By Emma Needleman -
Dr. Loren Fishman, a regular contributor to our Yoga Spirit Online Yoga Trainings is gaining national attention for his work using yoga as therapy for patients with orthopedic problems.
Dr. Fishman was recently profiled by New York Times’ health writer Jane Brody with a focus on his “alternative” but effective methods integrating yoga in the treatment of back pain, shoulder issues, and osteoporosis.
Dr. Fishman is well known to Yogatherapyweb.com readers for his frequent webinars on in our Yoga Spirit Online Trainings section, focusing on yoga for back pain and yoga for rotator cuff issues, as well as yoga for osteoporosis.
Dr. Fishman has a unique background: He is a doctor with traditional medical training (a physiatrist, to be specific), who incorporates alternative methods into his practice, particular yoga.
“Some in the medical profession would consider Dr. Fishman a renegade,” writes Jane E. Brody, “but to many of his patients he’s a miracle worker who treats their various orthopedic disorders without the drugs, surgery or endless months of physical therapy most doctors recommend.”
Brody’s article highlights two of Dr. Fishman’s main contributions to medicine. The first is a non-surgical treatment for rotator cuff syndrome, a common shoulder injury that causes pain when trying to lift one’s arm past shoulder height. Dr. Fishman found that regular practice of a modified yoga headstand would “train” the muscle below the injured one to take over its function and allow patients regain mobility in their arms without pain. Fishman’s non-surgical method has worked for 90 percent of the patients he has treated. The traditional treatment for this injury is surgery, followed by four months of physical therapy and success is not guaranteed. Dr. Fishman describes his method in this Yoga Spirit Webinar: Key to Preventing and Healing Shoulder Injuries.
Another unique contribution is Dr. Fishman’s work with yoga for osteoporosis. Levels of this degenerative bone disease are at almost epidemic levels in the United States, and our methods for treating it in many cases involve drugs with considerable side effects. Dr. Fishman has conducted a pilot study using yoga for people with osteoporosis indicating that regularly practicing yoga can help people with osteoporosis stop and even reverse bone loss, decreasing the risk of fracture. Dr. Fishman and Ellen Saltonstall, co-authors of Yoga for Osteoporosis, will present their unique approach to using yoga for osteoporosis in this Yoga Spirit webinar: Yoga for Osteoporosis.
“For many years, yoga teachers and enthusiasts have touted the benefits to the body of this ancient practice,” writes Brody. “But it is the rare physician who both endorses it and documents its value in clinical tests. Dr. Fishman has done both.”
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