Yoga has been around for centuries. In Fact, the practice of yoga can be traced back over 5,000 years. Some believe the practice may even be as old as 10,000 years. The history of yoga is rich and esoteric in its teachings and wisdom. Its origins can be traced back to India, where it was mentioned in early texts of songs, rituals and mantras. Though many of the fragile texts on the subject of yoga were damaged or destroyed, the practice of yoga still flourishes today in modern society and cultures all over the world.
Yoga is as much about the mind as it is about the body. It is a technique for controlling both the mind and body and bringing them into harmony with each other. It is this combination of mind and body discipline that is now catching the attention of western medicine as an effective alternative to medications in pain management, as well as providing a host of other healthy benefits to the human mind and body. There are many proven benefits to practicing yoga on a regular basis. Not only does yoga improve the body through strength and flexibility routines, it helps to eliminate stress and depression by increasing serotonin levels through relaxation. All of these factors play a role in your well-being, but if you suffer from chronic pain you may be surprised to learn that yoga can greatly reduce or even eliminate your symptoms.
One way yoga can help with pain, is by eliminating it before it ever starts. Yoga is not just about crazy poses and stretching muscles. It is also about breathing and relaxation. By utilizing these techniques, yoga can increase blood circulation, help you sleep deeper, and release tension in your limbs that you may not even be aware of, and strengthen your body’s immune system. The stronger your body is the less prone it will be to future chronic pain as well as sickness. While the physical aspects of yoga can help relieve pain by relaxing muscle tension and improving flexibility, the mental discipline of breathing and relaxation can help relieve pain by focusing attention on a single point such as the sound or rhythm of breath.
According to studies, the combined mental and physical disciplines of yoga have reduced pain in people suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain and other debilitating conditions. This comes as good news for many sufferers of chronic or debilitating pain where medications are either no longer effective or cause unwanted side effects. Fewer medication means fewer trips to the doctor, and less cost toward healthcare. Yoga was been shown to be effective in reducing the amount of medications taken by people with asthma, type II diabetes and high blood pressure.
Yoga can be effective in both prevention and treatment of pain. Before you begin any new exercise or regimen, a doctor should be consulted. Begin slowly, yoga is a discipline that requires time and effort. It is not something mastered overnight, and should be taking slowly by starting with simple exercises and carefully mastering each one before moving on to the more advanced one. Taking yoga classes with a professional is a great way to start.