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How restorative yoga can help with chronic pain

Chronic pain affects and disrupts the lives of millions of Americans. When the pain is bad enough to prevent Michigan residents from working, our firm helps them apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

SSD can be a lifeline for people whose chronic pain stands in the way of working full time. Of course, we also want to help our clients try to get rid of the pain that is plaguing their lives, which is why we wanted to share some information on restorative yoga today.

As an informative article on the topic explains, chronic pain often starts with a serious illness or injury, but the pain then lingers on much longer, even after the illness or injury has seemingly gone away. For that reason, people are often told that chronic pain is in their heads, which we all know is not true.

But how does the pain remain in our bodies after the injury or illness has been treated? The article states that chronic pain can be a result of our “thoughts, emotions, expectations, and memories.” Therefore, chronic pain is “mental,” in a sense, but it’s not any less real.

Ultimately, what happens is that our nervous system allows us to feel pain when we are injured or sick, which is a survival response. But it goes much deeper than that. The nervous system can also remember the pain, and cause the pain to come back with full force at “the slightest hint of a threat,” the article explains.

Therefore, once you have been subjected to pain, you are more likely to experience it again, even if it is your own nervous system that is triggering it.

The good news is that by addressing the “mental” aspects that are contributing to chronic pain, experts say the pain can be better managed and even treated. And one of the best ways to do this is through restorative yoga.

Restorative yoga teaches you to “unlearn” the pain that you have experienced in the past through relaxation, movement and breathing. Check out the article below for a more thorough analysis on chronic pain and some great strategies for treating it with restorative yoga.

Source: Yoga International, “Restorative Yoga for Chronic Pain,” Kelly McGonigal, June 10, 2013

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