Can Yoga and modern medicine work together?

The term 'Yoga' consists of mindful practice of various asanas that connect body, mind and breath to promote physical and memory wellbeing

World Yoga Day is celebrated every year on June 21. The term ‘Yoga’ consists of mindful practice of various asanas that connect body, mind and breath to promote physical and memory wellbeing.

Few doctors shared their views on the health benefits of practicing Yoga.

Upon asking about benefits of Yoga for people who are advised physiotherapy for various ailments and after orthopaedic or surgical procedures, Dr. Sudhindra Vooturi, Consultant Lifestyle and Rehabilitation, KIMS Hospitals, Secunderbad said: “Yoga Asanas and workouts help stretch the muscles, increase flexibility and declutter the mind. Yogasana like Tadasana is routinely used by us as part of Tilt Training program for patients with syncope; where Tadasana helps to tone calf and thigh muscles and increases circulation to heart. Moreover, for patients undergoing physiotherapy, we include breathing exercises to improve their concentration during stretching and strengthening exercises. Patients who practice Yoga as part of their routine can heal faster compared to the ones who don’t. This ancient practice of meditation and asanas boosts the immunisation and blood pressure, with increased flexibility amongst people who prioritise it in their routine.”

Specifically, when talking about people with health-related problems; such as asthma, cardiology related issues or understanding orthopaedic treatments, consider it a therapy to build strength, blood circulation, improve sleep patterns, arthritis and bone-related issues.

As per Dr Imran Ul Haq, Cardiologist, Amor Hospital, in cardiovascular conditions, Yoga helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and improve heart rate.

“Most of the heart related health issues are caused by stress that is left unchecked which may result in obesity or diabetes. Being able to recognize common symptoms and getting regular physical activity can have many health benefits. If you’re uncertain about stress and the cause, you need to consider seeing a professional to check if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, dizziness or nausea.”

Dr G Vishnu, Psychiatrist, Dr Bharati Rao’s rehabilitation centre, RehabCity, Hyderabad, said: “There are many benefits of Yoga for mental wellbeing. It stimulates oxygen flow and eases stress levels in mind, making space for positive thoughts. In many cases it affects the body and behaviour. During such cases, it is recommended to meet a counsellor or a therapist who can identify the cause of stress or trauma. For people who are starting, the first step is to learn to focus the breath and if you’re in alignment with your breath and thoughts, you don’t need to be worried about people’s opinions, judgments or other pressures.”

For patients who need life support Dr Anusha Kantheti, Consultant Pulmonology and sleep medicine SLG Hospitals added: “Yoga improves the condition of lungs and breathing for people suffering from asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis and chest related infections. Consistent yoga practice helps instill a sense of control in breathing and improve the overall respiratory muscular strength, eliminating the need of surgical procedures. In India, about 35% people from all age groups have pre-existing pulmonary symptoms. And, curated yoga practices at centres reduce symptoms of anxiety and make it easier to enjoy daily routine and socialization.”

During the time of pandemic, the industry saw an increased demand for Yoga and meditation classes in the online yoga space and is expected to grow by 12.3 per cent by 2027.

Most of the healthcare centers in India have incorporated Yoga and naturopathy as indigenous medical systems under Ayurveda. These healing sciences work well with modern medicine, and are classified under different names- AyurYoga, Medical Yoga and postural yoga.

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