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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yo Gassy! Try Yoga!

Here’s a wonderful way to pass up the pills and take a holistic approach to gastrointestinal delight: therapeutic yoga.

With smaller classes, gentler poses, and a slower pace than traditional yoga, therapeutic yoga targets people with chronic illnesses ranging from AIDS to osteoporosis to Crohn’s disease.

While not a medical cure or treatment, yoga provides stress relief, mild exercise, and an opportunity for meditation (not medication) in an emotionally supportive environment.

People who practice yoga are also better able to tolerate their symptoms. Consider the case of Teresa Kennedy, a former TV executive who has Crohn’s disease (a chronic disorder that inflames the digestive or GI tract; usually the small intestine or colon).

After practicing yoga, Kennedy found she no longer gets Crohn’s symptoms. That led her to open her own yoga studio in an effort to share her discovery, and bring relief to others.

While I don’t know Teresa Kennedy personally, her story appeals to me, because it appears we have the same mission: to help people with chronic conditions alleviate those conditions through natural means.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those anti-medical-establishment whackos. But I don’t believe Americans should use over-the-counter medications to treat conditions that can be successfully addressed using natural means.

And when it comes to the GI tract, smart eating; regular, moderate exercise; and even yoga can be effective holistic solutions to problems that otherwise require polluting the body with unnatural non-prescription chemicals.

6 Comments:

  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    I've had Crohn's disease for years now and who would have thought that Yoga could help the symptoms. It's funny I just started my new year's resolution, Yoga, and I have to say I haven't had much trouble down there...

     
  • ~ Anonymous Noley's Mom said …

    I think it's common sense that exercising -- regarless of what form - helps your overall health. The yoga part makes sense because I think a lot of gastro problems are exacerbated by stress, but exercising to feel better isn't all that surprising.

     
  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    I would be concerned about offending other people in the yoga class. Are there specific classes for people that suffer from these problems? It's great that this is a solution, but at what cost to others?

     
  • ~ Anonymous Janis Chen said …

    I'm not aware of any specific classes for people that suffer from these problems and I do not believe there are any out there. I'm a yoga instructor myself at a local YMCA gym in New Jersey and I can see how these classes can help reduce the symptoms of gastro diseases. Yoga class is designed to help people learn how to meditate and relieve stress. The class also helps relieve muscle tension which can be found all over our body caused by stress. I have never seen or experienced anyone being offended by a stomach grumble or passing of gas. Although, I would expect the person to leave the room if they had some issues down there and to please use the bathroom.

     
  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    Doesn't yoga involve breathing deeply? Let's hope it decreases the smelly gas

     
  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    i guess a good solution would be to leave the room if there were serious problems. also, though, it would be a great idea to have specific classes. i have been doing yoga for a couple of years, and i know that people are very accepting in this environment, but i can imagine that it may interrupt their experience. just something that i've thought about...

     

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