10 Ways Integrating Yoga Changed My Practice as a PT | HomeCEU

I have always loved yoga but have not had the good fortune (or the good sense) to attend sessions regularly. That's going to change thanks to Chrys Kub. I met her a couple of weeks ago while she was filming her new video courses here in our studio, and we had a discussion about my struggle with anxiety. I was instantly impressed with her deep understanding of the benefits of yoga for all kinds of physical and mental challenges that clients face. More and more physical therapists are reaping these benefits by integrating yoga therapy in their practice; not only does it treat the body, but it also treats the mind. Chrys shares with us some of the valuable things she's learned from yoga that have helped her grow as a therapist.

10 Ways Integrating Yoga Changed My Practice as a Physical Therapist

By Chrys Kub

I have been practicing physical therapy since 1987. It has always been my passion to work with persons with physical disabilities. I have been fortunate throughout my career to do just that, working in a physical rehabilitation hospital for many years with persons who have suffered from spinal cord injury, brain injury and strokes, both adults and children. Watching them progress and transform during therapy whether their situation was from a traumatic incident or a state of being from birth, was life-changing. When I moved into more orthopedics I found it to be less transformative and frankly a bit unrewarding. But even with my neurological patients, I felt there was something missing in my therapeutic approach. I believe integrating the principles of yoga into my practice was that missing piece. Along the way, I have learned a number of things about yoga therapy, which have helped me grow in my practice and better serve both populations.

  1. The most important thing is the relationship. If you create a relationship with your patient, all the rest will take care of itself. Matthew Sanford, Iyengar Yoga Instructor, Paraplegic
  2. As you work with a client, step back and wait. Be patient and let the process and the pose happen. Leeann Carey Yapana Yoga Creator, Yoga therapist
  3. I am not a yoga therapist, yoga is therapy. Leslie Kaminoff, Yoga Teacher, Yoga Anatomy Instructor
  4. It is important to focus not just on treating the symptoms, but finding the cause and treating the imbalances from that. Shirley Sahrmann, Physical Therapist
  5. Let's change our paradigm from doing to being with our patients and empower them to take part in their healing. Matthew Taylor, Ph.D. Physical Therapist Founder of Dynamic Systems Rehab
  6. Yoga Nidra is a type of guided relaxation which can help those who have suffered from trauma, physically or emotionally. Richard Miller, Founder of iRest Yoga Nidra
  7. It is not only the patients who benefit from the integration of yoga therapeutics into the treatment but the caregivers.
  8. Kids love yoga, especially the kids over 5 who have been therapized their whole life.
  9. We don't need to "fix" anyone; everyone is perfect as they are. Leeann Carey, Yoga Therapist
  10. Before you open the door to great your patient for their session, pause, take a deep breath and center yourself so you can be present with them at that moment. Brandon Scot, Occupational Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy is an art and a science. We need to remember that our patients are not just their diagnosis but people, just like us, who are suffering. They come to us seeking guidance. If we can work with them together towards healing, we may not find the “cure” but we can help them learn to live with what is. Take the time to find out about their lifestyle, their mindset and how they view the world. As you build the relationship, you create trust. Together you can come up with a treatment plan which helps them on all levels, physically, emotionally and mentally. I know that when I got into this profession, it was not to treat an “ACL” or a “brain injury", but to treat people. If that was your intention as well, then consider integrating yoga therapy into your practice. You will be amazed at what happens.

About Chrys Kub

Chrys Kub received her Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 1987. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in neurological/orthopedic rehabilitation and pediatrics. Chrys is currently a therapist at Touchstone Therapy in Pineville and runs a private yoga therapy practice called BalancedBody Yoga Therapy. Chrys presented nationally for Disabled Sports USA in workshops across the country on adaptive fitness for people with disabilities and has led Yoga Teacher Trainings since 2001 specializing in Yoga Therapy. She is currently working with LeeannCareyYoga leading YaapanaTM Yoga Master Intensives. Chrys Kub is also an ACE certified personal trainer, Spinning Certified Instructor and 500 EYRT Yoga Educator and Yoga Therapist. Chrys is a presenter of several new continuing education courses, including "Evidenced Based Principles and Applications of Stretching and Self-Myofascial Release", "Evidenced-Based Pediatric Yoga Tools for Children with Developmental Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Sensory Modulation Dysfunction", and "Yoga and Science in the Back".

If you have a question for Chrys, share it in the comments section below or ask us on Facebook or Twitter!

This article was written by Amy-Lynn Corey

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