This article bears worth repeating! Look at all these conditions that Yoga helps you with!
As I am getting deeper and deeper into one of the books that we are to read for the YogaTherapy course, I am amazed at all the benefits of a regular yoga practice can do for folks. And I’m a yoga teacher. (The more you teach yoga, it seems the more you want to know….and need to know!)
Please read on for more information about “Yoga as Medicine” book (excellent!)by Timothy McCall, M.D. http://www.drmccall.com/ ~Gail Pickens-Barger
Yoga appears to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions. In Timothy McCall, M.D. Book, “Yoga As Medicine”, he goes on to say: We’ll be reviewing the scientific evidence later but, for now, let’s see what people who’ve tried therapeutic yoga have to say. In 1983 – 84, the London-based Yoga Biomedical Trust, run by Robin Monro, PhD, surveyed twenty-seven hundred(2,700) people, most between the ages of thirty-one and sixty, who used yoga therapeutically. To be included, participants had to have practiced yoga for at least two hours a week for a year or longer. Though the number of people with some of the conditions in question was small, the results (see the table below, and in Dr. McCall’s book, Table 1.1) were impressive:
98 percent of back-pain sufferers found yoga helpful
90 percent of cancer patients
82 percent of people with insomnia
and 100 percent of alcoholics
The lowest success rate in the survey was for women with “menstrual problems,” two out of three of whom found that yoga helped.
Table 1.1 Conditions Improved by Yoga, Self-Reported
Medical Condition Number of Percentage Helped
People Reporting By Yoga
Alcoholism 24 100%
Anxiety 838 94%
Rheumatic Disorders 589 90%
Asthma or Bronchitis 226 88%
Back Disorders 1,142 98%
Cancer 29 90%
Diabetes 10 80%
Duodenal Ulcers 40 90%
Heart Disease 50 94%
Hemorrhoids 391 88%
High Blood Pressure 150 84%
Insomnia 542 82%
Menopausal Disorders 247 83%
Menstrual Problems 317 68%
Migraine 464 80%
Neuromuscular Diseases 112 96%
Obesity 240 74%
Premenstrual Syndrome 848 77%
Smoking 219 74%
Source: The Yoga Biomedical Trust, London
Imagine how much you’d be hearing about a new drug that could accomplish even a fraction of this. Nevertheless, (it is Dr. Timothy McCall’s)it’s my experience that few in the medical community or the general public have any conception of what yoga has to offer. Part of the problem, (Dr. McCall) I’m convinced, is that many people who could benefit from yoga shy away due to misconceptions about what it is and isn’t, or who can do it and who shouldn’t.
Those subjects to be addressed in a different post.
The number of people practicing yoga in the US has reached nearly 16 million and is expected to continue to grow steadily.
The latest “Yoga in America” study, just released by Yoga Journal, shows that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations and media (DVDs, videos, books and magazines). This figure represents an increase of 87 percent – almost doubled compared to the previous study in 2004.
Yoga Journal also reported that the 2008 study indicates that 15.8 million people, or 6.9 percent of the US population, practice yoga. Of current non-practitioners, nearly 8%, or 18.3 million Americans, say they are very or extremely interested in yoga. And 4.1 % of non-practitioners, or about 9.4 million people, say they will definitely try yoga within the next year.
The study also collected data on age, gender and other demographic factors:
72.2% are women, 27.8% are men.
40.6 % are 18 to 34 years old; 41% are 35 to 54; and 18.4% are over 55.
28.4% have practiced yoga for one year or less; 21.4% have practiced for one to two years; 25.6% have practiced two to five years; and 24.6% have practiced more than five years.
71.4% are college educated; 27% have postgraduate degrees.
44% of yogis have household incomes of $75,000 or more; 24% have more than $100,000.
The 2008 study indicated that almost have (49.4%) of current practitioners started practicing yoga to improve their overall health. In the 2003 study, that number was 5.6%. And they are continuing to practice for the same reason. According to the 2008 study, 52% are motivated to practice yoga to improve their overall health. In 2003, that number was 5.2%.
“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. “People come to yoga and stick with it because they want to live healthier lives.”
One significant trend to emerge from the study is the use of yoga as medical therapy. According to the study, 6.1% of nearly 14 million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. In addition, nearly half (45%) of all adults agree that yoga would be beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for a medical condition.
And what about those Baby Boomers?
In just a couple of years, according to recent statistics, the number of Baby Boomers-aged adults participating in yoga classes increased by three million. Attend a yoga class and you’ll find that it’s not exclusively populated by younger women. Older women-and many older men-are also attending yoga classes.
According to the National Institutes of Health, yoga:
Improves mood and sense of well-being
Reduces heart rate and blood pressure
Increases lung capacity
Improves muscle relaxation and body composition
Helps with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia
Improves overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility
Positively affect levels of certain brain or blood chemicals
“Yoga as medicine represents the next great yoga wave,” says Kaitlin Quistgaard, editor in chief of Yoga Journal. “In the next few years, we will be seeing a lot more yoga in health care settings and more yoga recommended by the medical community as new research shows that yoga is a valuable therapeutic tool for many health conditions.”
Gail Pickens-Barger, Over 20 years teaching experience
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