30 July 2010

What is physio-yoga therapy?

Published: July 27, 2010 7:00 PM

Physio-Yoga Therapy is a type of rehabilitative or preventative therapy that combines both evidence-based physiotherapy and yoga therapy resulting in a more holistic approach to your treatment experience. To understand what this therapy is and if it is right for you, you first need to understand each discipline.

Physiotherapy is a well respected health care profession that uses evidence-based treatment methods to help clients restore and maintain optimal movement and function as well as provide education on health maintenance and injury prevention. As licensed health care professionals, physiotherapists have extensive training and knowledge about how the body functions, and use specialized manual skills to assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of injuries, disease symptoms, and disabilities.

Yoga therapy applies yoga principles and techniques to specific acute or chronic illnesses or states of disease or imbalance. Yoga is an ancient system of health that enables you to use your body, mind, and breath as one unit and, therefore, enhances and promotes an overall balanced lifestyle of health and well-being.

Yoga therapy is an emerging profession that has resulted from the popularity of yoga in the western world; primarily because of its effectiveness in delivering a holistic approach to healing. Medical research shows that it is among the most effective complementary therapies in treating health problems. It enhances health and promotes an optimal state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health through the integration of traditional yoga methods and Western medicine. Some people are opposed to trying yoga because they believe it is a religion or that it will interfere with their own faith. Yoga is not a religion. There is no deity to worship, no worship services to attend, no rituals, no formal statement of religious belief and no institutional structure of overseers or leaders, nor any system of temples or churches. Yoga can be incorporated into your own belief system; and can actually deepen your own personal faith if you do have one.

Is physio-yoga therapy safe for everyone? Yes, as long as the therapist is properly trained. Not all poses are safe or appropriate for everyone. Yoga poses are modified to adapt to each individual’s need. A physio-yoga therapist will always individually assess and develop a specialized treatment plan to address your specific needs. A physiotherapist is trained to assess and treat a variety of conditions safely and, more importantly, is trained to know how to differential diagnose and knows when to refer to a medical doctor or another health care specialist.

A typical physio-yoga therapy session includes hands on, physiotherapy manual therapy techniques combined with individualized exercise prescription with a focus on yoga postures, breathing practices, meditations and lifestyle modifications. A thorough assessment is completed so that an individualized treatment plan can be developed to accurately address your specific needs.

The knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and the extensive training of a licensed health care professional ensures the assessments and treatments are safe and effective.

So what are the benefits of this type of treatment approach? They are numerous. Physically, yoga postures and breathing techniques can optimize the function of all systems of the body by improving muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, postural alignment, body awareness, vascular and lymph circulation, digestion, hormonal balance, respiration, and by lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones, improving immune function and reducing weight. Mentally, it can improve your alertness, concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, improve your ability to relax, and sleep patterns. Some common conditions that can be addressed are back and neck pain, chronic pain, musculoskeletal injuries (shoulders, hips, knees, etc), osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, Irritable Bowel Disease, migraines/headaches, generally deconditioned, pregnancy, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, urinary stress or urge incontinence.

It is worthy to note the role it plays in disease and injury prevention as well.

The key benefit is an overall state of health and well-being!

For more information on yoga therapy, please visit www.iayt.org or www.professionalyogatherapy.org

Shelly Prosko is a Registered Physiotherapist and Yoga Therapist at Sun City Physiotherapy Winfield. She can be contacted at the Winfield clinic (250.766.2544) or by email at winfield@suncityphysiotherapy.com.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I’m so glad you posted something on physio-yoga. Leeann Carey, an amazing yoga teacher, says that at any stage, modifying yoga poses should be done safely. She has a free yoga video on this that I think your readers might like: http://planetyoga.com/yoga-blogs/index.php/free-yoga-video-safe-alignment-sklills-sas-lighten-the-load/