Yoga and Chiropractic
The definition of Chiropractic is, in its simplest form, the correction of biomechanical lesions in the body (usually, but not always, the spine!) to allow for the correction of movement and the restoration of function. One of the most common questions I get asked in my office is whether or not a patient should also be doing yoga, either to help improve their health and wellbeing, or to continue to maintain it at a higher level. The answer is yes – and we will get into the reasons why shortly. There will be a lot of information about the benefits of yoga this month, and I’d like to quickly talk about how yoga and Chiropractic work well together.
Tight shoulders, clenched jaws and stiff necks are the most common ways I see peoples stress manifesting itself on their physical health and wellbeing. Chiropractic is an excellent treatment for these ailments, but I often find myself unable to assist in calming the mind, no matter how good my jokes may be. One of the most important aspects of yoga, and one of the most unique, is its philosophy on meditation and relaxation, and on connecting with yourself, calming the body by relaxing the mind. I also check my patients breathing pattern to see if there are any abnormalities present, what we call secondary or accessory breathing – another manifestation of stress – and one of the best ways to correct such an issue is through the long deep breathing during your yoga session.
Poor posture is not something that occurs overnight – it’s a gradual process that your body adapts over time. As you would expect, you cannot correct these issues overnight either. The correction of spinal dysfunction and the increase in mobility that Chiropractic brings are excellent starts to fixing poor posture, but keeping your posture corrected is the largest challenge in treatment. It does like to regress, especially when people get into their cars and drive off to their couch, or their desk, or their garden. This would be where strength and flexibility become a factor – not just in the larger muscles of the body, but of the deeper intrinsic muscles, muscles that are difficult to isolate and train in a gym. While yoga is a fantastic way to improve your core and balance, it also allows you to target and strengthen these muscles that are so important in joint stability and posture, allowing healing.
Healthy bodies heal better than unhealthy bodies. Sadly, working on your health and wellbeing does not make you immune to disease or injury – it makes you far more resistant to it, and when it does occur, allows you to recover far quicker. Likewise, yoga and Chiropractic feed into each other, to better support your bodies natural processes.