Yoga Therapy To Strengthen Core and Pelvic Floor Muscles

In the segment of a Yoga Therapy Program Q&A session, Brandt Passalacqua, founder of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, discusses how to work with clients with limited mobility to strengthen core and pelvic floor muscles using bandhas.

Yoga Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

In the segment of a Yoga Therapy Program Q&A session, Brandt Passalacqua, founder of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, discusses how a Yoga Therapist can work with the physical symptoms of MS, as well as how to think about the disease throughout the other koshas.

Helping Clients Stick To A Practice (Or How Often Should We Practice To Feel Better And Make Change?)

In the segment of a Yoga Therapy Program Q&A session, Brandt Passalacqua, founder of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, discusses how Yoga Therapists can use honest dialogue, scheduling, and science to help clients change their habits, stick to their habits and ultimately help themselves.

What is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and How Can Yoga Therapy Help

sunsetmeditationIrritable Bowel Syndrome or “IBS” is essentially a nervous system condition. Even though the symptoms of IBS are in the gut area; Gas, bloating diarrhea, and constipation are the most common symptoms. There are not any issues with the intestinal tract, rather a brain-gut communication issue. One way to think about it is that the muscles in these areas are spasming or not functioning properly. This condition effects possibly 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

The key to working with IBS is to lessen anxiety. Yoga, as we know, is well suited for this. Many people with IBS present with other indicators of anxiety, however, it is chicken and egg. Is it the IBS causing anxiety or anxiety causing IBS? In terms of treatment, it may not matter what is causing what since the system must be balanced and anxiety lessened to reduce symptoms.

In clinical practice I’ve found it useful to assess the individual and determine what type of practice will lead to less anxiety. In terms of directly soothing nerves in the gut area, it is best to let the breath do the work. I have seen it suggested that certain poses are best for IBS. I believe it’s more the breathing practice and matching a style of practice to the individual’s needs that produces results.

Below is a general practice that incorporates breathing practice, forward bending, back bending, and twists in a combination that will stimulate the gut-brain connection without irritating the digestive tract. This practice can be modified to suit individual needs but is a good starting point.

May this information be helpful for all those suffering.

IBS Practice

PDF Version: IBS Practice

Yoga Therapy vs. Physical Therapy – What’s The Difference?

fork in the road This is a great question. We could also ask when should I seek out a PT and when should I work with a Yoga Therapist? Probably a good way to look at this is to examine what a Yoga Therapist is trained in versus what a Physical Therapist is trained in.

Physical Therapists are body only therapists. They go through extensive schooling to learn protocols to help with all areas of human muscular/structural dysfunction. Everyday they rehab patient’s painful hips, dysfunctional shoulders, back pain etc. They also often have physical manipulation skills. They can perform passive techniques to help muscle relax. Although they are not Medical Doctors they are trained in diagnostic tests to figure out the root of physical problems. PT’s are very useful in helping with injuries and rehabbing from surgeries. PT’s are often limited by insurance considerations in terms of how they work and the time they can spend with patients.

Yoga Therapists work on a whole person model. When working with physical issues a Yoga Therapist is trained to work with muscular imbalances. They are trained in anatomy and how different movement patterns can help heal specific conditions. Yoga Therapists are also taught how to assess breathing patterns and how they might affect pain and healing outcomes. In addition a Yoga Therapist is trained in how to work with someone to optimize their healing potential. So not only do we work with movement and breath patterns, yoga therapy often includes working with different mental states, specific breathing techniques, and meditation.

There are many instances where one might want to work with a Physical Therapist and a Yoga Therapist. A PT can offer evidence-based exercises to reduce pain and restore balance. A Yoga Therapist can often be helpful in finding the best way to integrate movement therapy into one’s life. A Yoga Therapist is trained to teach practice. In my opinion this is where yoga therapy really shines. Very individualized instruction on how to move and breathe to reduce suffering. So while a PT may be your first stop in a healing process, a Yoga Therapist could be your last.

In my yoga therapy practice, I often see clients after a course of physical therapy. I have found it especially useful to work with people who have chronic complaints that PT hasn’t been able to fully address. Often the multidimensional nature of yoga therapy is the missing link that moves clients from “sort of better” to completely healed. I personally have enormous respect for both areas and hope that we continue to find ways to work together for the betterment of all.

If you are looking for yoga therapy, email us here to find a Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapist.