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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy It's quite a popular belief nowadays that Yoga aids greatly in overall well-being. But can Yoga actually help in healing diseases? Read on to find out.

What is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga Therapy is a relatively modern discipline that has evolved out of combining Yoga principles and western medical science. Its methods are tailored specifically for the needs of a person who is perhaps suffering from physical or mental illnesses, or a combination of both.

Yoga is in fact one of the oldest forms of healing therapy, having been practiced for 5000 years now. It is only in recent decades that medical science has started to catch up on the healing capability of Yoga and has verified and continues to verify Yoga's healing effects through scientific studies.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia now have the science to prove the healing capability of Yoga Therapy. They studied 42 people aged between 24-77 years with carpal tunnel syndrome, a disease that causes pain on the wrists. The researchers divided these people into two groups; the first group did not exercise while the second group attended one-hour Yoga sessions, twice a week for eight weeks. Classes consisted of 11 Yoga Postures targeting the joints of the upper body.

After the program, the members of the second group showed improvements in the strength of their hand grip and also pain was significantly reduced. Some members even reported improvements a month after the program ended.

How does Yoga Therapy aid in healing?

It begins with a fundamental principle from Yoga. Yoga views diseases as having insufficient life force or energy either in the whole body or in a part of it. The flow of energy within the body may be blocked or obstructed in some parts. This insufficiency results in lower vitality and susceptibility to infection.

The logic of this view of diseases is centered on the importance of the spine as the primary avenue of energy flow in the body. A misalignment in one of the vertebras affects the nerves that transmit energy to the organs. When this happens, organs do not function at their optimum levels. If this low level of functioning is prolonged, a disease may develop.

Many Yoga Postures in Yoga Therapy stretch and relax the spine, which helps in realigning the vertebras. This explains how Yoga Therapy can help in healing diseases.

What exactly happens in a Yoga Therapy session?

A session is participated in by the patient and the Yoga teacher. The session begins with an assessment of the patient's conditions and aims. Once the Yoga teacher and the patient reach a level of understanding, the Yoga Exercises can begin with simple Yoga movements, often focusing on Yoga Breathing Exercises. The session progresses from there. It is important that there is rapport and trust between the teacher and the patient.

Yoga Therapy does not make any claim that it alone cures diseases. As mentioned above, it is combined with western medical science to relieve a patient of symptoms and gradually lead to complete healing.

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