Yoga for Back Pain Research Update – November 2012

It’s the 1st anniversary of the University of York research publication on Yoga. We hope your back is in good health, or at least improving due to practicing our yoga and relaxations.

Over 800 people now subscribe to our newsletter. There are 200 fully trained YHLB teachers and 400+ have done one day’s in service training.  If you’ve not had lessons yet:
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Alison Trewhela has been working full time, with help from Anna Semlyen and Karen Palin, to field the considerable interest that this significant research has attracted.

“The Health Economics of YHLB” published in “Spine” journal

The Health Economics of YHLB was published in the Journal ‘Spine’ on 15 August 2012. Specialist yoga is the dominant treatment for the individual (both cheaper and less costly) compared to normal GP care.   Over the 12 months studied, those in the yoga group had an average of only 3.83 days off work compared to 12.29 in the non-yoga group.  These statistics are of great note for HR and Occupational Health Depts and there are several YHLB courses being taught within the workplace.  It is also highly cost effective for the NHS

Ask your GP to fund Yoga as a treatment

With NHS money moving from PCTs to GPs this April –and with the need to save costs and offer long-term, self-management treatment options—now is a good time to ask your GPs and commissioners to refer to, or fund these specialist yoga course.  We can help.  If there are no teachers in your area qualified in ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ we could arrange to get a teaching team trained up.

More Research

Alison has contributed to a Delphi project with a Uni in New Zealand where yoga researchers have collaborated internationally to analyse and publish on ‘Best Practice’ for future yoga research.  YHLB may be used in research into the effectiveness of yoga to keep the Over 65s Active and healthy.

Sheffield GP Referral Scheme

Sports Centres in Sheffield may soon offer YHLB under the GP Referral system and there are negotiations to carry out some research to evaluate how YHLB works.  Yogaforbacks is gathering more evidence to show how YHLB is performing now.

To help, The Promotional Resources Page has been updated to include downloads, such as the Tri-fold leaflet, the promotional letter and Powerpoint.  See  Please share these and Link To Our Site We have been advised to add short Testimonial videos to our site – maybe you would like to help?  Contact us via [email protected]

YHLB will be mentioned on the award-winning and websites.  

Backcare UK

Backcare UK will include an article in their Talkback magazine and for the Back Pain Show 2013 (February) and are updating their website with yoga.
Promotion Work.

Arthritis Awareness Week

Two of our original teachers, Lesley and Eileen, did some Taster Sessions in ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ for Arthritis Research UK who featured one of our trial participants during their ‘Arthritis Awareness Week’ showing the benefits from helping themselves with yoga.  They are updating their website to include yoga’s use with regard to advice to patients and health professionals. The media continue to mention and feature our yoga programme as being a good entry-point for Beginners to yoga. Anna spoke on the radio – ‘Airing Pain’.  

NICE & Public Health Guidelines Review

NICE guidelines for Chronic Low Back Pain and the Public Health Guidelines for Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace are reviewed soon.

NEC Conferences

Anna will speak at ‘Health and Well-being in the Workplace 2013’ in March and Alison will speak at ‘Primary Care 2013’ in May.  These will be supported with medical Research Posters.


We have set up ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Ltd’ as a legal entity, which would run along the lines of a community interest company with a ‘Board’ of various experts.  It is linked to the social enterprise Yogaforbacks and exists in case it is needed for contracts.  Both within the NHS environment and within the private sector (HR Departments of large employers) we have seen evidence to show that YHLB teachers working in teams with central administration will reach further.  This is supported by a ‘Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre’.

Our social enterprise Yogaforbacks, was set up to benefit all  – to educate about and promote the YHLB programme.   It is not commercial or ‘for profit’. Many people are working hard as volunteers.  It has the  website, but its other YHLB development projects/avenues/work efforts are many fold.

CD sales help us grow

CDs hold the future to sustainability of YHLB development and promotion. Agreements were set up with The University of York and Arthritis Research UK to allow ‘profits’ from CD sales to be ploughed back into the social enterprise to allow its work to continue.  It’s the only Yoga Relaxations CD with evidence based research backing.   Research shows that a well-taught guided yoga relaxation or Savasana is more beneficial than other relaxation techniques, e.g. listening to music, guided imagery.

Please buy CDs for your friends and relatives  — eg for Christmas.

Thank you for taking time to read this and for helping to spread information about this exciting project that helps us all to take yoga to a new level.

Happy Yoga.
Alison Trewhela & Anna Semlyen