Why is western science important for Yoga?
It is important to create in General Healthcare more confidence in MindBody approaches as a science based therapy to cure and prevent certain diseases. Further on in this blog we will focus on yoga, but it is plausible that this is also valid for other MindBody practices.
- It helps health professional to prescribe MindBody interventions like Yoga.
- It gives evidence based prove about the effectiveness of Yoga.
- It shows what health benefits can be experienced by practitioners, this is a health education interesting also for individual practitioners.
Some obstacles to overcome
In our Western healthcare we have divided the healthcare in 2 separate fields; the Body and the Mind. Both with their own educational institutes and professions.
Also in Western Science we have a different perspective on the scientific approach compared with the Eastern perspective.
The Eastern perspective is more based on an individual (client centered) and holistic (MindBody) approach. And the approach is more based on the energy patterns in the body. Here the focus is more on acceptance, observing and experiencing.
The Western approach is more with a questioning, analytical and logical reasoning and the setting up of Randomized Controlled Trials and meta- analysis, leading to Evidence Based interventions.
However change is coming since the lasts decennia and especially Mindfulness and Yoga are key subjects of many studies. And for instance in the USA an official acknowledged agency drives the research and validation of these typical MindBody interventions. The name of this organization is National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
The digital age and well- being
Our Digital age with the abundance of information, food and stress, and the lack of physical exercise and being outside leads to some typical diseases like:
- heart and vascular disease
For these there is not 1 solution possible because these diseases have a genetical factor and many environmental factors. A broad approach is needed, mainly to realize a behavioral change in lifestyle.
More and more therapeutic interventions like Yoga and Mindfulness are being valued in the west.
- Yoga and mindfulness is practiced by many western people for decennia already. Studies under these people show that 80% of these people experience clear improvement in well- being and many people who started with Yoga showed later a healthier lifestyle by stopping with smoking, eating healthier and doing more physical exercise.
- In the lasts decennia many RCT’s and meta analysis show the positive effects of yoga
In the West the Scientific approach is important and have taken care of overcoming many health issues in the past. What is nice to see now is that Yoga (in the meaning of connecting, bringing together) can be seen as a bridge between the Eastern Wisdom and Western Science. What stays very important is the Positive Health approach where each of us can take the direction we want and strengthen our resilience and self regulation and for that we can use MindBody interventions right away.
Put your own experiment in to place
To start choose an intervention like Yoga (also men;) ) and try the different forms of yoga and extra’s like meditation, breathing exercises, combine this with outdoor activities like walking and/ or running with the same mindset.
Experience the effects on you, do you feel better? do you enjoy it? Adapt if needed. Eventually you can do pre and post blood testing in consultation with your general practitioner. Do it for at least 100 days, then it will become a more healthy new habit.
Doing this course and the positive experience of reading the scientific studies with the Yoga benefits gives me the motivation to continue and even improve my lifestyle. I do Yoga now for more then 20 years and experience that it is a path that you can do during a lifetime. It also gives me confidence and tools that i can use in my profession. For that reason i have made this blog and coupled it with my own website.