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When you think about traumatic brain injury treatment, yoga probably doesn’t come to mind. But neurologists across the country are beginning to prescribe yoga routines to help their brain injury patients heal.
Yoga is a relaxing exercise that improves balance and flexibility. But for the survivors of traumatic brain injury, yoga routines can be a key step on their road to recovery.
From Texas to Minnesota, doctors are prescribing yoga to their brain injury patients. The exercise routines can be tailored to suit a variety of ability levels and therapeutic needs. According to Neurologist Dr. Ronald Tarrel of Noran Neurological Clinic and Abbott Northwestern Hospital:
“You can work on these separate areas that each patient with a brain injury may have — their balance, their strength, their breathing — which is ultimately very important, movement in general, posture, and stability.”
Rohrer, the yoga manager and instructor at Modo Yoga Austin, agrees:
“It’s really good for them to get on their feet and on their hands and work with gravity in a way that activates that part of their brain. . . . When you’re working with someone who’s lost such a huge part of their body it’s really, really inspiring to see them take even the littlest step towards regaining self-esteem and strength.”
Consistent yoga exercises can be used to relearn breath control, coordination, and balance, and can strengthen muscles weakened by prolonged bed rest.
Brain injury patients can see the improvement for themselves. Cavin Balaster of Austin suffered a diffuse axonal injury after he fell 20 feet on a job site. He was in a coma for 12 days. Now he uses yoga to regain his mobility and independence.
“One of the first poses was to just stand with your feet close together and close your eyes. . . . Originally, I couldn’t do that without losing my balance and almost falling down. . . . I like to say yoga was the most effective and least expensive therapy that I did for my brain and body that I did after my injury.”
Treating a head injury isn’t like setting a bone. The best brain injury treatment regimes address the whole person, including physical therapy and occupational therapy, to help TBI patients recover in all areas where they have lost capacity. They involve reteaching the brain and retraining the body to do what most people take for granted.
That’s why brain injury patients often need extensive care from top specialists in their field who are able to use new ways to help the brain heal. But these treatments cost money, and unfortunately, often patients’ insurance can be resistant to paying for things like physical therapy and yoga classes.
In Michigan, these are all considered medical expenses and are covered by drivers’ no fault insurance after an auto accident. Brain injury victims need expert auto accident lawyers like the team at Christensen Law to make sure all their medical needs are met. If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.