Yoga Therapist Finds Yoga Helps Relieve Chronic Pain

For many people with chronic illness, pain, discomfort and limited mobility is a part of their daily life. For such people, yoga therapy can help not just to relieve pain issues, but even set them back on the path to healing, according to Nancy Sutton, founder of House of Yoga in Redding, California.

Marrying her background as a registered nurse and a yoga teacher, Sutton has integrated a specialized, therapeutic yoga for people with chronic pain into her practice. Many of her clients are referred to her by their physicians; they suffer from diverse ailments like depression, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s and injuries.  Her approach to them is tailored to work around their limitations and get them into a state of mind where they can more successfully heal.

“With the body reconnected to the mind and brain, then it’s a conscious road back to healing,” Sutton recently told the Redding Record. “So much of what we do is to give a person permission to learn to deeply relax, and once a person relaxes, they can heal. So many people are in that constant state of fight or flight, where they’re always in stress mode, especially when they’ve been diagnosed with a serious condition. If you’re always in a stress mode, you can’t be in a healing mode. Teaching a person to profoundly relax is when the body begins to heal itself.”

For many people, yoga is a very athletic practice.  But it also has a healing, spiritual component, which is what Sutton emphasizes in her work with the chronically ill.  Some of her classes don’t even require participants to leave their chairs.

“It’s about living our lives to the fullest capacity,” says Sutton. “It doesn’t matter what layer of suffering people are experiencing. When they begin to see the gift of their lives, their suffering diminishes. Yoga therapy opens them up to that.”

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