The benefits of yoga are extensive and well-documented. In addition, yoga can be easily done with little or no extra tools, making it the perfect exercise for those with limited means or on the go.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. Yoga brings together physical, mental, and spiritual practices.
Yoga involves various methods for mindfulness, including deep breathing, physical poses, relaxation of muscles, stretching, and concentration. Yoga is now widely practiced by many Americans, with a survey showing that one out of every seven people practice yoga! The name yoga literally means "to join," and comes from the word "Yuj" in Sanskrit.
Besides being physical exercise, yoga is a great way to combine the body, mind, and spirit to better increase overall health. Physically, yoga helps people:
- Build muscle strength
- Increase flexibility
- Reduce muscle tension and stress
- Improve sleep through relaxation
Because yoga incorporates mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, it is thought to be beneficial to those undergoing treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that, after practicing Hatha yoga, people's PHQ-9 scores (measuring depression) dropped 3.7 points.
In addition, deep breathing during yoga has been found to be one of the best ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to slow down anxious thinking and stop anxiety in its tracks.
Although yoga shouldn't completely replace other therapies or treatments for mental disorders, it can be a powerful tool to help those struggling with anxiety and depression. By helping people increase mindfulness, people are better able to reduce stress and manage anxious and negative thoughts.
Talk to your osteopath about starting a new exercise such as yoga. After you get the OK, there are ample videos online and even free yoga classes to help you increase your overall health.
Stretching can help tackle these common causes of muscle cramps and help people find relief from cramps. In addition, stretching can help prevent future muscle cramps from forming and strengthen your body overall.
How Can Stretching Help my Muscle Cramps?
Stretching your muscles helps cramps by massaging out the affected muscle and allowing it to relax again. Cramps are caused by muscles not being able to relax, causing a contraction that is uncontrollable. Stretching, using a warm compress, and making sure to stay hydrated can all help alleviate even the most painful muscle cramps.
Proper Stretching Techniques
No matter the muscle you stretch, it's important to never over-extend muscles through stretching. This can cause increased injury and can even lead to muscle sprains and strains. Instead, when stretching your muscles, start off slow and warm up your muscles by walking or doing gentle movements. For the arms, arm circles are a good start. For the legs, doing gentle running in place or walking can help.
How Long Do I Stretch For?
Whatever stretch you choose to do, it's important to remember to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. It takes time for the muscle to fully benefit from the stretch. However, if you find yourself in extreme pain, do not continue with the stretch. Instead, go back to the least painful position and hold the stretch from there.
Other Benefits of Stretching
Besides being good for muscle cramps, stretching can also help people with:
- Stress relief
- Improve their posture
- Improve blood flow to the muscles
- Improve flexibility
- Help range of motion
How is carpal tunnel typically treated?
How carpal tunnel is usually treated will depend on the severity of your symptoms. For most, rest is important; however, this may be more challenging for people who have to type or perform certain labor-intensive tasks for work. Splinting the wrist at night can help to reduce numbness and tingling while you sleep, while cortisone injections may be beneficial for those dealing with more moderate to severe pain.
How can an osteopath help me?
Through spinal adjustments and manipulative techniques, an osteopath can realign the spine, improve blood flow to the wrists (and other areas of the body), stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms, and also improve the nervous and lymphatic systems. The techniques that an osteopath will employ will focus on taking pressure off of the median nerve to improve wrist functionality and range of motion, while also reducing pain and swelling. By improving circulation within the wrist, we can also stimulate better blood flow and healing to the tissue and nerves of the wrist and hands.
You must see an osteopath regularly for manipulation therapy. Yes, many people experience relief from their symptoms after a single session but most people will benefit the most from several sessions. Even once the problem has been fully addressed, coming in for maintenance sessions can also prevent a relapse.
If you are dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, you must seek the proper medical care you need to prevent further complications, and an osteopath is just the physician for the job.
Migraines are brutal, sometimes lasting for days. Migraines can make it challenging for people to go about their daily routines, and sufferers truly experience intense and unrelenting pain. If you have migraines, you know the impact these severe headaches have on your life. Fortunately, an osteopath can help.
Treating Migraines with Osteopathic Therapy
Osteopathic medicine provides patients with an alternative therapy that avoids simply using pain medications to mask pain. An osteopath is a holistic practitioner that takes a whole-body approach to treatment. After all, migraines can have several causes, and it’s up to your osteopath to figure out what’s triggering your symptoms. An osteopath will take into account all factors that could be playing a role, ensuring that you get the answers you need as quickly as possible.
There are several strategies and techniques that osteopaths will employ to help alleviate tension and reduce the risk for migraines. These treatment options include:
- Manipulative therapy, which involves stretching the joints and ligaments of the body to improve blood flow and mobility
- Myofascial release, which breaks apart knots in the muscles
- Soft tissue massage, which improves misalignments and imbalances in the soft tissues of the body
- Cranial therapy, which applies gentle pressure to the head to prevent tension-elated migraines
- Ergonomic and posture training and education
If you are dealing with migraines and you’re looking for safe, effective, and drug-free relief, an osteopath might just be the ideal doctor for you to turn to for care.
Signs of Hormonal Imbalances
While doctors often see women for hormonal imbalances, the truth is that this problem can impact both men and women, especially as they age. Warning signs of hormonal imbalances include:
- Thinning hair
- Joint pain
- Bowel changes
- Dry skin
- Weight gain or loss
- Decreased libido
- Sleeping issues
Women are more likely to deal with hormonal imbalances due to:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
An osteopath can provide a variety of integrated treatment plans that take your unique health factors, age, and lifestyle into account to ensure that you get the proper and most effective solutions.
- Dietary changes
- Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
- Stress management
- TSH, free T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones)
- Testosterone and free testosterone
- Growth hormone (IGF-1)
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.