Many healthcare providers have been forced to pivot to online services in order to provide ongoing care to clients throughout the pandemic. Virtual modes of treatment can be offered easily and effectively in many cases. Research indicates that virtual yoga therapy and mindfulness are just as beneficial to clients as in person sessions.

In this article, we will look at how yoga and mindfulness can provide the same positive effects through a virtual platform and even provide some added benefits during this pandemic crisis.

The pandemic has created increased stress and anxiety levels for many people. Fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation during this time can be difficult to manage and cope with. The long-term effects of this stress can lead to a host of health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety.

Coping with this increased stress is an important part of taking care of your mental and physical health. However, with gyms, pools, yoga and dance studios closing down across the country, it has been a challenge for many to do just that. Those who have physical or mental disabilities have even more barriers in accessing the services they need.

The Effectiveness of Virtual Yoga and Mindfulness Therapy

Therapies such as yoga and mindfulness have long been shown to have positive effects on many aspects of mental health.[i] [ii] One study looked at the effects of providing various therapies, including yoga and mindfulness to cancer patients in an online format. [iii]

They found clients to be extremely satisfied with the quality of care being delivered. Patients reported a reduction in stress and anxiety levels after participating in virtual yoga and mindfulness training sessions. In addition, the high utilization of these services suggests the significant potential of remote delivery to facilitate access to these services.

In fact, we have seen so many added benefits of virtual yoga therapy and mindfulness training that we plan to continue and expand the programs to reach more people across Ontario and Canada, including:

  • Access – virtual therapy offers access to people in remote or rural areas
  • Accessibility – it improves accessibility to individuals who are unable to leave their home due to physical or mental disabilities
  • Flexibility & Efficiency – appointments can be scheduled to meet client needs/time restrictions
  • Safety & Privacy – a secure platform and quiet home environment lend to improved communication and delivery of services

At Propel Physiotherapy we offer virtual yoga therapy and mindfulness training services through a secure online platform. Virtual therapy has the potential to achieve similar or even greater results with clients. An online environment can provide an opportunity for individuals to experience the many physical and mental health benefits of yoga and mindfulness.

References

[i] Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress, American Psychological Association

[ii] Trevino, K.M., Raghunathan, N., Latte-Naor, S. et al. Rapid deployment of virtual mind-body interventions during the COVID-19 outbreak: feasibility, acceptability, and implications for future care. Support Care Cancer (2020).

[iii] Cynthia Marske, Samantha Shah, Aaron Chavira, Caleb Hedberg, Raelin Fullmer, Christopher James Clark, Olivia Pipitone, Paulina Kaiser. (2020). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in the Management of Chronic Pain and Its Comorbid Depression. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 120 (9): 575

Written by

Kathy Mileski
Kathy MileskiRegistered Physiotherapist and Mindfulness Trainer
Kathy Mileski loves the idea of helping others be as mobile and active as they possibly can. She believes that every person has the potential to do amazing things. That belief bolstered by her training and experience has helped her clients to achieve success in their rehab goals no matter where they are in terms of their recovery.

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