How a UVA Nursing study may offer relief to the 50 percent of Americans with chronic disease
Could a modified Downward Facing Dog pose be used as a therapeutic pose in chronic low back pain? Help improve mobility for the obese? Ease the discomforts of patients wrestling with COPD?
While pharmaceuticals are often a primary source of relief for those with chronic conditions, there’s growing interest among patients and providers for non-drug relief as well. And while yoga is well-known to relieve stress and promote wellness, individuals with chronic diseases may avoid it because they perceive it’s beyond their reach.
“This is a chance to bring yoga’s benefits to an entirely new set of individuals,” explains researcher Tamara Fischer-White, RN, PhD. “By evaluating gradients of poses – enabling someone who is obese, perhaps, to do an adaptation of ‘tree pose’, for example—we will measure the effect, the muscles engaged, and calculate the impact and exertion of the involved joints.”
In this first-of-its-kind study, Fischer-White's research team is investigating whether computer models can provide evidence-based support for yoga therapy as a health-enhancing option for those seeking relief from chronic disease who might otherwise find traditional yoga impossible. With a $40,000 Jefferson Trust grant, the team is hoping to open up yoga for all. >>