By Denise Loubert
How can students use Yoga accessories to relieve back pain? A centuries-old tradition can help relieve chronic back pain with a modest investment of time or money. Millions of Americans have turned to Yoga practice and its easy Yoga accessories to cure one of the most incapacitating problems of modern life – chronic back pain.
Yoga History – It is estimated yoga began in India in prehistoric times, more than 5,000 years ago. Although Yoga officially arrived in the United States in the late 1800s, it did not become fashionable with it’s use of various yoga accessories to aid the practice until the 1960s.
Growth of Yoga in America – Yoga’s enormous growth is a reflection of how hot this solution has become for chronic pain. A 2008 study by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau indicates that 15.8 million people practice Yoga, with almost half (49.4%) of current practitioners using yoga accessories such as blocks or straps in concurrence with their practice to improve their health overall. Numerous people state that a doctor or therapist recommended Yoga as beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for chronic pain.
With the comparatively low cost of yoga accessories such as videos for private practice, it is no wonder that this economical and proven relief for chronic back pain has grown. “Yoga is no longer simply a singular pursuit but a lifestyle choice and an established part of our health and cultural landscape,” says Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal.
Scientific Research – In 2005 researchers at Group Health Cooperative and the University of Washington looked at patients suffering from back pain and concluded that Yoga used in combination with simple Yoga accessories was the most effective relief method resulting in the most mobility and the least pain. A similar study by West Virginia University found that participants who completed a Yoga program reported appreciably lower levels of back pain. In addition Harvard Medical School reported that mind-body medicine including Yoga is the most widely used and effective alternative therapy for such chronic pain as back pain.
Yoga Heals Back Pain Quickly – “Yoga works on stretching and strengthening, and the key to long-term healing is strength,” says Liz Owen, who studied with B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar Yoga discipline. “Since the emotional effects of chronic pain are often devastating, the calming, grounding benefits of Yoga can be very therapeutic.” Viniyoga is an modified form of Yoga that focuses on slow stretches and deep breathing and the use of several Yoga accessories such as blocks. It is used in many medical institutions such as UCLA’s Pediatric Pain Program which features Yoga, and the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center which offers Yoga classes along with acupuncture and nutritional counseling.
Get Relief Now – For many people who suffer chronic pain, Yoga has proven to be a simple and economical first step in becoming knowledgeable about how to cope with their pain. By using a few yoga accessories to help them achieve the poses, even a beginner can find relief quickly. Their symptoms vary-from headaches and arthritis to chronic back pain and anxiety – but their stories are astonishingly similar: For those looking for help in coping with their pain problems, Yoga works.
Deni Loubert is a twenty year practitioner of Yoga and a published author. She became a big supporter of Yoga when she found profound relief from chronic back pain from a car accident a few years ago. If you suffer from this kind of pain – you don’t need to any longer.
What are the Best Yoga Accessories to Relieve Back Pain?
By Faye Martins
Let’s look deep into all kinds of Yoga accessories to relieve back pain. When one part of the body hurts, the whole body suffers. There are many yoga asanas, or poses, that specifically benefit the health of the spine. In fact, many professionals that offer physical therapy employ basic Yoga positions. A few teachers will give you practical applications of Yoga poses in an office chair. I know many teachers who don’t know anything about back pain advice. Their reason: Too young and never had back pain. My first point is to have a regular routine in the office and to have a memory foam seat if you need one. When you have pain flare-ups, a memory foam seat will give you a lot of pain relief. So let’s consider this an office Yoga memory foam seat. Later, you can practice on the floor at home or in a Yoga class.
Even those suffering from chronic back pain or who have had back surgery can benefit from certain yoga asanas. Yoga can help heal injured muscles, speed recovery time, prevent recurrent injury, and maintain an active lifestyle. All Yoga positions may be modified to suit the Yogi’s needs, for example, by placing a blanket or pillow underneath the back of one’s knees to reduce strain on the lower back when lying flat. Yoga accessories are props and any other tools that work to achieve an objective. Yoga accessories to relieve back pain give you support while you hold your body in an asana.
Yoga flows (moving sequences) keep the whole body in balance by working opposing muscle groups, for example, the abdomen and back muscles. A strong core is essential to support one’s spine, and yoga asanas are excellent for strengthening the supporting muscles of one’s abdomen and back. Well-conditioned muscles help maintain proper posture, spine alignment, and movements and can greatly decrease or eliminate back pain.
The stretching involved in yoga flows help a person relax and reduce strain on one’s muscles. Relaxed, supple muscles and increased flexibility in one’s joints help relieve back pain. Stretching also improves circulatory function, which allows nutrient-rich blood to reach the muscles and soft tissue of the spine and carry away toxins.
Yoga encourages self-awareness, proper breathing, and release of negative energy. It also results in a natural high, by reducing endorphins. This helps improve psychological health and reduce perceptions of pain and anxiety associated with back injuries. The mind and body are inextricably intertwined and positive influences to one will directly affect the other.
Some common yoga asanas for spinal health include:
- Marjaryasana (Cat)
- Bitilasana (Cow)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra)
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge)
- Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle)
- Malasana (Garland)
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
- Marichyasana III (Marichi’s)
- Paschimonttanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
When practicing yoga, proper alignment is critical, and one should never push to the point of pain. Movements should be gentle and smooth, and each yogi needs to work at his or her own pace. Proper breathing is essential and greatly increases the benefits of one’s practice.
Yoga has been used for thousands of years to bring strength, healing, and peace to all those in need. It can help make the difference between someone who is permanently disabled and someone who functions effectively and leads a fulfilling life. An ergonomic hip cushion is not in the family of traditional Yoga accessories to relieve back pain, but neither is a mat. So, for those who like it traditional: We have sand, dirt, or rocks to practice on, but for the rest of us, comfy is a good thing.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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