Blending Yoga with Medicine for Greater Health

Complementary/alternative forms of wellness such as yoga are being increasingly used as a part of doctors’ whole-person treatment of their patients. At Breathe Yoga & Wellness, we refer to this as Whole-Person Health or blended health, because we draw from several models of care that are being researched and implemented around the globe. We support medical pain management, anxiety and inflammation reduction, and a host of preventative and treatment plans.

A recent study by researchers at Columbia University and Montefiore Medical Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine describes the positive physiological effects and successful treatments produced by three treatments: yoga, osteopathic manipulation, and acupuncture. The authors of this study also outlined the categories of complementary/alternative forms of wellness, which are listed below.

For a full, peer-reviewed report on this research, go to the article link “Integrating complementary/alternative medicine into primary care: evaluating the evidence and appropriate implementation.”  

According to this article referenced, there are six categories of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM):

  1. Manipulative therapies: a therapist uses their own hands on a patient’s soft tissue, muscles, tendons, joints, and/or bones. Examples include osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), chiropractic, massage therapy, reflexology, and acupressure.
  2. Movement therapies: a patient is supervised through active movement and postures by a therapist, encouraging mobility, strength, balance, coordination, and/or mental clarity. Examples include yoga, tai chi, and Pilates.
  3. Physical modalities: agents such as heat, cold, light, water, oxygen, and electricity are applied for medicinal effects. Examples include hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, hyperbaric oxygen, and light therapy.
  4. Mind–body therapies: include prayer, mindfulness meditation, Transcendental Meditation, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and guided imagery.
  5. Medicinal therapies: the ingestion of food, nutritional supplements, herbal formulae, or homeopathic preparations, are treatments for symptoms and improved health. Examples include herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy.
  6. Mixtures: the previous five approaches are combined as part of comprehensive systems of care, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic Medicine (AM), or naturopathic medicine.

The study further lists the principals that underlie the osteopathic model of care:

  1. The body is a unit.
  2. Structure and function are interrelated.
  3. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.
  4. The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.
  5. When normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self-maintenance, disease may ensue.
  6. Rational treatment is based on the previous principles.

Breathe Yoga & Wellness partners with specialists in our area to provide blended wellness to our clients, including Osteopaths at Blue Ridge Family Practice and Family Medicine, functional medicine specialists, massage therapists, clinical psychologists, acupuncturists, herbalists, registered dietitians, skin specialists, chiropractors, Ayurvedic specialists, and more. Wellness practioners can request a presentation for their medical or support staff by emailing [email protected] Our Non-Opioid Pain Therapeutics Seminar can be made to fit any time limitations and geared towards any audience.

Ask your yoga teacher about a referral to a like-minded specialist in our area. We also provide deep discounts for yoga class packages and private sessions with written referral from any wellness practitioner.

Email [email protected] for more information about blending yoga- and meditation-based practices with your whole-person health team.

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