How Yoga Can Improve Your Health

Yoga has long been touted for its many health benefits. One study of 750 heart disease patients found that after six months of three hourly sessions of yoga, significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and waist circumference were found. And when yoga and exercise sessions were performed for six months, the effects were even greater (Tanwar et al., 2017).

How Yoga Can Improve Your Health

Another study found that in a group of veterans (who had reported experiencing depression for an average of over 11 years) who completed nine weekly session of yoga of approximately 2.5 hours each, levels of depression, rumination, anxiety, stress, and worry were found to be lower – and remained lower when tested four months later – than before the yoga intervention (Vollbehr et al., 2017).

Yet another study done by researchers at Waterloo found that just practicing 25 minutes of Hatha yoga or mindfulness meditation per day boosted the brain’s executive functions, cognitive abilities linked to goal directed behavior, and the ability to control knee-jerk emotional reactions, habitual thinking patterns and actions (Luu & Hall, 2017).

For Timothy Mccall, who is both a Western trained physician and practicing yogi, and the author of Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing, however, it is yoga’s prescriptive benefits that offer the most promise. He cites numerous conditions, such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and arthritis where well known experts like Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, and John Friend have used yoga as a way to directly treat, and dramatically improve, numerous symptoms.

Defining yoga as “a systematic technology to improve the body, understand the mind, and free the spirit,” McCall offers what could truly be considered a paradigm shift in the world of western medicine – that yoga can be used as medicine itself. In his fascinating book, he offers a broad based guide for anyone looking to used yoga to improve symptoms related to specific conditions, as well as a review of the best practices, suggestions, and exercises physicians can use immediately to improve the health of their patients.

Professional Development Resources is a non-profit provider of online continuing education courses for healthcare professionals and is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

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Can Yoga Really Help Manage Pain?

Via Scoop.itHealthcare Continuing Education

Plenty of studies have tried to determine whether taking up yoga can actually help lessen pain. In a recent report, a team of researchers sifted through the science and identified 10 randomized clinical trials on the subject involving hundreds of patients.
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New CE Courses Address Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

new CE courses address complementary and alternative medicine

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We (Professional Development Resources) have expanded our course catalog to include a variety of new continuing education (CE) courses dealing with various aspects of complementary and alternative medicine. New topics include mindfulness meditation, yoga as medicine, self-healing through breathing exercises, and the use of herbal medicines. The courses are intended to introduce health professionals to the healing power of traditional approaches to health and wellness.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCAAM), defining complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is not easy. It is generally considered to be a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. “Complementary medicine” refers to use of CAM together with conventional medicine, such as using acupuncture in addition to usual care to help lessen pain. “Alternative medicine” refers to use of CAM in place of conventional medicine. “Integrative medicine” (also called integrated medicine) refers to a practice that combines both conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness.

“We think it is important for clinicians to be familiar with these approaches for two reasons,” says Leo Christie, PhD, CEO of Professional Development Resources. “First, many of the clients we see are using such treatments, so we need to know about them. A recent survey indicated that about 38% of adult Americans use CAM. Are the treatments safe? Do they work? We need to worry about interactions between certain herbal supplements and prescription medications. Second, researchers are starting to produce a body of scientific evidence on the efficacy of complementary and alternative approaches. As new and effective treatments become available, we need to be in a position to discuss them with our clients.”

Among the new courses offered are:

Christie adds “we emphasize in our courses that – as with any medical treatment – there can be risks with CAM therapies.” These general precautions from NCAAM can help to minimize risks:

  • Select CAM practitioners with care. Find out about the practitioner’s training and experience.
  • Be aware that some dietary supplements may interact with medications or other supplements, may have side effects of their own, or may contain potentially harmful ingredients not listed on the label. Also keep in mind that most supplements have not been tested in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.
  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use.
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Yoga as Medicine: the Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing


Yoga as Medicine

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This is a test only course (book NOT included). The book can be purchased through Amazon or another source. The CE test is based on the book Yoga as Medicine: the Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing (2007, 592 pages) by Timothy McCall, MD, a medical doctor trained in the United States and avid yoga practitioner. Dr. McCall describes the practice of yoga as a technology for promoting health, and – as a major emphasis – presents scientific research that demonstrates the beneficial effects of yoga for ameliorating many common illnesses.

This course is intended to correct common misconceptions about yoga and to provide a framework for understanding the conditions under which yoga may be beneficial for a variety of health and mental health issues. The general health benefits of yoga are discussed, followed by a discussion of yoga’s role in treating anxiety and panic attacks, arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, infertility, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menopause, multiple sclerosis, and obesity. This course is intended for health and mental health professionals who have an interest in integrative and alternative medicine. Course #80-49 | 54 posttest questions

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define common terminology associated with yoga practice
  2. Name several major types of yoga
  3. Identify common misperceptions about yoga as a health practice
  4. List guidelines for practicing yoga safely
  5. Describe scientific research literature supporting yoga as a technique for improving health
  6. Identify differences between therapeutic yoga and conventional medicine
  7. Identify strategies for integrating yoga into ones lifestyle

About the Author(s):

Timothy McCall, MD, is a board-certified internist, the Medical Editor of Yoga Journal and the author of two books, Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing and Examining Your Doctor: A Patient’s Guide to Avoiding Harmful Medical Care. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Public Citizen’s Health Letter, The Nation, American Health, Redbook (where he was a contributing editor), The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Los Angeles Times. His column appeared monthly in the newsletter Bottom Line Health from 1995 to 2003. From 1996-2001 his medical commentaries were featured on the public radio program Marketplace. He writes feature articles for Yoga Journal and columns for the magazine’s online newsletter for teachers, My Yoga Mentor (free subscription available online through Yoga Journal).

Timothy has studied yoga since 1995 with Patricia Walden, a teacher of classical Iyengar yoga. More recently, he has been working with Donald Moyer and Rod Stryker. In addition, Timothy travels regularly to India to research yoga, yoga therapy and Ayurveda, and to study with a traditional Ayurvedic Vaidhya (doctor) in Kerala and a Tantric master in Bangalore. In 2004-2005, he spent a year as scholar-in-residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA.

Timothy is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he also attended medical school. After completing his residency in primary care internal medicine, he practiced for more than 10 years in the Boston area before devoting himself full time to writing and research. His main focus since the year 2000 has been investigating the therapeutic aspects of yoga, as well as the scientific explanations of yoga’s effects. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area, and gives lectures, seminars, and yoga workshops around the U.S. and internationally.

Accreditation Statement:

Professional Development Resources is recognized as a provider of continuing education by the following:
AOTA: American Occupational Therapy Association (#3159)
APA: American Psychological Association
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
CDR: Commission on Dietetic Registration (#PR001)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) & State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678)