Since the 1970’s, the field of Yoga therapy has been slowly and steadily emerging in the healthcare industry as a viable treatment for an impressive range of medical conditions.  It’s been used in the treatment of osteoperosis, multiple sclerosis, cardiac arrest, chronic pain, schizophrenia, addiction, just to name a very few.  Not only that, but more and more Yoga’s been actively researched with impressive results in America, Europe and India.  Some of these results were showcased at the third annual Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research in Los Angeles at the beginning of March.  It was an electifying experience to be there!  It was an opportunity to mingle with over 600 medical doctors (including psychiatrists), psychologists, researchers, psychotherapists, nurses and other healthcare professionals who were integrating Yoga and Yoga therapy into their healthcare practices and business ventures.

It was particularly exciting to learn about new approaches to the treatment of  psychological trauma and the neurophysiology that underlys it.  It was heartwarming to learn there was a strong research interest in the treatment of psychological trauma from a Yogic perspective, and to see recent research revealing its positive effect on symptom reduction.  It was so encouraging and validating to learn this as for over 10 years I’ve been weaving Yoga philosophy and practice into my counselling and coaching work with people struggling to overcome the psychological effects of trauma and addiction.  Now a part of me can breathe a deep sigh of relief as this approach is proving to be as effective as my clients and my own practice has taught me it is.

Yoga is such a sophisticated science.  It can meet the individual where they’re at and offer relief from painful or troubling symptoms across a range of conditions, and with a depth that is out of the reach of our traditional medical doctors.  We’re in an exciting era of coming to understand from a scientific perspective the depth and breadth of Yoga’s effectiveness!  Of course the ancient sages, seers and enlightened beings who’ve been behind it over the past five or six thousand years have known all along what western science is beginning to learn about Yoga’s viability as a therapeutic model:  It works!   Here’s hoping more research will be done internationally to continue to demonstrate its efficacy to Yoga enthusiasts of all persuasions.

For more information about the recent symposium or the growing Yoga therapy profession, consider contacting the International Associaion of Yoga Therapists at  For further discussion about Yoga in the treatment of psychological trauma and addiction, I welcome your thoughts below.  This is indeed a very exciting time to be a Yoga enthusiast!