Why Doctors Recommends Yoga to Patients
Dr. Scott Zack, Michigan doctor is a chiropractor who has witnessed how mental health issues affect countless patients. When he treats people, he looks for strategies that are low impact and high reward.
Unsurprisingly, he’s a champion of yoga and its many benefits for both the mind and body. He discusses how the practice can have a particularly positive impact on mental health and why it pays to integrate techniques into your everyday routine.
Yoga is a somewhat general term, and therefore easy to misinterpret. There are plenty of complex yoga moves out there that twist people into pretzels, but yoga can also be as gentle as a summer breeze.
Whether on a mat or in a chair, yoga is versatile enough to accommodate all skill levels. For instance, restorative yoga is nothing more than a series of relaxing stretches. Designed to mentally prepare people for whatever lays just beyond the mat yoga can be a way to appreciate your body for what it is rather than what it could be.
Chiropractors have always had to deal with poor posture, cheap furniture, and chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Today though, doctors also have to deal with floods of anxiety and stress (otherwise known as byproducts of the modern world).
Mental health has a lot to do with how and where we store tension. If the problems aren’t addressed, it’s liable to manifest in anything from back pain to headaches. Yoga certainly isn’t the only way to deal with stress, but it can be an integral part of an individual’s mental healthcare.
When Dr. Scott Zack sees a patient, he does more than assess the curvature of their spine or knots in their neck. He tries to find out how a person’s lifestyle may be causing new problems to pop up. Mental health can lie at the root of people’s body problems, even if they don’t realize it.
Scott Zack on the Mind-Body Connection
Yoga is known to promote peace within a person, more so than other types of exercises. While any movement or heart elevation is good for the brain, yoga emphasizes the mind-body connection throughout the practice. By asking a person to focus their attention on something other than everyday hassles, it can help the brain pull away from petty problems and put them in their place.
Instead of the mind being pulled in a thousand directions, yoga is careful breaths and mindful poses. It’s a way to slow down from a racing world and get in touch with ourselves. Practiced by people all over the world for thousands of years, yoga is spiritual for some people and practical for others.
The practice also releases chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, mood-boosters that can make people feel happier. As pressures melt away, people begin to feel the benefits throughout the body. Scott Zack, Michigan doctor notices that back pain becomes less intrusive or that patients stop rubbing their shoulders constantly throughout the day.
It’s why those who suffer from depression find that their symptoms ease when they do yoga, even those with major depressive disorders. Similar to medication or psychotherapy, the benefits are remarkably similar to traditional practices — without the associated costs or potential side effects.
Yoga on Anxiety and Sleep
The vast majority of Americans use yoga as a way to relax the muscles and lighten the burden of stress. Many people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find that the aftermath of events is lessened when they weave regular practice into their everyday routines.
When a person can slow their mind down to focus on what’s in front of them rather than what’s behind or what might be on the horizon, this can boost both the quantity and quality of sleep. The musculoskeletal system can only heal and maintain itself with proper rest, making this a particularly relevant benefit for a chiropractor.
Daily Practice as a Springboard
It’s relatively easy to discount a single healthy change in a person’s life, which is an unfortunate fact of life for those in healthcare. One yoga class won’t change everything, but it can inspire people to sign up for the next one. Before they know it, their flexibility has improved enough to try a more challenging class.
From flexibility to social benefits, yoga can be used as a springboard to make better life choices. This can help the mind start to reimagine what life can be on a fundamental level. Far from being a pie-in-the-sky goal, it’s a transformation that Scott Zack Michigan has seen take place right before this eyes.