Yoga Therapy is a Serious Healthcare Option
For years, yoga has been valued by those who practice frequently in order to maintain healthy lifestyles. What about those with more serious health conditions though, how do they
An annual event held in Washington, D.C. Yoga as Lifestyle Medicine introduced me to the research and studied practiced of yoga therapy as a healthcare option. Recently published, The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care offers the latest research and implications of how successful yoga therapy has been for diseases and disorders such as Scoliosis, Alzheimer's, PTSD, Metabolic Syndrome, Arthritis, Rotator Cuff Syndrome and Sleep Disorders.
Divided into different rooms, yoga professionals walked instructors and enthusiasts through different forms of yoga that have clinically helped an individual disease or disorder. In one of the rooms, Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, touched on Restorative Yoga towards self-regulation of the nervous system. She told us, “We are always manipulating our nervous system with coffee, chocolate and other various forms of caffeine or stimulation, quickly pulling ourselves out of our parasympathetic state; we are creating our own nervous rhythm each day we chose to over multi-task.”
Those who deal with consistent stress or nervous energy are essentially in control of creating their own deep feeling of ease through restorative yoga or Shavasana. Imagine how many fewer panic attacks would occur if those in need could control their breathing and settle their nervous energy before reaching that state? Judith advises everyone practice “uni-tasking” or focusing on one thing at a time within each day versus creating a stressful environment of checking off one's never-ending‘to-do’ list.
In another room, JJ Gormley, M-CAM, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, discussed metabolic health and the importance of balancing the body to ensure nourishment. It’s surprising how we almost forget how to breathe and how we ignore our bodies when they are telling us what to do and how to take care of them. It’s hard to pay attention to each of the five chakra’s or categories of health and wellness, it takes practice and dedication to be able to satisfy your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs in a balanced commitment.
Yoga Therapy prepares a different intention for the practice, allowing professionals to identify with individuals for their specific symptoms and needs. Following an adequate assessment, therapists can prepare methods for symptom management unique to each client. Robin Carnes, MBA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT described her methods towards the neuroscience of trauma, or PTSD, as “almost a physiological approach to calm the body through yoga.” She explained how our bodies have betrayed us when suffering PTSD, unable to comprehend and translate trauma appropriately for proper healing. By training the mind through body movement, one is able to create their own calm and control the traffic of thoughts.