Wellness enthusiasts have realized the healing benefits of yoga for a long time. The popularity of this ancient practice is now growing among doctors, even the Western-trained physicians, and becoming a doctor-prescribed yoga therapy. Mental health treatments are now focusing on healing spirit, mind, and body, which is the primary purpose behind yoga therapies.
Yoga is relatively new in the form of medical treatment; however, it comes from an ancient practice. One of its best features is how it can adjust to any level or style to accommodate an individual. It will work for the elderly just as well as those young in years. Doctors are starting to realize the benefits and are eager to start sharing them with their patients.
Yoga Therapy And What It Involves
There are a variety of practices involved with yoga therapy. All of these practices have the same goal of using natural processes to improve a patient’s health condition. Therapeutic tools that are often used include:
- Physical postures
- Guided imagery
- Breathing exercises
Yoga can be a fast-paced, physically demanding form of exercise while the yoga therapy is gentler and safer. When used as a therapy, teachers who have been specially trained work with their patients suffering from a variety of different physical conditions. They will need to adjust their formats and styles of yoga therapy to meet those varying conditions. Sessions will range from small therapeutic classes to one-on-one meetings, and even chair yoga which is ideal in the hospital and nursing home setting.
Studies are showing yoga improves balance, flexibility, and strength with minimal to no side effects. People suffering from a disease in their neck bones or those suffering from glaucoma do have to avoid certain exercises.
Yoga therapy takes a holistic approach to healing patients. The whole patient is the focus and not just their physical condition. It will work to heal the mind and body while it strengthens the different systems in one’s body. The systems it will help improve are the muscles, lungs, nervous system, and the cardiovascular system.
This approach of healing the whole person works well with many patients as often multiple conditions are affecting them. Yoga therapy will improve the digestive system and help enhance the delivery of oxygen to the patient’s body tissues, and it can even remove carcinogens, toxins, and waste products from their systems.
Recognition From The Health Care Facilities
The International Association of Yoga Therapists has worked hard to establish Yoga as a recognized form of therapy. They have created rigorous yoga therapy certification standards and are now able to offer accredited training programs to certify therapist graduates. Today, there are many outpatient clinics, oncology departments, rehabilitation centers as well as some private hospitals that are staffing yoga-therapy practitioners.
Part of the responsibility for the growing recognition can be credited to clinical research. The research is proving the benefits of yoga exist in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions. Studies show it will be successful in reducing the side effects of cancer treatments and reduces the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. With the help of yoga, cancer patients are reporting lower levels of stress, fatigue and a better quality of life.
Yoga Therapy Is Effective
Stress has long been associated with a broad range of medical conditions from irritable bowel syndrome to migraine headaches and life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Yoga therapy has been proven to reduce stress levels especially those who experience it on a daily basis and will contribute to reducing or eliminate these stress-related diseases.
Combining yoga therapy with other types of health care, either conventional or alternative has shown to be effective in healing chronic ailments. Clinical trials were conducted with patients suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, and type II diabetes where the patients were prescribed yoga therapy regularly. When the tests were completed, patients were able to lower, or in some cases eliminate, the need for their medications. This benefit was fantastic for patients who suffer side effects from drugs, not to mention the money they were able to save.
Yoga therapy is still not the primary approach to medical treatment from physicians. It is still making huge strides; however, even as a supplemental approach. Scientific research will continue to grow on the benefits it provides and is already proving that yoga therapy is here to stay.