21 Mar Can Yoga Cure Genetic Diseases?
Since the body has a tremendous innate ability to heal itself. Yoga is one of the best preventive for genetic disorders and diabetes. For example – When we cut ourselves, the body forms a clot or scab to prevent bleeding. All the systems work in tandem harmoniously to minimize loss and restore balance. By way of nature, we are gifted with Homeostasis. This is a dynamic state of equilibrium that ensures optimal functioning accounts for many variables, like fluid balance, body temperature etc.
When we work with the laws of nature, our bodies heal naturally. Healing yoga practices like Kriyas provide internal cleansing combined with yoga asanas, breathwork, relaxation, and meditation induces quantifiable changes in the body even on the genetic level.
The pilot study of the diabetes project was organized at The Yoga Institute on July 16, 1987, when 17 diabetics enrolled for an experimental 7-day residential camp.
The renowned diabetologist, Dr. V. S. Ajgaonkar helped to organize the diabetes camp. On the first day of the camp, the fasting blood sugar of all the 15 campers was noted. Participants were given an insight into the diabetic personality by Dr. Ajit Dandekar, psychiatrist, and Mr. R.J. Chinwalla, psychoanalyst.
The first significant step is to accept the fact that one has diabetes instead of denying it, fighting it or wallowing in self-pity. This is not easy, as combating diabetes involves a change in lifestyle and mental attitude, which calls for tremendous motivation and will-power. But it is a change for the better—an opportunity to take better care of oneself so that one lives healthier and longer.
Yoga has been found to supplement and enhance the effectiveness of the current therapy comprising of diet, exercises, and oral medication or insulin. Diabetes is best controlled not by fear but by knowledge and self-assurance with a positive attitude. Yoga helps one attain such an outlook.
Preliminary psychological tests were administered to each patient at the start and conclusion of the programme. Many diabetic disorders were detected after a prolonged period of emotional stress. The excessive release of the ‘stress’ hormones, adrenaline and cortisone has been found to trigger diabetes in stress-prone people. The degree of relaxation achieved by each patient was evaluated on a relaxomat machine at the end of the programme.
Forty diabetic patients from among those who attended the diabetic camps organized from April ’91 to December ’91 were selected for this study. They were in the age group 30 to 68 years. Most of them belonged to non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus (Type II), with an average duration of diabetes ranging from three to five years prior to attending the camps.
The majority of these patients were on a prescribed diet, exercise, and oral hypoglycemic drugs, while a couple of them were on insulin therapy. At the beginning of the study, the patients’ blood sugar levels, that is, fasting and postprandial, urine sugar, weight, and blood pressure were recorded. These patients were then trained in yoga which they practiced for a period ranging from one to three months. At the end of one to three months of yogic practice, the tests were repeated and recorded.
At the end of the study, both fasting and post-prandial blood sugar showed a sharp fall to near normal values, leading to a considerable reduction in the dosage of oral hypoglycemic drugs and insulin. Reduction or absence of urine sugar, reduction of blood pressure and loss of weight was also noted in most of the patients. After yoga therapy, all the patients felt a sense of well-being with relief from symptoms like tiredness, frequent urination, tension, headache, constipation, and indigestion. They had a feeling of exhilaration, lightness, and suppleness of the body.
Thus, yoga if adequately practiced, along with the right prescribed diet, is quite useful in bringing down the blood glucose levels, and thereby relieving symptoms of diabetes.
Follow-ups revealed that those who had kept up their practices and changed their basic attitude towards life showed a marked and consistent improvement in their health status.