Yoga and Chiropractic care have been around for some time, yet they’ve only recently witnessed an upsurge in popularity. The reason for this boils down to the fact that most people are just now realizing the immense benefits both practices offer.
Each of these practices, when done individually, provide a whole host of advantages to the body, mind and spirit. Fortunately, they are also supremely compatible, so much so that they seem to be made for each other. These two practices, when performed in tandem with each other, hold the key to improved overall health for all ages.
In this article, we’ll place yoga and chiropractic care under the microscope. We’ll examine their health implications, and how their immense potentials can be harnessed to treat a multitude of ailments, leading to a better quality of health.
What Is Yoga?
Not a lot of people are aware of the fact that Yoga has been with us for over 5,000 years. Yoga’s roots can be traced to ancient India, but these days, it has attained a strong presence in many parts of the world.
It may be interesting to investigate the factors that led to the recent explosion of yoga’s popularity. One reason that can be advanced is that due to the increasingly frantic nature of the world we live in, a lot of people are getting stressed out just trying to keep up. Yoga is a great way to keep out stress.
If done right, yoga can do a whole lot more than reduce stress. The different types of yoga exercises can reduce blood sugar levels, improve balance and increase flexibility. Yoga is also great for building core strength and helping the body heal naturally. Other benefits that yoga offers include:
- It manages and prevents chronic or acute back pain.
- It increases muscle tone and definition.
- It supports joint health.
- It teaches proper breathing techniques
- It can help improve self-confidence.
- It fosters mental tranquillity.
Yoga often evokes an image of deep breathing and outlandish postures in the minds of a lot of people, but yoga goes beyond that. Yoga emphasizes balance, aiming to develop every single muscle in your body while teaching correct postures so as to put less pressure on your spine. Speaking of which, let’s consider chiropractic care.
What is Chiropractic Care?
In contrast to yoga, chiropractic care is a relatively recent health care option. Chiropractic care deals mostly in two areas, pain relief and optimal performance of the human body. Another thing to note is that while yoga can be performed by everyone- it does not require any technical skill- chiropractic care needs to be carried out by trained health practitioners, called chiropractors.
Chiropractic Care involves spinal manipulation with the aim of correcting misalignments, relieving pain and helping the body heal itself naturally. Further, Chiropractic Care touches the health of the nervous system and improves joint mobility, which is great news for aged people and people who suffer from painful joints due to injury.
People of all ages who are exposed to chiropractic can manage and treat pain better, not to mention making their bodies better equipped to prevent and handle injuries.
Benefits Of Chiropractic Care And Yoga
If you consider both practices carefully, you’ll notice several similarities in function between them. The implication of this is that combining both techniques will have a multiplying effect on the benefits of each, leading to greater effectiveness and quicker results.
Nowadays, most chiropractors recommend yoga as the perfect supplement to chiropractic care. Several chiropractors have even incorporated yoga to their offered services, and yoga is well on its way to becoming synonymous with chiropractic.
Several studies carried out by top players in the medical field back up the complementary relationship shared by these practices. Here are some of the benefits of chiropractic care and yoga:
- Yoga Facilitates Chiropractic Healing: It’s been proven by medical research that yoga can go a long way towards enhancing chiropractic treatment. People who practise yoga a few hours before an appointment with a chiropractor are essentially opening up their bodies to more effectively receive the benefits of chiropractic care.
Yoga, apart from stretching the body and toning muscles, also helps to dissipate pent-up stress and tension. This will ensure that you arrive for sessions with your chiropractor in a more relaxed state of mind, and with your muscles thoroughly warmed up.
It also lightens the workload of your chiropractor (they don’t have to expend time and energy towards getting you primed), and they can channel all their energies to the healing properly.
- Yoga Strengthens Joints And Ligaments: The benefits of yoga extend to every single joint and muscle in your body, including the ones you had no idea existed. Now, when these smaller muscles are developed, they’re able to pull their own weight, leading to reduced responsibility for the bigger ones, and a more evenly balanced body.
This has the effect of speeding up the healing process, reducing recovery time (for those who suffer injuries), and mitigating the risk of future injuries. As any chiropractor will tell you, a body that’s strong, flexible and free of soreness and stiffness is better able to appreciate and respond more acutely to chiropractic care.
- Yoga And Chiropractic Care Can Help Prevent Future Injury: Both yoga and chiropractic are known to improve balance, which can greatly minimize the risk of injuries caused by accidental trips, especially in elderly people. A combination of both approaches will result in better body alignment and greater flexibility, which is a solid way to forestall the occurrence of injuries.
In addition, given that most of the complications leading to a wide range of muscular and joint pain are caused by poor postures, yoga can assist in this regard. Yoga can help you cultivate the habit of better posturing, which can multiply the effectiveness of your chiropractic sessions.
- Yoga And Chiropractic Care Can Increase Range Of Motion: With the newfound flexibility granted by yoga, the range of motion of several joints and ligaments in your body increases, along with joint strength. The good news is that this will make your appointments with your chiropractor more fruitful, leading to quicker results.
People with severe injuries who practice yoga can also enjoy this benefit, as chiropractors will spend less time trying to get the body prepared, before attempting to treat the injury.
- Yoga And Chiropractic Care Can Reduce Stress: Both yoga and chiropractic can combine to lead to a reduction in the stress levels of people who practice them. Yoga can trigger the release of endorphins- which are known for their uplifting capabilities- into the bloodstream. This can foster a feeling of happiness and a sense of general well-being in you. Also, yoga’s controlled breathing techniques increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, leading to increased relaxation.
In the same vein, chiropractic can also contribute to reduced stress and enhanced feelings of physical comfort.
Perhaps the best feature of both yoga and chiropractic care is that both are accessible to everyone, irrespective of age or gender. Interestingly, they are also not effort and time-intensive, and their costs are minimal.
Each of these practices offers several wonderful benefits on their own. Combined, though, they are exceptional and can massively improve the health of your entire body, not just your joints, spine or back alone.
Whole Body Health Through Yoga And Chiropractic Care
Apart from the benefits we’ve talked about, yoga and chiropractic offer several other advantages that can help improve your overall health, and by extension, the quality of your life.
Of course, helping you live a pain-free life is a good start, but beyond that, yoga and chiropractic care can make you happier, healthier and more fulfilled in the long run. Here are some powerful benefits that yoga and chiropractic care offer the whole body:
- Give Your Immune System A Boost: Yoga can play a crucial role in helping your body fight off malignant diseases and infections. When you perform yoga, muscles get stretched and organs get moved around. These activities increase the draining of lymph by the body. Which in turn helps the lymphatic system combat infections and dismantle cancerous cells.
On its part, chiropractic can also help boost immunity. The nervous and immune systems are directly linked, and a misalignment of the spine can cause an obstruction in the flow of communication. Therefore, getting regular or semi-regular chiropractic adjustments can give your immune system a boost and keep you above the reach of sicknesses.
- Help You Sleep Better: Someone who’s in constant, acute pain will find sleep hard to come by. To make matters worse, if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body will find it difficult to heal itself effectively. It’s a catch-22 situation. Sleep shortage can also lead to stress, fatigue and depression in the long run.
Fortunately, yoga and chiropractic care can offer an immediate remedy. Both practices can help relieve the pain that’s making you lose sleep in the first instance. Yoga and chiropractic can also regulate your nervous system, helping induce sleep when you’re finding it hard to come by.
- Helps You Lose Weight: It’s true. Yoga and chiropractic care can help you keep fit and even lose a few pounds of excess weight. Yoga is a low-intensity exercise and consistently engaging in it can lead to gradual weight loss. Yoga also encourages you to stay active and healthy, which can massively aid the weight loss process.
Lack of sleep or bad quality of sleep can pile on the pounds pretty quickly. As we’ve mentioned earlier, yoga and chiropractic care can tackle that problem effectively and ensure that the loophole is blocked.
- Improves blood flow: Yoga and chiropractic care can enhance the flow of blood in your system, which can, in turn, make you less vulnerable to debilitating illnesses such as strokes and heart attacks. Yoga exercises encourage the smooth flow of oxygenated blood from your limbs to your organs. It also boosts haemoglobin levels and red blood cells, while reducing clot-promoting protein levels in the blood.
Chiropractic care contributes to improved blood circulation by removing pressure from nerves and allowing blood to flow more freely in the body.
- Decreases joint degeneration: Yoga gives every single muscle and sinew in your body a full and thorough workout, which can help keep degenerative arthritis at bay. When you stretch your limbs, in addition to loosening up your muscles and helping you become more flexible, you’re also reducing the possibility of your joints and connective tissues going bad.
Further, yoga makes it easier for your body to respond quicker to the ministrations of chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can also improve nerve system function, which will ultimately lead to healthier joints.
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases: Yoga and chiropractic care are instrumental in safeguarding cardio health. Chiropractic care, as we’ve discussed earlier, can lead to an improvement in the nervous system, which has the ripple effect of improving the performance of your internal organs, including the heart.
Yoga is a low-intensity cardio exercise. It may lack the capacity to set your heart racing, or get you to really exert yourself, yet as studies have proved, it can be really beneficial to the health of your heart.
While it is true that not all yoga exercises are aerobic, with a healthy dose of consistency, you can enjoy the benefits normally ascribed to HIIT exercises.
- Improves mental health: A lot of people suffer mental health challenges, and stress is a major cause of these issues. The others are anxiety and depression. Research has shown that yoga and chiropractic care can go a long way towards improving mental health. Yoga can facilitate mental clarity, relax your mind and help relieve stress. In addition to these, the practice of yoga can stimulate the secretion of hormones that will help combat depression and encourage the formulation of a more positive outlook.
Chiropractic Care can also facilitate the release of hormones that can help combat depression and relieve stress.
- Reduces dependence on drugs: In an effort to cope with chronic and acute pain caused by injury or other factors, a lot of people are forced to ingest huge amounts of pain relief drugs. These drugs are highly addictive and consuming huge amounts of them can lead to severe organ damage. What’s more, when the effects of the drugs wear off, the pain comes roaring back.
Chiropractic care and yoga can help bring drug intake to a minimum, and perhaps even discontinue it. Chiropractic therapy can help get rid of the pain and potentially free you from drug dependence and its terrible consequences. Research also proves that yoga can help you overcome drug dependence.
- Reduces blood pressure: High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, especially among adults. What makes it so deadly is that it doesn’t display any visible outward symptoms. However, yoga and chiropractic therapy can possibly and effectively manage and help high blood pressure. Some research has linked yoga to massive drops in blood pressure among sufferers of hypertension.
- Improves athletic performance: Yoga and chiropractic can help your body attain flexibility and better range of motion, which can give your athletic performance a major boost. Other advantages that yoga and chiropractic offer athletes are increased pain threshold and improved endurance. This can enable them to practice and work out harder in readiness for sports events.
Increased endurance and pain threshold can encourage elite athletes to keep going when others reach their limits, which is often the difference between winning and losing. Chiropractic treatment is also quite useful to athletes; it helps their body cope with the rigid demands of elite sports.
Yoga And Chiropractic For Back Pain
Lower back pain is a surprisingly common complaint among many adults. Many factors can contribute to, and exacerbate it, including stress and bad posture. Each of these practices on its own is quite effective at helping you manage chronic and acute pain, and even get rid of it.
However, medical professionals recommend combining the two for quicker, more effective results. Several studies also prove that the combination of yoga and chiropractic care can effectively treat chronic pain and deliver amazing results faster.
Yoga’s mild exercises can help soothe your muscles and release accumulated tension which puts pressure on your back and neck. Going further, yoga also teaches you about your body, and the correct postures to maintain in order to avoid straining your spine.
Yoga is cost-effective and gentle; it allows you to move at your own pace. It is also one of the most natural, healthy options. You can avoid dependence on drugs and other chemical substances, alongside the negative consequences that are attached to them.
Nowadays, many chiropractors advise people suffering from chronic pain to try out yoga before making chiropractic appointments. In fact, several chiropractors offer yoga treatments.
The reason for this is not far-fetched. Yoga is a great way to relax and warm up the body in preparation for chiropractic care. Chiropractors can get started on treatment in earnest when patients arrive for treatment a few hours after yoga therapy.
Apart from strengthening your muscles (making them strong enough to handle chiropractic treatment), yoga also makes your body relaxed and more receptive to treatment. This is what makes yoga and chiropractic care such a winning combination.
Apart from its physical benefits, yoga also impacts mental and neurological faculties positively. Yoga can help neutralize the effects of toxins that amplify stress, anxiety and depression in people. Research also reveals that yoga enhances the development of brain tissue in the region that makes us better able to handle and withstand pain.
If you want to try out yoga therapy for lower back pain, it’s a smart move to consult with your chiropractor first. They’ll provide effective guidance and offer suggestions on the intensity and type of yoga exercises to do, after taking your complaints into consideration.
Despite the fact that yoga gives the whole body a workout, certain yoga types are targeted at specific areas of the body, and will, therefore, be more effective at handling issues around those areas. For instance, core stability exercises have been proven to be more effective at treating lower back pain than routine physical therapy exercises.
As soon as your chiropractor gives the green light, you can try out these yoga poses and witness your back pain disappear within a short space of time:
- Downward Facing Dog: Sitting for prolonged periods of time is one of the principal causes of back pain, alongside bad posture. The downward-facing dog is great at loosening tight muscles, stretching your whole body and helping to correct posture. To get the best out of this pose, stay in position for about 30 seconds, stand back up and do stretches for another 30 seconds, then take up the downward facing dog position again. This exercise boasts immense benefits for your overall health in general. In particular, its stress-relieving properties makes it one of the most popular yoga exercises.
- Cat and Cow Pose: This exercise is also very effective for back pain. Cat and cow pose loosen the muscles in your back and can be done as a warm-up for other workouts. To perform this exercise, start in an all-fours position, then slowly press your spine up while arching your back to move into the cat position. Maintain this position for a few seconds, then scoop your spine in, lifting your head and pressing back your shoulder blades in order to move into the cow position.
Switching between the cat and cow positions can relax your muscles, soothe accumulated tension, as well as reset your spine back to a neutral position.
- Child’s Pose: The child’s pose is not very effort-intensive, but it is very effective at helping you manage back pain while relieving stress at the end of hectic days. To practice this pose, start on all fours and stretch out your arms straight in front of you. Sit back in such a way that your glutes rest just above your heels, without actually coming in contact with them. For best results, hold this position for about five minutes, and repeat as many times as you want.
- Upward-Facing Dog: This pose will help loosen tense back, chest and abdominal muscles. Lay flat on a level surface, with your palms turned facedown by the middle of your ribs. Draw your legs together, pressing the tops of your feet into the floor, then use the strength of your back to lift your chest off the floor. Hold this position for about two minutes, or ten breaths, and repeat as many times as you want.
These yoga exercises are great at managing back pain on their own. However, to optimize their effectiveness and hasten the healing process, combine yoga therapy with chiropractic treatment. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful results of yoga and chiropractic for back pain.