Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
"Practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain"
Bushnell showed that many chronic pain patients have associated anxiety and depression as well as deficits in cognitive functions. That, of course, makes sense - how can you not be anxious and at least a bit depressed - if you're living with and look towards a future with chronic pain???
Chronic pain alters both the structure and function of the brain - but yoga apparently can counteract those structural and functional changes.
I believe it...There's something about breathing right that really helps. It does take time, though. No one shot wonders here. On other hand - the effect seems to increase over timeBushnell said there is compelling evidence from studies conducted at NIH/NCCIH and other sites that mind-body techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can counteract the brain anatomy affects of chronic pain.
“Practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain,” said Bushnell.
“Insula gray matter size correlates with pain tolerance, and increases in insula gray matter can result from ongoing yoga practice,” said Bushnell.“Some gray matter increases in yogis correspond to duration of yoga practice, which suggests there is a causative link between yoga and gray matter increases,” Bushnell noted.
Assessing the impact of brain anatomy on pain reduction, Bushnell said gray matter changes in the insula or internal structures of the cerebral cortex are most significant for pain tolerance.
Check out Dan Moricoli's Yoga On the Path site for video's of people with chronic illnesses who've improved using yoga