You’re sitting behind your desk at work when the bright lights from the computer screen begin to irritate your eyes. This is a signal because it’s time for a break. As you get up to for some coffee something stops you.
That something is a sharp pain coming from your back. So you ingest the painkillers that your doctors prescribe you.
As the pain goes away you can’t help but let out a sigh of relief. But that joy is interrupted when the side effects occur. But you deal with it because it relieves the pain.
But you begin to wonder if there was something else besides drugs for pain relief? If not is there something that can be used alongside with drugs so that you regain your health quicker?
Then one day you walk by a yoga studio. Your curiosity piqued you look through the window and you become mesmerized. Maybe it was the beauty of the supple, athletic, bodies. Or maybe it was how the yogis moved with the grace of a ballerina.
Whatever it was you walk away. Unfortunately, you didn’t realize that the answer to your question was right in front of you.
Is there anything else that can help treat your ailment? Yes, my friend. That something is yoga.
Yoga, (like meditation) can be a powerful addition to your healing arsenal. Sounds strange right? Yoga is better known for its physical and spiritual benefits than its healing properties.
Though this aspect of yoga isn’t fully studied by the medical profession— what is studied shows some promising results.
So here are 6 medical disorders that can be treated using yoga. Who knows, if you’re suffering from one of these maladies maybe taking yoga will help you.
Here’s something that most of us have dealt with at one time or another. Insomnia is an ailment where a person can’t sleep or has trouble sleeping. This can be caused by many factors such as stress, excessive excitability, anxiety, or bad reactions to medication.
Pranayama, the part of yoga that focuses on breathing, will calm the mind leading to a peaceful rest.
Researchers conducted a very small 8-week study to see if yoga can be used to treat people suffering from insomnia. At the end of the study, the participants showed vast improvements in sleep efficiency and sleep time.
2) Back Pain
There are many reasons for the cause of back pain. One of the most common is poor posture but there are other causes such herniated disc or obesity.
One of the suggested methods of dealing with back pain is by stretching—we know that yoga does that very well.
According to this NIH (National Institute of Health) article, yoga is very effective for treating back pain.
Another article posted on the WebMD website, documents how yoga is just as effective as physical therapy for treating back pain.
This large meta-analysis study published in The Journal of Pain shows that yoga has long-term effectiveness for treating back pain.
Arthritis is a condition that is characterized by pain and inflammation in and around the joints such as the tendons and ligaments.
Researchers at John Hopkins University performed a study on in inactive adults suffering from rheumatoid and knee arthritis. The researchers’ main goal was to see if the participants would gain any benefit by practicing yoga.
At the end of the study not only did the participants gain relief from pain, but they also increased flexibility.
Another small pilot study published by IJYT (International Journal of Yoga Therapy) was conducted on senior citizens suffering from arthritis. The study documents how the senior citizens were able to reduce pain using yoga.
4) Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The causes of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is still not fully known. It is believed that IBS is caused by a disorder of the large intestine. This can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Researchers at the University of California conducted a test to see the effects that Iyengar yoga had on IBS. The participants consisted of adolescents and young adults. At the end of the study stress, sleep quality, and pain were vastly improved.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes a person to have hallucinations, delusional thoughts, and suppressed emotions.
Though this malady of the illness only affects one percent of adults—it wreaks havoc on their lives.
Though it is usually known for its physical benefits, studies have shown that yoga can treat many of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
This small study documents how yoga, in conjunction with regular medicine, can reduce symptoms affiliated with schizophrenia such as:
- Improving cognition.
- Relieving depression.
- Promoting positive neurobiological changes such as increased oxytocin.
Tuberculosis is a disease that usually infects the lungs but can also spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of this disease include:
- Weight loss
- Intense pain in the chest.
- Severe cough
- The vomiting up of blood.
Doctors had a woman diagnosed with tuberculosis practice yogic breathing techniques known as pranayama.
The women engaged in the pranayama exercises for 45 minutes every 3 days for a total of 8 weeks. She also was still partaking in standard anti-tuberculosis treatment.¹
At the end of the treatment, the woman lost weight and achieved more efficient lung capacity.
In a larger study, a group of 48 people diagnosed with tuberculosis participated in a study. The purpose of the study was to document what effect asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama had on tuberculosis.
The participants were split into two groups. One group practiced yoga asanas and the other pranayama. At the end of the 2-month trial, both groups showed reduced tuberculosis symptoms and an increase in weight.
Say Goodbye to That Sick Body and Say Hello to A Healthy One!
It’s been several months since you’ve been practicing yoga. Since then you’ve felt so little back pain that you’ve almost forgotten about your condition. Your joint, muscles, and ligaments have been renewed and reinvigorated.
Instead of admiring athletic bodies, you’ve actually developed one. Combined with meditation and pranayama techniques, stress from the outside world no longer bothers you.
Knowing the healing aspects of yoga doesn’t mean you have to stop using pharmaceutical medicine. Depending on the ailment and your physical condition, yoga can both be used with conventional medicine and as a form of preventive medicine.
Just remember to check with your doctor before and to get a physical before starting any physical discipline.
But if you’re hesitant about bringing this subject up for fear of sounding foolish— just remember there are at least 6 medical disorders that can be treated using yoga.
There are those that may be afraid to practice yoga because of fear of getting hurt. While admittedly there is a chance of that happening, this can be minimized by listening to your body and not forcing yourself into a pose that you’re not yet ready for.
Also having an experienced, certified, yoga instructor who can recognize any problems should also help.
If you’re not fortunate enough to live near a studio (which is my situation) you can go online and take courses. You can also do what I did and buy books. But to really progress it’s good to find a teacher.
Other than that prepare yourself for a healthy and fun journey. If you like what you read please share or leave a comment.