Time and again, we are being told that there is no cure for Scoliosis. That nothing can bring improvement to the condition. Young people with Scoliosis are spending 23 hours a day in braces, and this for the duration of their growing years, in the hopes of stopping the progression of the curves. And then there are of course the operations. I am not here to discuss the pros and cons of other methods. I am sure each has benefits in their own right, and if someone has a Scoliosis which has progressed to the point where the quality of their lives is seriously impaired, I suppose they have very little options but to go under the knife.
But would it not be fair to have a look at all possibilities. Most doctors will tell you that Yoga can not do anything for Scoliosis. And yet…. Time and over again my students come back from check ups reporting their Scoliosis has either stopped progressing, or shows actual improvement on X-ray.
But Scoliosis is more than just lateral curves in the spine, which is what is measured on X-rays. In my experience, Scoliosis is not just a condition of the spine, but one that affects the whole body. It is surely not uncommon to see how students improvement is visible not just in the spine, but also in pelvis, neck and shoulders. Moreover, many of my students notice other changes. Some of them get nicer legs. Their feet get arches. And even faces can become more symmetrical when the pull of the muscles on the spine and neck is altered.
Of course, Yoga is not a miracle cure. And not all Yoga will help. Students with Scoliosis need programs which take their condition in consideration. Their case needs to be studied carefully, and the exercises need to be taught in a way that benefits them. The postures also need to be carefully selected, what benefits one student may actually not be the best in another case of Scoliosis. And as you probably noticed, no two cases of Scoliosis are identical to begin with. Neither are the underlying causes and effects. So it is important to work with a teacher who really understands and has experience in working with the condition.
But a picture speaks more than a thousand words. So I am posting here a few pictures of one of my students, and her journey along the path of Yoga for Scoliosis. The first picture was taken after doing Yoga for a few weeks, and she had already felt considerable changes in the body. The other two were on the dates mentioned below the pictures.
The student whose pictures are posted came to me, suffering from an 83 degree right thoracic scoliosis. She was scheduled to have a subsidized operation, but was very scared to go under the knife, as she was told that there was a two percent risk of being paralysed after the operation.
Apart from this, her pelvis was not level, she had a lumbar curve and her shoulders were not even. Her neck muscles were quite uneven, and the pull of the neck muscles resulted in her face looking quite assymetrical. Her thoracic curve kept progressing, and was estimated to progress to 90 degrees by the time of the operation.
After doing Yoga for some time, she went to see the doctors with regards to the scheduled operation. At that time her pelvis was level, her lumbar curve had disappeared, and her thoracic curve had remained at 83 degrees, rather than progressed to the predicted 90 degrees. Her shoulders were more level, and her face had become more symmetrical due to the decreased pull of the neck muscles. So she told the doctors she did not want the operation…
Another student just got her results back. She was advised to have an operation, but as her condition had improved from 47 to 41 degrees (after 13 private sessions), her doctor decided the operation was not necessary.
These cases are not unique. Many of my students have seen improvement on x-ray, and have managed to avoid an operation thanks to Yoga for Scoliosis.
So does it help ? In all honesty, I think it is about time the medical world would have a serious look at Yoga for Scoliosis as a valid complementary treatment option in the battle against Scoliosis. Already, some doctors and chiropractors have recognized the value of the work I am doing. But it would be wonderful if the benefits of Yoga for Scoliosis were better known. And if the medical world is ready to consider the possibility, I am more than willing to cooperate in clinical trials to prove the benefits of the Yoga for Scoliosis practice. I say no more….