As a Physical Therapist and Professional Yoga Therapist for over 16 years, I am aware of the benefits and use of medical therapeutic yoga and some of the limitations of our current healthcare system. However, after sustaining a traumatic orthopedic injury myself, I had the opportunity to be a patient and experience first hand what it was like to go through our health care system.
Even though I was discharged from the ER and told that rehabilitation wouldn’t start for another 2 months, I knew that there were many aspects of my recovery that could still be addressed to optimize healing. I knew I could, and would, immediately start my own form of rehab and use yoga as my therapy….naturally including and using the knowledge, skills and experience I had as a physical therapist as well.
The first few weeks of ANY injury is so important for healing. All of our physiological systems must be given the opportunity and the right environment to function optimally in order to heal to our highest potential. In orthopedic rehab we focus on the physical layer (kosha). However, the other 4 layers (koshas) of our existence are equally important in the acute stages of an ortho injury (mental, emotional, energetic, spiritual). This biopsychosocial-spiritual approach to all divisions of therapy is essential if we want to treat the whole person instead of the diagnosis.
I felt a responsibility to share this message while recovering from my own injury, as this is part of my life mission: to integrate yoga therapy into our western healthcare system by inspiring, empowering and educating people through wisdom, love, truth and joy.
I had the honour of giving a TEDx talk about “Pushing the Boundaries in Physical Therapy” where I share my story and outline how and why I successfully used medical therapeutic yoga as part of my rehabilitation. There is a 5 min guided body scan meditation that I shared with the audience at the end; so you can enjoy that as well HERE
I started a YouTube Channel that follows my progress using yoga as therapy (in combination with Physical Therapy in the later stages) in the rehabilitation of my Achilles Tendon Rupture on Dec.22, 2013.
I also wrote a short blogpost in “Yoga for Healthy Aging” BlogSpot about the injury and how I used yoga in the acute stages of recovery: “Sudden Acute Traumatic Injury”
Here is a summary of videos from day 7 to 8 months post rupture. My intention is to shed light on what ‘rehabilitation’ can optimally look like, to increase awareness to health care professionals & patients, and to help those recovering from any injury to feel inspired & empowered. Please share with anyone you think may benefit:
I hope this post and these links will help spread the word that YOGA can be used as THERAPY even in the immediate stages after an acute injury, because yoga is so much more than just some of those fancy yoga poses our culture is accustomed to seeing!