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Yoga to speed up recovery?

Aaron2010-07-04 15:34:43 +0000 #1
My doctor tells me that I have tennis elbow in both elbows. Of course, as the damage is to the tendons the recovery process will take a long time. My GP stated 18 months although from what I can gather 12 months is more common.

I'm already 2 months into that recovery process (on one elbow, the other is more recent) and am starting to do some light exercise aimed at improving blood flow and strengthening my elbow while I'm at it, of course being careful to stop before I feel any pain.

The only method of exercising my arm that seems to be working for me is using a 2.5kg weight, holding it with my palm facing upwards (GP tells me this is less likely to aggravate the injury) and holding it in a variety of positions: elbow bent at 90 degrees, arm straight out in front, to the side, raised directly upwards. In all positions it's just a static hold for around 30 seconds. I spread these exercises throughout the day as I'm concerned about compacting them all into one session.

To me this appears to be the best method of speeding up the healing process but as my methods and those of yogis tend to differ, I wouldn't mind hearing some thoughts on the best way to heal my elbows.


InnerAthlete2010-07-04 15:43:33 +0000 #2
Hello Aaron,

Please keep in mind that each of us answers you within our own context. So my response must be prefaced with "in Purna Yoga...".

When there is an "itis" the first thing advocated to the student is rest. These sorts of things are issues usually stemming from repetitive movement and movement itself, when lacking integrity can be counter productive.

In the larger picture when the student has a therapeutic issue a therapeutic response must meet it. For us that is a three-prong approach: Diet/Nurtition, Asana/Pranayama, and emotional work (as all things in the physical body are merely manifestations).

This sort of work is the work of private yoga therapy sessions one-on-one with a therapeutically trained teacher. Some do believe walking into Gold's Gym to take a Hatha Yoga class is therapeutic in nature. I assure you it does not fit even the most rudimentary of definitions.

So I suggest making the diet very, very clean (so the body's own healing process is stoked) and by clean I mean no fat-free thingies, no processed foods, nothing in a package or can, no coffee, alcohol, refined sugars etcetera. And lots of deep green leafy vegetables, a beverage that will hydrate you to the cellular level, and an assortment of foods leaning toward an alkaline state in the body. Additonally, anything (fitting the diet outline) that reduces inflammation would be good for you. Consider cooking with more turmeric.

Asana may be counter productive but a gentle pranayama would be very appropriate as it can move the body into a parasympathetic state where the healing process is at its best. GENTLE pranayama, not ANY pranayama.

The emotional work relative to joints can be a fear of moving forward in one's life or a lack of mental /emotional/life flexibility. It will be up to you to go inside of yourself and dialogue with your body about what "this" is that is manifesting in your elbows.
Aaron2010-07-04 15:46:07 +0000 #3
Thanks, that's been very helpful.

I intend to make a few adjustments based on what you've said.

Although you did lose me with the emotional part:

Quote:

The emotional work relative to joints can be a fear of moving forward in one's life or a lack of mental /emotional/life flexibility. It will be up to you to go inside of yourself and dialogue with your body about what "this" is that is manifesting in your elbows.

I can see how emotions play a role in how someone functions internally, but particular injuries being related to particular feelings.. I wonder is that belief based on science or philosophy?

Either way, would you care to elaborate?
Pandara2010-07-04 16:05:48 +0000 #4
Namaste Aaron,

Our emotions are extremely powerful in the sense that they create the dis-ease in your body long before you even realised it (even in past incarnations). Following the emotions are the mental patterns we have towards dis-ease or discomfort in our lives and the two combined eventually manifest the physical dis-ease which you need as there is something you need to learn from it, both mentally, emotionally as well as physically.

In my humble opinion all dis-ease/illness in our bodies relates to four main emotional culprits:

Criticism - usually leads to those illnesses related to itis behind it.

Anger - usually turns into boils or it can burn or infect the body.

Resentment - festers and eats away at the body, such as cancer.

Guilt - always seeks punishment and leads to pain.

To release these patterns you have to work not just on the physical level, but also on the mental as well as most importantly emotional level at digging deep to find the roots of the illness in order to uproot it completely from your life.

In our bodies our elbows represent changes in direction in our life and the ease with which these changes happen and how we accept them (or resist). When we resist these changes due to underlying fear, anger, resentment or guilt, it manifest eventually as some illness or dis-ease.

Now it is up to you to dig deep and search for the underlying pattern and usually it is something which goes back a number of years, or it may be even an emotional pattern we carried over from a past incarnation, only you will be able to discover that and work on it, this nobody can do for you.

I trust this shed some light for you, I am sure IA might be able to add more to this and will welcome his input as well.
Nichole2010-07-04 16:57:40 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pandara



In our bodies our elbows represent changes in direction in our life and the ease with which these changes happen and how we accept them (or resist). When we resist these changes due to underlying fear, anger, resentment or guilt, it manifest eventually as some illness or dis-ease.

Please, if you will, share your source for the elbow "theory." Is this rooted in classical Yoga?

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