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Surprising Ways Yoga and Meditation Can Heal

Wednesday April 10, 2019

For seniors and their caregivers, sustaining good mental health can be an immense challenge. The stresses of aging, illness, and providing constant care can take such an emotional toll. So, if you are a senior or caregiver, how can you heal that damage? Yoga and meditation can be a good start, as they provide many health benefits. Here are ways these ancient healing practices can improve your life, as well as ways to begin your own practice.

 

All of Those Downward Dogs Can Boost Your Dental Health

Mention a connection between yoga and oral health, and you are bound to get some raised eyebrows. But the connection between yoga and your teeth centers more on how your practice can decrease depressive feelings.

You see, depression  impacts dental health, because people who feel depressed often neglect essential personal care routines that help preserve healthy teeth and gums. For caregivers, added stress can also cause jaw tension that can result in further pain and tooth damage.

Yoga can help you get back on the path to good oral health by diminishing  depressive feelings, if you practice on a regular basis. To help you stick to a steady yoga schedule, especially if you are new to yoga, try focusing on a simple  sequence of the most basic poses. Make a commitment to practice these for a few weeks straight, and your habit will become much easier to keep.

 

You Can Safely Practice Yoga and Meditation at Home

Often, seniors who need care have mobility issues or disabilities that make it difficult to get out of the house. Caregivers can also have a hard time stepping out of the home. However, don’t let this deter you from taking up new yoga and meditation practices. Although going to a class has benefits, you can get the stress-relief and mental health support you need by practicing at home.

In fact, setting  up a space to practice inside your home may make you more likely to stick with your new habits. Make sure your chosen space is relaxing and that you have a yoga mat for both practices.

 

There are plenty of online yoga apps and classes you can use in this home space, but you can also try other indoor senior-friendly workouts. If you equip your room with a Nintendo Wii or a WiFi-enabled television, you can access a variety of workouts using Wii games, YouTube, or fitness apps.

 

Round out your fitness session with a few minutes of mindful meditation. If you’re finding yourself too stressed to sit down and meditate, you may benefit from a cannabidiol  (CBD) supplement, like a gummy. CBD is quickly becoming a go-to for people suffering from stress and anxiety, thanks to its ability to calm the mind and body without hallucinogenic or stimulating effects. As with any supplement, though, be sure to talk with your doctor before trying it, and do some online research to find what will work best for you. It may also help to stock your shelves with mindful   meditation books, if reading helps you relax and learn.

 

Yoga and Meditation Can Lessen Long-Term Care Needs

Caregivers are often needed to prevent seniors from requiring stays in a nursing home, but yoga and meditation may also reduce the need for more dedicated long-term care. Studies have shown that these practices can help slow the progress of dementia  and Alzheimer’s symptoms in seniors. To get these benefits, however, you should practice your yoga and meditation together. The combination of the two has the most potential to boost memory and cognition, which can stave off the need for a long-term care facility. Yoga can decrease falls as well. Since these accidents send so many seniors to the emergency room with serious injuries, taking such a simple step to reduce them can preserve your older loved one’s health.

 

For senior caregivers, preventing falls can also ensure they can continue to provide care, which can reduce the need for a skilled nursing facility. If necessary, you can even practice balance-enhancing poses from the safety of a chair to prevent life-changing fall injuries.

 

Mental health management should be part of any wellness plan. Therefore, using yoga and meditation to enhance mental health can be life-saving for seniors and caregivers. These healing routines can reduce stress and help curb depression. So, add to your quality of life by incorporating yoga and meditation into your daily habits.

-Harry Cline

info@newcaregiver.org

newcaregiver.org

 

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