Yoga Each Day jami@jamicrook.ca
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Physiyoga: A New Trend in Client Centered Healthcare

What is Physiyoga?

Physiyoga, also sometimes referred to as Physioyoga, is an emerging practice that unites physiotherapy and yoga.  The combination of these two practices results in a more holistic approach to health and wellness.  While still relatively new, the Physiyoga movement is beginning to gain momentum across North America, as well as in Australia and Europe.  Practitioners of Physiyoga are physiotherapists (also known as physical therapists) and certified yoga instructors.  Clients are assessed using physiotherapy tests and techniques, and then treated using yoga.  Sessions are one-on-one to provide appropriate and individualized care. 

Physiyoga is an excellent alternative to traditional physiotherapy services, which are usually directed at one anatomical area of the body – the one that is injured.  If the client is an athlete, traditional physiotherapy may include a return-to-sport phase just prior to discharge, but this is not always the case.  In Physiyoga, clients are taught yoga poses which are adapted to meet their specific goals and can be used to rehabilitate one body part while simultaneously and optimally working out the remaining uninjured areas, leading to greater overall fitness and health. 

Who can benefit from Physiyoga?

Everyone.  Traditional physiotherapy focuses on acute and chronic injuries or conditions that negatively affect mobility.  Physiyoga is an appropriate treatment for these as well.  However, the best rehabilitation for injuries is prevention, and this is where Physiyoga has a leg up on more traditional physiotherapy practices.  By identifying muscle imbalances and postural irregularities before they become problems, Physiyoga can help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. 

Physiyoga sessions are delivered by a registered physiotherapist who is an expert in movement dysfunction.  Poses are taught in a safe and effective manner with ample access to the therapist for clarification and questions.  No yoga experience is required for Physiyoga, but it is equally appropriate for advanced yoga practitioners.  Clients can take the skills and techniques learned through Physiyoga and apply them to their existing yoga practices without altering their style or personal preferences. 

The health benefits of regular participation in yoga have been well-documented.  Several elite-level sports teams now incorporate yoga into their mandatory practice schedules, and many professional athletes are using yoga to improve their performance.  Yoga is being offered in many hospitals and long-term care facilities as adjunct therapist for patients.  It is an extremely versatile and adaptable practice that can benefit anyone at any age and any level of health and fitness, particularly when it is prescribed by a health care professional who is a certified instructor.

Is it Expensive?

Because Physiyoga is delivered by a registered physiotherapist, it is covered by any private insurance that has allowances for physiotherapy.  Due to its length and personalized nature, a single session of Physioyoga may be more expensive than a single traditional physiotherapy appointment, but the idea behind Physiyoga is to empower clients to take control of their own health in a supervised environment.  As such, the focus is on the home exercise program and the need for follow-up sessions is therefore greatly reduced.  This means a complete Physiyoga treatment is often less expensive than the same treatment program with traditional physiotherapy services, and it can work on more than one condition at a time.

Poses, Breathwork, and Meditation

One of the reasons therapists are turning more and more toward yoga as means of treating clients is the number of tools it possesses.  The three areas of yoga are asana (poses), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation.  Each of these comes with its own health benefits, and can be used independently or in conjunction with the others to provide the best possible care for each client.  With a focus on proper technique, Physiyoga can help clients develop a safe practice that will promote healthy joints and stronger muscles for life.

For additional reading, please see the links below.

http://www.si.com/edge/2014/06/27/rise-yoga-nba-and-other-pro-sports

http://www.mensfitness.com/sports/10-professional-athletes-who-practice-yoga

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/yoga-for-seniors-149296.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/yoga/art-20044733