Yoga in the Swedish NHS

The spread of MediYoga in Sweden and Beyond

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MediYoga was developed in Sweden by yoga teacher and yoga therapist Göran Boll in1998. Today MediYoga has long standing research collaboration with several of the largest hospitals in Sweden. In 2008, yoga teacher and yoga therapist Elisabeth Engqvist, had lunch with Göran Boll, and talked about how yoga had been a great support to her in recovering from a serious accident. Elisabeth suggested that this should be packaged and conceptualised for a natio...nwide launch across the whole of Sweden. It was the beginning of a successful collaboration with the first instructor training taking place in Norway in 2011. Today, instructor trainings are offered across Norway, Denmark and the USA.

To date, there are more than 2,000 MediYoga instructors and MediYoga therapy has been implemented in 130 hospitals and medical clinics all over Scandinavia and the USA. These are very impressive numbers indeed.

We were blessed to have Göran Boll address the honourable assembly via skype at the House of Commons Meeting on 27th June 2016. He spoke about the success of yoga in Swedish Hospitals, explaining, “Yoga has already been implemented into the Swedish NHS. From 2010-2016 more 150 hospitals, primary care- and specialist clinics have started using yoga on their patients. The projection for 2020 is 5-600 NHS units, and we see a similar development all over Scandinavia. Yoga is used with heart patients, for pain management, eating disorders, cancer rehab, in psychiatry, treatment for the elderly, and in palliative care. The yoga instructors in the Swedish NHS are mostly physic therapists, nurses and doctors, having taken up to 2 years of yoga training. The basis for this development in Sweden is scientific research on yoga, since 1998.”

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS