Yogic management of Diabetes & High Blood Sugar
Aim of the Program:
Helping ourselves to understand the existing condition, finding the root cause of the trouble, and creating an opportunity to bring change in ourselves towards healthy life through Yoga and its various components is the aim of this program.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease which has plagued man for centuries though it’s incidence at present, especially in the more developed areas of the world, is higher than it has ever been in the past. The reason for this is that, through technological achievement, both stress and affluence have become increasingly widespread, and people have developed the tendency to avoid strenuous physical exercise and to overeat.
About Diabetes & Sugar metabolism:
Normally, food when digested, is broken down into a simple sugar known as glucose, and this glucose gives the required energy to every cell in the body. Pancreas produces a hormone called Insulin, which helps move the glucose into cells. In a healthy man, the pancreas adjusts the amount of insulin produced based on the level of glucose in the body. However, there is a disturbance in this process with people who have Diabetes as this is a disorder of the body’s metabolism characterized by a high blood sugar levels and the subsequent excretion of sugar in the urine.
The types of diabetes:
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
Type-I ( Juvenile onset diabetes)
Type-2 ( Maturity onset diabetes)
*The less prevalent but more severe form of diabetes occurs in young people. Juvenile onset diabetes is where the capacity of the pancreas to produce insulin has been partially or even completely lost. This may be due to a genetic defect, or may follow a viral infection or a severe psychic, mental or emotional trauma. This form of diabetes tends to occur in thin, sensitive, intelligent people. The medical treatment consists of daily injections of replacement insulin.
*The more common form is Maturity onset diabetes, which develops gradually in middle-aged, stressed, overweight, under exercised persons, whose diet contains an excess of sugars, starches and fats. This long-term overloading of the digestive system, especially the pancreas, leads to progressive deterioration of the insulin, where the pancreas produce insulin but the cells are resistant to it. Hence the glucose metabolism is affected as the glucose cannot move into the cells and blood glucose levels become high.
The Yogic management:
Yogic science recognizes two interrelated causes of diabetes:
- Long-term devitalization and sluggishness of the digestive processes due to dietary abuse.
- Overeating, obesity
- Lack of exercise.
- High intake of a sugar and carbohydrate rich diet is especially implicated.
- Causative factor is that diabetes is stress related.
- The stresses and frustrations of modern sedentary humans are largely manifest on the mental and emotional planes, unlike those of our ancestors who had to wage a physical battle for survival.
- Nevertheless, the adrenal glands are in a constant state of activation, spilling the ‘stress hormone’ adrenalin into the bloodstream.
- This is a potent stimulus to the body to mobilize glucose into the blood.
- In this way a constant heavy burden of worries and anxieties impose a constant demand for insulin secretion which can ultimately precipitate diabetes, especially in conjunction with a diet rich in sugar.
While medical science claims diabetes is incurable, many studies have proven that it responds very well to yogic management. In clinical trials, newly diagnosed diabetics have reduced blood sugar to normal levels and insulin dependent diabetics have been able to either discontinue insulin usage completely or have been able to considerably reduce their insulin consumption. The newly diagnosed diabetic has excellent prospects of completely controlling and correcting his condition if he adopts yogic practices and lifestyle under guidance.
Yoga does not accept that a lifestyle based on excessive consumption of rich food, obesity and lack of exercise is a natural or desirable state. To simply prescribe insulin or other drugs to counteract the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle is a disease promoting rather than a health promoting practice. The yogic treatment of diabetes is directed at the underlying causes of the disease as well as to its symptoms. It is based on the internal readjustment of the whole organism through stimulation of the body’s own regenerative processes.
Four ways –
The yoga practices are thought to act in four distinct ways to overcome diabetes:
- It seems that the cells of the Islets of Langerhans, the secretory portions of the pancreas which have been prematurely exhausted due to over secretion of insulin, are rejuvenated. This would mean that insulin production is stimulated and that it’s release is better timed so as to be appropriate to the level of sugar in the blood. This occurs gradually as depleted levels of pranic energy in the mid-digestive tract are restored.
- Yoga seems to bring about a more general resensitization of muscle and fat tissues to the body’s own (endogenous) insulin. This is achieved specifically by:
- The anti-rheumatic series of pawanmuktasana part-1, which removes blockage of energy in the peripheral muscles and tissues.
- The anti-gastric series of pawanmuktasana part -2, which selectively activates and mobilizes the body’s fatty adipose tissue stores.
- Surya namaskara is a powerful pranic generator which also helps to restore a balanced metabolism.
- The combination of Shatkarmas, Pranayama, Yoga nidra and Meditation removes the energy blockages, suppressed stress and anxiety which helps to manage the disease and gives a creative and uplifting outlook to live the life in a fulfilling way.
- A balanced consumed diet needs to be incorporated to make the therapy more effective.
Yogic techniques help:
- In reduction and management of stress effectively.
- Stimulates the metabolic functionality of the system as whole.
- Loose excess weight.
- Managing Stress, reduces anxiety, mental worries and emotional lows by building self-confidence and self-understanding as well.
- Stabilizes mood swings.
- Enhances overall well-being.
The long-term complications of diabetes include retinopathy, vascular dysfunction, cardiovascular issues, also impacting the brain & it’s functions as well. With discipline, regularity, sincerity & commitment, yoga practices help in all the existing conditions of diabetes.
The importance of finding ways to cure diabetes and remove this suffering from our lives can’t be overestimated.
Prevention, though is better than cure, by avoiding mental stress, inculcating regular and proper dietary habits, and through regular and efficient exercise of body and mind.
Yoga is very useful in both these areas. Alone or in combination with other systems, it helps the patient to gain control over his body and mind, resulting in nervous and hormonal equilibrium and good health.