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Yoga's Integration into Healthcare
A joint presentation by Dr Sat Bir Khalsa and Heather Mason.
Introduction: Yoga is becoming increasingly popular as a behavioral strategy for the promotion and maintenance of health and wellness, as preventive medicine and as a therapeutic intervention for physical and mental diseases. Application of yoga interventions provides psychophysiological and clinical outcomes that are not currently readily available within the repertoire of modern medicine, including improvements in physical flexibility and strength, respiratory function, stress reduction and coping, resilience to stress, emotion regulation, mind-body awareness and mindfulness, self-efficacy, subjective well-being, quality of life, and life meaning and purpose. Many of these outcomes underlie the behavioral and lifestyle-related risk factors for chronic noncommunicable diseases, which are reaching epidemic proportions and represent the greatest burden in mortality and cost in modern healthcare.
This presentation will overview the scientific evidence on the underlying mechanisms of yoga practice and the scientific rationale for the application of yoga interventions in modern medicine particularly with respect to noncommunicable diseases. It will also review the published clinical trial evidence for its efficacy in wellness and prevention, as a therapeutic intervention for existing disorders, and as a behavioral practice to reduce stress and burnout in healthcare providers.
Over the last decade complementary health surveys reveal a marked rise of yoga practice for management of health conditions. Given that the practice of yoga is associated with reduced healthcare usage, cost savings, and improved health outcomes, there are many examples of its inclusion in hospitals, clinics, and community health centres, and within entire healthcare systems. This presentation will discuss the growing popularity of yoga in healthcare, specific examples of its implementation within community, public and private health, and the road map for bringing yoga into specific health services.