BY CHARLOTTE DOBSON
A Manchester GP is calling on the NHS to prescribe a different kind of treatment to patients… yoga.
Dr Matt Joslin has written an open letter asking for the ancient form of exercise to be prescribed to patients on the NHS.
He claims yoga has the potential to improve almost all aspects of mental and physical fitness.
“Every day in my job as a GP I think of the potential of yoga,” he said.
“Yoga could have a positive impact on almost every health related situation that comes into my consulting room.
Watch: Matt Joslin explains why yoga should be available on the NHS
It comes up in discussions about weight loss, anxiety, back pain and depression, pregnancy, cancer, cardiovascular health and ageing.
“The more I consider the role yoga has for an individual person coping with a particular health concern, the more I see the potential for yoga to become a public health intervention that could bolster the health of the nation.”
The dad-of-two from Didsbury became a yoga fanatic after trying it 15 years ago to help with his bad back.
It also helped him cope with a serious bout of depression, which almost led to him quitting the medical profession for good.
At 46, Dr Joslin says he feels the fittest he has ever been in his life, and says it’s all down to yoga.
He added: “I have a very busy job. You look at the health service and it’s not a happy place.
“I’m probably working harder than I ever have in my life. But I find a bit of mental stillness and calm really helps.
“Not in a flaky or spiritual way. When I do yoga I find I am more effective in what I do.”
Dr Joslin said he hopes his letter, which was published on the Manchester Yoga page, will grab the attention of health chiefs and NHS users
He also hoping to do something more immediate with his patients and the Manchester yoga community.
“My letter is about getting the conversation going,” he said.
“It’s not just about prescribing it. It’s about independent responsibility.
“It’s about people looking after themselves. I see it as a recommendation and option for a healthier lifestyle.”