Egoscue, Yoga and Pain Relief

One of the most-asked questions I get here in the clinic is, “So, what are your thoughts on yoga?” Despite the frequency of that question, my answer never changes–“I love yoga, and I think it’s extremely beneficial for you!” Well, apparently I’m not the only one. A recent NY Times article is referencing a study that claims yoga is one of the most used forms of alternative therapy in the country when it comes to eliminating one’s pain.

So is it yoga specifically that is eliminating people’s pain? I don’t believe so. While I think the vast majority of body-movement practices are good–yoga and Pilates just to name a couple–they aren’t targeting the cause of one’s pain and subsequently eliminating it. What I do think is beneficial about body-movement practices is the fact that people are moving during their day. There are an overwhelming number of us who just don’t get enough movement. When the body stops moving, and more importantly, moving properly, joints get misaligned and compensations can set in. When compensations set in, pain is most likely right around the corner due to the fact that you have muscles and muscle groups doing jobs that they simply aren’t designed to do. It’s like using the head of a screwdriver to hammer a nail. It’s inefficient and one mishit can leave you hurting. 

Egoscue is a great precursor to your yoga and Pilates classes. By doing your Egoscue menu, you’ll be much better set-up for your class. Most classes are done in a group setting and aren’t specific to one’s body. Therefore, while one person will be able to do a certain pose, there will be someone else who can’t physically and functionally get into that position. That’s where Egoscue comes in. Your yoga class will become much easier for you once your body can functionally do what you’re asking it to do.

The bottom line is that the movement from things like yoga and Pilates is extremely beneficial. Pain reduction is simply the body’s response to receiving a much-needed stimulus. If you’re a fan of yoga or Pilates, by all means…keep doing them! If you haven’t tried them yet, make sure you do your Egoscue menu first, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite movement-based activity?