Chi: an Introduction” from NCCAM Publication #D322, June 2006.

 

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

All prescription NSAIDs, like CELEBREX, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. They may all increase the chance of heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors for it, such as high blood pressure or when NSAIDs are taken for long periods.

CELEBREX should not be used right before or after certain heart surgeries.

Serious skin reactions, or stomach and intestine problems such as bleeding and ulcers, can occur without warning and may cause death. Patients taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • A history of ulcers or bleeding in the stomach or intestines
  • High blood pressure or heart failure
  • Kidney or liver problems

CELEBREX should not be taken in late pregnancy.

Do not take CELEBREX if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reactions to aspirin, any other NSAID medicine or certain drugs called sulfonamides.

Life threatening allergic reactions can occur with CELEBREX. Get help right away if you've had swelling of the face or throat or trouble breathing.

Prescription CELEBREX should be used exactly as prescribed at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time needed.

INDICATIONS

CELEBREX is indicated for the relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and for the management of acute pain in adults.

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