Diabetes mellitus (DM), is known as diabetes in most of the people, it is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. It is very important to mantain the balance of sugar in the body. The symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. There are two type of diabetes type 1 and & type 2
The pancreas usually makes some insulin to maintain the sugar level in the body. But either the amount made isn’t enough for the body’s needs, or the body’s cells resist it. Insulin resistance, or lack of sensitivity to insulin, happens mainly in fat, liver, and muscle cells.
Can Yoga Cure Diabetes?
Many studies have reported the beneficial effect of the practice of yoga on diabetes. As India is a home of Yoga and is also today, unfortunately, the capital of diabetes in the world, often hopes are raised as to whether that our ancient science might be able to find a remedy to the illness. Many consider Yogacharya Yogi Ajay Rana, as the world’s greatest living yoga master. He is one of the “100 Most Influential Yoga Master in the World”, he has stated, “After working for 19 years as a teacher, I am giving groups of asanas for different functional and organic ailments and diseases, based on experiences with my pupils”. He has included a group different yogic asanas, which under proper guidance, would give relief to diabetes. Before rushing to start yoga, one has to consider two factors 1) The nature of diabetes 2) What are the requirements necessary for a diabetic patient to benefit from yoga. In diabetes, the blood sugar is raised beyond the usual limits of 80 to 120 mg per cent (fasting blood sugar). Insulin is the only hormone in the body that can bring down the blood sugar.
Every organ and system can be affected by diabetes. There could be several associated problems – heart attacks, high blood pressure, diminished vision, kidney infections brain haemorrhages, increased susceptibility to all infections leading to abscesses and gangrenes. Most of these are major killer diseases. The usual management consists of a well-controlled, balanced diet, with different types of tablets/, in order to increase insulin secretion from the pancreas or injecting insulin to supplement the body’s store of this hormone. Such patients are also advised to do regular exercises so as to increase the peripheral utilization of glucose and to reduce obesity. Yogic therapy works by rejuvenating the main glands involved with diabetes, like the pancreas that is involved with insulin release. The stress glands also seem to be implicated, where a high-stress level can overload the blood with high sugar as a response to stress. Regrettably, the matter does not end here, because of the very nature of yoga. Just doing the prescribed yogic asanas will not help out.
The yoga student must learn to control and his or her self in a holistic manner, at all levels of being; physical, emotional, mental, intellectual and spiritual, recognizing the effects of stress, emotional imbalance, and dietary and living habits, on the disease condition. Many international studies have reported the beneficial effect of the practice of yoga on diabetes. Some studies have mentioned up to 65 per cent beneficial effect of yogic therapy. Many medical scientists have even mentioned five cases of juvenile diabetes completely controlled by yogic treatment. A study conducted in Washington, D.C. compared the effects of walking, treadmill, static cycling, and different yogic asanas/ poses found that the Bow pose (dhanur asana) was the most effective. Surya Namaskara was another group of asanas that was very valuable in controlling 40 diabetes. It was concluded that the direct stimulation of the pancreas by these postures rejuvenated the pancreatic capacity to produce insulin. All of these studies have emphasised the possible mechanism of the yogic practices as the direct influence on pancreatic secretion by the rejuvenation of the pancreatic cells, through alternate abdominal contraction and relaxation, during asanas (yogic postures which produce relaxation) and breathing exercises. In yoga, bandhas are neuromuscular locks that regulate and increase endocrine (glandular) secretions in the body but also realigns, revitalizes and improves the functioning of the organs and the glands that get affected by diabetes.
Basically, the techniques belong to different groups acting at different levels. The loosening techniques Sithilikaran Vyayama like jogging, forward-backwards bending, spinal twisting along with Suryanamaskaras. A few of the specific asanas for diabetics are those which bring about a stretch and twist in that region of the spine (lower thoracic and upper lumbar) where the pancreas is located behind the stomach. Such techniques are Kakasana, ArdhMatsyndrasan, Dhanurasan (Bow Pose). These are believed to increase the blood supply, massage the organs, activate its cells and thereby cause an increase in all its secretions including insulin. A special kriya (exercise) in this group us Agnisara. Here, standing with knees bent, the upper abdomen (region of the pancreas) is flapped in and out after complete expiration. Starting with 10 to 15 flappings, one can even go to about 50 to 60 flappings. Is a full cure for diabetes by yoga too much to hope for? If heart disease can be reversed,” “cured,” “controlled,” “managed without medications,” etc, then why not diabetes?
“The yogic treatment restores the normal functioning of the pancreas and other glands of the endocrinal system. When these glands begin to function properly, the individual is fully cured of diabetic disorders and his health is restored to the normal level.” But, so far no yogic master has claimed that they have completely eradicated diabetes from their afflicted students. But amazing as it may seem, yoga has been shown to 1. Control diabetes at significantly reduced insulin levels for Type I diabetics 2. Control diabetes without any external medication for Type II diabetics.