Should occupational therapists incorporate yoga into treatments?
Occupational therapists help a wide variety of patients overcome illness, injury and disability. One physical therapist job might require an occupational therapist to work with patients who have had a stroke. These therapists will help patients overcome their limitations through evaluations and completing the activities the patients need or want to do.
A healthcare staffing company may want to take note of a recent study that has determined that group yoga can improve multiple post-stroke variables. Researchers in Indiana have published their findings online in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
In the study, the benefits of group yoga among chronic stroke survivors, those who had a stroke more than six months prior, were tested. The classes were taught by a registered yoga therapist and included modified yoga postures, relaxation and meditation, according to Science Daily. The researchers explained yoga may be a more therapeutic means of exercise than other traditional forms because of the combination of postures and breathing methods.
"However, stroke patients looking for such help might have a hard time finding qualified yoga therapists to work with," said Arlene Schmid, Ph.D., O.T.R., lead researcher and a rehabilitation research scientist at Roudebush Veterans Administration-Medical Center and Indiana University. "Some occupational and physical therapists are integrating yoga into their practice, even though there's scant evidence at this point to support its effectiveness."
Researchers were unable to draw extensive conclusions from the experiment because of the small number of participants. The scientists hope to conduct a larger study soon, but in the meantime feel group yoga created "very meaningful changes in life for people," according to Schmid.
Therapy staffing organizations may want to encourage occupational therapists to consider implementing group yoga into a stroke patient's treatment plan.
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