Updated: Mar 18
More and more people are turning to movement practices such as yoga and pilates for managing chronic pain. I have had numerous people referred to class by their medical practitioner for this exact reason. But how many movement teachers actually have knowledge in pain science??
Unfortunately the answer to this is very few. It is not a topic typically covered within yoga teacher trainings, yet chronic pain is painfully common. A study in 2021 showed that 20% of adults in the US reported pain on most or every day.
So, what exactly is pain??
Pain is understood to be a sensory symptom and an emotional experience that is usually associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Pain can be felt at the site of damage or can be "referred " pain; pain that is felt at a site different from the injury.
Pain can be physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitating.
How can we help people with chronic pain move better through life?
We know through research that yoga can help to reframe an individuals' relationship with their body and thus with their pain. So, yoga is a wonderful tool for the mental and emotional connection to pain.
Myofascial release has been proven to assist in the physical relief of pain stimuli. In one study 53% of participants reported a decrease in their pain complains and 30% decrease in their functional disability after introducing myofascial release to their self-care practices! That is huge.
So, if you are wondering why I love MFR so much, now you know!