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Yoga for healing and recovery

Posted by on in Mental Health
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160322YogaSeries-325When I heard that Oak Street Medical was starting a new six-week yoga class, my first though was, “What a great idea for a medical facility to integrate the body and mind!”

The teachers of the class, Patty Nadel, MSW, LCSW and Michele Bulgatz, MS, 500RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), created the program for women in recovery. They believe that women who are healing from trauma, who may have PTSD or high anxiety, can benefit greatly from yoga.

“Yoga can be an empowering tool to modulate and regulate the body, the mind and the spirit” Michele says.

For those suffering from high anxiety after a trauma, there is often dissociation or detachment and studies have shown that yoga can be a beneficial tool to help bring the body and mind back to center. In his book, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress,” Dr. Bessel van der Kolk wrote, “Research opens up new perspectives on how actions that involve noticing and befriending the sensations in our bodies can produce profound changes in both mind and brain that can lead to healing from the trauma.”

Yoga can be an empowering experience, offering women a safe space to allow the reconnection of their thoughts and their physical being. For some, learning yoga poses can be intimidating at first, Michele says. However, in this safe space, as they learn how to integrate yoga breathing and the movement of the pose, they begin to feel a sense of empowerment and accomplishment, which they can then apply to other parts of their lives.

Patty and Michele say they are excited to see changes in their students in a short amount of time, and they’ve received positive feedback about their program. Many students say they never knew what it was like to feel truly relaxed until they attended this yoga class and report being able to sleep better at night using the breathing techniques that they’ve learned, while others have stopped using medications to fall asleep.

Yoga for Healing and Recovery lives up to its name, and we are pleased to welcome this great program to the Oak Street Medical practice.

This yoga series is currently offered to patients of Patty Nadel and is based on need and availability, but could expand to include more offerings in the future. Check back periodically for more information.

Melanie Chala Wayne, MSN, FNP-BC is a nurse practitioner for Oak Street Medical and Oregon Allergy Associates.