A yoga therapy prescription

Robyn Tiger, MD, C-IAYT, is a radiologist and an IAYT-certified yoga therapist. In “The Rx we were never taught to write,” she describes how serious burnout led her to yoga and eventually to sharing yoga therapy with other physicians:
“As a diagnostic radiologist, I could not have imagined anything more amazing than having the privilege of using “x-ray vision” to peer inside my patients’ bodies in search of the etiologies behind their symptoms and illnesses. But over time, I felt incredibly stressed, anxious, imbalanced, and overwhelmed, and I developed many symptoms and illnesses of my own, including migraines, tinnitus, vertigo, body pain, reflux, and intermittent paresthesias. My hands would actually go numb at the most inopportune times, including during breast biopsies. I could barely sleep. I was completely exhausted, and I was falling apart. I convinced myself I had a debilitating neurologic disease. Although hard to admit, I became completely burned out and even had suicidal thoughts. I consulted with several medical specialists, took many medications, saw a therapist and … I only got worse. Frightened for my own life, I knew I needed to find another avenue to improve my health. It wasn’t just for me. I owed it to my wonderful husband and children to find a way to get well.”
Dr. Tiger now advocates for education on effective self-care methods to be built into medical school from the very beginning.


On the same blog (the respected KevinMD, from MedpageToday), Dr. Jaime Lewis recommends that physicians specify therapeutic yoga over general practices focused on physical postures:

“[F]or the purpose of reducing symptom burden, alleviating suffering, and improving quality of life in the midst of chronic conditions resulting in persistent pain, medical providers should instead consider recommending therapeutic yoga for their patients, as the intent and scope of practice differs significantly from contemporary yoga.”