Yoga Therapy Treatment Plan for Pain Management


Pain knee

I have worked as a yoga instructor for the past 12 years.  Even if you've never stepped foot on a yoga mat, you probably still have a basic understanding of what I do.  When I tell people I am also a yoga therapist, however, a look of confusion usually precedes a a question resembling, "What's that?"  Explaining what a yoga therapist is and what a yoga therapist does is not so simple.  Although yoga therapy is an ancient practice, it is relatively unknown as a healing modality.  Elevator answer?  A yoga therapist works individually with a client to promote healing and wellness in both body and mind.  That's an answer, but what does it mean? When you are ill, a doctor creates a treatment plan that usually includes tests, medication, and/or surgery.  Those things certainly are a necessity in many cases, but are they the answer for all?  For people who wish to heal or improve their health without the use of medications, invasive tests, and surgeries, yoga therapy is a holistic alternative.  Let me illustrate this by giving some practical examples.  Over the next few blog posts I will list five common conditions of poor health to which yoga therapy presents solutions.  These are five areas of yoga therapy that are seeing increased growth as people discover and appreciate what a yoga based treatment plan can do.

Number Two: Yoga Therapy for Pain Management.  

Pain kneePain is a powerful force in our bodies.  It can literally hinder growth and healing. When all energy is moving towards pain management, the body and mind can get stuck in a very challenging place.  People with chronic pain often also experience some form of depression.  Pain pills can help manage pain to some degree but don't offer emotional support and are highly addictive.  Neal Pearson, of Life is Now, is the leading yoga therapist in this area.  He works to educate clients on how the pain system works in the body and then uses breath awareness, breath control, body awareness, and body tension control to help lessen or stop pain.  The yoga community also offers a network of friends and support that can help with depression.

Sunrise yogiWhen I work with a client suffering from chronic pain, I spend time a lot of time listening to them talk.  Unburdening these feelings seems to create a lot of release in the body.  We go over asanas that they can do without pain, and I teach them how to modify poses when they do feel pain.  Daily breathing exercises as well as breath techniques for coping with intense pain are also key components of a pain management yoga therapy plan.

Conclusion

I enjoy the work I do as a yoga therapist, even if few people understand it.  It is deeply satisfying to empower another person with the courage and knowledge to follow their own path of healing.  When I first started offering yoga therapy , in hubris I believed that everyone should choose it.  But experience has taught me that some diagnoses are very complex, and a healing treatment plan often requires multiple solutions.  The protocol a doctor offers can be life saving.  Like eveyrthing else in life balance is necesaary, and the natural treatments you choose in yoga therapy can be life changing.  Yoga therapy may not be the only modality for healing, but it is a viable one.  which is less invasive, less expensive, and gives you more control over your body.  If you have questions about yoga therapy, please contact me and together we can create a treatment plan that is right for you.