Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga Videos Available!
Resources created by Neil Pearson & Shelly Prosko, Physical Therapists & Yoga Therapists
It is known that pain is a complex biopsychosocial phenomenon that consists of many factors that influence the ability to move with ease, including capability of the physical body, breath pattern, psychological and emotional factors, and spiritual or social interactions. In the treatment of chronic or persistent pain, we know that the best long-term improvements occur when people can recover movement and participate in more activities of their daily lives.
Research supports that yoga can be used to address both physical & psychological aspects of persistent pain (Wren et al, 2011). “There is evidence that yoga may be useful for several pain-associated disorders” (Bussing et al, 2012) and growing evidence that specifically suggests different aspects of yoga can help not only reduce and manage pain, but also help people move & function better, and improve health-related quality of life (Ware et al 2013, Holtzman et al 2013, Moonaz et al 2015).
In Yoga for Healthy Aging’s blogpost, “Yoga for Pain Management”, Dr. Baxter Bell explains how different yoga techniques can help calm breathing, decrease muscle tension and improve body awareness, which are essential foundations and skills to learn if people want to move with more ease. He recommends two valuable books on yoga for pain and shares another useful post, “Techniques for Pain Management” outlining why certain yoga practises can be effective management for chronic or persistent pain.
Although we have evidence to support the benefits of yoga for management of persistent pain and many yoga practitioners are using yoga to help their students/clients in pain, there are actually very few resources available for people in pain to practice yoga in a way that safely and appropriately addresses the complex issues of persisting pain and helps people progressively increase movement with ease.
Neil Pearson, physical therapist, yoga therapist, UBC professor, and myself, wanted to create an accessible and safe resource that included more specific guidance to help people in pain. We developed “Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga”, a series of 7 video sessions consisting of a variety of different practises, each with a different theme that addresses unique challenges that people with chronic pain face.
We chose 7 different themes based on qualities that we knew people with persistent pain often times have difficulty with and can influence pain experience.
The following 7 themes that we have chosen to address in the videos are: