Happy New Year

January 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm 1 comment

Now that the holidays are over maybe you have a little more time for yourself. And with the New Year it is the perfect time to start new healthy habits. Have you ever thought about doing yoga? But haven’t because you already exercise regularly, or don’t have any back/joint pain, or can already sleep through the night soundly…or any of the other ailments that can be improved with a consistent yoga practice.

Well you don’t have to have any reason or ailments to start a yoga practice. It can be a great way to prevent many of the common ailments our society experiences. Allison Brooks wrote an article explaining why you should just start practicing!

Prescribed Too Late:

Mind-Body Therapies are needed earlier. In today’s society, mind-body therapies (MBT) like yoga, meditation, and qigong, are very popular. This could be due to stress levels, the economy, and a way to get fit, or even better a complement to healing. In a recent study, it was noticed that health-care providers have been suggesting the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) to their patients more. The only glitch is that they have been prescribing the use a little too late into treatment. It is never too late to start, but researchers wonder if the use of mind-body therapies earlier in treatment could produce better outcomes for patients.

As of today, more than a third of Americans practices some form of mind-body therapy on a regular basis. And within that group, nearly one in every 30 was referred to health-care provider to adopt a MBT. This rise in doctor referrals was a shock to researchers of the Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School. Though the effects of MBT are not a surprise to those who practice them, some medical professionals do not fully trust natural therapies.

Researchers believe that the transparency of data in mind-body therapy clinical trials is the main reason why doctors are suggesting the complementary treatments. To support the initial thesis, BIDMC and Harvard Medical School researchers surveyed 23,000 American households. Nearly three percent, about 6.3 million people said they practiced a form of mind-body therapy because their doctor suggested it. This news sounds great, except that these people were actually sicker and used conventional health facilities more than people that voluntarily practice MBT.

In the eyes of the researchers this highlights that health-care providers see the benefits of mind-body therapies, but only suggest them as a last resort. This aspect will lead to more in-depth research to see id earlier use of MBT along with conventional treatments will lead to a quicker recovery. Though many patients and people swear by the use of MBT, word-of-mouth facts do not hold enough weight for the medical community. Researchers hope that more studies will prove that CAM and MBT are useful and are health facilitators. This would promote an easier, less painful, and faster for chronic conditions and deadly cancers, like pancreatic cancer or mesothelioma.

About the author of this article: Allison Brooks graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2011. She graduated with a degree in Biomedical Anthropology. She is currently lives in Florida and is studying in the field to finish an ethnography on the effects of biomedicalization on Bolivian cultures. You can contact her at naturallie23@gmail.com .


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. melissa gray  |  January 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Great article – thanks for sharing Allison! Interesting that the medical community wants more facts to back up the theory that people who have a regular MBT practice have less health ailments, and yet, I’d bet that the people they are studying are those who are already going to the doctor … many people with a regular MBT rarely go to the doctor. Quite the conundrum!


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Allison Zimmerman Yoga

Who’s That Girl?

Allison Zimmerman, RYT, shares her passion for teaching and yoga through classes in the Charleston, SC area and at workshops around the world.

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