Yoga: An Evidence-based practice for health & well-being in the North Country
In 1992, The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was established at the National Institutes of Health to evaluate alternative methods of treatment and integrate those that are effective into mainstream health care practice. NCCAM is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and define CAM health care as a practice that emphasizes the interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit. NCCAM is currently funding clinical trials to study the effects of Yoga, and other CAM, on everything from insomnia to diabetes, HIV disease, cancer, immune function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Introducing Yoga into western medicine is a bit like introducing poetry into a physics class: it is a leap from the objective to the subjective, from the empirical to the felt. Each person experiences stress & illness differently based upon their circumstances & history. The stress response exists in the space between the scientific–the neurological, the chemical and the effect on the organism as a whole–and the individual’s subjective experience. Yoga can meet people in this space between: where the body and mind, science and the subjective converge.
Today, Yoga is one of the top ten complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities used in the United States. Practitioners of this ancient Indian system of health care use breathing exercises, stretches, and meditation to balance the body’s energy centers. People not only practice Yoga for general health and fitness, but also for a variety of health conditions and mental health related issues including but not limited to anxiety disorders and stress, asthma, high blood pressure, and depression (NCCAM, 2007, p. 3). The reasons for the use of CAM popularity go beyond the practical. People seeking alternative medicine are not necessarily dissatisfied with conventional medicine, but because they find health care alternatives to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations toward health and life.
20-year Bethlehem resident, Angela Jones has been teaching people of all ages evidence-based Yoga practices as a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2003. She offers a trauma-sensitive approach based on cutting edge research generated from The Trauma Center of the Justice Resource Institute near Boston and the YogaWarriors protocol from Central Massachusetts Yoga Institute. She holds MLADC; Master Licensed Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor. She offers weekly Yoga class for the general public; drop ins are welcomed. FREE consultations are available for Veterans, active & in-active duty military personnel. Some insurance is accepted and sliding scale fees are available.