If you are suffering from any chronic pain condition, you have probably tried many different things to find comfort and ease … but have you thought about Yoga?
Skilful Yoga practice can decrease pain, heal the body and lift the spirit in many ways. Indeed the practice of Yoga is said to lead to “karuna”– the relief of suffering. Traditional Yoga teachers see this as one of their central acts of service to students.
Yoga has been shown to reduce suffering in a number of ways –
1. Yoga can realign and strengthen areas where wear and tear is evident – this includes all mechanical joint problems and soft tissue injuries.
2. Decreases the presence of inflammatory chemicals in the systems such as Cortisol, prostaglandins and cytokines in chronic conditions (please note inflammation is used by the body to heal acute ailments, but only becomes problematic when the inflammation is prolonged).
3. Increases the body’s natural anti-inflammatory agents such as phagocytes and modulates the immune response via B and T cells. The immune system is fine tuned to become more active and responsive.
4. Fine tunes the nervous system and can break the link between negative emotions and pain. Yoga brings hope, optimism and can lift low mood.
5. Increases the activity of the para-sympathetic nervous system (rest and digest system) and stimulates the vagus nerve.
6. Yoga gives the practitioner tools to reduce the experience of pain, thus giving back control and reducing anxiety and fear which often spring from loss of control.
So if your life has been haunted by pain or suffering, why not give Yoga a try … you may be pleasantly surprised.