You are slouched over your desk, working 100 hours a week to meet work deadlines. You compromise on your rest, food and relaxation because let's face it, work is top priority.
Soon enough, you observe a small niggling pain on your shoulder or your back. Predictably, you ignore it because let's face it, you're only 30 years old, and you couldn't be bothered with all this.
A month down the line, that pain has become your constant companion. It faithfully follows you around when you perform even the most basic of activities like taking a bath or tying your shoe laces.
A few rounds of doctor visits and a barrage of tests later, you discover that your shoulder pain has a very frightening medical name, it needs fistfuls of pills, daily physiotherapy and most importantly, total and absolute rest for, you heard it right, 6 months!
6 months later, with a very heavy heart and a very light pocket, you show up at a yoga center seeking alternative treatments, because now you're wedded in pain.
A little bit of counselling to weed out the fear of living that the doctor has drilled into you and a few months of yogasana later, you discover that your 'miraculously' pain free, you're eating and sleeping better and experiencing a sense of joi de vivre.
I have observed numerous such cases at Yoga Sangha. A member of mine was suffering from right shoulder and tingling sensation in his hands, pain and stiffness for almost 3 years before he tried yoga.
An MRI scan revealed a cervical disc bulge.
In this own words, "After taking physiotherapy for some time, I realized that unless I do something by myself, these machines are not going to work on my body. As soon as I stopped treatment, the pain came back.
Today after 6 months of regular yoga practice, I have no hand pain, right shoulder is normal and back pain had reduced to some 5-10% of my old pain"
Many Yoga Sangha members reveal that they all suffered from niggling back or knee issues. Most times, doctors recommend extreme rest measures like 'don't ever bend your knees', or 'do not climb stairs' coupled with extreme treatments like surgery. Of course, there are a few doctors who recommend yoga. And all of them eventually rediscover good health after a few months of yoga practice.
The human body is an exquisite piece of machinery, in fact, it's the most sophisticated machine known to man. And it's capacity to self-heal, given the right conditions and a little bit of prodding, is just too underestimated. We're becoming so dependent on pills and machines to help us get better that we willfully let the body degenerate and then promptly expect some machine to help us getting better. Without ever giving the body a chance to regenerate.
That's why I tell all my members to have a lot of faith in their own body. Don't blindly go by what doctors recommend. They're humans after all and not infallible.
I'll finish this post with a thought-provoking quote by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, "Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease."