Yoga and Chiropractic – The Dream Team?
Updated: Aug 16
When I finally hung up my rugby boots at age 38, quite literally everything was hurting! I had back and neck pain my body was bruised and battered after many broken bones, countless concussions and a few trips to the hospital.
The final straw had come when I was forced to have reconstructive surgery on my right knee. It was time to make some big changes and it was time to heal. I needed a new pastime and a new sport.
“Healing takes time – just stay on track. It’s worth it!”
Twenty years on and my body is virtually back to how I wanted it to be. Now, nothing hurts any more. The arthritis that had started has gone away. My flexibility and range of motion are possibly better than ever and my coordination and core strength are like I am twenty again.
Some people ask me how I have done this and my answer is always the same.
“Because I’m a chiropractor and I know how the body works. Because I know that my body, like all of nature, never stands still, it is constantly changing, remodelling. Like my own little internal construction site, it is constantly breaking down and rebuilding. I know how to build healthy bones, tissues and joints. My body responds predictably to laws of the universe and I know these laws. I have applied these laws and now I’m good as new again.”
“Everyone’s life is an evolving journey as of course is our health. We are all in a constant state of change, based not on luck but on known laws. I too have been on a journey, which finally led me to Singapore. In my early days I was very tough on my body and 20 years of hard rugby and downhill skiing took its toll. Here’s my story of how I first destroyed my body and then how rebuilt it almost as good as new. I’m often asked how I apply the principles of chiropractic to stay as healthy as I do. So here it is.”
~Tim Errington, Chiropractor
Of course I also take care of all the main pillars of health and my daily regime constantly nurtures healthy change. I have realigned my spine with regular chiropractic care and my aerobic fitness comes from swimming, cross training and cycling, all low impact to my joints.
One of the great things in my life that has helped me enormously on this path is my discovery and embracing of the art, the science and the philosophy of yoga.
Yoga compliments the chiropractic care I receive perfectly
In fact when I first read about the philosophy of yoga it was like being back at chiropractic school. Both holistic and natural, they both promote balance, alignment and healthy movement.
Yoga frees up your prana or life force for a healthier life, and chiropractic releases your innate healing potential by taking pressure off the nervous system. When applied together they compliment each other perfectly.
The type of yoga I have been practicing is called ‘Hatha’ yoga, the yoga of physical postures, and poses known as ‘asanas’. Yoga has caught on so much in recent years that it is hard to walk down the road without noticing a yoga training studio. Unlike many sports, yoga can be practiced by almost anyone.
Here are my top 10 benefits of yoga, seen as a chiropractor. It is my firm belief that all of us should stretch more and strengthen our core. Yoga gives this process protocols to follow, and once you feel the benefits enhancing your life, there is no going back.
Top 10 benefits of yoga
1) Improving flexibility
Yoga’s movements and positions help to improve the function of all the joints of the body.
2) Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons
The complex movements open and move the joints exercising the different soft tissues – muscles and ligaments. A previously rigid, stiff body, ?can amazingly become far more flexible. This promotes a tremendous feeling of returning health and comfort within our own body.
3) Yoga massages the vital organs
There are very few forms of exercise that can have a massaging effect on the glands and organs of the body. Yoga however, practiced correctly, will effect all our vital internal organs, such as our prostate or uterus, and especially our digestive tract. This massaging has enormous benefits, helping us to function well and remain disease free.
By stretching our muscles and joints, and massaging our organs, yoga improves the delivery of blood to all parts of our body. Not only supplying nutrients to our body, this also helps flush away toxins and metabolic waste products that build up.
5) Tones our muscles
Flaccid, weak muscles gradually develop a healthy ‘tone’, or a state of healthy, partial contraction, that supports our structure. The improved muscle tone, improves our strength, and helps burn more calories. In turn we then lose excess flab.
6) Improved coordination and dexterity
The regular practice of yoga brings to us an understanding of how our body works. It helps us control our movements to the extent that we become better at everything else. More than that, yoga helps us avoid injury, improve balance and sharpens our protective nerve reflexes.
7) Increases the heart rate, providing aerobic benefits
Certain flowing exercises (eg Sun Salutation) have various positions to go through in a series, either without break or with very short breaks between poses. ‘Vinyasa’ yoga has such a dynamic ‘flow’. The flowing movement stimulates the cardiovascular system without straining your heart, and importantly without over-stressing your hips, knees and ankles.
8) Stretching and flexing helps unclog the colon
Colons, all clogged with digestive waste, are extremely unhealthy and lead to a number of unfortunate diseases. The movement of yoga helps loosen this build-up, and our entire digestive tract can be more efficient, bringing many health benefits.
9) Practicing yoga helps alleviate stresses
Yoga helps to turn off our Sympathetic Nervous System (stress response) and stimulates our Parasympathetic Nervous System (growth, repair & rejuvenation) allowing us to rest and sleep more easily, improve digestion and immune response, and improving the process of healing and regeneration.
10) Yoga keeps us young
This is my favourite. Improving our bodies many functions in so many ways, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to keep you feeling and looking young.
These are my top ten benefits but there are many, many more. Better balance, healthier reflexes, less pain, improved sleep, less anxiety and stress and therefore better relationships…….the list just goes on and on. More energy improves every area of your life, even your sex life. Go on, give it a try. Even better, combine Chiropractic with yoga for the most extraordinary results.