You have no doubt heard of yoga, an ancient practice used for head-to-toe, internal and external health and well-being. Perhaps you have taken yoga classes, or know someone who does. There are many reasons why people have been using yoga for thousands of years for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits.
Created as a philosophy to improve spiritual, emotional and physical awareness, yoga involves specific physical postures and positions called asanas. By performing and holding these asanas, studies have shown a wide variety of internal and external aches and pains can be relieved. There are a few reasons for the effectiveness of yoga as a natural pain-reliever.
First off, yoga helps you focus your mind. There are yoga practitioners who have been using this practice daily for their entire lives, and as a result, they are able to lower their heart rate, blood pressure and pain response so significantly that they baffle modern scientists and doctors. In other words, practice yoga regularly, and you can train your brain to raise your pain threshold.
Secondly, yoga is a great stress-reliever. There is much stress and anxiety, and even sometimes depression, which accompanies pain, regardless of the source. When you stress out too much, you trigger a release of hormones and chemicals which promote inflammation, thereby making your pain worse.
Thirdly, the physical manipulation of your lymphatic and nervous systems, joints, muscles and tendons, ligaments and tissue during yoga speeds up the recovery from pain associated with external and internal health conditions and injuries.
It is for these and other reasons that Western medicine often turns to yoga as a complementary pain-relieving prescription for new and back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and physical pain from injury. There are no negative side-effects, it costs absolutely nothing for you to perform yoga, and you skip the addiction that some prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers can cause.