Infographic: Yoga for chronic pain


May 17, 2016

05_16 Yoga Infographic



Try yoga for chronic pain management. These 8 poses can help ease your pain and stress.


According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, chronic pain can bring people a variety of negative feelings, including distress, guilt and disturbed belief systems.

Studies have shown that yoga and meditation can help combat some of these negative feelings.

Yoga instructor Becca Broughton and health psychologist Doug Herr, Psy.D., lead a four-week group class at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt that combines support, skills training and therapeutic movement to help those who live with chronic pain.

“Part of the group is group therapy and education around ways of making your life better without just relying on medications and doctors, but using your own internal resources and practices to help and promote self-care,” Broughton says.

Broughton says people with chronic pain are often unable to work as much as they once did, sometimes not at all.

“They’ve sort of lost part of their identity. Or they lost things they used to love to do,” she says.

According to Broughton, the class has two main takeaways for students:

  1. Getting permission to take care of themselves and to learn to think of themselves less critically; a self-compassion piece;
  2. Giving them practices through gentle movement and meditation that can help them to be relaxed and calm.

If the sound of yoga brings up images of painful pretzels, don’t be scared. Broughton says the class is designed with the different types of chronic pain in mind.

“People’s chronic pain is different. Some people need to move a lot, and there are others who can be harmed by movement beyond a range that’s appropriate for them. In this class, we meet in the middle and teach people to relax as a starting point,” she says.


Anesthesiologist Tracy Jackson, M.D., gave this TEDx talk in April 2016 about the frustrating and mysterious nature of chronic pain — and about the alternative therapies, including yoga, that have been proven to provide some relief:


Living Well with Chronic Pain 

Cost: Co-Pay + $40

When: Tuesdays 1-3 p.m.

How to register: Call the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt front desk at 615-343-1554 (option 4)