Here’s why this school is replacing detention with yoga

mindbodygreenVerified account @mindbodygreen 12h12 hours ago

“What’s more important? Punishing kids for a mistake they made or teaching them some skills that they can actually use in life to not make the same mistakes again?” Here’s why this school is replacing detention with yoga — via

Feeling down? Try this sequence of gentle supportive yoga poses.

yoga journal mild depression

 

Dissolve Depression

Feeling down? Try this sequence of gentle supportive yoga poses.

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/yoga-for-depression

 

Studies indicate that regular exercise too, including yoga asanas and breathing, can help some people ease the symptoms of mild to moderate forms of depression.

Cleveland Clinic: The connection between pain and your brain:

cleveland chronic back pain

Chronic Back Pain? You May Find Relief With Behavioral Medicine

Understanding the brain’s relationship to pain

No pain, no gain? Not true for people suffering from chronic back pain. Instead, it’s the opposite: Back pain is one of the main causes of missed work (and missed paychecks).

But could the key to coping with chronic back pain be in your mind? “We actually know that pain is not just a sensory, or physical, experience,” says psychologist Sara Davin, PsyD, MPH. “It is also an emotional experience.”

Dr. Davin explains how you can harness your pain management super-powers by understanding the very real connection between pain and your thoughts.

The 411 on the mind-back pain connection

To understand how it all works, think of pain’s purpose. Pain is your brain’s way of alerting you that something is wrong, whether it’s a stubbed toe or a slipped disk.

How your brain processes an injury, then shares that information, has a direct connection to the level of pain you feel. You’re aware of pain because your brain tells you it’s there. (Psst — your brain also controls your thoughts and emotions.)

“Pain is processed in the brain and the central nervous system. Both have areas connected to the sensory experience, but both also have areas connected to the emotional experience,” Dr. Davin explains. “The sensory and emotional go together to create the output of one’s experience of pain. So to comprehensively treat chronic back pain, we have to look at both sides.”

And while traditional treatments like medications and physical therapy can take the edge off, they often ignore the elephant in the room: your thoughts.

“Managing back pain with behavioral medicine strategies might even prevent the pain from becoming chronic,” Dr. Davin states.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy for pain?

CBT for pain is talk therapy’s more specialized cousin. It’s a behavioral medicine strategy that teaches people how to:

  • Make the connection between how they think about their pain and the way they interpret it.
  • Understand how pain impacts their emotions.
  • Choose coping skills to help with how they function and behave.

Still not sold? Dr. Davin gives this example: Someone who feels that their pain is unbearable may cope by lying in bed and isolating themselves from activities they value. “This cycle can go on and on,” she explains. “The person becomes more helpless and then, from a physical standpoint, becomes weaker. Naturally, they now have even more pain.”

With CBT, that helpless feeling (and associated pain) is kicked to the curb because pain psychologists teach people how to:

  • Pace activities so they don’t overdo it.
  • Practice relaxation and meditation to decrease pain and stress.
  • Soothe their central nervous system, which increases the feeling of pain when under stress.

The proof is in the pudding. Dr. Davin runs an interdisciplinary program that uses physical therapy and CBT to treat chronic back pain. Patients participate in this program for 4 to 10 weeks, depending upon their progress.

“Folks in the program were better when compared to physical therapy alone,” she reports. “We have consistently seen significant improvements across all quality of life measures, including how much pain interferes with someone’s life, levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression, plus improvements in pain-related disability.”

Interestingly, one of the metrics that improves the most in the program is how satisfied participants are in their social roles. “In our program we teach people how to start having fun again and connected with others,” Dr. Davin notes. “I suspect this is why we see people wanting to be more socially active after the program.”

3 ways to put this new knowledge into action

Here’s how you can incorporate behavioral medicine strategies into your back pain management:

  1. Find a good pain management doctor. “You want a doctor who helps you rehabilitate and regain quality of life, but who also thinks about pain beyond its physical components,” Dr. Davin says. “Patients often struggle with the behavioral piece and think it means that their pain isn’t real. But your pain is real — you just need someone to help you manage it better using behavioral medicine skills and strategies. Pain psychologists are trained to do this.”
  2. Get your research on. Dr. Davin suggests powering up your e-reader and searching for books that outline the basic strategies for cognitive behavioral therapy for pain. Your doctor may also recommend an online course or resources that offer science-based education about how to overcome chronic pain.
  3. Don’t neglect physical therapy. Dr. Davin emphasizes that physical therapy is essential to maximizing back pain relief. “A physical therapist who’s trained in pain and neuroscience education can explain why behavioral medicine treatments work, plus help you use them,” she says.

Chronic Back Pain? You May Find Relief With Behavioral Medicine

How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?@ClevelandClinic

cleveland break sweat

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

 

You know exercise builds muscles, strengthens bones, keeps your heart healthy and your mind sharp. But it also does something that you might not think much about: It helps keep your immune system — your internal defenses against infection — in tip-top shape.

If you take time for some physical exertion each day, it helps get your body ready to attack bacteria, viruses and toxins that can sneak in and make you sick.

But how much exercise is effective? Do too little or too much, and it won’t have the best effect on your immune system.

Clinical immunologist  Leonard Calabrese, DO, answers common questions about how exercise can impact your immunity and how to use your workouts to shut out a world of would-be invaders.

Q: How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?

A: If you exercise moderately on a regular basis, it tunes up the immune system in many ways. It enhances your broad-based defenses against viral infections, such as those causing upper respiratory infections.

Working out regularly also reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory illnesses and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Q: How much exercise do you need?

A: Fortunately, you don’t have to push yourself to the limit to rev up your immune system. In fact, your immune system needs less of a workout than you get with your average cardio routine.

Focus on getting 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week, and your immune system will thank you.

Q: What types of exercise are most helpful?

A: Moderate exercises, including biking or walking briskly in your neighborhood, are good ways to get your blood flowing. Swimming is also a good option for non-weight-bearing exercise for your joints.

Also try mind-body exercises such as Tai-Chi, Qi Gong and yoga, which are all options that help keep your joints flexible. These exercises also reduce chronic stress, which in itself is a powerful immune booster. These exercises can also help alleviate osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia symptoms.

Q: Can too much exercise set your immune system back?

A: Yes, though, the level to which it can slow your system down is still up for debate.

Research shows that exercising for more than 1.5 hours without refueling your body or giving it enough time to recover suppresses your immune responses for up to a few days. During that time, your cortisol levels rise, your white blood cell count drops and you’re more likely to develop a respiratory infection.

This problem usually affects elite athletes, such as marathon runners, most.

On the flip side, staying sedentary also increases your risk of infection, inflammation and chronic disease.

Q: Can exercise make an illness worse?

A: Yes, it can. This is a complex issue, but I like to tell my patients to do a “neck check.” If your symptoms are mostly of a mild cold without fever or lower respiratory symptoms, such as a productive cough, wheezing or shortness of breath, mild exercise can actually reduce congestion and may make you feel better.

If your symptoms are primarily in your lungs or you have a significant fever its better to rest until things settle down. Regardless, good hydration is important.

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves

yoga journal therapeutic tool

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves
Your yoga practice can be a therapeutic tool for pain management and prevention. Try this gentle sequence to target your nerves and protect their signaling powers.
yogajournal.com

Join Tiffany Cruikshank at Yoga Journal’s upcoming event in January at 1440 Multiversity. Learn more at yogajournal.com/thepractice.

Jenny Jimenez

With all of the new and emerging information on pain science, yoga students and teachers have the opportunity to apply modern research to their practices and help alleviate and prevent pain.

Preliminary research suggests that gentle movement of your nerves is vital to both managing pain and supporting the general health of your nervous system. The idea is that healthy nerves should be able to gently slide, elongate, and angulate within neural tissues (some nerves can move as much as ¾ inch) in order to adapt to different loads and minimize pressure that can worsen existing pain, alter sensation, or lead to new pain patterns. Sometimes, tone and tension around neural tissues can be a problem. These tissues are bloodthirsty and rely on an important pressure gradient around them to maintain adequate blood flow. So even small changes in tissue tension around a nerve can be enough to block nerve mobility and lead to compression that disrupts blood flow and nerve signaling back to the brain, contributing to pain.

See also Low Back Pain 101: 3 Sequences to Ease Your Pain

To help you keep your nerves adaptable and protected, try the asana technique on the following pages based on an understanding of neurodynamics (the study of nerve movement through its surrounding tissues) and nerve pathways. We have the ability to alternately put tension on different ends of the nerve to create a movement of the nerve through the tissues, often referred to as nerve gliding. As you floss the nerve, you potentially allow it to move more freely so that it can communicate more efficiently with your brain. For example, the sciatic nerve runs through the back of your leg, so in Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) if you bend your knee (raised leg) and flex your foot, you’ll put tension on one end of the nerve (by your foot) and slack the other end (by your knee). This action draws the sciatic nerve and its branches toward your foot. Then, as you extend your knee and point your toes, you’ll reverse the areas of tension and slack. This action draws the branches of the sciatic nerve toward your knee. When you put these movements together you can encourage the sciatic nerve to move back and forth through its tissues more effortlessly. You also may down-regulate local inflammatory responses, restore healthy blood flow to the hard-working nerve, and encourage more efficient communication between your brain and body. Optimal signaling is crucial if you want your immune and nervous systems to function at their best, which is another reason to add nerve gliding to your repertoire.

The key to nerve gliding is to move gently within an easy range of motion. Since your target is the pain-free movement of your nerves, not of your muscles and fascia, you want very little sensation or stretch. It’s a great reminder that even in the physical body there’s clearly more to what we do than just sensations or the feel-good endorphins associated with them. Another thing I love about this approach is that, in addition to being a safe way to work with pain, it’s very accessible since it’s about simple, gentle movements.

See also Reduce Pain and Discomfort with These Poses for the Pelvis

Sequence – Neurodynamic Movement

To begin, pick a nerve you want to focus on and find a range of motion that’s accessible, pain-free, and with very little (if any) stretching sensation. Do 5–10 repetitions of the pose or this sequence once or twice a day. If you’re using these moves more preventatively, try rotating a few of them into your regular practice a couple times a week, and remember that in group classes there’s more than just stretch and sensation affecting the tissues. Happy flossing!

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/gentle-yoga-sequence-to-target-your-nerves

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves

yoga journal therapeutic tool

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves
Your yoga practice can be a therapeutic tool for pain management and prevention. Try this gentle sequence to target your nerves and protect their signaling powers.
yogajournal.com

Join Tiffany Cruikshank at Yoga Journal’s upcoming event in January at 1440 Multiversity. Learn more at yogajournal.com/thepractice.

Jenny Jimenez

With all of the new and emerging information on pain science, yoga students and teachers have the opportunity to apply modern research to their practices and help alleviate and prevent pain.

Preliminary research suggests that gentle movement of your nerves is vital to both managing pain and supporting the general health of your nervous system. The idea is that healthy nerves should be able to gently slide, elongate, and angulate within neural tissues (some nerves can move as much as ¾ inch) in order to adapt to different loads and minimize pressure that can worsen existing pain, alter sensation, or lead to new pain patterns. Sometimes, tone and tension around neural tissues can be a problem. These tissues are bloodthirsty and rely on an important pressure gradient around them to maintain adequate blood flow. So even small changes in tissue tension around a nerve can be enough to block nerve mobility and lead to compression that disrupts blood flow and nerve signaling back to the brain, contributing to pain.

See also Low Back Pain 101: 3 Sequences to Ease Your Pain

To help you keep your nerves adaptable and protected, try the asana technique on the following pages based on an understanding of neurodynamics (the study of nerve movement through its surrounding tissues) and nerve pathways. We have the ability to alternately put tension on different ends of the nerve to create a movement of the nerve through the tissues, often referred to as nerve gliding. As you floss the nerve, you potentially allow it to move more freely so that it can communicate more efficiently with your brain. For example, the sciatic nerve runs through the back of your leg, so in Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) if you bend your knee (raised leg) and flex your foot, you’ll put tension on one end of the nerve (by your foot) and slack the other end (by your knee). This action draws the sciatic nerve and its branches toward your foot. Then, as you extend your knee and point your toes, you’ll reverse the areas of tension and slack. This action draws the branches of the sciatic nerve toward your knee. When you put these movements together you can encourage the sciatic nerve to move back and forth through its tissues more effortlessly. You also may down-regulate local inflammatory responses, restore healthy blood flow to the hard-working nerve, and encourage more efficient communication between your brain and body. Optimal signaling is crucial if you want your immune and nervous systems to function at their best, which is another reason to add nerve gliding to your repertoire.

The key to nerve gliding is to move gently within an easy range of motion. Since your target is the pain-free movement of your nerves, not of your muscles and fascia, you want very little sensation or stretch. It’s a great reminder that even in the physical body there’s clearly more to what we do than just sensations or the feel-good endorphins associated with them. Another thing I love about this approach is that, in addition to being a safe way to work with pain, it’s very accessible since it’s about simple, gentle movements.

See also Reduce Pain and Discomfort with These Poses for the Pelvis

Sequence – Neurodynamic Movement

To begin, pick a nerve you want to focus on and find a range of motion that’s accessible, pain-free, and with very little (if any) stretching sensation. Do 5–10 repetitions of the pose or this sequence once or twice a day. If you’re using these moves more preventatively, try rotating a few of them into your regular practice a couple times a week, and remember that in group classes there’s more than just stretch and sensation affecting the tissues. Happy flossing!

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/gentle-yoga-sequence-to-target-your-nerves

Cleveland Clinic: The connection between pain and your brain:

cleveland chronic back pain

Chronic Back Pain? You May Find Relief With Behavioral Medicine

Understanding the brain’s relationship to pain

No pain, no gain? Not true for people suffering from chronic back pain. Instead, it’s the opposite: Back pain is one of the main causes of missed work (and missed paychecks).

But could the key to coping with chronic back pain be in your mind? “We actually know that pain is not just a sensory, or physical, experience,” says psychologist Sara Davin, PsyD, MPH. “It is also an emotional experience.”

Dr. Davin explains how you can harness your pain management super-powers by understanding the very real connection between pain and your thoughts.

The 411 on the mind-back pain connection

To understand how it all works, think of pain’s purpose. Pain is your brain’s way of alerting you that something is wrong, whether it’s a stubbed toe or a slipped disk.

How your brain processes an injury, then shares that information, has a direct connection to the level of pain you feel. You’re aware of pain because your brain tells you it’s there. (Psst — your brain also controls your thoughts and emotions.)

“Pain is processed in the brain and the central nervous system. Both have areas connected to the sensory experience, but both also have areas connected to the emotional experience,” Dr. Davin explains. “The sensory and emotional go together to create the output of one’s experience of pain. So to comprehensively treat chronic back pain, we have to look at both sides.”

And while traditional treatments like medications and physical therapy can take the edge off, they often ignore the elephant in the room: your thoughts.

“Managing back pain with behavioral medicine strategies might even prevent the pain from becoming chronic,” Dr. Davin states.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy for pain?

CBT for pain is talk therapy’s more specialized cousin. It’s a behavioral medicine strategy that teaches people how to:

  • Make the connection between how they think about their pain and the way they interpret it.
  • Understand how pain impacts their emotions.
  • Choose coping skills to help with how they function and behave.

Still not sold? Dr. Davin gives this example: Someone who feels that their pain is unbearable may cope by lying in bed and isolating themselves from activities they value. “This cycle can go on and on,” she explains. “The person becomes more helpless and then, from a physical standpoint, becomes weaker. Naturally, they now have even more pain.”

With CBT, that helpless feeling (and associated pain) is kicked to the curb because pain psychologists teach people how to:

  • Pace activities so they don’t overdo it.
  • Practice relaxation and meditation to decrease pain and stress.
  • Soothe their central nervous system, which increases the feeling of pain when under stress.

The proof is in the pudding. Dr. Davin runs an interdisciplinary program that uses physical therapy and CBT to treat chronic back pain. Patients participate in this program for 4 to 10 weeks, depending upon their progress.

“Folks in the program were better when compared to physical therapy alone,” she reports. “We have consistently seen significant improvements across all quality of life measures, including how much pain interferes with someone’s life, levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression, plus improvements in pain-related disability.”

Interestingly, one of the metrics that improves the most in the program is how satisfied participants are in their social roles. “In our program we teach people how to start having fun again and connected with others,” Dr. Davin notes. “I suspect this is why we see people wanting to be more socially active after the program.”

3 ways to put this new knowledge into action

Here’s how you can incorporate behavioral medicine strategies into your back pain management:

  1. Find a good pain management doctor. “You want a doctor who helps you rehabilitate and regain quality of life, but who also thinks about pain beyond its physical components,” Dr. Davin says. “Patients often struggle with the behavioral piece and think it means that their pain isn’t real. But your pain is real — you just need someone to help you manage it better using behavioral medicine skills and strategies. Pain psychologists are trained to do this.”
  2. Get your research on. Dr. Davin suggests powering up your e-reader and searching for books that outline the basic strategies for cognitive behavioral therapy for pain. Your doctor may also recommend an online course or resources that offer science-based education about how to overcome chronic pain.
  3. Don’t neglect physical therapy. Dr. Davin emphasizes that physical therapy is essential to maximizing back pain relief. “A physical therapist who’s trained in pain and neuroscience education can explain why behavioral medicine treatments work, plus help you use them,” she says.

Chronic Back Pain? You May Find Relief With Behavioral Medicine

Why a Strong Core is Your Best Guard Against Back Pain

A group of adults are taking a fitness class together at the gym. They are working out on exercise mats and are holding a high plank.
A group of adults are taking a fitness class together at the gym. They are working out on exercise mats and are holding a high plank.

A physical therapist answers your questions

If you suffer from back pain, you’ve probably heard that strengthening your core can bring you some relief. But is this always true? And if so, how do you do it? We spoke with Cleveland Clinic physical therapist Patti Mariano, DPT, to find out.

Q: What is your core?

When most people think about the core of the body they think of the abdominal or six-pack area just below the ribs. While the abdominal muscles are an important part of the core, we consider other areas important, too.

Your core includes:

  • Front abdominal muscles — the rectus abdominis
  • Muscles along the side of your body — the internal and external obliques
  • A deep muscle that wraps around the front — the transverse abdominis
  • Muscles in your back that are located between your spine bones and run along your spine — the erector spinae and multifidi

Your core also includes the diaphragm and muscles of the pelvic floor. I also consider the gluteal muscles as core muscles.

Q: What is the relationship between core strength and back pain?

Theoretically, if your muscles around the low back are weak, your body will rely more on passive structures, including ligaments — the tissue that connects bone to bone — as well as the spinal bones or discs, which lie between the spinal bones, for stability, which can cause pain.

But some studies have shown that specific core exercises are not any more beneficial than general exercise for low back pain. What we know is that exercise in general can help, and focusing on core muscles may provide some additional benefit.

Q: What are some exercises for the core that can help with back pain?

Here are my top five:

  • Side plank — Sit on the floor with your right hand below your right shoulder and feet stacked. Lift your body, keeping your legs long, abdominals engaged and feet stacked. Hold. Repeat on the other side. You can modify this pose by dropping your bottom knee to the floor for extra support.
  • Plank — Kneel on all fours. Pull in your abdomen and step your feet behind you until your legs are straight. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and your neck straight. Hold your abdomen and legs tight and avoid letting your lower back sag. Hold and breathe for 30 seconds. You can modify this pose by lowering your knees.
  • Bird dog — Kneel  on all fours. Reach one arm out in front of you, draw in your abdomen, and extend the opposite leg long behind you. Repeat on the other side.
  • Scissors — Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and legs pointed straight into the air above your hips. Press your lower back into the mat and tighten your abdomen. Lower your right leg until it’s a few inches from the floor. Raise your right leg up and begin lowering your left leg the same way. Continue switching right and left.
  • Upward dog — Lie face down with head slightly lifted and hands palm-down under your shoulders. Point your toes. Exhale, then press through your hands and the tops of your feet and raise your body and legs up until your arms are straight and your body and legs are off the ground. Keep your neck relaxed and long and thigh muscles tight as you hold and breathe.

For the plank exercises, start by holding them for 15 seconds to 30 seconds. For bird dog and scissors, try three sets of eight or 10 repetitions. For upward dog, do one set of 10 repetitions.

Q: Can you injure your back by trying to strengthen your core?

Any exercise performed incorrectly, whether it is core-strengthening or otherwise, has the potential to cause discomfort.

Twisting exercises or even incorrectly completing the exercises cited above can cause pain in the low back. But it’s highly unlikely that one repetition of an exercise will seriously harm your body, unless it’s an exercise using a very heavy weight.

The best way to keep your body safe is to listen to body cues such as pain during and immediately after an exercise, and the next day after exercising.

Q: When should you talk to a doctor about your back pain?

If any of the following is going on you should consult with your doctor:

  • Your pain has been going on for longer than a month, despite resting from activities that make it worse.
  • Your pain is getting worse.
  • Your pain wakes you from sleep.
  • Your pain is in your low back but also is going down one or both of your legs.
  • You notice that one leg is becoming weaker than the other.

Q: Where should you turn if you want help in creating a plan to address back pain?

Physical therapists train as musculoskeletal experts — they are the experts on muscles, bones and human movement. These professionals are the most qualified, aside from an orthopedic doctor, to assess back problems.

Since there are many factors that impact low back pain and many types of low back pain, it is a good idea to visit at least one time with a physical therapist for an evaluation and subsequent plan of care. This will give you an individually tailored plan with exercises that progress safely.

The idea of core strengthening, while beneficial, is just one piece of the low back pain puzzle.

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/07/strong-core-best-guard-back-pain/