Have you been wondering about the possible benefits of combining chiropractic care with regular yoga workouts? Millions of regular patients of chiropractors use yoga on their own to help with flexibility, range of motion, and just generally feel better. But is there a better, smarter way to combine these two important parts of your wellness routine for maximum effect? The best way to understand the issue is to look at what chiropractors and leading professionals have to say about the issue.
First, some key facts can help shed light on the importance of both yoga and chiropractic medicine:
- More than 20 million U.S. adults do yoga exercises every day or at least several times per week
- About 35 million people see a doctor of chiropractic medicine (DC) at least once per year, and usually more often than that
- At least half of all adults in the U.S. have visited a chiropractor at least once, and about 15 percent of adults have received treatment within the past year
- The number of adults who practice yoga regularly has grown by 50 percent in the past 5 years and is expected to increase by that same amount between now and 2025. Eventually, experts believe, about two-thirds of all U.S. adults will be regular yoga practitioners.
- Studies have shown that regular yoga sessions can help people lose weight and get their diabetes under control. When it comes to weight loss, researchers have discovered that regular yoga practice leads to more mindful eating habits. Plus, if you attend a yoga group class, it’s easier to get social support for your weight-loss efforts.
- To help players maintain optimal physical condition, every National Football League team has a staff chiropractor. The goal of team owners is to boost performance, keep the players in good shape, and help them when they are injured or suffer musculoskeletal problems like strains and serious injuries.
- Chiropractic care for infants is safe, effective, and becoming more common. The birth process can be quite stressful on tiny bodies, and chiropractors use special techniques to help infants who suffer slight injuries as they exit their mothers’ bodies.
How Yoga and Chiropractic Treatment Work Together
Yoga and chiropractic care have a special way of working together and bringing synergy to the healing process. Here are some of the ways the two systems work alongside one another to achieve excellent results:
- Yoga routines can encourage the body to heal itself: When you stretch and make the body longer, your natural stress levels go down and you’re more able to fully relax. Consider doing a few of your regular yoga exercises about a half-hour before seeing the chiropractor. That way, you’ll be ready for an exam and the doctor won’t have to spend time loosening up all your musculature.
- Yoga is a unique style of exercise: Because it is the only exercise method that promotes the overall health of hips, joints, the neck, and the back, it’s a good idea to do a self-assessment of any pain issues you have before heading to the chiropractor. When you arrive for your exam or adjustment, the doctor will be able to do more advanced work without having to prep you for a typical adjustment.
- Yoga and chiropractic treatment prevent injury: One thing that both yoga and chiropractic treatment do that’ exactly the same is to prevent future injury. They are both ways to relieve muscle tension, achieve a better overall balance of the body’s musculoskeletal system, stretch, promote alignment, and work to allow the joints to work the right way. That’s why many people discover that regular yoga workouts go hand-in-hand with chiropractic care.
Long-term yoga workouts can make the joints, bones, and muscles as strong as they need to be to withstand the everyday lifestyles of ordinary people. In a similar fashion, chiropractic care also works to help the body live in the everyday world of work, stress, near-constant movement, and not-so-ideal environmental conditions. Both systems restore us and help us live without pain and with a minimal amount of stress.
- Both are holistic methods that use the body’s own healing processes: Not only do both yoga and chiropractic treatment show you how to work toward good posture, but they both also focus on healthy living, good nutrition, and general emotional and physical well-being. They both utilize the body’s amazing, innate ability to heal itself if given the right environment, food, and mindset. Neither method relies on drugs or invasive techniques. In fact, chiropractic treatment methods and yoga exercises rely on bringing the body back to its natural state of ideal health.
Knowing What Not To Do
Patients often ask chiropractors about specific kinds of exercise routines like Pilates, weight training systems, yoga, martial arts, and more. While it’s always a good idea to inform your chiropractor about what type of physical activities you do, don’t expect them to sign off on an entire exercise style. Why? Because, in the case of yoga, for example, not everyone does the same kind of yoga, or does the exercises in a safe way. Your chiropractic physician has no way of knowing if you are doing standard yoga in a large class under the supervision of a trained instructor, or simply trying to do a few exercises at home by yourself.
That’s why, when you speak with your doctor about your yoga routine, you’ll likely hear about what not to do. A chiropractor can show you how to avoid dangerous poses, and how to watch out for inefficient forms of movement. So, if you do ask about yoga, be sure to specify to the doctor what you do and how you do it, rather than just asking, “I do yoga. Is that helpful for my recovery?” The doctor doesn’t know what you’re doing unless you provide the details. The key to getting the most out of your exam and dialogue with the doctor is communication. Be clear about your yoga routine and you’ll learn plenty about how to maintain optimal physical health through chiropractic care and yoga combined.
Get the Right Advice
It’s important to speak with your own DC to discuss the best way to incorporate yoga into your weekly routine. For the most part, it’s possible to enhance your recovery from specific conditions and to maintain optimal physical health by taking advantage of yoga’s power to enhance general well-being. If you’re already doing yoga regularly but have yet to see a chiropractor, remember to let the doctor know about your yoga practice during the initial clinic visit.
We always make a point to help our patients create specific yoga routines so they can get the most out of the time they spend on the mat. Likewise, when you visit our office for chiropractic treatment, we’ll even advise you of specific yoga exercises you can do if you want to learn more about this unique exercise style. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do yoga to get all the benefits that chiropractic medicine has to offer. Your personal DC can show you simple stretches you can do at home if you’d rather take a simpler approach or if you have other kinds of exercise routines, like walking or tai chi, that you prefer.
What’s the key takeaway about yoga and chiropractic? Yoga can fit in with a chiropractic healing routine if you want it to because the ancient form of bodywork is an effective way to stretch and strengthen muscles, bring long-term pain relief, and help the body relax in a natural, restorative way. Additionally, remember to discuss your exercise routine, whatever it is, with your chiropractor so the two of you can make your path to recovery and well-being as efficient as possible.