cobra pose

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes





Imagine a simple, daily practice that can lower your stress levels, improve your focus, and boost your physical health. Yoga and meditation offer these benefits and more. In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an inevitable part of life. Managing stress effectively is crucial for maintaining mental and physical health. Yoga and meditation are two powerful practices that can help alleviate stress and promote overall well-being. This blog post will explore various yoga poses and meditation techniques that can help you manage stress and contribute to lifetime fitness.





The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation





Yoga and meditation offer numerous benefits, including:






  • Reduced Stress: Both practices help lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, regular yoga practice significantly reduces stress levels.




  • Improved Mental Clarity: Meditation enhances focus and concentration, while yoga promotes mindfulness.




  • Better Physical Health: Yoga improves flexibility, strength, and balance, while meditation can lower blood pressure and improve heart health, as detailed by the Mayo Clinic.





Yoga and Meditation Poses for Stress Relief





Child's Pose (Balasana)





yoga child's pose green on mat





  • How to Do It: Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, and stretch your arms forward, resting your forehead on the ground.




  • Benefits: This pose calms the mind, relieves tension in the back, neck, and shoulders, and promotes relaxation.









Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)










  • How to Do It: Start on your hands and knees, alternating between arching your back (cow) and rounding it (cat).




  • Benefits: This gentle flow between poses helps release tension in the spine and improves flexibility.





woman in white on floor with legs on wall




Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)






  • How to Do It: Lie on your back with your legs extended up against a wall. Relax your arms by your sides.




  • Benefits: This restorative pose reduces stress and fatigue, and improves circulation.













Corpse Pose (Savasana)





room full of yoga





  • How to Do It: Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing up, and legs slightly apart. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.




  • Benefits: This final relaxation pose helps integrate the benefits of your practice, reducing stress and promoting deep relaxation.





Yoga and Meditation Techniques for Stress Relief









Mindfulness Meditation






  • How to Do It: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Observe your thoughts without judgment and gently bring your attention back to your breath.




  • Benefits: This practice increases awareness, reduces stress, and improves emotional regulation, as highlighted by WebMD.





Loving-Kindness Meditation (Metta)






  • How to Do It: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and silently repeat phrases of loving-kindness, such as "May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe."




  • Benefits: This practice fosters compassion and reduces stress by promoting positive emotions.





Body Scan Meditation






  • How to Do It: Lie down and focus on different parts of your body, starting from your toes and moving up to your head. Notice any sensations and release tension as you go.




  • Benefits: This technique helps increase body awareness, reduces stress, and promotes relaxation.





Incorporating Yoga and Meditation into Daily Life






  1. Create a Routine: Set aside time each day for yoga and meditation. Even a few minutes can make a significant difference.




  2. Find a Comfortable Space: Choose a quiet, comfortable space where you can practice without distractions.




  3. Use Resources: There are many online resources, apps, and classes available to guide you in your practice.





The Role of The Therapy Network





The Therapy Network (TTN) offers specialized physical therapy services that include incorporating yoga into treatment plans to help manage stress and promote lifelong fitness. Their experienced physical therapists provide personalized yoga programs tailored to individual needs, ensuring proper technique and maximizing benefits. By integrating yoga with physical therapy, TTN helps individuals achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle, improving both physical and mental well-being.





Lifetime Fitness Through Yoga and Meditation





Practicing yoga regularly not only helps manage stress but also contributes to overall fitness and well-being throughout life. Benefits include:






  • Enhanced Flexibility and Strength: Regular yoga practice improves muscle tone and flexibility, which are crucial for maintaining mobility as we age.




  • Better Posture and Balance: Yoga strengthens the core muscles, leading to better posture and balance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.




  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Certain styles of yoga, such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga, provide a cardiovascular workout that can help maintain heart health.




  • Mental Clarity and Emotional Stability: Yoga and meditation practices promote mindfulness and emotional regulation, which are essential for mental health and resilience.





Conclusion





Incorporating yoga and meditation into your daily routine can significantly reduce stress and improve overall well-being. The Therapy Network provides personalized programs to help you integrate these practices into your lifestyle, ensuring long-term health and fitness. Start your journey to a stress-free life today by trying out a beginner yoga class or downloading a meditation app like Headspace or Calm.





Want to learn more?






metal bar therapy across female quad

Are you dealing with pain, stiffness, or movement limitations? Physical therapists have many ways to help, and one technique gaining popularity is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), also known as the Graston Technique. Let’s explore how this innovative method can help you feel better and move more freely.





What is IASTM/Graston Technique?





steel graston tools on gray background




IASTM uses specialized stainless-steel instruments to target and treat soft tissues like muscles, fascia, and tendons. During the session, the therapist glides the instruments over the affected area, creating micro-trauma that kickstarts your body's natural healing process. Don’t let “micro-trauma” scare you because this is a good thing! A breakdown of scar tissue and adhesions can lead to significant improvements in tissue recovery. While you might feel some mild discomfort during treatment, it’s manageable and part of the process. It’s not painful, but you may experience mild soreness or bruising, which typically resolves within a few days. But don’t worry, soreness and bruising are completely normal—they are signs of your body’s healing response!





How Can IASTM Help You?





Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a versatile tool that addresses various musculoskeletal issues. Here’s how it can make a difference:






  • Chronic Pain Relief: Suffering from persistent pain in your neck, back, shoulders, or knees? IASTM can help reduce pain and inflammation by creating controlled micro-trauma to the tissues which triggers a healing response.




  • Post-Surgery Recovery: Surgery can leave behind scar tissue that limits mobility. IASTM helps break down these adhesions, improving your range of motion and enhancing the quality and flexibility of soft tissues.




  • Sports Injuries: Whether it's a sprain, strain, or other athletic injury, IASTM promotes healing and speeds up recovery. It breaks down adhesions, increases blood flow, releases tight muscles, and enhances tissue flexibility.




  • Muscle Tightness and Trigger Points: IASTM targets tight muscles and painful trigger points, helping you move with ease. By releasing tension and improving blood flow, it reduces discomfort and enhances mobility.









Common Injuries That Benefit From IASTM:






  • Tendinitis:

    • Achilles Tendinitis




    • Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper's Knee)




    • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis






  • Plantar Fasciitis:

    • Inflammation of the plantar fascia causing heel pain.






  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome:

    • Chronic pain disorder is when pressure on sensitive points (trigger points) in the muscles causes pain.






  • Scar Tissue and Adhesions:

    • Post-surgical scars or injury-related adhesions.






  • Shin Splints:

    • Medial tibial stress syndrome causes pain along the shinbone.






  • IT Band Syndrome:

    • Inflammation of the iliotibial band causes pain on the outer side of the knee.






  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

    • Compression of the median nerve causes pain and numbness in the hand and fingers.






  • Chronic Ankle Sprains:

    • Recurrent ankle sprains lead to chronic pain and instability.






  • Golfers' and Tennis Elbow:

    • Medial and lateral epicondylitis causes pain in the elbow.






  • Cervical Pain:

    • Neck pain due to muscle tension or soft tissue restrictions.






  • Lower Back Pain:

    • Often due to muscle tightness, fascial restrictions, or scar tissue.






  • Bursitis:

    • Inflammation of the bursa, such as in the shoulder, hip, or knee.







Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization helps by breaking down scar tissue, improving blood flow, reducing pain, and promoting healing in these conditions.





Watch this IASTM treatment in action! Therapist Mandi Dowdy, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT is using IASTM on Plantar Fasciitis patient, Faith. See how she glides the instrument over the lower leg and locates a trigger point. She then focuses on this point to break down tightness and knots. After the session, Faith walked away feeling more length in her calf and plantar fasciitis tendon.






https://youtube.com/shorts/vmoG39niVPI




Enhancing Your Therapy with Manual Techniques





Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization is just one versatile tool in a comprehensive physical therapy plan. Combining IASTM with other manual therapy techniques like massage, joint mobilizations, and stretching can lead to even better results. This holistic approach helps you manage pain, improve function, and prevent future injuries.
Curious if IASTM could help you? Talk to your physical therapist! They’ll evaluate your needs and determine if this technique is suitable for your specific condition.





Partner with The Therapy Network for Your Healing Journey









Discover more about Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) and other transformative physical therapy techniques at The Therapy Network, where we're dedicated to empowering and educating you to achieve your best health.





NO REFERRAL NEEDED! CLICK TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT





As a Direct Access provider, you can start your journey to recovery at The Therapy Network without a physician referral. Call us today at 757-496-3700 or visit our website to schedule your appointment. Take control of your health and experience the transformative power of effective physical therapy!










woman with cancer showing peace sign

The moment of a cancer diagnosis can feel like a pivotal point in one's life, ushering in a period of uncertainty and challenge. Yet, amidst the complexities of treatments and appointments, two critical pillars of self-care emerge as beacons of hope and resilience: exercise and nutrition.





These components are not just adjuncts to medical treatments but are foundational to enhancing quality of life, bolstering strength, and fostering recovery. As we explore exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment, remember that you're not navigating this path alone.





Let's explore how integrating thoughtful nutrition and purposeful movement into your care plan can be transformative.





Nutrition During Cancer Treatment





The role of nutrition in cancer care cannot be overstated. Proper dietary choices can significantly influence your capacity to manage the rigors of treatment and its side effects.





flyer containing oncology food recommendations. Green leaf, orange fruit, spices, snacks, meat
Click Here To Download




“During cancer treatment, you might need to change your diet to help build up your strength and withstand the effects of the cancer and its treatment. The nutrition plan may mean eating things that aren't normally recommended when in good health.”—American Cancer Society.





Here are four essential considerations to empower your nutrition journey:






  1. Tailored Dietary Strategies: Recognize that your nutritional needs are unique. Engaging with your healthcare team to craft a personalized eating plan can address specific challenges, whether they're related to maintaining weight or managing treatment side effects like nausea or altered taste.






  • Nourishment for Strength: High-protein, high-calorie foods may become more central in your diet, especially if maintaining weight becomes a concern. These choices help sustain your strength, ensuring your body has the resources to repair and recover.






  • Managing Side Effects with Nutrition: Certain foods can alleviate or at least not exacerbate side effects. Soft, cool foods like ice cream or milkshakes might be soothing for mouth sores, while snacks high in protein and calories can offer energy boosts without requiring large meals.






  • Vital Nutrients: Focus on various foods to ensure you receive all necessary nutrients. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals each support your body's fight against cancer and the effects of its treatment.













Exercise During Cancer Treatment





The notion of exercising during cancer treatment might feel daunting; however, research consistently highlights its benefits.





“Some studies have proposed that rehabilitation exercise can reduce the cardiopulmonary adverse reactions, bone loss and incidence rate of fractures caused by cancer surgery or chemotherapy, and improve the quality of life of patients.”--NIH





Here are key insights to guide your physical activity:






  • Safety and Personalization: Consult your cancer care team before exercising. Your safety is paramount, and activities should be tailored to your current health status and treatment phase.





woman with cancer doing yoga





  • Moderate Exercise: Walking, yoga, or light resistance training can improve physical functioning and alleviate symptoms like fatigue and anxiety. The goal is to stay as active as your condition allows, gradually increasing activity over time.






  • Building a Routine: Regular, moderate exercise can enhance quality of life during and after treatment. Benefits include improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and even a positive impact on mood and mental health.






  • Exercise as a Catalyst for Recovery: Beyond immediate quality-of-life improvements, exercise during treatment can lay the groundwork for a more robust recovery, potentially influencing long-term outcomes.





What to Expect at The Therapy Network





At The Therapy Network, we understand the profound impact cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on your physical and emotional well-being. For exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment, TTN’s Oncology Physical Therapy Services support you through this journey, offering:





Customized Care Plans: Addressing symptoms like fatigue, pain, and mobility issues, our specialists tailor interventions to enhance your quality of life.





Innovative Solutions: From aqua therapy to specialized exercises, we utilize a range of modalities to support your recovery and rehabilitation.





women in pool aqua therapy




At The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, you’re not just a patient but part of our family. Our employee-owned structure means everyone you meet invests in your health and recovery.





Exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment are not just strategies for managing a diagnosis; they're integral parts of a holistic approach to cancer care. These elements empower you to control your health and actively participate in your recovery journey. As you navigate the challenges ahead, remember that The Therapy Network supports you every step, offering the expertise, care, and compassion you deserve.





Let's embrace a future focused on wellness, strength, and healing together. Appointments are available today without a doctor's referral.



The path to health and fitness can feel daunting for many of us. At The Therapy Network, we understand the challenges and are dedicated to helping you find the motivation to reach your health goals.





The Forbes Health/One Poll survey found that the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. How can you beat the odds? This blog offers compassionate guidance and practical steps to help you embark on this life-enhancing journey. Here, you will learn the following:






  • The importance of mini-goals




  • How to celebrate success along the way




  • The benefits of sharing your goals with an accountability partner





How The Therapy Network can motivate you to reach your health goals





Confidence Builders: The Power of Small Steps





two women walking
Finding the motivation to begin walking again




Attaining fitness targets begins with setting and achieving small health goals. Whether increasing your daily steps or choosing healthier snacks, these mini victories can significantly boost your confidence. A good practice is to write down your daily goals and check them off as you achieve them. Tailor your goals to fit your lifestyle. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all in health and fitness; it's about what works for you.





A helpful tip from the Therapy Network team is to set one daily goal. It is to walk thirty minutes, cut out sugar for the day, or attend a fitness class. When first setting goals, start with one mini-goal a day.





Remember, every small step counts towards a healthier you.





Incremental Changes to Food and Exercise





Embrace gradual changes in your diet and lifestyle. Switching to more plant-based meals or reducing processed foods are small changes that can make a big difference. Focus on the overall benefits of a balanced diet rather than just weight loss.





Incorporate exercise into your routine in ways that you enjoy. From walking during your commute to joining an exercise class, find activities that fit your schedule and make you happy. Remember, it’s about making exercise a part of your life, not a chore.





Rewards Beyond Food: Celebrating Achievements





Celebrate your successes with non-food rewards. Whether it’s a movie night, a day trip, or quality time with loved ones, find joy in achievements without associating them with food. This practice nurtures a healthy relationship with both your accomplishments and your diet.





For motivation to reach your health goals, make a list of non-food rewards. Keep the list handy and review it often. When you lose ten pounds, what will be your reward? Consider sharing your list with friends or family. Remind friends, family, and your accountability partner that your rewards will be non-food based.





How important is an accountability partner?





Sharing the Journey: Support and Accountability





Delores W at Yosemite after preparing at TTN




Sharing your goals and progress with friends or family can be incredibly motivating. It's not just about sharing the triumphs but also about finding strength and learning from the setbacks. Remember, the journey to better health is not just about the destination but also the shared experiences.





Monitoring your progress can be a great motivator and adds a layer of accountability. Whether through a fitness app or a simple journal, seeing the tangible results of your efforts can spur you on to keep going. It's not just about numbers; it's about recognizing the effort you're putting in.





Motivation to reach your health goals may be only a friend or a phone app away. Or, a professional therapist from The Therapy Network can help you stay motivated.





The Therapy Network: Your Partner in Health





At The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, we specialize in helping you reach your health goals through physical therapy. Since 1987, our commitment to patient-centric care has driven us to offer a wide range of services tailored to your needs.





Our team of therapists are skilled in various modalities like manual therapy, exercise prescription, and more. We focus on understanding your goals and crafting a plan that resonates with your journey.





Celebrating a well earned finish with TTN's Lauren Stacy, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT




We believe in empowering our patients through education and ongoing support. By understanding your body and its movements, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions. Our therapists are here to guide you, offering support and adjusting your plan as needed.





Did you know that you do not need a physician’s referral to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle at The Therapy Network?





Convenient and Specialized Services at The Therapy Network





Our six clinics across Hampton Roads offer extended hours to fit your busy schedule. We ensure the highest quality of care with a range of specialized services and a dedication to innovation.





Your Path to a Healthier Tomorrow





Building motivation to reach your health goals involves small, consistent steps. At The Therapy Network, we support you every step of the way. From setting achievable goals to providing personalized care, we are your partners in this journey to wellness.





Let’s take this step together towards a healthier, happier you.