The positive influence of the ancient practice
The ancient art form of yoga, which relies on asana and pranayama, is deeply rooted in Indian history. With origins dating back 5000 years, it deals with posture, breath-control and meditation.
Practising yoga offers multiple long-term benefits that range from co-ordination of muscles and cardio-therapy fitness to stress busting. This makes it a suitable option for holistic and preventive healthcare.
In 2015, the World Health Organisation declared June 21st as International Yoga Day, leading to the world taking notice of this comprehensive healthcare method.
Preventive vs. Curative Care
The cost of healthcare has skyrocketed, with average hospitalisation and related non-medical expenditures reaching up to ₹6,120 in rural regions and ₹26,455 per treatment in urban areas. With limited healthcare resources and increase in demand, it is safe to say preventive measures hold the key to future healthcare.
The regular practice of yoga can help prevent non-communicable diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular illness, thereby reducing the need for curative medicine. Yoga also serves as a stalwart solution to keep chronic back pain, arthritis and other lifestyle diseases at bay. Research published in Complementary Therapies of Medicines reveals that yoga is also effective in treating pain, anxiety and depression for patients with chronic back pain.
The Science behind Yoga
Regularly exercising from a young age is a proven preventive method for many illnesses. Yoga, with its non-invasive methods, takes primary position in preventive healthcare. A study conducted at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research showed that yoga was effective for ailments such as hypertension and coronary artery disease, where stress plays a vital role.
For illnesses diagnosed at an early stage, yoga is an ideal method for improving quality of life alongside medical care.
The therapeutic effects of yoga lead to improved physiological functions. For example, the practice of pranayama and asana enhances one’s physical fitness and cardio endurance. Yogic postures along with synchronised breathing have also been proven effective in reducing stress. From these positive factors, it is distinctly clear that yoga as an addition to medicine provides holistic health care.
Prevention is better than Cure
The awareness of preventive health care has spread considerably among people. With a growing number of people turning to fitness and wholesome healthcare, yoga is the need of the hour. Corporate offices, schools and other private institutions are starting wellness programs to promote this age-old system that unifies the mind, body and soul.
In addition, health insurance providers are introducing offers for special add-ons that provide coverage for preventive healthcare and encouraging customers to resort to such wellness habits. Covered under a special section of Ayurveda Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), in-patient expenses are reimbursed under the plan.
The identification of this traditional art in the current world of computerisation and technological medicine is a refreshing change of pace. With active participation from the scientific community, the further unexplored benefits of yoga and its role in preventive healthcare could be known.