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Women's Health

Yoga and the Great Mammogram Debate

One of the things I've learned from my yoga practice is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sure yoga can help you rehabilitate an overstretched muscle, but it can also teach you had to move...

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One of the things I’ve learned from my yoga practice is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sure yoga can help you rehabilitate an overstretched muscle, but it can also teach you had to move your body mindfully so that you never hurt that muscle in the first place. Personally, I prefer the latter scenario.

This is a lesson I take off the mat and extend to other areas of my life, too. It has helped me come to the conclusion that I should always practice yoga, manage stress, eat healthy foods, floss daily, get regular check ups at the doctor, etc. I’m a firm believer that the sooner you catch a potential health problem–whether it’s a pulled muscle, a cavity, or something more serious–the easier it is to address. I’d rather spend some time in yoga strengthening the muscles around my hyperextended knee now than to have surgery to fix a knee problem later on. I’d also rather have an unpleasant little tooth filling now, than a root canal later.

Coming from that perspective, it’s hard to understand why anyone would suggest fewer screenings that could catch something as serious as breast cancer, which a government task force did earlier this week. The task force changed the recommendation that women begin getting mammograms at age 40, and now suggest they get one every other year starting at age 50.

But I want to know what you think. Has yoga changed the way you approach your own health care? If you’re a woman, will the new recommendation change when or how often you get a mammogram?