Balance is the key to a healthy life. This idea of balance is sought by many ideologies of treatment and among them, two of the chief ideologies are yoga and chiropractic. Both yoga and chiropractic center many of their principles and practices on the belief of balance. Yoga is an ancient spiritual art of treatment which consists of a series of practices and techniques that aim to unlock a person’s inner self and heal it through meditation. Yoga promotes its practitioners to form a balance between steadiness, alertness, and comfort. It extends its approach to seeking calmness, even in the act of inhaling and exhaling air, and be one with the environment. In fact, the basic meaning of yoga is “to unite.”
On the other hand, chiropractic emphasizes on the physical balance in the body. Chiropractic targets the science of the body, focuses on assessing the state of flexible muscles and treating them if necessary through manual methods. Chiropractic is not only restricted to flexible muscles, but it also applies to other strong muscles, ligaments, and restricted and unrestricted joints in the body. How is it then that yoga and chiropractic have such a difference between them if both the treatments focus on balance in the body?
The foundation of chiropractic was laid down by D.D. Palmer in 1895. It has gone on to evolve drastically ever since, and this is because chiropractic relies on medical sciences and methods to assess the patient. The resulting treatment is also in accordance with the knowledge imparted by the modern biological science. However, the origin of chiropractic lies in the folk medicine and tradition of bone-setting. Over the course of time, it absorbed the traits of spiritual inspiration, vitalism, and rationalism. For over a century, chiropractic was stagnated as it rejected materialism of science for vitalistic principles of spiritualism. It was not until the dawn of 21st century that chiropractic was actively separated from these beliefs and moved towards logical inferencing and scientific approach. Chiropractic now has been molded into a form of treatment which lends help from the innovational techniques of medical sciences but does not disregard the traditional aspects of spiritualism.
The realm of yoga stands in parallel to chiropractic while being equally diverse as its contemporary field. There are many forms of yoga that have sprung up over the years during its practice. It might strike as a shock to many people that many activities of yoga are not medically safe. So unless a yoga student knows the right from wrong, how can they hope to cure themselves of their ailments? Yoga instructors nowadays are very educated, especially about their field, so they know about how the body works and which postures relax, soothe, and nourish us. Much of their knowledge is due to their need to come at par with the Yoga Alliance’s standards.
The Yoga Alliance sets the requirement of 200 hours for teacher training before a yoga trainer can be called a teacher. Unfortunately, many of the trainers have not fulfilled this time condition. Many yoga trainers consider themselves learned but have neglected the studies of the biomechanics of the body and how it interacts with the body, so they place the safety of their students in great peril. It is not just a possibility but a reality as recent years have seen an increasing trend of yoga-related injuries.
It is up to the sensible and skilled yoga teachers to look out for the individual needs of their students. They should understand that their methods have been outpaced by other sciences. Some postures of yoga are very sensitive. Such is their sensitivity that if correctly learned, they can go on to do wonders for the student but otherwise, they can result in chronic injuries to the students and make them lifetime patients. Some exercises related to lumbar spine incorporate such risky movements that it can cause spinal disc herniation and cause extreme pain to the students. To master these postures and movements, the trainers as well as the students should have ample knowledge of the neuro-musculoskeletal system and make them beneficial for everyone.
It is very important to improve the channel and frequency of communication between the yoga instructor and the students. A student should not continue an exercise or task which hurts them. They should also be mindful of informing their instructor of any current or previous injuries which may need attention. Make sure you only practice yoga on a mat that suits you. Some yoga mats provide you with more cushion, others may be slip resistant. The trainer should also keep an eye out for lazy or tensed students who end up damaging themselves and guide them patiently. Only then can we hope to progress towards an efficient yoga community.
Yoga has lagged behind chiropractic only on one ground: progress. Chiropractic has gone on to evolve dramatically since its inception, while yoga has made little to no advancement in its existing techniques. Chiropractic did not just stop at the practice of adjusting and fitting bones in their right place. It went on to extend its area of application to tissues and muscles too. It wedded these manual practices with the developments of science to create a satisfactory end product. Certain developments and new techniques like Graston Technique, Cold Laser Therapy, Spinal Decompression and Active Release Technology have put chiropractic far ahead of yoga in relieving patients of their usual pain. It has shifted the trust of many users from having to spend hours in a yoga class to engaging in infrequent chiropractic sessions.
The gap between chiropractic and yoga is quite large, even though both them have arisen from similar ideologies. If this gap were to be somehow removed, there is a high chance that chiropractors will go on to refer their patients to yoga classes for easing their symptoms. The yoga-oriented winds will also realize that they need professional health care to cure them fully. The situation is going to turn out to be positive for both the fields. The benefit of this act will be felt by the whole community because chiropractic and yoga can complement each other to create an almost perfect and effective healing process.
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