How Yoga Can Help with Pain
Yoga is the use of movements and breathing that is rooted in ancient India. It is often treated as a form of meditation, a form of physical exercise, or both at the same time. Not only does yoga have elements that help some practitioners become more mindful of who they are and aware of their bodies, but it also may have the ability to help reduce certain types of pain.
How Does Yoga Work?
Using different body positions, or postures, combined with relaxation and breathing techniques, yoga is intended to increase focus. It is also a series of strengthening exercises. In conjunction with the relaxation techniques, yoga has helped many with their pain reduction journey.
Here are a few potential health benefits of yoga:
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure, better heart health
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Better sleep
- More strength, flexibility and balance
How Does Yoga Help with Chronic Pain?
Some medical professionals that physical activity is the key to stopping some chronic pain. Since pain can cause you to favor a part of your body, you might also overuse other parts. Moving all the parts can help reduce the resulting stress from combined overuse and underuse of different parts of your body. The meditation part of yoga may also help you generally keep your mind off of your pain and, since less stress means less cortisol, there is potentially less inflammation.
How Does Yoga Help with Sleep?
Some veterans of the armed forces have found that their difficulty sleeping due to chronic pain was eased with yoga. Some consider it a pain management tool, as stretching, breathing and meditating can help reduce even chronic pain. Less pain should increase your chances for a better night’s sleep.
What Else Should You Know About Yoga?
Yoga can be a very social pursuit, which many will find an incredibly positive aspect to something that is already helping you repair your body. Yoga is also something that can move at your ideal pace, so that you don’t feel rushed. Flexibility takes time and practice, and yoga allows for both of those things.
If you are a veteran of the armed forces, you may have access to free yoga classes. Some veterans use yoga to help with the difficulties arising from posttraumatic stress disorder, which often interrupts sleep, due to the constant stressors which can also cause anxiety and depression.
You should consult with your doctor before you decide on the yoga class you are going to take, as all classes are different. All instructors will have their own styles, as well, so you should know what type of yoga is best for you, as well as which teaching still is more your speed, and best for your overall health. The reduction of stress and the concentration on exercising the parts of your body that pain makes you neglect is a big argument in yoga’s favor, not just as an exercise tool, but as an effective pain management technique.