Yoga for Arthritis
2:31 As a dancer, Steffany understood movement could be a strategy to alleviate suffering. As a child, she wanted to help people find this state for themselves and suffer less. Wanted to help people find a mind-body connection to be fully engaged in the present thought the experience of what is happening in their bodies and alleviate suffering. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability
6:00 Min-body practice defined by National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health. Many kinds of mind-body practices that you can do yourself. Mind-body practices are strategies for self-care. Treatment can be passive like drugs or give people the tools for self-care like a yoga class. Changing the way we live by using self-care tools.
8:00 Research: clinical experience and personal perception. Yoga works because we can see the benefits for students, clients and ourselves. Research aims to reduce the personal perception bias. Yoga also is aware of being able to tell the difference between one subjective experience and and our objective reality.
Our decisions must be informed by both to make decisions. Expert opinion (training, gurus, etc.), clinical preference (client’s need), and generalisable evidence from well-designed research studies. The third one is viewed most strongly by decision and policy makers. Yoga research conducted with modern health research guidelines is fairly new. Last few decades yoga research was not funded resulting in very small studies that showed promising results. They indicated that yoga was safe to do. These original studies brought research funding to yoga to now do research with rigorous design. Dose (how often), style, poses, comparison with other modalities are now part of yoga research. Results from 1 research study is 1 piece of a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It is difficult to really understand if yoga is beneficial from that one study. But a thousand studies brings the whole picture and much more confidence in yoga’s benefits. Tips to help someone who is unsure on how to review research studies. Read summary research – meta-analysis, systematic reviews – by an expert in the field. They will be very knowledgeable and by looking at several pieces of the jigsaw will have a better idea of what the research says about a yoga topic.
19:55 Steffany is developing Guidelines for Clinical Research. If you are writing about yoga research, these guidelines tell you what must be reported so that the research is designed correctly. Things like: yoga style, poses, modifications, time spent in each pose, etc. Without this kind of information, no one can make a recommendation for or against.
23:11 Yoga for Arthritis: developed rigorous, randomised control group structure, replicated with another population research on the benefits of yoga for arthritis.
Yoga works, but that conclusion is based on how yoga is taught. Yoga is safe and appropriate for people with arthritis, decreases pain. Steffany’s research showed a 30% decrease in pain (comparable to drugs) but no side effects. Yoga can transform life, even without pain decrease. Research shows Yoga can improve quality of life, mental health and depressive symptoms. Study reports changes in the clinical assessment of joints. Received funding from Arthritis Foundation. Subsequent studies included qualitative (peoples’ stories about yoga’s effects) and quantitative aspects. (Arthritis Foundation asked Steffany to develop a DVD which is available on the Arthritis Foundation website. The Yoga for Arthritis website has additional resources.
29:18 Steffany has written a book: ”Yoga Therapy for Arthritis” that will be published December 2018. Arthritis affects the whole person; yoga intervenes on every level. Uses the Pancha Maya Kosha system to see the effects of arthritis on each kosha. It is illustrated by a series of personal stories of people living with arthritis and how yoga facilitates personal transformations. Includes a section on lots of different practices and modifications.
The book is for three audiences: Yoga professionals, people with arthritis, and health professionals
33:59 Anyone can suffer from arthritis: 300,000 children have arthritis is the US. Self-concept is changed by arthritis as well as movement. A participant in Steffany’s research had arthritis in her twenties and it significantly affected her life as she was a dancer and gymnast. Through yoga she came to realise she and her body could partners in dealing with the arthritis.
38:45 Steffany offers Teacher Training in Yoga for Arthritis. 3 Levels: 1st level – provides protocol for 8 week / 16 classes based on her research. Level 2: 1-1 mentoring for teachers, detailing how to teach. Level 3: 1 to 1 practice – yoga therapy.
Training in several cities in Us, starting a hybrid on-line programs
42:50 Open invitation to listeners to send questions to Steffany and she will try to answer them.
Book: “Yoga Therapy for Arthritis: A whole-person approach for Movement and Lifestyle” by Steffany Moonaz