Physical therapists may incorporate yoga into their treatment routines, and patients can reap the benefits. Physical therapy yoga can improve patients’ flexibility and strength and promote nervous system relaxation. Here is everything you need to know about the use of yoga in physical therapy:
Understanding Physical Therapy Yoga
Physical therapy yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on connecting the mind and body to promote healing. Yoga is an ideal addition to physical therapy because it is a low-impact physical activity.
This yoga can allow you to regain strength and balance without causing strain that could worsen an injury. Incorporating yoga techniques like breathwork and meditation can also help relieve pain and improve heart, digestive, and nervous system function.
Before introducing you to yoga, your physical therapist may examine you to gauge your physical and mental health. During your assessment, your therapist may also ask questions about your lifestyle, sleep patterns, and stressors. A physical examination is necessary during your first meeting with your physical therapist to determine your strength and range of motion.
Your physical therapist uses the information gathered during your first meeting to develop a personalized treatment plan. The treatment plan covers the duration and type of exercises to do during yoga.
How Yoga Improves Your Healing Process
Physical therapy yoga involves various yoga techniques targeting the areas in your body that need healing. Here are some yoga techniques your physical therapist may employ to improve your healing process:
Holding your body in specific yoga poses facilitates muscle recruitment, allowing your muscles to regain full functionality. Some postures stretch and relax your muscles, while others work to strengthen them.
The postures employed in yoga have an aspect that promotes synchrony between the mind and body. This allows you to participate in your healing physically and mentally.
During physical therapy yoga, your instructor can teach you breathing techniques to promote easy breathing as you exercise. Breath control can help your body deliver oxygen to the right muscle cells, where it is needed to power your body. Increased oxygen levels also helps provide energy to your mind, helping you to stay focused during your physical therapy session. When you control your breathing, you can stay relaxed as you exercise.
Mindfulness exercises can help you remain in the moment as you do your physical therapy exercises. Listen to your body and be in tune with how you are feeling, which helps you track your progress. One of the ways physical therapists teach mindfulness is through meditation. As you meditate, you can focus on positive thoughts, which helps you remain consistent even when therapy is hard.
When a specific movement causes pain, your body learns to anticipate the discomfort every time you move, causing tension, which worsens your pain. During yoga, you may learn to move your body while applying mindfulness, breath control, and good posture.
Practicing this technique teaches your body to move past the fear of experiencing pain. This exercise may help rewire your neurological system so that pain is not at the forefront of your mind when you move into specific positions.
How To Get Started With Yoga
If you are already in physical therapy, consult your therapist on which yoga exercises are safe for you. Once you get the go-ahead, you can enroll in a yoga class. Yoga involves exercising parts of your body that have injuries, so it is best to see a qualified instructor.
Your goal should be to maximize the benefits of yoga. You can take a beginner’s yoga class as you give yourself time to understand your needs. Your instructor can also guide you on which yoga exercises can give you the results you seek.
Yoga is safe and accessible to everyone, regardless of age and experience. Like any other exercise routine, there is a risk of injury if not done correctly. Listen to your body as you do your yoga exercises to understand what is safe for your body.
Reap the Benefits of Physical Therapy Yoga
If you are on a journey to heal your body, consider physical therapy yoga. This exercise genre allows you to heal your body and your mind simultaneously. You may also learn to be more self-aware and become attuned to your body and its needs.