A Survey for Health Care Practitioners on Therapeutic Yoga

I am seeking input from health care practitioners (GPs, physiotherapists, RMTs, chiropractors, NDs, etc.) on the role therapeutic yoga currently plays (if any) in their approach to improving health. Details about the project I am working on are below, as well as a list of specific questions (with the option to respond through Survey Monkey or by email).

If you know any health care practitioners to whom you would be willing to pass on this information and survey, I would be very thankful for your help spreading the word.

If you are a health care practitioner, I would very much appreciate your thoughts.

What I am doing.  Pain BC logo

I am volunteering with an organization called Pain BC. Pain BC’s mission is to reduce the burden of pain through engagement, education, advocacy, and knowledge translation.

As part of my work with this organization, I am creating two resources:

  1. A resource for health care providers (GPs, physiotherapists, RMTs, etc.) to educate them about yoga and how it can be used to treat chronic pain.
  2. A resource for people living in pain that educates them about yoga and how the practice might help them manage their pain and find relief from pain.


With these resources, I am interested in expanding the perception of yoga, guiding health care providers to be more specific in recommending yogic practices, and ultimately, helping people improve their health and well-being through yoga.

I’ve found that yoga tends to be thought of as drop-in exercise classes that sometimes focus on stress reduction and always involve making crazy shapes with your body. In reality, yoga is a practice with many different components (including breath work, restorative poses, mindfulness, meditation, movement, postures, body awareness, mantra, and philosophy), and the purpose of the practice is to support overall human well-being. Many people have told me, “My doctor told me to do yoga.” The problem with this recommendation is that a general prescription “to do yoga” can lead people to an intense and competitive exercise class in a 40 degree room, a meditation cushion, or a philosophy class – none of which may be the most appropriate practices for that specific individual.

How you might help.

As a health care provider, I am hoping you can guide me in the creation of these resources by helping me better understand what role yoga currently plays in your approach to improving health and what information about yoga you think would be most valuable. If you have the time to answer the questions at the end of this blog post, I would really appreciate your input.

You can email your responses to me at yoga@sarahjamieson.ca – or you can easily answer the questions through survey monkey by following this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8MHSJ5J 

The questions.

  • What type of health care practitioner are you and how long have you been practicing?
  • Do you ever advise patients to do yoga?
  • If you advise patients to do yoga, do you give them specific guidance on what aspects of the practice to pursue? What conditions do you recommend yoga for?
  • If you don’t advise patients to do yoga, are there specific reasons why not?
  • Did you learn about yoga as a practice to support healing, reduce pain, and improve pain management skills in your training?
  • What information (or resources) do you think would make health care providers in your field more likely to recommend yogic practices to patients?
  • What information (or resources) do you think would make your patients more likely to follow through on a recommendation to practice yoga?
  • Is there anything else you think I should know?

Thank you for taking the time to read through this post and think about yoga in relationship to your field.