DIABETES mellitus is one of the oldest known chronic diseases that affect humans. Diabetes is principally a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to handle its main fuel-glucose. The causative factors of this disease, however, include sedentary habits, physical and mental stress. This disease finds reference in times even before the birth of Christ, and in the medical treatise Sushruta. Though there’s no real remedy to cure it. It can be controlled by a change in diet and lifestyle, and by taking medication and exercising regularly.
The long term elevation of blood glucose level damages the blood vessels, heart, kidneys, nervous system and eyes. Diabetes is associated with high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Urinary tract infections, foot injuries and infections are also a problem. Legs have been lost because of negligence, which can be avoided by educating the patient about daily foot care. Diabetic retinopathy may lead to diminished vision and blindness if not attended in time.
How you yoga helps
Yoga can help prevent and even rehabilitate people suffering from diabetes. Yoga includes muscular stretching (yogasanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), dietary and behavioral restrictions (yama, niyama, pratyahara), mind-control (analysis) and relaxation (dharna, dhyana and Samadhi). These bring harmony between the body and the mind leading to better physical and mental health. The integrated of approach of yoga operates at the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels, using varied yogic postures, and key principals like rest, forbearance and internal awareness. Yoga has proved to be useful in bringing down the blood glucose level, and in turn, controlling diabetes.
Different asana, are designed to stimulate specific parts/organs of the body. Stress causes an imbalance in the secretion of several hormones, which disturb the body’s metabolism, increasing the complications. The beta cells of the pancreas do not secrete the necessary insulin into the system. In such a situation, yogic relaxation techniques help release the stress on the immune system level and normalize its function. Certain yogasanas can also stimulate the pancreas and improve its functions.
Mediation provides deep relaxation, during which fatigue and deep-rooted tensions are released. Mediation is one of the best stress management systems available to us. It works by normalizing stress-induced hormones and the body’s metabolism. Chants combined with sectional breathing techniques (pranayama) such as bhastrika, kapalbhati and ujjayi help bring emotional stability and control the irritability and negativity that affects the mind.
The effect of exercise on blood insulin levels among diabetic patients is phenomenal. Insulin dosage is adjusted depending upon the severity of glucose in the absence of insulin. Exercise helps in bringing the glucose level down and this is the reason why a diabetic patient should exercise in order to burn their glucose. A diabetic must consider yogic practices seriously as an effective treatment modality that should be continued for a long time. Yoga trains the body and the mind. But you must remember that there are no short cuts in yoga, it is a long-term commitment to leading a healthy life.
In brief, a yogic programme involves the practices of shankaprakshalana (complete washing out of the gastroin-testinal tract by drinking luke-warm saline water followed with yogic postural exercises).
Vamadhouti kriya (stomach wash) asanas like bhujangasana, naukasana, dhanurasana, ardhamatsyendrasana, halasana, paschimottanasa (which effects the viscera), vajrasana with sakshibhavana (which disciplines the mind) yogmudra, uddiyana bandha, naulichalana (Stimulates the pancreas), sarvangasana, viparitakarni mudra (revitalizes the system), matsyasana, ushtrasana, suptavajrasana, chakrasana (reversing the imbalances), anulom-viloma, ujjayi and bhramari pranayama (prana distribution and stabilization), trataka and Aum meditation (mental and emotional balances), makrasana (total relaxation) are essential to control diabetes.