Updated: Oct 6
I've come to realise that who you choose to go to, to improve a health issue, is fundamentally a choice about the solution you will get.
Every expert has their own range of solutions. If you go to a GP, you may be given a prescription for medication or referred to a specialist for scans, tests or surgery. A nutritional therapist is likely to suggest eliminations to your diet and prescribe a number of supplements from a high quality brand. A yoga teacher will seek to balance the mind and body, reduce stress and regulate the breath.
I think there is a place for everyone, and the health service becomes so much better when we work together. That is why I am very happy to complement Shilpa's PrivateGP.org practice. Together we provide a comprehensive health service, using conventional, functional and traditional medicine, sharing information and results to provide the best possible outcome for patients, so that they can stress less, and live with ease.
At the Claygate Yoga Clinic, I take time to listen to what is going on for you. Often physical health issues are symptoms brought about by mindset, habitual patterns or lifestyle choices. For example, a chronic muscle or tendon issue may be related to the Liver meridian, which governs the sinews and is related to holding on to tension. The mind, body and spirit are interconnected so it makes sense to understand the whole you in order to bring balance and a fresh start to your health.
What happens in a therapeutic yoga session?
Therapeutic yoga sessions start with a full evaluation, so that I can understand the whole picture of what's going on for you. I ask questions and take time to listen. Quite often, a number of symptoms which seem to be unrelated can be made sense of through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the 5 Elements.
When you begin to make sense of what you're experiencing, it can be quite a relief. You're not falling apart at the seams!
Taking a TCM approach to yoga helps me to guide individuals into poses that engage and open meridian lines by working with the 5 elements to provide a therapeutic experience. Each element is linked to a season, a primary emotion, a pair of organs (which have their own circadian rhythm when symptoms are stronger), and much more. Unlike Conventional Medicine, organs in TCM represent their entire energy channel as well as emotional landscape. Through yoga postures, we sometimes connect to larger themes like kindness and forgiveness, releasing frustration or creating introspection (which are aspects of the elements). It really depends on what is going on for the individual at the time.
During the Late Summer transition into Autumn, you may notice symptoms of Cold or Dampness - increased mucus in the airways, feeling unsettled, more cold and flu viruses circulating. A lack of clarity can be one piece of the puzzle pointing to an imbalance in the spleen qi, which can also show up as digestive issues. Earth element yoga practices which seek to ground can be particularly helpful, just as channeling gratitude, allowing us to feel more positive. The Stomach and Spleen are associated with Earth; the energy meridians run up the front body and inner thighs/groin and into the jaw; neutral yoga poses such as Camel, Crescent and King Pigeon open up the front body, as well as Wide Leg poses and Triangle, to activate the spleen channels and bring balance.
Human beings are complex and TCM is a great framework for treating individuals as the unique beings that we are, allowing me to design a bespoke yoga practice to get you feeling like you again.
Nicky is a therapeutic yoga teacher, specialising in Teen Yoga Therapy, Women's Health & Fertility, Mental Health & Wellness, and Sleep Recovery. She has completed many trainings in Traditional Chinese Medicine with Strala Yoga and Yoga Medicine and holds a Level 3 Diploma in Shiatsu. To find out more, go to www.claygateyogaclinic.co.uk and arrange a FREE Discovery Call.