Why Yoga + Acupuncture work well together
Did you know Acupuncture and Yoga are the time tested treatments that date way back into history? Former originated in China some 5000 years ago and the latter originated in its neighboring country India, approximately 2500 years ago. Both these ancient practices serve the common purpose of improving the body and the mind. These two modalities complement each other and practicing them together has been proven to be highly impactful.
Yoga and acupuncture are more than just poses and needles. Yoga brings together mental, physical and spiritual disciplines. It increases productivity, decreases stress, improves mood and helps bring a state of mindfulness and self-compassion. On the other hand, acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In this very thin needles are inserted into a person’s body with the aim of balancing energy. Acupuncture also plays part in the cure of some illnesses and helps boost well-being.
Yoga and Acupuncture have quite a few similarities between them. Both create and ensure smooth flow of free-flowing energy within the body. In TCM there are 14 meridians, the energetic pathways in the body. Stagnation of energy in meridians results in pain, fatigue, emotional stress etc. Along these pathways are hundreds of acupuncture points. Acupuncturist stimulates these points to ensure smooth flow of energy back to body’s core bringing it back into balance. Yoga helps stretch and widen the meridians increasing the flow of the energy.
When practiced together they are not only mutually beneficial but also enhances each other’s outcome. Based on Asian philosophies Yoga and Acupuncture focuses on releasing the stagnation of energy and its flow in a directed manner. Acupuncture uses needles to release blocked energy and promotes the ‘rest and digest’ state. Certain yoga poses help vasodilation and increases heart rate. Both of which encourages better circulation to alleviate pain. Houman Danesh, M.D., the director of integrative pain management at The Mount Sinai Hospital says, “Of course, you won't be pain-free overnight. It's best to treat these practices like you would PT. The effect is cumulative. You'd likely need bi-weekly sessions of acupuncture for six weeks before seeing changes, and between three and six weeks of yoga to start feeling the effects.”
George Zarnowski, founder of the Elevated Yoga Studio says, “When combined, acupuncture can complement yoga, further nurturing, deepening and balancing participants.” Apart from increased circulation to relieve pain few other collective benefits of Acupuncture and yoga are increased flexibility, they strengthen the mind-body connection and they help bring a person in the present moment.
“Acupuncture is a similar pursuit as yoga: to open you up to your spiritual life," Zarnowski says. Amalgamation of these two therapies maximizes the body’s ability to heal naturally. Take your yoga practice to next-level by incorporating acupuncture with it.