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Should workers' compensation pay for Yoga?

A good segment of the population -- especially that which includes those born prior to 1960 -- probably doesn't have much of a clue about the practice of yoga. Yoga is not the cartoon bear. No, it is a set of practices that can trace its lineage back many millennia. It involves exercising focused control over mind, body and breath.

Today, those who diligently practice yoga swear to the benefits it delivers. But, much like chiropractic medicine and forms of alternative treatment with ancient eastern roots, yoga is not something medical practitioners in the U.S. buy into. Is it possible though that things are changing?

We think it is safe to say that the traditional view of medical practice in central Illinois and the rest of the U.S. is framed by a concept of condition management. You have a pain. You go to the doctor. You likely will be prescribed some medication to ease the pain. You might be prescribed some physical therapy. If you have insurance, whether it is workers' compensation or personal health insurance, at least some portion of the treatment might be covered.

The same cannot be said for yoga, though there are some experts who think it should be. One who follows this line of thinking is Robert Wilson, head of WorkersCompensation.com. As his site's name implies, Wilson's focus is on the workers' compensation industry. He tries to look at it from all sides, helping businesses mitigate work injury risks while prodding to improve the system.

In one recent article, Wilson essentially threw down a gauntlet and challenged the industry to seriously look at yoga and other alternative medicine protocols for the sake of getting injured workers back on the road to recovery. It's a position he says he has long held, but this time he backed it up further by admitting that he recently started practicing a form of yoga himself.

Granted, it involves sitting in a chair. But Wilson swears by it. And to press his argument further he invites readers to check out one very inspirational YouTube video that clearly shows what yoga, combined with determination, may be capable of doing.

Maybe it is time to expand the available treatments through workers' compensation. What do you think?

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