3 Ways Twisting Poses & Cannabis Support Your Health
Yoga twists and cannabis have more in common than we might imagine. Of course, cannabis and gentle twisting postures both feel great on the body, but what other ways can they support health? When combined, their benefits are amplified and reinforced by one another, creating conditions for better physical and mental well being. Here are a few ways cannabis and yoga twists can support your health.
They improve digestive function
Performing gentle twists stretches and compresses the sensory receptors along the digestive tract, massages the abdominal organs and soothes irritable bowel syndrome. Research suggests that our endocannabinoid system, responsible for regulating several physiological processes, might play a role in gut health. The endocannabinoid system has receptors present throughout our body and one of it’s jobs is to modulate inflammatory responses, making relief for digestive issues like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis manageable through a THCA tincture or other form of cannabis delivering the appropriate cannabinoids.
They both ease back pain
How often do you experience back pain? Bad body mechanics and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to the widespread complaint of back pain. Simple twisting yoga poses are heaven sent for returning the spine to it’s natural flexibility and strength, and massaging the muscles surrounding the lumbar spine, all which can help alleviate back pain.
Cannabis has been used as an analgesic for thousands of years in ancient and western medicine because of it’s qualities as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, relaxing agent, and regulator of pain perception, and because cannabis diminishes painful spasms and anxieties associated with the anticipation of pain. (1) Since cannabis has less risk of dependency than opioids, more patients are choosing to medicate with cannabis to relieve chronic back pain. Although not as effective post-surgery, cannabis can provide effective relief from regular pain without the adverse effects of addiction or risk of respiratory failure that comes with most opioids. This is especially useful for someone trying to find a healthier alternative to pain relief.
They help bring the body to a state of balance
The main job of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis by utilizing cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors found throughout the immune system and central and peripheral nervous systems.
Homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain balance despite external changes. Sleep, blood pressure, mood, and breathing are all examples of processes regulated to support homeostasis. When we get ill, homeostasis is disrupted. When an imbalance in homeostasis is detected the body naturally synthesizes cannabinoids, which in turn stimulate a chemical response that works to return the physiological process that is out of balance back to homeostasis. Introducing cannabinoids into the body through cannabis consumption invokes the same response.
Gentle yoga twists and conscious breathing can also improve homeostatic control by generating a sense of grounding, stability, and activating the body’s relaxation response, all common effects of the body being well and in balance.
Want to give some of these practices a try? Check out my online Twist and Energize cannabis-infused yoga class, the perfect way to reap the benefits of cannabis and gentle twists.
Uwe Blesching, PhD, The Cannabis Health Index. North Atlantic Books. (2015) 404-407.
*All other references are linked.