I’m one of those people who, many years ago, bought a yoga mat and a few DVDs for yoga and pilates, and vowed to start a regimen. Years later, the mat long gone to charity and DVDs flogged on eBay, I’m wondering why I didn’t stick to it.
A recent article, which you can read here, reports the benefits of yoga and other ‘complementary therapies’, particularly that of easing chronic pain.
Clinical trials in the US have been reviewed, and the conclusion? Different types of alternative therapies showed promise for easing different types of pain. For instance, migraines may be eased by relaxation techniques, osteoarthritis could be eased with tai chi and acupuncture, and neck pain could be temporarily relieved with massage therapy.
Of course, all results should be taken with a degree of scepticism and a note that evidence in many areas is still lacking. However, it does suggest that alternative therapies, particularly those involving more gentle exercises, stretches, massage and relaxation techniques, can be of benefit to those with mild to chronic pain.
Here’s a pose or two I did earlier. Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t even bend over and touch my toes! I’m assuming my arms are just too short rather than my body too inflexible.
Whether such complementary techniques provide long term or short term benefit, and whether they help marginally or significantly, it stands to reason that it’s worth considering them if there’s a chance they may help. What’s more, it’s a step away from medication and associated side-effects, and will likely bring other benefits beyond those of pain relief, such as stress reduction.
Always consult your doctor before taking up new activities.
If you’re considering trying something out at home, I’ll be doing a post soon on some mindfulness, yoga and massage bits and pieces worth checking out!
Has anyone had any experiences, positive or otherwise, of alternative therapies helping with their aches and pains?