The emerging science of yoga shows strong links to improved health–including chronic pain relief
We all know yoga can make you more flexible–can yoga also ease your chronic pain?
Yoga has been in existence for thousands of years, dating back at minimum to the 5th or 6th century BC. And if you know anyone who is a practitioner of yoga, you know that its fans are devoted indeed.
And with good reason: study after study shows that for core strength and flexibility, there is nothing you can do that is more gentle on the body yet more challenging and productive at the same time. It can increase not only strength, flexibility, range of motion, and cardiovascular function, yoga has also been shown to increase mental well-being.
But one thing yoga has lacked is legitimization from the modern medical community.
(As if something with the success rate that yoga enjoys and that pre-dates modern medicine by 2000 years requires such recognition…but anyway….)
However, in this day and age of the worship of all things chemical and invasive, it’s nice to hear that so-called “legitimate scientists” occasionally take a stab at looking around at other possibilities.
During the last decade or so, a great shift has taken place on this front, with the conventional medical community finally coming around to embrace yoga as a way to promote the health of both body and mind. In fact, both the American Pain Society and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have recently published studies that demonstrate that yoga could be a natural and effective way to combat chronic pain.
Chronic pain is no joke. It affects more than 76 million Americans, and costs up to 60 percent of sufferers their jobs or loss of income at some point. Chronic pain is the leading cause of long-term disability and the costs to the economy for treatment and therapy and time lost from work are almost unfathomable.
So in the face of all this devastation it almost sounds like a patent-medicine come on, or a scam: what if I were to tell you that in just minutes a day, with minimal equipment and training, and with no chemicals or medicine of any kind, I could help you get rid of or at least alleviate your chronic pain?
The funny thing is, it works.
Yoga was a hot topic at the American Pain Society’s recent conference, and scientists now have found evidence that yoga can prevent and possibly turn back the clock on the brain damage that is caused by chronic pain.
So it’s heartening to hear that “legitimate science” is finally starting to show signs of warming up to yoga.
But the big question remains: what are you waiting for?