** The information in this article is intended for educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.
If you suffer from physical and mental blocks, a holistic path may be just what you need to break through and gain clarity. Sometimes our bodies and minds fight us, but sometimes all it takes is giving your body the tools to heal on its own. Yoga and EFT are practices that guide your body onto that path of healing.
Yoga is not a cure-all for everything, but it can aid in relief from chronic conditions that cause discomfort. EFT is another gentle tool for the mind that can help you clear mental blocks that may be keeping you from living your fullest life.
Janine Naman helps people unlock this power within themselves so they can continue on a healing journey towards relief from any pain they might be experiencing, whether that be physical or mental.
You can learn more about Janine and how she helps the people she works with here:
Tell me about your professional background.
I work as a transformative Holistic Therapist that specializes in the mind-body connection. My work is about serving my client to discover their true, fundamental healing potential. I put a high value in building a healthy lifestyle with each person I serve and have been working in the health and wellness industry for over 16 years.
I am a certified Yoga Therapist, Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping Practitioner, Reiki Master for human and animals, Spiritual Coach and a 500 hour Yoga Instructor and more.
What made you want to get into this field?
I started Yoga to help myself; there was a series of deaths in my family, and I was suffering from complicated grief. My mind, body and spirit felt broken, and I was falling into a deep depression. My husband and I started to attend a gym to help me get moving again, but everything hurt and was too exhausting to perform.
He suggested I try the yoga class going on upstairs to see if that would be better for me. Wow! He was right, immediately after the first class he said he saw a spark in my eye again.
I kept going and fell in love with the practice and knew if I could feel so much better than perhaps others could as well. I decided to begin a new chapter in my life with Yoga; the journey has taught me more about the mind-body connections to find the best practice for myself and my clients to heal.
What has been your favourite aspect of this work?
The people I meet are my favourite aspect of this work. I believe in a symbiotic relationship with my clients; I am there to learn from them. Every one of us has wisdom and expertise that life circumstance has taught us.
So when we work together, I always remain open to different concepts, ideas and lessons they have learned along the way and that I could potentially apply to my life or help other clients. I believe I am here as a guide, that people are already whole, already healed already enough, and I am just here to remind them of that. Everybody and every body have the intelligence and capacity to bounce back from just about anything, and it never ceases to amaze me how resilient we humans can be.
Can you explain what Yoga Therapy and EFT is and what a typical session is like from start to finish?
Yoga Therapy: This is a therapeutic relationship that includes personalized assessment and goal setting. Yoga Therapy is suitable for people with physical, mental and spiritual challenges who desire to learn practices that can alleviate suffering on all levels. Yoga Therapy offers some of the most profound tools that include safe, effective movements, re-pattern dysfunction, and pain.
Finding proper alignment, easing the mind, conscious breath regulation, meditative practices, visualizations, increasing energy(prana) flow, vocal sounds, lifestyle changes and home study practice are part of the sessions. All of this makes the healing process very comprehensive and extremely specific to each client and their transformation. As the saying goes, Yoga works but only if you do it, so committing to at least three or more sessions is best.
EFT: is a non-invasive, gentle mind/body tool that clears physical and emotional blocks from your energy meridians. Physically tapping on the meridian points (or energy hot spots) helps to restore balance to your body’s energy system and send signals to the part of the brain that controls stress to reprogram your responses to threats that may be in the past or present.
While voicing your words and affirmation, you will clear your body’s bio-energy system, which can relieve symptoms caused by a negative experience or emotion, including physical pain and emotional distress. After the interview session, I ask the client to say in their own words their level of distress. We then begin to tap with the fingers’ tips on to meridian points located on the face, chest, hand and head. Several rounds will be performed, tapping in a sequence as the clients repeat aloud words and insights specific to them and the situation.
What sort of health challenges can Yoga Therapy and EFT be effective for and why?
EFT: Our meridians (which run throughout the body and affect everything, including all the organs) can become blocked or even run in reverse, which overly stimulates the brain’s area that’s responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. Real or perceived threats such as stress, damaging relationships or trauma create blocks that can eventually create chronic stress, somatic symptoms, malaise, or psychological symptoms.
Tapping helps to reprogram your response to threats, to tap about whatever emotion is holding you down, sending a new signal to the brain and heart that we are safe and it is ok to let it go. We still have the memory, but the body no longer thinks the thoughts are actual and imminent and will perceive the memory in a more appropriate context.· Stress, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Fear and Phobias, Pain Management, Battles with Weight, Limiting Beliefs and Negative Thought Patterns, emotional blockages, and feeling stuck can all be addressed in an EFT session.
Yoga Therapy: If you are struggling to move comfortably, fearful of getting hurt, unable to get on and off the floor with ease, suffer from pain, general malaise, you’re stiff, recovering from an injury, or you suffer from dysfunction of the body’s organs and systems, want help with connecting to your innate spiritual essences, your subtle body to expand vitality and self awareness then Yoga Therapy is right for you.
We use posture (usually with props) and awareness to allow the body to find natural alignment and physical balance for optimal health. The increase of circulation, joints fluidity and range of motion helps you find pain free movement and optimize organ function. Yoga Therapy’s primary purpose is to create a sense of embodiment and wholeness, to understand the body does not work like the mind, that the body has its way of being and communicating.
We begin to re-pattern the body and mind by connecting to ourselves thru education and experiential anatomy. Gentle mindful movements with lots of modifications to work at your own pace, learning to relax, slowing down, letting go, and breathwork to calm the nervous system is always part of my therapy protocol.
Common conditions addressed in Yoga Therapy and EFT Yoga Therapy: Back and Neck Pain – Musculoskeletal injuries (shoulders, hips, knees, etc.) – Chronic Pain – Insomnia – Osteoarthritis – Diabetes – Fibromyalgia – High Blood Pressure – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, -Migraines/Headaches – Cancer – Breathe Disorders – Sports Injury – Scoliosis – Incontinence- Depression – Anxiety – PTSD – Balancing Energy systems such as Chakras and more. EFT:Depression – Anxiety – PTSD – Fear and Phobias, Pain Management – Battles with Weight – Limiting Beliefs – Negative Thought Patterns – Feelings of Isolation -Clarification -Insight – Emotional and Physical Release – Trauma Release Overcoming Addiction and more.
Is there a technique or modality in your practice that you have found to be the most beneficial to the people you work with?
How we breathe permeates all aspects of us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and profoundly affects our health and wellness. Yet, so many of us do not breathe properly. Throughout the year’s improper breath patterns have been the most common theme; whatever someone is suffering with: digestive issue, insomnia, managing pain, stress and anxiety there is a breath competent.
We can take our breath for granted because the body does it automatically. We often do not think that how we breathe may not be the best or most effective way. Many of us have become shallow chest breathers, inhaling through our mouth, holding our breath, pulling our bellies in while inhaling and not exhaling fully. An optimal breath should be felt all thru the entire torso, and the belly should rise and fall.
The breath should be deep and low, nourishing your organs, hugging your heart, and so much more. When we take a deep breath, think of expanding outward in a 360 degree way, not drawing upward and lifting our shoulders. Our exhale should be the same breath count in as out when active, and to relax, the exhale should be a longer count-out. The secondary muscles are the ones that draw the shoulder up and bring the breath up to the upper chest and an upper lung, which is an insufficient way of breathing that can lead to a host of issues from muscle tightness to respiratory and cardiac problems.
The health benefits of breathing correctly are: Improved blood flow, improved immunity, increased energy levels, calms down anxiety, helps you sleep better, and so much more. If you think you have a breath issue talk to your doctor and see a Yoga Therapist.
What is a session like from the patient’s point of view?
Comfortable, safe, feeling heard and not feeling judged is of the utmost importance to me. I want my clients to feel empowered. The interview process is very extensive; not only do I assess the physical aspect of their main health concern, but I also evaluate their emotional intelligence, prana levels (energy), and ways of moving and speaking.
I ask about daily habits, what they eat/drink, bathroom habits, sleeping patterns, thought patterns (negative or positive thinking), and if they feel connected to something greater than themselves. I base my question on the Koshic model: the states we as humans have many layers or sheaths, and they all affect one another and interweave.
The outermost layer is the physical layer, the prana(breath) layer, the emotions & thoughts layer, our inner wisdom/higher self layer and our bliss layer. It can be surprising to clients the different kinds of questions I ask. In my mind, I am painting a picture of the relationship of things, knowing everything affects everything, so I am trying to see the mind, body and spiritual aspect of their complaint.
For example, I have had clients surprised that what they are eating affects how they sleep or that an old injury has affected their current alignment or childhood trauma is still showing up in their day to day lives.
What would you say to someone who is sceptical about Yoga Therapy and EFT and their effectiveness? How do you approach that?
Yoga is not a cure-all for physical or mental problems, but a growing body of research confirms Yoga Therapy’s promise to offer relief from the suffering associated with several chronic and debilitating conditions. Since 1989, the International Association of Yoga Therapy (IAYT) has made major strides in its mission to establish Yoga Therapy as a respected and recognized holistic therapy.
A significant body of clinical research now documents Yoga’s proven benefits for a range of health conditions, with over 60 clinic studies done. Also, the IAYT hosts an annual research conference, the Symposium on Yoga Research, and publishes a peer-reviewed, Medline-indexed journal, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.”
Currently, Yoga Therapy is being used in Hospital and clinical settings across the USA as a viable treatment and is being offered as higher education in university curriculum such as a master program at the University of Maryland. Even here in Canada, the momentum is climbing; a growing number of healthcare practitioners are turning to the ancient practice as a way to help their patients feel better.
EFT: A study was published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, which had 83 subjects randomly assigned to a single hour-long session of EFT, talk therapy, or rest. The 1st group (Tapping) demonstrated a 24% decrease in cortisol levels (the hormone of stress), while the 2nd and 3rd groups showed only the standard cortisol drop of 14%, which naturally happens with time passing.
When measured by the Symptom Assessment-45 (a standard psychological assessment tool), the EFT group also exhibited lower psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.
Besides Yoga and EFT, do you have any universal health and well-being tips that you’d like to share?
At the most fundamental level, our physiology is very much adapted to – and supported by – some sense of regularity. This is precisely why the daily routine is such potent medicine. In effect, having a daily routine offers the grounding, stability, and predictability largely absent from our hectic modern lives. The routine itself creates several familiar and comforting reference points throughout each day that sends a resounding affirmation to the body’s deep tissues that all is well, that we can be at ease.
The body becomes accustomed to – and learns to count on routine. Try creating a morning routine that awakens the body. Stretch, wiggle, get the blood flowing, loosen the joints. Simple morning movement is both grounding and energizing. It supports natural detoxification, healthy circulation, removes stagnation from the organs and tissues, sets the mood and wakes up the brain.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to someone struggling, what would it be?
We can only heal when the mind and body are at peace. We need to understand, befriend, make peace with, and find compassion for our bodies. Stop treating our bodies like an enemy or something to be beaten into shape or neglected. Our body and mind are working hard to keep us healthy and alive every moment of every day. Pain and disease is often a call to presence, a wakeup call, our bodies way of saying, pay attention to me something is not working.
To stop calling our body parts bad ‘oh my bad back’ ‘oh my bad knees’ Stop criticizing and belittling ourselves stop visualizing only negative outcomes. Every time we do, it causes more stress. A branch of psychology called Psycho-neuroimmunology explains the effect of the mind on health and resistance to disease.
Yoga says everything affects everything, so what happens to the mind affects the body and what happens to the body affects the mind. As the saying goes, “Our issues are in our tissues.” Building awareness of our body, mind, and experience is vital. If we can learn to quiet the body and mind, we can tap into that inherent intelligence; we have to heal.
What resources would you recommend?
Yoga and the Quest for the true self by Stephen Cope,
International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT),
The Tapping Solution Foundation,
Yoga and EFT are tools that you can have in your holistic healing toolbox to further aid in your path to relief and happiness. Janine helps people discover these tools and guides on how to use them.
You can learn more about Janine and connect with her here:
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2 thoughts on “How Yoga Can Help You Gain Relief from Chronic and Debilitating Conditions – Interview with Janine Naman”
With Janine’s guidance, I have been able to accept, let go and continue to learn. It’s a journey and I am stilllearning.
Hi Donna! Totally agree, and I am learning to do the same! 😊