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Thread: Can yoga treat paralysis?

  1. #1

    Can yoga treat paralysis?

    Please, could somebody tell me if yoga brings some results in paralysis, especially complete injury?
    I have a complete injury and I know that a wiil never be able to go, but a yoghin to tell me that he can make me to go.Can I hope it?

  2. #2

    I am no expert on the effects of yoga on spinal cord injury. However, if yoga can reverse paralysis, I think that we would have heard about it by now. On the other hand, yoga may have some beneficial effects of spinal cord injury. First, yoga focusses on aspects of your body that we normally do not think about, i.e. breathing, relaxation, sphincter relaxation, etc. Second, yoga is supposed to have effects on the autonomic system and may be useful for autonomic dysreflexia, etc. It may also be useful for reducing spasticity. Third, it has been shown to have effects of cerebral states. I did a search of the medical literature and found an old paper that mentions some of the possible effects of yoga...


    1. Lerner M (1975). "[Recent medical research on yoga and states of concentration]." Acta Psiquiatr Psicol Am Lat 21(1): 56-63. Contact:
    Traditional oriental thinking attracts the growing scientific interest of occidental practitioners. Dr. Pierre Etevenon, head of the Department of Neuro-Psycho-Pharmacology at the French Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), held several conversations and scientific exchanges with the author, and kindly provided copies of some of his works. They are at the basis of the present paper. M. A. Descamps (Paris) found that asanas--yoga postures-- are generators of dynamic action when there is an extension of the spinal column, whilst they lead to quiet states when there is a flexion of it. Claeys and Gones (Belgium) proved that overall global relaxation, as well as differential relaxation were far more effective and deep when obtained by yogis than those attempted by University students majoring in Physical Education. Lonsdorfer and Nussbaum (France) studied several parameters concerning hatha-yoga and concluded that it provides a regular functioning of the main bodily functions fostering thus a psycho-physical balance. Wallace and Benson (U.S.A.) proved that transcendental meditation increases aerobic metabolism, counteracting anaerobic metabolism which is related to mental distress. Etevenon (Paris) investigated neurophysiological effects of yoga in connection to ancient Indian concepts (Upanishads) on sleeping, meditation and degree of consciousness. Dr. Etevenon has studied the phylogenetic evolution of waking-sleeping cycles, focusing on phylogenetic and ontongenetic appearances of REM cycles (activated sleep). A correlation has been made with EEG studies during states of concentration (yoga, transcendental meditation, Zen). These states have been found to be specific brain activities, and different from deep sleep, in spite of certain similarities in the EEG. Several hypothesis are set forth to explain brain activities underlying sites of concentration. The possibilities of developing a conscious mastering of dreams are also under research, and special attention is paid to the works of Saint Denys (1867), and hindu tradition. This paper discusses also the psychological, therapeutic and anthropological implications of recent discoveries in the field.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kilgore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Madison, WI USA
    We've seen that intense physical therapy is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of regenerative treatments. I imagine that Eastern exercises such as yoga, Tai-Chi, and Wudan-school roof jumping (from the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") would be excellent compliments to traditional physical therapy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Hunt Texas
    Just be careful with the "yoga style" exercise. I was stretching my quadraceps by sitting on the bed with my legs all crossed up in a yoga style position. I then leaned forward as far as I could and this would really stretch the muscles, until I heard a loud SNAP ! I broke the left thigh bone completely in half. Now I have a long fixation plate on the bone and a bunch of screws holding it all together. That was twenty three years ago, and twenty three years since I gave up "YOGA" . By the way, should I be careful having an mri with all this metal in my leg ?

  5. #5
    i tried to use yoga to get back some of the paraysis in bladder and foot from caudia equine syndrome, it was great for stetching and all , but be careful, i detached my bicep tendon at the elbow , it had to be surgically reattached, which made intermittent caterisation a bit more interesting with my right/domianant arm in a half cast! be careful !

  6. #6
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    beaumont tx usa
    isnt yoga that bear with a short bear friend named boo boo?

  7. #7
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Long Island, NY
    No, no...he was a catcher for the Yankees

  8. #8
    Yoga probably isn't a good idea for those with sensory deficits.

  9. #9
    There are many different forms of yoga. Some more mentally focused than physical.

    The benefits can be huge in terms of emotional balance. Physically, yoga exercise with caution is also beneficial.

  10. #10
    It hasn't healed me.

    There are reports of yoga and good nutrition "curing" my other ailment, Graves disease. I suspect they just enhanced the natural path of remission.

    I recommend yoga highly, but don't expect it to cure SCI. You'll be disappointed.

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