Interest in yoga has grown in the medical profession over the last ten years – in no small part due to an increasing awareness that preventative medicine will be key to quality of life as the baby boomer population of the United States gets older and life expectancy as a whole increases. The question of how to maintain health and wellness effectively is complex and covers many areas. Yoga provides an effective system for reducing stress, increasing mobility, improving the health of the spine, and connective tissue – all key elements of living better.
If you are new to yoga, you may have visions of people in pretzel positions in hot rooms, but there is much more to yoga than the photographs that tend to make it to the magazines. There are quite a few different yoga styles. The Therapeutic Yoga Training presents a combination of restorative and gentle yoga poses that are specifically geared to be accessible to those recovering from or living with injury or illness. The poses focus on helping the body to release and relax into the poses with the support of props such as yoga bolsters and blankets. Using gravity and soft positioning to open the body over time yields superlative dividends. Tissue that has been in a rigid (and often painful) state due to age or injury is persuaded to open, restoring proper blood flow and movement to the affected area. Often times, in working with seniors, it is common for people to rediscover range of motion and flexibility that they haven’t had in years.
Therapeutic Yoga provides powerful tools for reducing stress. Since so many medical conditions have their roots in prolonged stress response, or are exacerbated by stressful lifestyle, sharing these tools with patients can be an effective strategy for guiding them to better health. For instance, sleep disorders are a common ailment in this day and age, and Therapeutic Yoga has proven to be extremely beneficial for resolving this condition.
As an accredited continuing education course, the Therapeutic Yoga Training covers yoga poses (also referred to as asanas), anatomy, particularly as it relates to this practice, glandular functioning and the stress response, working with scar tissue, the immune system and how stress affects it, breathing techniques, guided visualization, and other tools. We feel these provide an effective combination of techniques that doctors can recommend to patients as a way to proactively benefit their wellness outside the office.
Doctors who have taken the course have used it in a variety of ways, but two stand out. The first is bringing into their practice the yogic techniques taught in the training, such as simple breathing techniques, guided imagery. The second is introducing a yoga program or class at their office (some doctor’s do this as part of once-a-month seminars they offer to their patients covering a variety of wellness practices).