July 2012 Newsletter

Yoga has been shown to be an effective intervention for treating chronic and recurrent low back pain. You can download, for free, a PDF of the research study from the University of York from the 1st November 2011 ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ Journal published paper. This shows yoga is 30% better (2.17 RMDQ points) than usual care alone after 3 months at http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1033130

Cost Effective Yoga

Our cost effectiveness paper was published in ‘Spine’ journal on 16th March 2012.

Economic Evaluation shows ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ to be cost-effective within the UK NHS and the dominant treatment to both society and the economy.

Particularly interesting, was the result that there was an average of approx. 3 days off work for the yoga group over a 12-month period, compared to approx. 12 days in the non-yoga control group. So, specialist yoga saves 9 days off work per year for people with chronic lower back pain. This makes it an effective way of reducing absenteeism. Companies with high levels of backache-based absenteeism should consider booking lessons for staff. Abstract is at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22433499

Patients who receive yoga treatment for their back pain gained 0.037 QALYs more than those treated with usual care alone, yielding an incremental cost effectiveness ratio of £13,606 per QALY. From a societal perspective yoga is less costly and more beneficial than usual care alone. On average an individual who receives yoga intervention has 0.037 higher QALYs and £213.9 lower cost. Based on this evidence, then from a societal perspective, the yoga intervention is a dominant treatment for back pain in comparison to usual care alone.

Systematic Reviews Cite our Research

Yoga recommended treatment for low back pain. Our research has been mentioned in two recently published systematic reviews showing that the growing evidence supports the use of yoga as a treatment option for low back pain. Eric Groessl ‘Yoga for Low back Pain: New Evidence 2011’ http://www.omicsonline.org/2157-7595/2157-7595-2-e108.php??%20aid=3798 ; and Thomas Beggs presented his review at a Canadian convention.

Did you spot any published articles in the press?

As well as initial results in 135 worldwide publications in November 2011, Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has (or will) feature in Saga Magazine, Red, Grazia, Om, Woman & Home, The Osteopath journal, British Wheel of Yoga Spectrum, Yoga Scotland magazine, Good Housekeeping, Daily Express, Glamour, Top Sante, Womans’ Own, Yoga and Health, and many more. Please tell us if you see it -via [email protected]

Teacher Training
– Full 4-day Training in YHLB for experienced teachers

134 experienced UK yoga teachers are training or have trained in Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs. This is a 2 weekend training course for teachers with 4 years’ post diploma experience. More yoga teachers are booked for 2012/13. Alison Trewhela has so far taught 7 Cohorts of teachers (in Cornwall, Cumbria, Dublin, Sheffield and Swansea). There are 7 more courses planned for Autumn 2012 / Spring 2013 in Cornwall, Birmingham, Outer London/Chesham, Norfolk, Devizes, Liverpool/Wirral, with Edinburgh and more to be arranged.
We are particularly keen for experienced teachers to train to teach Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs, as this will help to raise the standards when we are aiming to continue to raise our profile whilst being observed by the medical profession and the general public. Cornwall now has a team of approx. 10 teachers who are aiming to show professionalism and efficiency of providing YHLB courses throughout the county. We hope to provide under a contract for the NHS in that area soon, which would be likely to lead the way for inroads into other regions of the UK’s NHS. Having an appropriate framework with central administration and extra standards and CPD requirements is our aim for this more specialised work. Of course this will reach more people with back pain.

1 Day Taster Training

Anna Semlyen has taught 11 In Service Yoga teacher training days in Bristol, Chesterfield, Edinburgh, Oxford, Monmouth, Reigate, Carlisle, Droitwich Spa, Hull, Birmingham and Monmouth.
Six more day courses for yoga teachers of any level of experience are booked in Aberdeen, Wirral, Manchester, Leeds, East Essex, Norfolk – see http://www.yogainyork.co.uk/workshops.htm – to contact Anna about teaching near you – ask via [email protected]

Growing the Numbers

Yoga for Backs website newsletter has approx. 700 subscribers; 3000 Yoga for Backs Books and 2000 Relaxations CDs have been printed; 134 teachers training or qualified as YHLB teachers, so we are on target for our 200 teachers by the end of the year; approx. 250 teachers have attended In Service Training YHLB Days with Anna. We have employed Karen Palin to help pack and distribute goods sold through the website. Let us know any suggestions you have for growing our numbers.

Outreach Talks

Our research primary outcome results were presented at an international convention for Primary Care in Rotterdam in 2010. Alison gave a talk in Dublin at Breathe Expo and Anna did a presentation at a National Conference for Carers. A power point presentation has been added to the resources section https://www.yogaforbacks.co.uk/promotional-resources/

CD Special Discount for You

Perhaps you have some students who could really benefit from having our research Relaxations CD as a home practice tool? It comprises of 4 separate vocally-guided Savasana/Meditation tracks (12-15 minutes each) and is available from our website.

CD sales help our social enterprise to continue its development work of promoting the yoga programme. Also useful to treat yourself as you treat others.

To thank you for your support, between now and the end of August we are offering you a special offer on bulk orders of Relaxations CDs. If you order 5 or more CDs through our ‘Contact the Authors’ page stating the discount code Subs2012, we will sell you the CDs at a reduced rate of £10 each plus reduced P&P rates. You may be a yoga teacher who wishes to allow your students to continue to learn to experience Savasana at home, or you may know friends who could benefit from this stress-relieving, tension-releasing educational tool. Looking forward to your orders which will help to spread awareness of YHLB’s existence. (YHLB qualified teachers can still order bulk orders of 5 or more CDs at their discounted rate, and they can also order 5 or more books free of P&P rates.)

Reviews Please

We would be delighted to have more reviews of our book and CD printed and thank you to those of you who may like to submit a review on Amazon or Yogamatters. Press copies of the book for magazine or newspaper reviews are available from Lotus Publishing at [email protected] and of the CD from us at Yogaforbacks.

YHLB T-shirts are available on the Promotional Resources page.

Spread the Word

Please continue to tell people about Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs. Thank you for handing out or drawing people’s attention to the YHLB flier/leaflet on the Promotional Resources, Course and Teacher pages. Thank you for telling yoga teachers about our courses, helping us to spread the word further.

If all of you felt able to send our tri-fold flier/leaflet and the Promotional Letter to your GP, a physiotherapist, an alternative health practitioner and to 2-5 friends, this would help us to reach more people. Or, perhaps you might like to send a link to our website to all your email contacts, suggesting that they subscribe to our newsletter. Hopefully Arthritis Research UK will soon be able to help us further with this aim of reaching more health professionals, but the more you are able to do at this point in the time, the better. Many thanks for your help.

Our specialist yoga programme is now proven to be one of the best treatment options currently available for non-specific chronic low back pain (having been shown to be more effective than other rigorously tested treatments – manipulation by chiropractors/osteopaths/physiotherapists; exercise classes taught by physiotherapists; manipulation followed by exercise classes; an educational book; massage; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Alexander Technique (better than 6 individual lessons, but not as good as 24). Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs also has the following positive attributes:

  • Health promotional (for the whole person)
  • Self-management (motivation to practise regularly at home and postural improvements)
  • Long-term, perhaps lifelong, skills and benefits (important with all the statistics showing that back pain most usually tends to recur in episodes)
  • Cost-saving (to the patient/student as they will learn to promote health and self-manage for the long-term), and to the NHS and society.
  • Extra added benefits are likely, such as lessening of, and/or fewer future, stress-related and musculo-skeletal conditions, e.g. yoga has been shown in research to lessen depression, to lower blood pressure, to help diabetes, to reduce anxiety, to aid osteoarthritic conditions, to lessen IBS, and much more.

Many thanks again for your interest and support.

Happy Yoga.

Alison Trewhela and Anna Semlyen, and the Yogaforbacks Team
= a social enterprise set up to educate about and promote the yoga programme used in the University of York research.