Is Yoga Medicine?

Healing yoga

The so-called complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies are on the rise, spurred by public demand. More than 42% of people in the US are using some form of CAM each year, creating a wave of interest in alternative modalities. Further, as the medical system searches for more cost-effective treatment options, the doors of hospitals and clinics are opening to alternative modalities like acupuncture, massage, Chinese medicine, and so on.

In this climate, yoga therapy is showing increasing promise as an emerging health care modality. More than 15 million people today practice yoga. While yoga has mainly found its mainstream groove as a fitness program, more and more people-yoga practitioners, yoga therapists, and researchers alike, are pointing to the vast healing potential that yoga asanas offer.

When confronted with a disease like cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or back pain, the medical system necessarily is the first stop when seeking help. The same is the case when we seek support for emotional issues, or need rehabilitation following physical or emotional trauma. 

Few people are aware that yoga therapy offers specific applications of yoga to help manage or alleviate numerous health problems. While yoga is not a cure and never should be used as a substitute for proper medical treatment, yoga can often be an important complement to traditional medical treatment. Yoga therapy has been used successfully to alleviate numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, back pain, depression, and so on.

Yoga as therapy is still an emerging modality, and there is as yet too little awareness of the tremendous health benefits offered by yoga therapy. For more information on the healing benefits of yoga and advice on What to Look for in a Yoga Therapist, we invite you to explore the resources we've collected here on Yoga Therapy Web. If you are looking to work with a yoga therapist, we also invite you to browse through our comprehensive Yoga Therapy Directory.