Chronic pain is a problem that is more widespread than nearly any other. What can we do about it? Rather than taking powerful painkillers or just gritting your teeth and bearing it, individuals with this problem may consider trying yoga's pain management techniques.
The American Pain Foundation (APF) states that pain affects more adults than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined! This prevalence can really take a toll on our pocketbooks. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Americans annually spend $100 billion on chronic pain.
Evidently, much of this money is going to waste, since the incidence of chronic aches is not dropping. If anything, it's rising. The NIH estimates that eight in 10 Americans suffer from chronic pain in a lifetime.
Rather than letting aches run your life, consider taking the horse by the reins. Most yoga studios offer at least a few instructional classes on chronic pain management. You can even find DVDs that walk you through the basics in the comfort of your own home.
Many public health organizations are getting in on the action. The APF recently released a poster promoting the use of basic "chair yoga" for soothing aches and pains. The illustrations walk beginners through deep breathing, meditation, stretching and palm rubbing.