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September 5, 2008

Changing The Way I Think

We started an exercise physiology course in school this past week. One of the textbooks is called Strength Training Anatomy which has great illustrations of muscles while weight lifting (along with illustrations for proper form). I've been in search of a similar book for Yoga and it's benefits or one with helpful information about which asanas help various body systems and organs.

So I asked my instructor, thinking he might know of some resources. His response was that he had not heard of anything like that and was not aware of any research literature that addressed that topic. Hmmmm. Research literature. For years I've been floating around in the alternative and complementary medical world which lays claims to all kinds of health benefits without the benefit of research literature.

Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice and practice of asanas has known beneficial effects upon the body observed over thousands of years. However, I'm not aware of a body of evidence that can measure those effects in scientific terms. One of the challenges that I unwittingly put before myself when I chose to go back to school was precision of thought.

Evidence-based practice is the underlying mantra of the instruction because of the goals of the physical therapy industry at large. They have their reasons for teaching this way and those reasons are many and well founded. But what this type of education makes me realize is that my old way of thinking about things is making my schooling more difficult. I ask questions the wrong way. My focus tends to be vague. And my interests are too far off from the norm.

As I forge into my third semester of the program, it's becoming hard to distinguish between some of my classes because information in those topics are part of a continuum. Where does a study of gait analysis end and the study of neuroscience begin? Classes that are easier to distinguish touch on items that have been introduced in previous classes and concepts are starting to overlap from course to the next. The various parts are beginning to coalesce into a whole, like the facets of a crystal.

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Posted by linda at September 5, 2008 6:45 PM

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