September is Pain Awareness Month

****September is Pain Awareness Month****

The month of September has been declared Pain Awareness Month (at least in America!) Pain Awareness Month is a time when various organisations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management which seems a pretty good idea to us at Shambhala!

Millions of people live with chronic pain; arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, joint strain, injury, muscle tension…. the list is endless!

Stress can exacerbate pain, whatever its cause. When stress levels are high, pain tolerance may be low. And, pain itself is stressful! A vicious cycle often occurs; pain causes stress – stress causes pain!

Yoga is thought to be one of the best overall systems of stress reduction and can help interrupt this cycle. Stress makes muscles more likely to go into spasm and muscle spasm contributes hugely to both acute and chronic pain. Practicing yoga not only reduces stress but can be an effective way to relieve muscle tightness and subconscious ‘gripping’ or ‘holding’ of muscles.

Yoga promotes both strength and flexibility. This can be extremely helpful especially in conditions such as back pain and degenerative arthritis where weak muscles and reduced range of movement can contribute to the problem. Yoga strengthens muscles supporting joints and, just as importantly, lengthens them which brings mobility to the joints. This all combines to bring alignment and improved function to our joints, muscles, soft tissues and can reduce compression within the joints themselves.

Yoga promotes awareness to correct posture; ‘bad’ posture can be responsible for many problems causing pain in the spine, shoulders and neck. When the head is poised directly above the spine, it takes relatively little effort to maintain its position.

A regular yoga practice can also improve our sleep. Lack of sleep is thought to be a major contributor to pain.

Overall yoga improves our general well-being.

Here at Shambhala we would recommend our ‘beginners yoga’ classes to anyone wanting to try yoga to help with pain management. Phone our reception on 01702 478924 to book a class!

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