As movement specialists we have many modalities from which to choose to assist our clients in finding their paths to well being and healthier bodies. But more often than not we turn to yoga. Reasons to love it: intense focus on the inner landscape, exploring how the mental body, emotional body and physical body meet, and increasing awareness of the physical body as it moves with the breath. Apparently, we aren’t the only ones who appreciate yoga as a tool for rehab, so does Dr. Fishman an author and the well-respected Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City. He is particularly known for helping to heal injuries through the use of yoga in a one-on-one and small group class format.
Kim had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Fishman about his long-standing practice and his theories of practical application. He has been studying and practicing for over 40 years and even studied under Iyengar. His practice and medical knowledge have been combined to create a powerful tool for healing, “Yoga stems from introspection… the person him/herself is critical to the healing process.” We love hearing that. It has been proven to us many times in our private practices that an individual benefits most from any treatment that includes him or herself as an integral part of the solution for healing. Same goes for Dr. Fishman’s practice, “Over 1000 patients with MRI confirmed supraspinatus tears have been able to more than double painless range of motion in abduction and flexion in less than 5 minutes, using Yoga and techniques derived from Yoga.” The proof is in the pudding.
His track record has been especially positive with rotator cuff injuries. In fact he is even holding a clinical trial to test what he thinks has been working so well for so many people. Mainly what he has taught through yoga poses like Headstand or Dolphin Pose is that they can be “exercises that recruit other muscles in the shoulder to do the job of the injured muscles and tendons, with 90% chance of immediate pain relief and restoration of range of motion.” That sounds miraculous to many people suffering from the chronic pain and debilitating effects of rotator cuff injuries. Good thing is that it is not a miracle, but a scientific/medical technique aided by insights provided by exploring the body in a way unique unto yoga. We are so happy to know that there are professionals like Dr. Fishman working towards the same visions and goals we are, that the keys for healing and rehabilitation lie in each individual. People just need to be taught how to explore the body and discover them.