RE: Balog on yoga – The biggest mistake the medical community has made over the past century has been to dismiss the power of the mind over the body. Freud was onto something. Yoga is helpful, but not the cure-all. Dr. John Sarno was a very astute man who noticed some interesting connections/coincidences regarding pain issues. For example, the average person plagued with chronic back pain can often suffer from neck pain, shoulder pain, gastro-intestinal issues, allergies, skin disorders, migraines and a host of other ailments. Psychologically, all these ailments serve the same purpose - they distract the person from thoughts and emotions seen by the subconscious as threatening. Check out Sarno's Wiki page and check out the Congressional hearings on the back epidemic in this country. Buy any of Sarno's books – you can get them cheap, and read his findings and theories with an open mind. Mild oxygen deprivation caused by constricting capillaries can produce incredible pain. Thus, exercise like yoga and other forms of physical activity can alleviate the pain. Yoga helps, but doesn't explain the whys and hows. Sarno's books do.
Break your femur, the largest bone in your body, and reset it properly and you can be completely healed in 6 weeks. Yet there are people suffering from lifelong back pain due to an accident or event 20 years prior. It makes no sense. Back surgeries often don't work. If they do, the sufferer often develops a new ailment – like carpal tunnel syndrome – 6 months later. Regarding that, people typed away on manual typewriters for 100 years. They've done repetitive motion on musical instruments for hundreds of years – no incidence of carpal tunnel until the 1980s that I'd ever heard of. Flash forward 20 years and it's an epidemic.
If you're a skeptic you may not buy into any of this, but you have nothing to lose by reading the book(s) and keeping an open mind. Sarno has treated thousands of people successfully. His work has made my life immeasurably better.