Yoga is a fantastic tool for staying healthy and fit. Many practitioners get into yoga for the physical benefits, such as increased flexibility, improved muscle tone, and weight loss. Many new yoga practitioners are surprised to find that there are significant mental benefits, too.
Yoga can be helpful for managing stress, anxiety, and mental well-being in general. The meditative and awareness techniques taught during a yoga class can even help to improve mental clarity and concentration. There are also significant physical health benefits that come with regular yoga practice, too. Yoga can improve your cardiovascular and circulatory health and also boost your metabolism.
If you are interested in yoga, it’s probably safe to say that you are looking for ways to improve your overall health and well-being.
You can do this without the use of potentially harmful pharmaceutical drugs or invasive treatments. By combining your regular yoga sessions with alternative medicine, you can get even more benefit from your yoga practice.
Here are three forms of alernative medicine that can increase quality of health and vitality for brand new and experienced yogi's!
Acupuncture & Yoga
Acupuncture has been around for over 2,500 years. If you are looking for a safe, alternative way to treat your aches and pains after an intense yoga session, acupuncture might be the answer you’re looking for. Aside from pain management, improved flexibility and decreased swelling are among its many benefits.
Acupuncture theory teaches that blocked Qi (energy) is the cause of all pain and illness in the body. Qi runs through the human body in pathways which can become blocked due to illness, injury or even stress. This blocked energy causes pain and other symptoms. Acupuncture treatments unblock the Qi so that it can move freely throughout the body.
It is also believed that inserting the acupuncture needles causes endorphins to be released. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain killer, and when they are released during an acupuncture session, you can get pain relief that’s said to be 10,000 times more effective than morphine. The treatments can also lessen inflammation in your muscles and joints and boost the immune system.
During an acupuncture session, blood flow is increased, which is excellent for people who work out regularly. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles to allow for a better range of motion. Since the treatments reduce muscle strain and weariness, they can often prevent injuries from ever occurring.
If you are looking for added energy and endurance during your yoga sessions, acupuncture can also be helpful. The treatments can work to correct the nervous system, address liver and lung function, and even improve digestion. This helps to boost your energy levels and get rid of any blockages in your body.
There’s no question that yoga practice is excellent for mental clarity and focus, but acupuncture can enhance the benefits of yoga even more. Many patients who receive regular acupuncture treatments also notice that they sleep better and are less affected by stress and anxiety.
During pregnancy, prenatal massage and yoga can go hand in hand to keep you more comfortable and address common pregnancy symptoms. The female body goes through drastic physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy, and prenatal massage can decrease discomfort while nurturing the mother to be during every stage of her pregnancy.
Keeping the uterus and ligaments healthy and toned during pregnancy is crucial for preventing common complications like incontinence, prolapse, and preterm labor. Yoga and prenatal massage can work together to keep the uterus and ligaments flexible. They also provide relief for your muscles and joints.
Other common discomforts of pregnancy can be reduced with prenatal massage, including back pain, headaches, sciatica, leg cramps, and muscle pains. Even heartburn, nasal congestion, and edema can be reduced. Moms to be who receive regular prenatal massage during pregnancy also have fewer issues with insomnia because of their reduced stress levels and increased relaxation. Just like your yoga sessions will evolve throughout your pregnancy, prenatal massage sessions will also be targeted differently at each stage of pregnancy.
Prenatal massage during the first trimester focuses on addressing pre-existing issues like back, pelvic, or neck pain. With the first trimester comes an influx of hormonal changes, which can lead to headaches, constipation, and morning sickness. Massage can be especially useful for relieving those symptoms.
During the second trimester, your hormones settle down a bit, and the early symptoms begin to fade away. Prenatal massage at this stage focuses on the ligaments that support the uterus and preventing issues like back labor and pelvic pain. Massage sessions can also help to ease tense muscles and improve your posture and body alignment.
Once you enter the third trimester, prenatal massage sessions will be more focused on preparing your body for labor and delivery. Edema and swelling are common at this stage, and they can be significantly relieved by massage. As your uterus grows, digestion and elimination issues are common. Prenatal massage can combat these symptoms while relaxing your muscles to make labor, delivery, and recovery easier.
You may also wish to incorporate Chinese herbs into your daily wellness routine. A Chinese medical practitioner will often recommend herbs as part of your overall treatment plan. Herbs can provide a safe and natural way to treat many health conditions. Chinese herbs can be paired with acupuncture, yoga, and massage for enhanced results.
In traditional Chinese medicine, herbs are used to bring the body back into balance and provide nourishment to the body’s organs. They can also help to counteract the effects of stress. Many acupuncturists will also use herbs to prevent and treat inflammatory issues.
It’s easy to see how combining alternative medicine and yoga can improve not only your yoga practice but your overall health and well-being, too. These therapies all compliment and enhance each other to provide incredible benefits in a safe, natural way.
By Donna Maurer
As an experienced content creator, Donna has covered health and wellness topics for numerous publications. She is a former writer for an alternative medicine clinic and can often be found researching the latest industry approaches and trends. Donna loves sharing the insight she’s learned while on her own wellness journey in the hopes that it will inspire others to pursue a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.
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