This issue focuses on the role of yoga therapy in the management of chronic pain.
Pain is a major reason why people visit their healthcare providers. The CDC recently issued guidelines for prescribing alternatives to opiate medications, including what amount to lifestyle modifications. I believe this provides a tremendous opportunity for yoga therapists to offer healthcare providers support for their clients coping with pain.
A recurrent theme in this issue is that chronic pain is not necessarily an indicator of actual injury and that the experience, or “story,” of pain is influenced by a myriad of internal and external factors, particularly our beliefs about it.
Unfortunately, many people conclude that they are being told the pain is “all in your head” and this can be profoundly alienating. Who wants to be told that their pain isn't real, when it is a huge factor in their life? However, what might sound like the bad news is also the very good news: the perception of pain can be changed through yoga therapy, even if the pain doesn't go away. This message is repeated in the various articles in this issue, on a variety of topics, with great skill and compassion by all of our writers.