Physical therapy can be beneficial in a multitude of ways. It includes managing pain, improving mobility, managing cardiovascular conditions, and promoting recovery from stroke. However, it can be even more effective when combined with yoga. Most especially when it comes to promoting recovery from injury, surgery, or various illnesses.
In this piece, we shall look at some ways where incorporating yoga into physical therapy can help speed up recovery.
Yoga and Its Benefits
Yoga was believed to be born in Northern India. With this, the history of the ancient practice is believed to be more than 5,000 old. Yoga is defined as a combination of various physical poses, deep breathing, and concentration. Eventually, it brings the mind, body, and spirit into unison during the practice.
Yoga is also a form of exercise that aims to improve balance, flexibility, and strength. It reduces pain through slow, sustained stretches. It can also help improve ones mental health by relaxing the mind, relieving anxiety, warding off stress, and improving sleep.
Physical Therapy and Its Benefits
Physical therapy, as the name suggests, is an approach to injury or disease treatment that focuses majorly on physical methods. These may range from exercise to massage and heat treatment, among others.
While it is commonly used to manage, reduce, or eliminate pain, physical therapy patients may also benefit from improved mobility and balance. Physical therapy also avoids surgery and helps in management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Working closely with a physical therapist can actually help you recover faster from an injury, disease, or surgery. In fact, these specialists can also help you recover from a mental health issue, alcoholism, or even a drug addiction through physical therapy combined with yoga and other procedures like TMS.
How Adding Yoga to Physical Therapy Can Accelerate Recovery
For patients who have suffered a severe injury, certain illnesses, or recently undergone surgery, using yoga alongside physical therapy can have a significantly beneficial impact as far as recovery speed is concerned. A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Yoga
Therapy actually noted an increased use of therapeutic yoga among American physical therapists, especially for chronic disease management.
Here are some possible reasons why and how yoga may help improve recovery rate when combined with physical therapy:
Better Pain Relief:
Both physical therapy and yoga may help enhance pain relief. However, they are more likely to work better in a combinative approach rather than individually, especially for postoperative pain.
Improved Joint Range of Motion:
When recovering from an injury or illness, it is common for some joints to exhibit pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. From heat treatment to exercise and relaxing massages, various physical therapy approaches may help provide relief.
Since yoga is among the best activities for joint flexibility, it can help enhance the patient’s recovery rate when included in physical therapy.
ANS Relaxation and Psychological Healing:
Nothing is more important than one’s state of mind in their recovery journey. Yoga also promotes the relaxation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is the part of the nervous system that controls the functioning of the major organs.
This helps improve the wellness and functioning of organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, and kidney, among others, which may, in turn, promote recovery.
In addition, yoga may also help improve one’s overall strength. As you breathe deeply and stretch out some muscles through slow movements, there’s increased blood flow into the target muscles or parts of the body.
This means an increased supply of oxygen, minerals, and other substances needed for biochemical processes such as metabolism. When done regularly as part of physical therapy, yoga poses can help the patient to regain their strength better, eventually speeding up recovery.
While many medical treatments are only effective for certain ailments, physical therapy is the perfect alternative treatment for a broad spectrum of health conditions. And for the wide range of issues where physical therapy may be helpful, adding yoga can further amplify the benefits.