Exploring the use of Yoga as a health care tool

by Dr Daniel Tilley BHscChiro. MClinChiro.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a peaceful breathing and movement-based practice that has been used for thousands of years to create presence of mind and living with contentment. With modern-day society being filled with the pressures of work demands, family commitments and social media expectations, some would argue that a practice such as yoga has more importance and relevance than ever!

Let’s review the highest level of research for mind and body healthcare, in particular, the research behind the use of yoga as part of chiropractic, massage and psychology integrated care.

Using the latest knowledge, yoga as a health care tool is gaining support based on research from major educational institutions around the world.

It is so exciting to be able to review and see in practice, the benefits of integrating yoga into a health care clinic.

What is Integrated Care? 

Integrated care is about getting better health outcomes by having multiple practitioners work together. No two people are the same, individuals have unique challenges, so their care plan is unique to help them achieve the best outcome.

Practitioners from all fields who favour this approach commonly share this belief: treat a person as a whole in mind, body and spirit. Focus on the patient’s chosen path and use the best available evidence when making treatment decisions. Practitioners who work together as a team, with the patient driving their care is so powerful!  Adding Yoga in the team makes it more than just a collection of services, it creates a space where we can change lives. 

Yoga as a holistic approach for mind and body is very well known. The philosophy has been taught for thousands of years. As a modern validation, it is now demonstrated through controlled studies that to apply yoga practice for health and healing is beneficial for physical and mental health conditions.

Some people attend class and some seek the private services of a yoga therapist. The best approach is to be assessed by your health professional and integrate yoga into your health care plan. We recommend you find a clinic – such as Breathe Holistic Health – that applies yoga in a therapeutic way with trained yoga therapists or instructors.

Please contact us with any enquiries as we are happy to help you.

What does the research say about yoga in integrated care?

Yoga for depression: a review of 12 randomised controlled trials of yoga for clinical depression reported that yoga was significantly better than usual care, relaxation exercise, or aerobic exercise in decreasing depressive symptoms (1).  Depression is seen as a wider issue than ‘just in your head’.  Yoga can help manage the symptoms of depression by moving, breathing and stimulating the brain, often improving quality of life and helping psychological care to be more effective.

Yoga for PTSD: This area is still undergoing intense research on a larger scale subsequent to positive smaller studies. High grade research has been performed on military veterans and showed ‘that a breathing-based yoga intervention was associated with larger decreases in PTSD symptoms than the control group’ (2). This is extremely positive as PTSD is such a debilitating condition.

Yoga for Anxiety: Anxiety affects people of all countries and walks of life. Research in this area is extensive and has been performed by institutions in multiple countries crossing many cultures. Of the 27 studies found regarding this topic, 18 were considered to be of a very high grade. All of those 18 studies showed ‘a significant decrease in the state and/or trait of anxiety through the use of yoga’ (3). 

Yoga for Low-back pain: Patients who suffer long-term lower back pain have been given the strong recommendation by the American College of Physicians to use yoga with other non-pharmaceutical approaches like Chiropractic and massage as part of multidisciplinary rehabilitation. The benefits of less pain and better function have been reported with improvement in the short and long term. People in these studies were cleared to safely perform yoga prior to commencement of the study.

Yoga for Headaches: Headaches are such a complicated phenomenon with many different types of causes. This area is very new with yoga research and so far, one study with 72 people has been conducted. The results were favourable showing participants had a decrease in the intensity and frequency of headaches. There are further studies in development currently at this time. Headaches are effectively managed with psychology and chiropractic as well. If you know someone with persistent headaches please be kind, as it is usually affects their enjoyment of life. 

Yoga for Arthritis: Arthritis is a common aching, stiffness, weakness in the joints and a problem that affects people often in their golden years of leisure time. Arthritis has been widely researched and it might be best to cover the latest 2018 collective studies of a huge 1557 participants. People with knee arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis found that regular yoga may be useful in reducing knee arthritic symptoms, promoting physical function and general wellbeing. The benefits are related to more than just pain, with people achieving more freedom to do the things they want to do with less pain and restriction. (Please note the study recommendation was to be under close guidance in class with an instructor that is well rehearsed with managing arthritis.)

What to do next should you wish to integrate yoga into a care plan?

Firstly, find a clinic space or practitioner that uses the approach of integrated yoga for health and healing. Next, is to find a yoga studio that can provide the support and expertise you need to heal.

Be upfront with your desire to take an holistic approach.

We at Breathe Holistic Health have a purpose built clinic and team to manage these health conditions.

Please contact us and we can help. Should you need help finding a similar Clinic or space near to you, please email us or give us a call. We connect with other studios locally and interstate. (phone 5679 5593 or email admin@breatheholistichealth.com.au.)

How much yoga, and for how long until I see benefits?

What we know works best according to several papers, as well as our clinical observations, is to practice yoga at least once per week and ideally 3 times per week for health conditions. All of the above studies engaged participants in yoga 2 times to 4 times per week for the benefits. Benefits are reported to occur within 48 hours to 2 weeks and it is best to practice for a minimum of 3 months. At 6-9 months is when the most benefit has been reported. Regular practice at a minimum of weekly can help maintain your achieved health improvements.

We strive to make our yoga as affordable as possible with unlimited monthly yoga offered at the very reasonable price of only $99.

Are you too sick or injured to get help???

The answer is never give up. We have seen the power of integrated care time and time again. The journey begins with the first step which is to book a thorough assessment with our health professional. The purpose of the initial visit is to make sure you are in the right place and that we can help you.

Personal Power is to believe in yourself – healing takes the mind and body working together to bring about change.

Did you know that integrating Yoga helps support you so you can manage your anxiety symptoms and helps you get more out of psychological counselling?

Did you know that how you move affects how you think?

Did you know that chiropractic and yoga helps you manage pain better?

We know how to help you!

  Call 5679 5593 to book your initial assessment or your first class or book online at breatheholistichealth.com.au



  1. Yoga for Depression and Anxiety: A review of Published Research and Implications for HealthCare Providers. Lisa A Uebelacker, PhD: Monica K Broughton BA.. Published Rhode Island Medical Journal March 2016.
  2. Yoga as an Alternative and Complementary Therapy for Patients Suffering from Anxiety: A Systematic Review. Manoj Sharma, MBBS, MCHES, PhD and Taj Haider, MPH published Journal oF Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2013
  3. Yoga for Pain: What the Science Says National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health – Clinical Digest for Health Professionals September 2018

If you want to learn more about how you could benefit from integrating yoga into a care plan, come in for a chat, book an appointment online or call 0756795593.