Yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga.
This picture? That’s the view from my favorite place in the house. I try to practice what I preach. Full disclosure: it doesn’t work when it comes to chocolate or cheese.
Fine. Or red wine.
I’ve got a patient who is coming in to the acupuncture clinic with chronic pain due to an old sports injury. Only, turns out it isn’t really “pain.” It’s more like a weird sensation: different on one side versus the other. It’s vague and annoying and just “not right.” Accompanying symptoms include cold patches on his body that he hadn’t really noticed in the past. It is not responding to well to other alternative treatments and the MDs say everything looks fine structurally and neurologically.
He’s here for acupuncture, so I treat him with that. He goes deep in his sessions and feels great afterwards. I give him a classical Chinese herbal formula and in only one week, his tongue changes so dramatically it is like day and night. It’s so different, I shake his hand and say, “Nice to finally meet you!”
We’re making good progress, but he really needs yoga as supportive care for his acupuncture treatments. I’d like to see him activating those channels on his own. The structures need strength, they need work. I gave him some yoga postures that are pretty specific to his individual case and very old skool in style. These will directly address his concern, but isn’t there a lesson here for all of us?
–Western mind: An important benefit of yoga is increased blood circulation and range of motion. This translates as literally delivering additional nutrition and waste removal into areas of chronic injury/pain. Yoga is not just stretching. We’re talking about getting in and disrupting a stuck neurological pattern and strengthening musculature while lengthening it. (We’re also working with the mind and the breath, therefore neurological and endocrinological function is affected.) Unlike many exercise and weight-lifting regimens, yoga gets into the deeper muscle layers to target tiny supporting muscles and integrate them with the bigger beefier muscles closer to the superficies.
–Traditional Chinese Medicine mind: Yoga breaks up stagnation and regulates qi and blood. Stagnation is a part of so many injuries, accompanying both excess and deficient type root disorders. It supports acupuncture in that it helps harmonize the channels. It is easier to get lasting results from acupuncture when the tissues are vital and *strong.*
–Ayurvedic mind: Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences. Doshic disturbances directly affect the channels, resulting in pathology. Many traditional yogic sequences are geared toward working with specific imbalances. Each of us has all three doshas, but it is great to know which yoga postures to emphasize according to our own constitution, the season and the time of day.
Ok, enough of this. I gotta go do some yoga…