Why You Need Restorative Yoga For Chronic Pain
If you suffer from chronic pain in the form of fibromyalgia or some other kind of chronic pain, you will know how hard it can be to successfully and effectively treat it. A major part of the problem with finding a solution or treatment for chronic pain is that while acute pain is often a warning sign of an injury you may be suffering from; chronic pain is entirely different.
Chronic pain often lasts for months, possibly even years. In the following post, we hope to show you how restorative yoga can help in the treatment of chronic pain.
Understanding Chronic Pain
There is no special test that can be done to pinpoint pain and how intense it is, other than speaking to the patient and gaining some understanding of the location, timing, and type of pain based on their descriptions.
You may classify your pain as being one and off or constant, aching or burning, dull or sharp for example and these descriptions is what is known as your pain history. Pain is a very subjective and personal experience and one person might experience pain in the same part of the body or caused by the same condition in a very different way from another person.
As chronic pain may originate from any part of the body for various reasons, it takes medical professionals and patients working together to figure out the causes, symptoms and how it can be treated.
The fact that chronic pain can manifest itself differently from patient to patient and that one person with a similar condition to another, such as fibromyalgia may have a different perception of pain and how it effects their lives. This is why treatment plans are tailor made for individuals.
Aim Of Treatments
Obviously, with chronic pain, the aim of treatment is not so much to get rid of the pain entirely as this may not be possible. However, it is to help improve mobility, performance in every day activities, to decrease the intensity or frequency of the pain and to improve quality of life.
It can be something of a trial and error type of process finding the treatments that work best together to improve your day-to-day life.
Along with medications, nerve blockers, surgery and other less-invasive treatments, restorative yoga has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain.
What Is Restorative Yoga
Yoga is obviously a very popular mental and physical practice that many people participate in to center themselves better both on the inside and outside.
Restorative Yoga is a particular form of practice that includes both breathing and meditative techniques to bring the practitioner a deep state of relaxation.
This practice was inspired by B.K.S Iyengar from India and perfected by Judith Hanson Lasater PhD, an American physiotherapist and notable figure in American yoga circles.
Similarly, to yoga in general terms, the purpose of Restorative Yoga is to create balance between breathing, blood circulation, energy, and organs within your body and bring your central nervous system to a very relaxed and calm state.
The theory is that when your central nervous system is balanced, calm, and extremely relaxed, your chronic pain will be greatly reduced.
How Does Restorative Yoga Work?
As with any form of yoga, RY uses specific poses, but it also makes use of various props to provide the utmost comfort to support and promote relaxation.
Each pose is linked to a specific system within your body.
Along with poses that alleviate head and back pains, there are even specific RY classes and poses designed for people suffering from cancer.
The goal of RY is to unlearn chronic stress and pain responses to give the mind or retrain the mind to healthier healing responses.
Relaxation specifically helps improve pain and reduces stress, which promotes pain and its occurrence.
Unlike other styles of yoga in RY, the poses are meant to be held for 10 minutes or longer. This is to attain a complete state of relaxation and elicit the relaxation response with gentle yoga poses and conscious breathing.
How Do You Find A Restorative Yoga Teacher?
It is always important to consult with your doctor or pain/care team before you start attending any yoga classes or practicing at home.
If it is recommended as something you should try, you should be able to find an RY class at nearby yoga studio or possibly at a community center.
Always check for certification to be sure they are qualified, so you know you are learning from an expert.
There are also many instructional yoga DVDs available to learn at home.