Yoga might not be at the top of your list of new skills that you want to learn in the near future, but maybe it should be. A new study from the American Osteopathic Institution indicates those that practice yoga and meditation are a lot less likely to experience chronic pain than those that do not practice these skills.
In this study, it was found that the overwhelming majority of participants (89 percent) found that after going through a course geared on mindfulness and meditation the symptoms of chronic pain had been greatly reduced. The remaining 11 percent did not notice an increase, but rather noted that their symptoms had stayed the same.
About 100 million people in the U.S. grapple with chronic pain. That’s more than 25 percent of the population. In the past, the most common method of treating chronic pain was the prescription of opioids, but the complications of opioids tend to outweigh the benefits that they provide. Opioids have been linked to premature death and can cause serious dependency issues.
Some people have a problem with practicing yoga or meditation because of the religious implications of these activities. These are things that are often associated with Eastern religions and some that are Christians, Muslim, or of a Jewish background are reluctant to try these things because they feel they might be going against their beliefs. While this is a valid concern, it is important to note that it isn’t the religious aspect of these activities that cause the benefits noted in the above mentioned study. Rather, it is the relaxation, stress-relief, and health benefits that are causing the noted changes. You do not need to change religions or feel like you are committing some sort of sacrilege if you choose to try these activities. Instead, they can be viewed as a way to enhance your physical and mental health so that you can better follow your personal convictions.
Chronic pain can be difficult to live with, but it doesn’t always need to be that way. Although it can get in the way of living life the way that we want to, there are things that can be done to help make life easier. An in-home caregiver can often be the missing link that can help someone with chronic pain continue to live their lives. They can help with the tasks that have become too difficult to safely do alone, and provide supervision for other tasks. At the very least, it can ease the burden of living life alone without any supports.
If you or a loved one are dealing with chronic pain, yoga and meditation might be just what is needed to help reduce symptoms. Of course, it is important to consult with a doctor so that this is approached safely. But, If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about you do have several options. There are plenty of free resources on YouTube and other places on the internet. Working with a professional in this field might also be helpful. Check out what resources are available in your community to get started.