Yoga and Physiotherapy

I’m a physiotherapist and haven’t used any Yoga exercises for my patients in the past. Fortunately, this course showed me that Yoga is more than only “training for your muscles”. The combination of Physiotherapy and Yoga could bring me faster and more effective to my patient’s targets in the future. The following text will show you why.

Physiotherapy has the focus on physical treatments. But we all know that also our mind has an important function in the healing process of our body. Body and mind must work together.

Too many people put their focus on physical exercises like strengthening and stretching but that’s not sufficient. We can’t imagine that breathing improves the healing of traumas or that our mind can have an influence on the healing progress but correct breathing improves the metabolism and distributes oxygen to our whole body. Oxygen is quite important for physiological and faster healing.

Everybody knows that stress is changing our breathing behavior– we breath faster or we are having a paradox breathing. Furthermore, an injury (f.e. prolapse, stroke, cancer, operation) is stressing all of us and everyone wants to recover as fast as possible because it’s influencing our hobbies, jobs and families. In addition, Yoga brings the focus on correct breathing and makes you more relaxed, calm and of course happy. A positive mind and attitude has an enormous influence on our healing progress.

In addition to breathing, Yoga includes also active exercises (Asanas) and it’s very deverse as it contains balance, stretching and strengthening. You can adapt all Asanas depending on the condition of our patients and they can do it at home as well. You need less or even no equipment and can be practiced almost everywhere.

Only stretching tenses up and contracts the muscles when you tense them and only strengthening reduce the elasticity and flexibility of the muscles. Yoga includes both. A lot of people have a mix of weakness and low flexibility because of one-sided pressure – f.e. jobs where you have to sit a lot. After weakness and less flexibility comes hardening of the muscles because of unphysical postures. With simple exercises which include torsion, you can relax your back muscles. In addition to torsion-exercises, these people should lengthen their spine, stretch their shoulder muscles and do general strengthening. These all are included in different Asanas.

The combination of stretching and strengthening is an important protection for your joints. All structures (cartilage, ligament, menisci, …) need pressure (strengthening) and release (stretching) f.e. the joint to produce synovial fluid and ligaments or menisci and cartilage to get stronger and more flexible.

The Reversion is also part of Yoga and does the opposite of one-sided pressure and gravity. Muscles need stretching so they can work more intense. Therefore, you can also train your heart. Without gravity it’s a relaxing for the cartilage, menisci and ligaments. Also the ligaments and fascias of your organs are relaxing and don’t have to work against the usual gravity.

These examples should give an insight into the combination of healing and Yoga. You can use it for neurological (f.e. parkinson, stroke), traumatological/orthopedic (f.e. prolaps, postural deformity, scoliosis), pneumonological (f.e. COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or oncological patients.

Sylvana F./YTT Jan. 2018

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