Yoga is one of the most effective methods to lead a healthy and content life. In addition to toning the whole body, it makes your body more flexible and improves posture. It is also one of the most natural ways to treat pains and aches.
Yoga can help people suffering from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, low back pain, migraine, etc. Studies have revealed that people with chronic low back pain benefited from increased mobility and pain relief with a regular yoga routine. Regular practice of yoga also has a positive effect on one’s mood and psycho-social well-being.
Yoga is an effective exercise regimen that works both body and mind with an emphasis on breath control, chakra stimulation, glandular regulation, and experiencing bliss through meditation. The emphasis on mental balance and developing presence is what sets yoga apart from most other exercise programs.
No wonder that Yoga is turning increasingly popular as a form of exercise and self-care, with yoga classes being held at studios, gyms, community centres, hospitals, schools and even at home via the Web! The practice of yoga is increasingly the most preferred regimen used for pain relief, and its use is growing.
Yoga and Pain Relief
Yoga addresses the underlying cause of pain from varied angles, physical and mental. The physical side of yoga works to increase strength, flexibility and coordination, even as the breathing and meditation practices help practitioners develop greater awareness of their body and self, thus lessening anxiety.
Yoga can help treat certain physical aspects that contribute to pain – for instance, tight muscles or strained ligaments – providing relief and cure. However, incorrect yoga postures or movements, lacking proper supervision etc., can also exacerbate the pain in some cases.
Yoga routines invigorate the body, thus helping counter depression. Yoga can also be helpful in improving relaxation when dealing with stress and agitation.
The various yoga asanas (poses) and pranayamas (breathing exercises), work to dissipate tension and initiate a relaxation response in our body. This counteracts the detrimental effects to our body’s default stress response, popularly referred to as “fight or flight.” Regular practice of yoga and mindful meditation will develop a reflex that brings a sense of relaxation to you more easily over time.
Let’s take a look at how yoga can help with specific conditions
People with arthritis can through regular practice yoga improve joint flexibility, reduce joint pain, and lower stress and tension. It is essential that standard yoga poses be modified for arthritis patients, in order to benefit those that struggle with the disease. This is especially important when one’s nervous system is sensitive and the body is prone to flare-ups.
Lower Back Pain
Back pain can be the result of injury, a poor posture or sleeping position, weight issues, a genetic disorder etc. resulting in the misalignment of musculoskeletal components in the back and consequent stress on one’s spine. Practicing yoga can act as a natural pain reliever, with various asanas that increase the core strength and stabilization. Yoga also helps patients gain more mobility through moderate physical exercise.
A common disorder that is categorized by widespread pain and increased sensitivity to pressure across the body and those with this disorder generally exhibit a very low threshold to pain. Even though there is no cure to fibromyalgia; yoga can help improve one’s condition. The relaxation response developed through yoga practice and deep breathing exercises can help relieve stress, muscle tension and will improve mindset.
More and more people seem to fall prey to and suffer from migraines and chronic headaches commonly associated with increased stress. As a treatment for migraine, yoga can deliver positive results. Along with stretches that promote relaxation, breathing exercises help balance the autonomic nervous system and reduce stress.
How to pursue Yoga Therapy
Anyone suffering from a joint pain, back pain, headache or body pain of any other sort can benefit from yoga as part of their treatment. While yoga can be of immense help in pain management, but remember that it is not a quick fix or cure all solution. With yoga it is important to start off slowly and practice regularly with awareness, in order to be beneficial. Devising and pursuing a helpful yoga routine requires considerable knowledge and experience when you suffer from a painful condition.
Yoga therapy is practiced in a wide range of formats. It can resemble or be a part of physical or rehabilitative therapy and even psychotherapy. Many therapists often implement yoga techniques in their delivery of massage and other treatments.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but it has come of age and today people are pursuing yoga certification as never before. Over time, several streams of yoga have evolved and become popular. Hatha yoga has evolved out of the Tantric tradition, which concerns itself with the physical aspects of the practice, such as asana, pranayama, bandha, mudra and kriya. Raja yoga, another name for Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga, is a higher form of yoga and deals primarily with the attainment of samadhi, the state of oneness, by disciplining and directing the mind towards the Ultimate Reality – Divine Consciousness.
You may get the best individual advice on tailoring yoga to your pain condition by finding an experienced yoga therapist who has undergone an accredited yoga certification program.