Yoga therapy as part of integrative pain management: Valuable, meaningful, purposeful

Major Adhana McCarthy, PA-C, C-IAYT, has served 18 years in the U.S. Army, 11 of those years as a physician assistant. She is also an IAYT-certified yoga therapist and a long-time advocate for integrative and lifestyle medicine. 

When Maj. McCarthy was a child, her father was ill with rheumatoid arthritis and managed his condition with careful lifestyle choices about stress management, exercise, and diet. In college, McCarthy began a committed daily yoga practice, which she brought with her while deployed in Iraq and then shared with her fellow soldiers to help them manage stress.

Now McCarthy is the director of public health at Irwin Army Community Hospital. In addition to providing care to the military community, she studies health behaviors, stress, and resilience in these populations. She knows yoga’s value as therapy from firsthand experiences with pain, illness, and stress. In this video she briefly discusses yoga therapy as part of an innovative patient-centered approach to pain, stating, 

“In the Department of Defense we often will use yoga therapy as part of the integrated pain management programs once somebody has gone through [and exhausted] all the traditional forms of managing pain.”