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March 3, 2011

Yoga Warning: those who are “too flexible” at risk

A report just came out indicating that people who are “too flexible” at risk of suffering migraines.

… an excerpt from the story:

NEW YORK — People with severe forms of double jointedness have a greater risk of suffering from migraine headaches, a new study finds. They also tend to have more severe and more frequent migraines.

Researchers say that the two conditions — “joint hypermobility syndrome” and migraines — may have causes rooted in the same problem.

People who fit the profile for having joint hypermobility have contortionist-like flexibility. They are able to bend their thumbs back to their forearms, overextend their elbows, and place their palms on the floor without bending their knees, for instance.

“It’s a disease of collagen, basically,” study author Dr. Vincent Martin, a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, told Reuters Health.

Collagen is one of the body’s basic building blocks, helping to form myriad structures, including the joints and blood vessels.

Martin’s hypothesis is that if the collagen is too elastic, it leads to both flexible joints and stretchy blood vessels — problems involved in joint hypermobility syndrome and migraine, respectively.
Martin had noticed in his clinical practice that double-jointed patients seemed to suffer from migraines, too. He also pulled from his own experience, having both hypermobility and migraine headaches. ….

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It isn’t clear what the implications are for yogis and yoginis, but it may be wise for yoga instructors to ensure that their “too bendy” students not go too far into their poses, and to instead emphasize  “the masculine” by extending energy from hara through their limbs.

Namaste.

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