What’s the difference between physiotherapy and yoga?
Where do one start and the other begins? As with most “competing” disciplines, the boundaries are indeed very grey. For me, the physiotherapy and yoga stretching method in physical therapy is more specific to target muscle groups. Most of the yoga exercises are named after animals! The more relevant they are also the whole body the more.
By this, I mean that yoga “stretching” takes into account how muscles throughout the body interact – along meridians – rather than considering the pure anatomy of these muscles moving from here to there. We know meridians have been considered “woo woo” by many for a long time. You might be one of those people.
However, we are seeing more and more evidence indicating that there is a lot of truth to these meridians. Thomas Myers, in his amazing book Anatomy Trains, looks at anatomy with a new vision. As a total simplification, it looks at the “layers” of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue to show how they are connected throughout the body. Surprise, when you draw these maps there is a fairly large overlap with the meridians.
However, many of what I might call physiotherapy and yoga stretches, that is, those taught and used in such circles look remarkably like some yoga poses. Honestly, if it works whoever cares what system it comes from. If you feel fine, go for it! Below we’ll look at the best extensions from all around.
Benefits of yoga in relation to physiotherapy
Physiological: Yoga exercises stimulate the involuntary nerve plexuses and the endocrine system by increasing pressure in the abdominal wall. Thus, it improves the performance of the cardiorespiratory system, improves lung function with increasing strength and endurance of the respiratory muscles, which leads to an increase in vital capacity as it normalizes blood pressure, improves immunity, reduces heart rate and respiratory rate, and increases the volume of red blood cells.
From a physiotherapy point of view, yoga can be considered an appropriate way to use the positions of the body that provide improved heart and lung function, i.e. improved breathing patterns or contraction of blood vessels in addition to the physiological benefits.
Neuropsychological: Yoga stimulates the right hemisphere and increases alpha wave frequencies. Patients practising yoga may also show a significant reduction in the number of errors during the static locomotor performance as well as improvement in sensorimotor performance, improved central nervous system processing ability and eye-hand coordination.
Thus it could be suggested that physical therapists could use yoga to facilitate recovery processes among stroke patients and improve their function.
Psychological and Spiritual Wellness: Yoga asanas have shown significant reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms, and oxidative stress strains to lead to better relaxation and focus.
Studies of the effects of yoga on cognitive function have shown improvements in memory and alertness levels. The techniques have been found to be effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, major depressive disorders, dyslexia, sadness, insomnia and other sleep disorders, and PTSD.
Similar mental and otherworldly assets are utilized by physiotherapists to improve patients’ re-visitation of capacity. Many physical therapists are now starting to extend their holistic approach as therapists using yoga essence. Physiotherapists, orthopedists, chiropractors, or chiropractors now consider yoga to be a method of “mental mobilization” in which the individual performs positions that include elements of enhanced self-efficacy, self-development, or positive mind states.
Musculoskeletal Improvements and Posture Control: Yoga exercises can affect the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system through the mobilization or automatic mobilization of both joints and nerves, respectively. For example, established McKinsey procedures and asana “cobra” are almost equivalent and can directly relieve symptoms of lower back pain and cervical pain. This indicates the direct similarities and essences between the two approaches. From a physical therapy perspective, physical dysfunction can be eliminated and flexibility and range of motion can be improved. As a set of “static-dynamic actions”, yoga is a means of “self-mobilization” of the nervous system, joints, spine and extremities.
Clinical Practise: There are several clinical implications of considering yoga asana as a beneficial adjunct to the physical therapy process. Often times, physical therapists have to manage serious clinical conditions, including cardiac, metabolic, skeletal muscle, and orthopaedic disorders, as well as psychosomatic disorders.
“Yoga in daily life” as supplementation to physiotherapy
Yoga practices are appropriate as a home program for some patients. physiotherapy and yoga can be selected and adapted to the individual by the therapist. The clear illustrations and textual instructions make it easier for patients to exercise independently. I recommend many patients to practice “yoga in everyday life” as a follow-up to physical therapy. Physiotherapy and yoga excellently present themselves as a daily exercise program when additional therapeutic supervision is not required. My patients are fully prepared to take on these physiotherapy and yoga exercises, as they can realize the positive impact on their health.