By Sangeetha Saran
Yoga is considered by medical professionals to be one of the leading forms of alternative and complementary therapies, and studies show that it may be especially useful in the recovery of stroke victims. Although generalizations based on results from past studies may be beneficial, this is a specialized area determined by individual needs. People recovering from strokes should do their research before deciding on a Yoga class. Instructors who want to work with people recovering from a stroke, should take specialized Yoga teacher training courses and research the field of stroke recovery.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is blocked and destroys tissue in the brain. An ischemic stroke, the most common type, stems from an obstructed artery. A hemorrhagic stroke results from a ruptured or leaking blood vessel. A TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is a less severe form of stroke that temporarily disrupts the blood flow to the brain.
Strokes result from a variety of causes, such as weak spots in the walls of blood vessels or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Less frequently, they are caused by birth defects resulting in tangles of blood vessels with thin walls. Low potassium levels can also increase the level of stroke risk.
Yoga Journal states that special care should be taken when a stroke comes from plaque in the carotid artery breaking off and traveling to the brain. However, the exact cause of a stroke may not be known. The safest option would be to treat all students as if they are at risk.
When Yoga classes consist of people recovering from strokes, individual abilities may vary widely. Issues with balance or weakness in the limbs is common, and a slow pace may be necessary. As a result, participants who become lightheaded or experience dizziness should be carefully observed.
When doing poses, walls can be used for support, and so can chairs of all kinds. Standard asanas may be modified, depending on individual needs, and inversions should be avoided if it is known that a student is recovering or at risk. Hence, there is a need to know the general health of each student.
Yoga can be especially helpful in lowering blood pressure, decreasing depression, and improving general well-being. It can, also, restore balance, strengthen muscles, and improve posture. In conjunction with meditation and breathing techniques, Yoga poses alleviate anxiety and reduce potential for future strokes.
Although scientific research is still incomplete, initial reports show that Yoga may not only promote the recovery of stroke symptoms, but it may, also, help with the management and prevention of underlying causes, as well as related health issues. Therapeutic Yoga promotes self awareness and a sense of well-being that is valuable to overall health.
© Copyright 2011 – Sangeetha Saran / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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