Dr. Ginger Garner, DPT, APT
American mothers deserve a better birth and right now there are definitive measures we can take to influence those outcomes. Combining conventional rehabilitation and therapy with integrative methods, based on the evidence-base and a review of systemic changes during prenatal and postpartum, can be a major tool in empowering mothers and improving care.
This course is designed to teach the clinician to implement a biopsychosocial model of integrative medicine for managing healthy and complicated pregnancies. Attention will be given to evidence-based yogic prescription based on systemic changes experienced during pregnancy. Physiology, pathophysiology, and medical yoga indications are discussed for each trimester using the biopsychosocial systems model.
- Define a biopsychosocial approach to patient evaluation and treatment specifically related to a yogic model of care for the pregnant patient.
- Describe systemic changes related to pregnancy within each trimester and the integrative methodology which address the changes.
- Develop safe yoga prescriptions for the pregnant patient in individual and group settings based on the latest integrative prenatal medicine.
- Prescribe yoga and other complementary methods based on signs and/or symptoms common to each trimester during pregnancy.
- Differentiate yoga postures and their indications and contraindications for use during pregnancy.
- Create safe yoga programs for the high-risk patient during pregnancy.
- Demonstrate breathing, meditation, and guided imagery techniques for relaxation and stress management during pregnancy.
- Analyze 3 business practices to promote prenatal yoga programs and maximize community visibility.
Maternal care can and must improve in America. Current standards of practice have been cited as a “human rights failure.”1 We can deduce, then, that the current biomedical model is not meeting the needs of mothers or their babies.
Patient satisfaction in pregnancy and birth also suffers, with stories of birth trauma, whether physical or emotional, being unfortunately all too common. With a skyrocketing C-section rate at 33% in the US, and more than 50% in Brazil, far above the World Health Organization’s recommended 10% (for reducing mortality), prenatal care is in a full-blown international crisis.
However, contemplative science has long been a compassionate, culturally sensitive method for improving mindfulness and all-health outcomes. And the use of contemplative science, specifically yoga, in prenatal health has enormous potential and a growing evidence-base that can ameliorate this crisis.
Yoga offers an evolutionary paradigm-shift that modernizes standard biomedical prenatal and postpartum care, through the WHO and IOM-endorsed lens of biopsychosocial practice.3 Even more is yoga, when informed by rehabilitative science, can advance the creative dialogue of rehabilitation and yoga practice, paving the way for yoga to become an innovative best-care practice in prenatal and postpartum rehabilitative care.
Prenatal yogic medicine can be used in childbirth education and coaching, as well as postpartum care, and has been shown to improve labor and delivery outcomes, affect genetic transcription and expression, improve HPA Axis regulation and gut microbiome colonization, and can also well address pre-existing or perpetuating issues such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight management. All of these comorbid conditions have a vital role in determining rehabilitation outcomes and should be addressed in regular care. However, for example, in comorbid conditions like pelvic pain and depression, pharmacological side effects, and the stigma of seeking mental health treatment can severely diminish adherence to biomedical interventions.4
As a mind-body intervention, yoga during pregnancy can increase birth weight, shorten labor, decrease pre-term birth, decrease instrument-assisted birth, reduce perceived pain, stress, anxiety sleep disturbances, and general pregnancy-related discomfort and quality of life physical domains.5-6 Yoga offers an optimal evidence-based strategy that can positively affect the underlying neuroendocrine issues that ultimately dictate therapeutic outcomes.
This course prepares the clinician to handle standard biomedical prenatal care for the pregnant patient as well as biopsychosocial care. Through a didactic and energizing lecture emphasizing interactive labs, this course will prepare the clinician to apply yoga as medicine through the WHO-endorsed biopsychosocial lens of assessment for first, second, and early third trimesters of pregnancy.
Algorithms for prenatal yoga rehab will also be included to streamline and direct clinical decision-making. The course addresses both low and high-risk pregnancy mind/body management, literature review and real time case analysis for differential diagnosis in both individual and group-based therapy. The 2-day course will also include business practice discussion and technical support for developing your new platform and clinical specialty niche in medical therapeutic yoga practice.
This continuing education seminar is targeted to physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapist assistants, registered nurses, nurse midwives, and other rehabilitation professionals. Content is not intended for use outside the scope of the learner’s license or regulation. Physical therapy continuing education courses should not be taken by individuals who are not licensed or otherwise regulated, except, as they are involved in a specific plan of care.
There are no assigned pre-readings for this course.
16 (CEUs vary by state)
$495 (Early Registrant Price of $475)
What to bring
1 yoga mat
2 yoga blankets (Mexican blankets are fine)
1 yoga strap (quick release buckle)
2 yoga blocks
Participants should wear comfortable exercise clothes for this course
8:00 Introductions, goals, manual orientation, pre-test
8:30 Lecture – Practice Guidelines: Using the Therapeutic Conceptual Model
10:15 Lab – First Trimester Sequence(s)
1:00 Lab – First Trimester Pathophysiology; Program Design
2:45 Lab – Second Trimester Sequence(s)
4:15 Lab – Second Trimester Pathophysiology; Program Design
5:15 Questions/wrap-up, post-test
8:00 Meditation, pre-test
8:30 Lab – Q&A; Third Trimester Sequence(s)
10:15 Lab – Third Pathophysiology & Special Populations; Program Design
12:45 Lecture – Integrative Business Practice
2:00 Lab: Postpartum Abdominal
2:00 Lab – Case study
3:30 Questions, post-test