My body is my treasure, my best friend, and my first instrument. Muscles, tendons and even memory, tend to wear thin. Arthritis and osteoporosis show their ugly faces and at 91, I have both. But there are formulas for winning over these infirmities.
Yoga isn't the only "alternative therapy" that can help patients achieve better outcomes than pills and medical procedures alone. My prediction is that 2013 will see more and more physicians like myself who have added more than conventional Western medicines to their treatments.
"The only assumption I operate with now is that suffering is something we all share. I have also come to trust that few of us really want to be identified with our limitations or the story of our pain, so we might go to great lengths to prove that we are something else."
So far, the work of NCCAM hasn't attracted much media attention. But expect all that to change as more and more studies come online, and the research begins to challenge -- as well as support -- other long-standing yoga health claims.
Modern day yoga in America is an interesting phenomenon. In the traditional sense, what most of us do on the yoga mat is not yoga. Although the health benefits are greater than anything else we've ever tried, many still do not consider it yoga.