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. 2017 Jun 9.
doi: 10.17761/IJYT2017_Research_Covill_Epub. Online ahead of print.

The Use of Yoga by Physical Therapists in the United States

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The Use of Yoga by Physical Therapists in the United States

Mary E Wims et al. Int J Yoga Therap. .

Abstract

How physical therapists (PTs) in the United States currently use yoga in their clinical practices is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine how PTs in the United States view yoga as a physical therapy (PT) tool and how PTs use yoga therapeutically. The authors conducted a 24-item survey via electronic communications of the Geriatric, Orthopedic, Pediatric, and Women's Health Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association. Participants (n = 333) from 47 states and the District of Columbia replied. Reported use of therapeutic yoga among participants was high (70.6%). Of those participants, nearly a third use asana and pranayama only. Most participants using therapeutic yoga also include additional mindfulness-related elements such as sensory awareness, concentration/focus, and/or meditation. Most participants learned about yoga through personal experiences, with many participants citing lack of familiarity in using yoga in PT practice. Safety is the primary concern of participants when recommending yoga to patients as an independent health and wellness activity. Interdisciplinary communication between PTs, yoga therapists, and yoga teachers is warranted to address the post-discharge needs of clients. Healthcare changes have required PTs to adapt to a biopsychosocial-spiritual model (BPSS) for improved patient outcomes. Therapeutic yoga may provide an opportunity for PTs to expand their role in health and wellness and chronic disease management. There is opportunity for continuing education in therapeutic yoga for PTs.

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