In Yoga Cures – Simple Routines to Conquer More Than 50 Common Ailments and Live Pain-Free by Tara Stiles, the author tackles many well-known ailments ranging from arthritis to the aftermath of overdrinking.
The author depicts a number of simple poses that are claimed to remedy chronic maladies. Examples of these are ADHD, arthritis, anxiety, depression and diabetes. The author maps the pose to the malady descriptively and in diagrams.
The first part of the book consists of three chapters. Stiles explains the theory and history of yoga. Afterward, the book shows basic poses, yoga moves, the applicable charts and pictures of the practitioner in action.
The author depicts the practitioner seated upright with legs crossed in deep meditation. Some poses have each leg in an overlapping position. There is an extensive forward bend, as well as a depiction of plank exercises including plank push-ups. In addition, there is a standing stretch, which is intended to extend the whole body upward.
Some of the stretches involve considerable turning of the head and neck in ways that could lead to a stroke. Special head and neck studies are done to evaluate the likelihood of a stroke from extending the head and neck too far. An example would be an ultrasound in the area of the carotid artery.
Over a period of years, dangerous plaque can dislodge or rupture randomly. The plaque constricts the carotid arteries and limits blood flow to the brain. This event can create the conditions precedent for a stroke. For this reason, ultrasound studies must be considered before doing any extensive physical therapy that involves multi-directional torque of the head and neck.
A strength of the presentation is that the author maps the individual exercises to specific maladies. There is an open question scientifically as to whether or not the yoga actually cures the source of the pain over the longer term.
Generally, medical doctors, physical therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and others work with X-rays and MRI studies to diagnose specific maladies scientifically. Bone issues could involve osteoarthritis, subluxations, bone spurs or osteophytes, calcifications, fractures and a myriad of other possibilities indistinguishable without the medical evidence of a full musculoskeletal examination with blood tests, ultrasounds and x-ray studies.
Yoga Cures is an important contribution to the area of physical therapy. The problem for patients is in distinguishing which exercises are safe as against those that aren’t. The ultimate arbiter of this open question should be a medical doctor working with specific X-ray studies, blood tests and ultrasounds, where necessary.