In a New York Times health issue, there is an interesting article about current research being done on a medical device. This device physically goes around the vagus nerve and stimulates it. The vagus nerve is a part of the nervous system. When it is stimulated it turns on the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our nervous system which is responsible for all things restorative including our healing, repair, and immune systems.
Researchers were initially surprised to find out that one can promote healing in this way. Yogi’s, on the other hand, have been working with this for centuries. It turns out that deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve. This, in turn, promotes proper sleep and good health. The yogic science of pranayama works with this fact to not only reduce anxiety and promote well being but to actually heal conditions. In my yoga therapy practice, I regularly teach pranayamas for a wide range of conditions and I’m often questioned about why and how breathing can make problems better.
Of course, we will never have as much funding for breath work as we might have for a medical device but I think it’s great for yoga therapy to be able to make these connections to current research. Maybe when we see the price for these devices we will be more likely to take the cost-effective route of visiting a Yoga Therapist for some breath instruction.
Most of us western yoga teachers have a similar path that looks something like this: We realize we are suffering (from an illness, anxiety, watching family age poorly, etc.) We find yoga and it helps us We want to share this amazing helpful thing called yoga with others We see our local studio has a […]
Yoga therapy is a relatively new method of healing born out of an ancient tradition. Yoga has been around for over 1,000 years. The idea of using yoga in a therapeutic context has been credited to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya who died in 1981 at the age of 100. We can think of yoga therapy the same […]
Listen in as Brandt discusses how a Yoga Therapist might work with a client who has already been to physical therapy, as well as some of the different approaches between the two therapies.