Yoga therapy | Diabetes

How Yoga therapy can help with diabetes

Yoga therapy can help type 1 and type 2 diabetes in a number of ways:

YogaLowered stress levels

Yoga can help to lower stress levels but it is important to understand why this is particularly important for diabetics. The stress response produces high levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body. These hormones stimulate the release of glucose into the blood stream and can contribute to raising blood sugar levels above the safe range for diabetics.

How Yoga therapy helps with stress

Yoga provides simple calming techniques, which can prevent activation of the stress response. This can be achieved through simple breathing techniques, stretches to release tight muscles and deep relaxation. Over the longer term, meditation can help to strengthen the mind against unhelpful, repetitive thought patterns that can promote the stress response.

The importance of exercise and weight loss

YogaYoga can provide a suitable exercise programme, which can be particularly helpful if excess weight is a problem. Excess fat around the abdominal area releases a substance that causes tissues in the body to become less sensitive to insulin (insulin resistance). This is a major cause of type 2 diabetes and is prevalent in people who eat too much refined carbohydrate and do not exercise.

Well-being and contentment

Over time yoga can foster the discipline and self-confidence necessary for diet management, which may be necessary for a diabetic. Yoga practises tend to encourage feelings of wholeness and well-being as they focus on the experience of the body and the breath together. Out of this flows a greater sense of natural contentment, which helps in a weight reduction programme.

People with type 1 diabetes may need to raise their blood sugar levels during exercise by taking glucose tablets so avoiding hypoglycemia.

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