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Earning A Post-Graduate Certification in Yoga as Complementary and Integrative Medicine | HomeCEUConnection Blog

Earning A Post-Graduate Certification in Yoga as Complementary and Integrative Medicine

September 26th, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Uncategorized

Today we welcome Ginger Garner, MPT, ATC, a well known educator in the subject of Medical Therapeutic Yoga. Ginger is founder of Professional Yoga Therapy (PYT), the first education program for Complementary and Alternative Medicine practice in medical therapeutic yoga in the US. Ginger is one of our more popular continuing education presenters. Here she explains why her Medical Therapeutic Yoga courses (offered through our catalog) are perfect for providing rehab professionals with additional treatment options for their patients.

Earning A Post-Graduate Certification in Yoga as Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Why Yoga? Why Now?

By Ginger Garner, MPT, ATC, PYT

Back in 2008, the editor in chief of Yoga Journal stated that yoga as medicine is the next “great wave for yoga.” More than ever, Americans are seeking out Complementary and Integrative Medicine in record numbers. In 2008 over 16.5 million Americans reported practicing yoga and almost half reported they did so to affect their health and well-being. Over 6 billion was spent on yoga and yoga products alone in 2008.

More recently, in 2012 Corroller et al cite the most common musculoskeletal injuries in yoga as tendinous lesions and fibrocartilaginous tears, including tears of the rotator cuff, acetabular labrum, Achilles, medial meniscus, glenoid labrum, and lumbar disc extrusion. Injuries are on the rise in yoga studios across the country, and you as the health care professional and therapist are ideally suited to be managing those injuries and more importantly, preventing them through evidence based prescription of yoga as medicine.

If you are not currently using yoga as medicine in your practice you are missing out on an incredibly powerful way to improve patient outcomes and simultaneously reduce your own stress level and “caregiver fatigue.” Today in PT in their July 23, 2012 issue reported that a minimum of 20% of your overall practice revenue generated should come from cash based services. Further, with the increase in yoga injuries being seen it is increasingly important that you as a health care professional know how to manage and prevent them.

Using Yoga in Medicine

Using yoga as medicine carries enormous power to improve patient satisfaction, reduce overhead costs, and generate new sources of income. But most important, using yoga as Complementary and Integrative Medicine allows you break free from the medical model of clinician as “healer” and instead, shift the paradigm of health and well-being to a preventive model, empowering your patient to take responsibility for their health.

Medical Therapeutic Yoga Prescription

Medical Therapeutic Yoga, or MTY, is a form of yoga practiced and prescribed by licensed health care professionals and their assistants for clinical application and public health education. Yoga, when practiced by licensed therapists, can be billed in the insurance system with success, as well as used outside of the insurance system in development of cash-based programming. Further, Medicare is now covering yoga for cardiovascular health, with details that will be forthcoming throughout 2012 and beyond.

Prescription of yoga can be safe and effective for patient evaluation and intervention through evolving yoga by applying the current evidence base.  Recalibration of the postures and breathwork considering current research in medicine and rehabilitation has led to the development of the PYT Method.  Standardized over a 15 year period, the method is based on 15 Precepts, 4 Biomechanical, and 7 Physiological principles encased in a biopsychosocial model of assessment. The 15 Module Certificate Program are accredited through State licensing boards, and its coursework is approved for both CE and CME.

The Priority: Patient Safety & Clinical Excellence

Safety for your patients and clients, especially when you are a medical professional legally bound to your patients and clients, should be the top concern. Prescribing yoga as medicine is not currently taught or regulated in the US except through the educational standards provided through the PYT program. As a charter member school of The International Association of Yoga Therapists, the program is well respected as the oldest program that teaches prescription of yoga at a post-graduate level and is one that holds the highest prerequisites and educational standards in the profession. The program is open to licensed medical professionals and their assistants in order to be taught at a level commensurate with your education in medicine and therapy.

Distance Based Learning for Your Convenience – On-Site Learning for Critical Application

Didactic education is also imperative in learning to use yoga as medicine. Just as your education in medicine or therapy required both academic coursework and experiential clinical education, yoga is the same. The academic coursework is offered online so you can minimize time away from home for the clinical labwork. Like other professions, some of the most valuable learning in the medical yoga program is done in a hands-on lab setting through Modules 8, 14, and 15.

Post-Graduate Certification in Medical Therapeutic Yoga Prescription

It’s now easier than ever to learn how to prescribe yoga in therapy through earning your Professional Yoga Therapist Certification (PYT). The distance based learning that affords you as a clinician allows you to earn both CE’s and work toward completing your PYT Certification in medical therapeutic yoga, equipping you to teach and prescribe yoga that is safe and effective. Stand-alone evidence based continuing medical education courses that mesh with the busy clinician’s lifestyle. These PYT courses can be taken in ANY ORDER and AT YOUR OWN PACE:


  1. Yoga Journal releases 2008 ‘Yoga in America’ market study.” February 26, 2008.
  2. Le Corroller T, Vertinsky AT, Hargunani R, Khashoggi K, Munk PL, Ouellette HA. Musculoskeletal injuries related to yoga: imaging observations. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Aug;199(2):413-8.
  3. Nahin RL, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ, Bloom B. Costs of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and frequency of visits to CAM practitioners: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Report 2009;(18):1-14.

About the Author: Ginger Garner, MPT, ATC, PYT

Ginger is an integrative physical therapist and founder of Professional Yoga Therapy, an evidence based method for using yoga as medicine.  Ginger advocates for her patients to receive holistic and integrative medical care in order to improve health care in the US today.  Ginger has been teaching, writing, and lecturing across the United States on how to put the “care” back in health care since 2000.  Her medical yoga post-graduate program, Professional Yoga Therapy, which teaches non-dogmatic, evidence-based care through fostering an east/west multi-disciplinary team approach, is a first of its kind in the United States. Learn more at and

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