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Yoga Therapy vs Chiropractic

Updated on December 8, 2010

Therapy is defined as the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In these modern times, people are increasing looking towards therapies that do not involve taking drugs followed by the inevitable side-effects. Many people in particular, suffer from back pain. Two options available to them which are quite popular are:

  1. Yoga therapy - representative of of the Eastern philosophy for treatment
  2. Chiropractic therapy serves as the example for Western philosophies.

Both these philosophies are aimed at attaining vitality and longevity, and are drug-less treatments.

In this article, we shall first examine chiropractic care, and then we shall concentrate on yoga therapy in the second part of the article. You can then make up your own mind which you think is best for you.

Chiropractor explaining a spinal condition
Chiropractor explaining a spinal condition

Facts About Chiropractic Care

It is the chiropractor's job to focus mainly on problems associated with the nervous system, muscles and joints. The patient will first undergo an examination that usually will include x-rays, diagnosis and then treatment. This involves chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue work and therapeutic exercises. Chiropractic professionals use a kind of hands-on remedy called the spinal adjustment or manipulation to heal patients.

Chiropractics is Science-Based

A chiropractor is quite a qualified professional who has taken both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in order to attain his title. He then has to pass the National as well as the State Board Examinations to make sure that he uses only the highest levels of techniques as well as applications to ensure patient wellness. Although chiropractic care is thought to be a holistic approach, yet it is science-based.

Chiropractic is Safer than Other Treatments

When you go to a chiropractor, you can expect to receive natural, non-surgical and drug-free forms of treatment in order to enhance your body's natural ability to improve and recover. The treatment course could be very short if the patient responds to the treatment positively.

Knowing the Risks

It would be risky if you relied on someone who posed as a chiropractor but did not go through the necessary training. First do a background check, then ask for patient referrals and, last of all, review the chiropractor's license and note which school he graduated from and if he is registered in your state.
Check the rates as well, so that you avoid paying exorbitant fees. You can avail of packages, depending on your condition to ensure that you will only be paying the amount that was initially presented to you.

Some Disadvantages

Sometimes disadvantages arise when a patient receives a chiropractic treatment. There may be risks such as spinal or neck injuries due to improper maneuvering of the joints. At first, some patients may find that the treatments are quite painful; others may not receive any benefit from the chiropractic treatments.

Typical Chiropractic Costs

On the average, the cost of a chiropractic session will be approximately $65 for a general vertebrae adjustment. According to the Chiropractic Economics Magazine, sessions will range anywhere from $34 to $106 per session. New patients should expect to pay more due to a health consultation. There will also be additional costs for x-rays which could be anywhere from $44 to $159. Now many health insurance plans will cover some expenses incurred due to chiropractic visits. These treatments, according to the American Chiropractic Association, are tax-deductible.

Yoga Therapy Is Different

Yoga therapy, unlike chiropractic, is not necessarily based on western science, although a yoga therapist may make a point of learning about human anatomy and some have advanced medical degrees rthemselves. And presently there are no specific licenses that a yoga therapist must attain as far as the law is concerned. Now, there are many certifications which yoga teachers may obtain. Standards for those certifications are largely based in the recommendations of the Yoga Alliance. The States are even beginning to use their standards as requirements for yoga teacher trainings.

A yoga therapist may actually be a licensed physical therapist. And there are certainly licensing rules for that in each state. But as far as "yoga therapy" goes there are no additional standards. It is really kind of a gray area as to who can and can't be a yoga therapist. You can find out more about yoga therapy at the International Association of Yoga Therapists website. The IAYT is making an effort to standardize the field and are currently taking recommendations from their member schools which are due in July 2011 according to their website.

Regardless of the fact that this is a new and emerging field of therapy, there is certainly agreement on what make yoga therapy unique. Yoga therapy goes beyond conventional yoga teaching in that it is meant to address specific medical conditions, much like physical therapy. Yoga therapy combines medical knowledge and diagnosis with yoga teaching. The goal being to prescribe various stretches, postures and sequences to treat a patient's health condition. That could mean helping them recover from an injury, building strength, or improving posture.

Yoga Theraptis working with a patient
Yoga Theraptis working with a patient

Yoga Therapy is Based on Yoga Practice

These are the benefits that one can expect to gain when practicing Yoga:
Yoga benefits: strength, posture, breathing, less stress, more calm, concentration and mood, heart benefits, effects on other medical conditions such as asthma, arthritis, back pain, multiple sclerosis and insomnia.
The only way to be certain of all that yoga can do for you is to try it for yourself and see.
Yoga classes in the gym are going to be quite a bit cheaper than if you sign up for individual instructions. If you already have a gym membership, you will be able to have access to amenities such as the weight room and pool. You must also think about the commitment you will need if you attend Yoga classes at a gym. If you decide to take classes at a yoga studio, you will be able to take drop-in classes at your discretion. Another thing to think about is perhaps you can teach yourself Yoga in your own home. There are many DVDs on the market that teach the basic techniques of Yoga.


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      Dr Emily Kiberd 3 years ago

      For a look into a beautiful fusion of chiropractic, functional movement, and yoga therapy, take a look at our multi-disciplinary wellness clinic in NYC and corporate wellness offerings.

    • profile image

      Dr Emily Kiberd 3 years ago

      As an alignment based yoga instructor and a Chiropractor in NYC with a focus on functional movement and compensation patterns, I believe each profession on its own is a wealth of knowledge and as a fusion of both, the sky is the limit on how you can heal the body.

      Many yoga instructors believe that if there is an area is tight then that area needs to be stretched, lengthened, "opened." This is a common misconception especially from a profession that is not allowed to diagnose problems.

      Tightness in one part of the body can be an area that is overworking or compensating for a different area that is lacking stability. Another option is there is a lack of motor control and the movement center of the body, the brain has forgotten how to connect to this area, and a certain area will feel pain or be tight.

      The beauty in the fusion of yoga and chiropractic is as a chiropractor you can diagnose whether an area of pain is something serious "red flag" and needs to be referred out, or if this area is a mobility or stability issue, then use the yoga functionally to re-pattern these dysfunctional movement patterns.

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      restrelax 5 years ago from Los angeles CA

      Wow amazing hub information. Thanks for sharing with us.