Doctors Get Credit For Learning Yoga Poses

One of the ongoing responsibilities of being a physician is maintaining your knowledge base by earning a certain number of Continuing Medical Education (CME) each year. Recently I became aware that learning yoga poses will count toward that requirement. The medical profession likes to embrace technology to heal, but its roots were always set in using clinical understanding to determine the best course of care. Perhaps realizing the enormous costs involved with regard to more technology-based solutions, prevention is becoming more the focus of care paradigms. For instance, using the “medical home” model of care centers on maintaining wellness as opposed to expensive procedures and treatments after the fact. To further our understanding of low cost and easily implemented modes of prevention, teaching physicians to use practices such as yoga meditation for health maintenance is a big step in a better direction. Here John Weeks describes the recent changes allowing CME credits for learning to practice yoga in an article in the Huffington Post.

Doctors Get Credit For Learning Yoga Poses

Satkarin Khalsa, M.D., has delivered yoga programs for medical doctors for years. This year the director of Alberquerque Integrated HealthMedicine scored a breakthrough. Her doctor students were able to earn continuing medical education credit (CME) for learning how to practice yoga.

yoga poses

Doctors learning yoga poses can now receive continuing education credits. Photo by Julien Tromeur c/o Photos.Com.

For patients of integrative medical doctors as well as their more conventionally-minded colleagues, the affirmation of Khalsa’s educational program by the American Academic of Family Physicians (AAFP) decision was a breakthrough. Yet the more important impact may be on health care reform measures: the health of physicians themselves, and the ways that mindfulness can shift empathy, teamwork and practice.

Seminars on the science of yoga have earned CME credits for years. The International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health, sponsored through a consortium of 51 medical schools, typically has content on yoga research. John Kepner, MBA, the executive director of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, reports that some of his members have courses that offer CMEs.

The milestone, first reported in integrative medicine consultant Glenn Sabin’s Fon Therapeutics blog, is that the medical doctors are getting CME credit for learning how to do yoga poses.

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Learning yoga poses and having that knowledge officially recognized suggests that some areas of contemporary medicine are accepting the benefits yoga meditation can bring to both patients and caregivers. We may be witnessing the beginnings of a gradual shift in emphasis away from an very procedure based to a more holistic practice of patient care and treatment.

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Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.      — B.K.S. Iyengar

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