01 Dec How a 5000 year old philosophy can help your 21st century health practice
Persistent pain is a tricky thing to treat for many health professionals. Pain is a very personal experience, the cause is often unknown and the symptoms non-specific. It affects someone’s mind as much as their body.
Yoga, as a philosophy as well as exercise, can help. Through health programs we have designed for individuals, I’ve seen people with pain feel more at home in their body, and happier in themselves.
Along the way I’ve also realised how beneficial a yoga practice is for health professionals who work with those in pain. That’s why I designed Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training to show yoga as both therapy and practice.
To date, 37 physiotherapists, yoga teachers, OTs and other health practitioners from three states in Australia and New Zealand have completed the training.
So what exactly can you expect in this course? How can it help your work as a health care provider?
Speaking the right language
Many people are convinced pain is inevitable and permanent. In Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training we learn to help someone examine their beliefs so they feel encouraged to do what is best for them. We practice using the confident language of the health professional, the precise techniques of the yoga teacher, and the caring approach of the educator to find different ways to begin a conversation.
This opens the doorway for your client to shift from seeking a quick fix to considering a longer term approach to their health care.
How to find out what your clients really need
A challenging part of health care is knowing what your client actually needs. The more we know ourselves, the more we can empathise with others and accept them. A yoga practice of our own helps develop this self-knowledge and compassion.
Throughout Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training we learn to ask the kinds of questions that help you get to the bottom of what’s really going on for someone. Good questions give the information you need to offer the best solutions.
Nurture your client’s health, nurture your clinic
Yoga offers techniques to help manage stress, discomfort and irregular sleep. Once someone has a regular yoga practice to address those immediate concerns, they’ll be ready to progress to considering what they want to do in life.
With a little preparation, you can assist them with this next, exciting, part of their journey. (Without a path beyond alleviating pain, their pain tends to return.)
Start designing your program
Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training is just two and half days. We cover a lot of ground. Rather than tell you what to do, I’ve found it more valuable to share the skills you need to design a yoga-based program for your own clients. This includes working with the biopsychosocial-spiritual model and working in teams to create something more powerful than going solo.
Networking and support
Practitioners have said they really value meeting others interested in this area. They say connecting with peers gives them motivation, a stronger referral network, and new opportunities for collaborations that can really make a difference for the people they want to help.
We build time into the course to get to know each other, including lots of guided group conversation and team work. Post-course, participants are invited to a regular Skype practitioner call to stay up to date and connected.
As we learn more about how to best help our clients, we can each also grow our knowledge, skill and capacity so as to offer even more.
To join Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training in 2016 register your interest here or sign up to the mailing list. If you don’t work specifically with pain but are interested in our approach to health care, we start Yoga for Health Practitioners in 2016 so please get in touch.