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Could the future of healthcare be clinical yoga?

The first Business Showcase column.

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Business Showcase

Dr. Kirstie Griffiths, Guelph Chiropractic and Yoga

When I applied to chiropractic college, it was with a clear vision of what I imagined for the future of healthcare.

I envisioned a network of healthcare practitioners working together to provide the best possible care for patients. I envisioned a proactive, holistic approach to wellness, one that reflects the mind and body. 

With a lifelong history as a dancer, a recent interest in yoga, and a personal life-changing experience with a naturopathic doctor, I envisioned a system where healthcare providers held space for and listened carefully to their patients, prescribed movement as medicine, and worked as a team to provide the best outcomes. 

In my first few months of practice, I observed many of my patients experiencing back pain that was aggravated by their lifestyle. Most could benefit from introducing not only more physical activity into their routine, but also integrating mindfulness, body awareness, and stress reduction practices into their lives.  

Many of my patients were interested in trying yoga but faced barriers to accessing this form of physical activity.  These barriers were related to fear of moving with pain, the daunting nature of large group classes that appeal to many levels of fitness, and a lack of options offered to suit their condition-specific needs.  

I wanted to create a program to bridge to gap between prescribing yoga and offering it in a therapeutically safe and effective way.  

I have developed a clinical yoga therapy program that combines education, movement, and meditation specific to conditions such as low back pain. These classes are offered in a small group setting with personalized instruction and hands-on assists. Patients are offered tools along the way to track their progress over the course of the program.  

These programs are offered as a chiropractic service, following an initial assessment to determine if this treatment option is an appropriate fit based on the patient’s unique clinical presentation.  Chiropractic services can be accessed through many extended health benefit plans, and coverage varies depending on the provider.  

This is the future I envisioned for healthcare, and I can’t wait to see where this path takes us.

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