Yoga Therapy can be a highly effective treatment for mental health disorders

This article from from Psychology Today discussing how Yoga Therapy can help mood disorders. It references a recent 2023 study of Yoga Therapy and it’s beneficial role in reducing the effects of functional dyspepsia and chronic stress for those in high-stress jobs.

“Yoga therapy can play a bidirectional role in the regulation of gut-brain axis, i.e., from top-down as well as bottom-up pathway. ”

Adults increasingly used complementary health approaches for pain over past 20 years

Researchers have found that the overall use of several complementary health approaches, and their use for pain management specifically, rose substantially over the last couple of decades, researchers found. Published by JAMA, they reported:

  • The overall use of CHAs increased from 19.2% in 2002 to 36.7% in 2022. Their use for pain increased from 42.3% to 49.2%.
  • Yoga saw the highest rise in overall use from 2002 to 2022 from 5% to 15.8%.
  • Meditation has the highest prevalence of any CHA in 2022, at 17.3%.
  • Researchers said the increases could be due to several factors, such as the need to replace potentially harmful opioids.

Yoga breathing and meditation-based program improves physician well-being, lowers burnout

Healthcare systems worldwide are recognizing the importance of addressing physician burnout to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of delivering quality health care. A randomized clinical trial  showed that those physicians who practiced Sudarshan Kriya Yoga reported significantly reduced stress, less depression and a decrease in insomnia, as well as a “significant improvement in professional fulfillment and significant  decreases in exhaustion, interpersonal disengagement and burnout.”

Yoga improves quality of life, cardiovascular function in heart failure patients

Adults with HF on optimized guideline-directed medical therapy had improvements in quality of life measures and functional status after participating in a yoga therapy program for 1 year, researchers reported.

“This study proves that the addition of yoga therapy to standard medical management of heart failure leads to an improvement in left ventricular systolic function and quality of life in heart failure patients,” Singh said in the release. “Hence, yoga therapy may improve physical well-being and left ventricular function among heart failure patients on guideline-directed optimal medical therapy.”

Yoga-based intervention benefits patients with head and neck cancer

A yoga-based intervention provided beneficial supportive care among a cohort of patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancer and their caregivers, according to study results.

The findings — presented during ASCO Quality Care Symposium — specifically showed improvements in physical function and nutrition intake among those assigned the yoga-based intervention vs. those assigned usual care.

Yoga intervention significantly reduced stigma of epilepsy, improved quality of life

This randomized controlled trial aimed to investigate if yoga and psychoeducation were effective in reducing felt stigma (primary outcome), neuropsychiatric outcomes and seizure frequency, as compared to sham yoga and psychoeducation in persons with epilepsy.

“Yoga therapy significantly reduced the felt stigma of epilepsy along with improving anxiety and quality of life at 6 months…”

Pain Explained – How Chronic Pain Can Be Managed

This article includes different evidence-based approaches, including the type of team on which I work teaching exercise, yoga and meditation.

“Patients who believe in themselves and want to partner with their [interdisciplinary medical teams] very often do better [managing pain] than those seeking doctors who are going to cure them.”

Article from Brain & Health (August/September 2023) title Pain Explained

Relax, Restore, Recharge Wellness Event

Relax, Restore, Recharge Wellness Event

Wellness Workshop

Relax, Restore, Recharge 

Start the New Year with restored energy, relaxation, & balance 

Are you looking to rejuvenate and recharge for the New Year? Join us at an in-person yoga wellness event at the Healing Arts Collective in Boise, Idaho where you can spend two hours focusing on relaxing your mind and body. You’ll leave this workshop feeling balanced and ready to start 2023 with renewed energy. Class sizes are limited to 5 spots to leave room for personalized attention and all levels are welcome to attend. 

Yoga Wellness Event in Boise 

When? Saturday, January 21st 1-3pm

Where? Healing Arts Collective at Bown Crossing

3046 S Bown Way, 2nd Floor, Boise

Cost: $50

Yoga Workshop Flyer

Nourish Your Mind & Body 

Take your health and happiness to new heights in the New Year! Unwind from the holidays, reconnect with your inner wisdom, and rejuvenate to return to the healing rhythm of the season and your body. In this two-hour yoga workshop, we’ll nourish the body with a blend of warming releases, gentle twists, supportive heart-openers, and guided meditation to promote a healthy and healing mind-body connection. We’ll follow the practice with tea to detox and ignite digestion. Together let’s celebrate a new, balanced you.

Reserve Your Spot Today  

The class is limited to 5 spots. Registration is required in advance. For bookings, contact Julie or

Book an appointment with Personnel Calendar using SetMore

If you’re looking for a nurturing and healing yoga studio in Boise, I’d love to have you join us for this event. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year! 

Mindfulness Practices for Staying Grounded this Holiday Season

Mindfulness Practices for Staying Grounded this Holiday Season

Wellness

The holidays, especially at the end of the year, can seem like a whirlwind of responsibilities. Between parties, work deadlines, hosting family, and buying gifts, it can feel like you’re being pulled in many directions. 

In December, the air also gets drier and cooler with more wind. It’s also a time where we have less daylight. Seasonally, this type of change can bring up more anxious energy. Instead of doing more– it’s actually a great time to unwind and do less. 

“In the winter, our bodies are meant to rest a little bit and not be pulled in so many directions. Take the time to quiet the mind. Silence technology. Give yourself permission to sleep an extra hour, or simply relax with a cup of hot tea.” 

Setting Technology Boundaries for More Restful Sleep 

It’s no surprise that constantly being “online” can become overwhelming. The first step is to recognize your technology usage and know what you can change. What can you do? Can you turn off your devices?  Can you not have your device by your bedside when you go to sleep?  

One idea to try is to have a hard stop to not look at your phone after 8pm. Try this and see how you feel the next day. 

Journal on table with coffee
Moving from your phone and computer to writing to-do lists on paper can be grounding. The act of putting pen on paper helps stimulate memory and creativity, and it’s a welcoming break from the blue light and distractions that come with technology.

It’s all about taking baby steps- small changes to be more mindful in your day can go a long way. 

There’s always going to be things we can control and things we can’t control when it comes to work. You can practice setting better boundaries for working hours and interruptions. 

For example, taking the time to eat your meals mindfully away from your phone can help you connect to your body and mind, creating a moment of peace for yourself (instead of using the time to catch up on emails). 

While it’s hard not to think about those things, the first step is to simply recognize it. By just implementing a few mindfulness practices and doing less instead of more, this might just be one of your best holidays yet

Building Resilience Through Mindfulness and Wellness Routines

Building Resilience Through Mindfulness and Wellness Routines

Wellness

Now that we’re coming out of the third COVID-19 winter and heading into spring, many of us are experiencing the struggles of transitioning back to work during these colder months and through a season of prolonged sickness. You may be asking yourself, “Will we ever return to the former lives that we once knew?” 

Finding strength and inner resilience during these times of uncertainty can be challenging.  Not only are individuals struggling to balance childcare, work obligations, and virtual schooling, but we are also experiencing trauma on a collective scale. This extends not only to the global pandemic, but also with the social unrest and climate change issues unfolding around the world. 

As you begin assessing the changes around you, here’s a few resources and strategies you can use to restore balance in your life during this time of resurgence. 

Steps for Getting Back to the Real World in a Pandemic 

Establish a schedule and set boundaries at home and work for greater balance. 

With the increasing demands of work and home life, it’s even more important to set healthy boundaries to protect your time and energy. Creating a schedule and allowing those around you to know your availability can help reduce the stress and overwhelm of feeling “pulled” in many directions at once. 

Another important area to focus on is your sleep routine and managing your technology usage at home. 

Tips for creating an ideal sleep environment: 

  • Get in the habit of turning off technology at a certain hour each evening. 
  • Keep your phone out of the bedroom to eliminate distractions and blue light at night.  
  • Set a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking at the same time each day.

Over time, your body will adjust to your new sleep routine, creating a feeling of safety and peace that will help regulate your nervous system and allow for better quality rest. 

Take a mini-break to reboot or take time to slow down.

Give yourself permission to pause, refresh, rest, unplug from the hustle culture. This is particularly important if you are taking care of children or parents at home that require even more of your time and attention.

When we can return to balance in this way, giving attention to our own stress and uncertainty without making it worse, we contribute to a greater balance and harmony in our environment as well.

For those who like to do-do-do and live a fast-paced lifestyle, it takes more work and a conscious effort to slow down. The power is in the stillness.

Embrace daily routines or rituals to restore balance in your life.  

A basic tenet of Ayurveda is “like increases like.” If you’re experiencing burn-out in areas of your life and work, you can seek out ways to restore balance.

Whether it’s ten minutes or an hour, integrate a centering and calming practice that promotes mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi. This can be as simple as walking outside to be with nature, or reading a book in a cozy quiet place. Such practices can be a natural way to refresh your brain. There are yoga breathing practices and postures that can help with fatigue and exhaustion and give the body and mind a reboot.

It’s important in times of turmoil to look for activities that ground and support us. Can you create an inviting, quiet spot in your home to spend some alone time thinking and reflecting? A blanket and some pillows  on your favorite chair or corner of the couch can make a great retreat from the world.  Look for the daily rituals that will help balance the constant energy of change.

Even on busy days, make sure to take the time to eat a nourishing diet. Soups and stews are great for colder weather and will help fuel your body during the winter months.  

Acknowledge that you are doing the best that you can in your unique situation. 

Strong feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt can lead to distorted thoughts or a constant narrative of mental negativity. Try positive reframing of thoughts that are true and helpful. Hanging meaningful quotes around your home or in your office can also help spark much needed motivation when you’re feeling overwhelmed or low on energy on one particular day. 

I also believe that sometimes we must acknowledge that a situation is not ideal and then use it as an opportunity to go up from there or an opportunity to try something new.  

Once we learn to honor our obstacles, we can move forward with less fear.

Seek out help from your support system and create positive environments. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a family member, a friend, a colleague or a therapist or wellness professional. 

Remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together, which can be hard to keep in mind when dealing with challenging circumstances. It’s part of our human spirit to help and be kind to others, and when we come together, that is when the healing starts to happen. 

If you’re interested in gaining more support for your wellness routine, feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation to discuss your individual needs. 

A Doctor’s Experience: Having a Yoga & Meditation Practice when Faced with Illness

“My experience is a powerful reminder that aligning spirituality with health not only can help you stay well, but can help you weather “dis-ease” with more intention.”

Article/Blog from Harvard Health Publish – Harvard Medical School Blog (January 2022) title When the doctor becomes the patient: A transformative experience