The Healing Combination of Yoga and Chiropractic Care
There’s power in combining natural, holistic strategies for wellness. Many people find that they are able to achieve and sustain wellness, flexibility, pain relief and an energized way of being by combining chiropractic care with yoga. Yoga and chiropractic alignments have much in common once you really drill down. Both are focused on using your body to heal your body. When used in combination, yoga and chiropractic care can help to heal and rejuvenate both body and mind. The goals of utilizing yoga and chiropractic care together are aligning the body, balancing bodily systems, promoting joint operation and strengthening muscles.
Chiropractic Care and Yoga for Healing
Years of improper posture, strenuous activity, repetitive activity and illness can take a true toll on the body. For some, the effects are felt in their youth. Other people sail along until a lifetime of unaddressed inflammation or imbalance hits them like a ton of bricks all at once when they turn 40, 50, 60 or 70.
Yoga can be a great “precursor” for the potential healing offered by chiropractic care because of the way it primes the body for an adjustment. Yoga is very effective at helping to stretch and elongate the muscles. We often see this very clearly when it comes to being able to obtain a better range of motion during chiropractic sessions. Showing up with extra pliability gained through a pre-appointment yoga session simply makes it easier for a chiropractor to get your body in the right positions for making a biggest impact.
While performing yoga poses, many people feel tension releasing from their bodies. The mental component of yoga also helps to put the body in a relaxed state of mind that can make it easier to ease into a chiropractic adjustment for maximum benefit. Ultimately, yoga can “warm up” the body for a healing session with a chiropractor. Next, explore some of the specific areas of wellness where yoga can make a big impact for chiropractic patients.
One of the most common reasons for seeing a chiropractor is an injury that is either causing pain or limiting range of motion. Unfortunately, many people constantly injure the same areas of the body over and over again because they aren’t using proper form when sitting, standing or performing certain tasks. As a result, they experience chronic pain and inflammation. Yes, it’s true that chiropractic care can “work wonders” for addressing pain and injuries. However, yoga may help to both amplify and sustain the benefits gained through chiropractic adjustments. By doing yoga regularly to keep muscles stretched and in alignment, chiropractic patients are taking steps to maintain their results between sessions. They are also “learning” how to move their bodies properly while getting rid of stiffness that commonly leads to injuries. Here’s a rundown of some specific areas where yoga helps to “supercharge” the benefits of chiropractic care.
If you’ve ever received chiropractic care, you may already know that joint strength is connected with the body’s overall strength and ability to heal. Strong joints and ligaments are crucial for cutting down healing times by cutting down friction and inflammation within the body. There’s a “whole picture” reason behind why yoga is so good for joints. While doing yoga, you build up muscle. Having stronger muscles means that your body can rely on them when moving, lifting or doing day-to-day motions instead of wearing out your joints. While it’s true that there are many forms of exercise that strengthen muscles, yoga offers a unique benefit in this regard because it works both main muscle groups and smaller muscles groups to create deep, well-rounded strength.
Increased Blood Flow
Yoga is known to increase circulation throughout the body and deliver oxygenated blood to your organs. Yoga can even help to prevent issues like blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. If you’re suffering from a common subluxation, you may actually be experiencing reduced blood flow. This is one of the reasons why yoga combined with chiropractic treatments designed to “unblock” subluxations can be so effective.
Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Patients who seek chiropractic care for arthritis and osteoarthritis may be able to benefit from adding yoga to their lives in a very specific way. In one study, sedentary adults suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or knee osteoarthritis who participated in eight-week yoga programs saw significant improvements in flexibility and psychological function. Another study found that yoga helped to reduce pain and other symptoms in women living with osteoarthritis.
A Better Body Understanding
One of the most surprising benefits for people who try yoga for the first time at any stage of life is how much this practice allows them to connect with their bodies. The movements and poses required by yoga allow people to get in sync with how their bodies move and feel in very dynamic and intimate ways. Unlike exercises that focus on “pushing” the body to its limits, yoga is really about connecting with the body. Many people come to know the way their body operates through stretching and breathing practices included in yoga. As a result, they immediately know when something feels off. This connection with one’s own body is important for being able to detect injuries or illnesses that can benefit from chiropractic treatment.
Why Yoga Isn’t a Replacement for Chiropractic Care
While yoga offers many benefits for wellness and enhanced bodily function, it shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for real chiropractic care. Yoga is effective at improving circulation, strengthening the body and increasing flexibility among most people who practice this form of exercise. However, yoga has limitations when it comes to addressing specific injuries or misalignment. For instance, yoga alone cannot realign your spine to break up subluxations and blockages that are creating tension or reducing oxygen flow. It’s very important to think of yoga as a supplemental activity that can enhance the results you’ll get from chiropractic care. In addition, simply beginning yoga on your own or in a class setting cannot provide you with the same benefit as receiving an evaluation for a diagnosis from a trained chiropractor. In fact, there is always a risk of creating an injury or exacerbating an existing problem by applying pressure to certain areas of your body if you’re unaware of an underlying chiropractic issue.
How to Start Integrating Yoga and Chiropractic Care
If you’re about to book a chiropractic visit, yoga is definitely something that should be brought up during your consultation. Your chiropractor will likely have some insights and advice to give regarding the specific type of yoga to try, the best frequency of yoga sessions for you and the areas of your body to focus on. Generally, working with a professional yoga instructor or trainer is preferable to trying to learn yoga on your own due to the very precise and intricate nature of the poses used. This is especially true if you’re living with arthritis or another condition that can put you at greater risk for pain or injury. Your chiropractor may be able to start you off with some stretches or techniques for obtaining proper posture that will help you to prepare to begin a yoga class with your body already in optimal form.
There’s no reason to just accept living with a stiff, sore body that makes it difficult to move around doing the things you love. You’re truly never too young or old to begin enjoying the benefits and confidence that come from practicing yoga. When combined with professional chiropractic treatments, yoga can prime your body for healing and flexibility.