By Dr. Rita Khanna
The entire human organism is controlled by the hormones. Every system, every organ, every tissue, every cell is guided in its functioning by hormones. Any imbalance results in disease. In children, various hormones, many minerals, and nutrients play the role in good height growth. Hormones are the products secreted by the endocrine glands. The endocrine glands are ductless glands, which discharge their internal secretions directly into the blood stream, and greatly influence the relationship between our mind and body.
Various, ductless glands of the body are the pineal, the pituitary, the thyroid, the parathyroid, the thymus, the adrenals, pancreas, ovaries, and testicles. Height, stature, the shape of the face, the appearance, intelligence, bodily development, the complexion, the color and characteristic differences between men and women, such as the temper, the voice, the growth of the hair, mental and physical capacity, the formation of the body, and even the emotions are regulated by the functioning of these glands.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONES (HGH)
HGH is a substance produced by a gland in the brain, called the pituitary gland. This gland is often called the master gland because it controls many of the other glands in the body. It is about the size of a pea, and it lies above the roof of the mouth, beneath the brain. Growth hormone prompts the liver to make a substance, called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).
These growth factors, along with growth hormone itself, travel through the bloodstream and cause growth and development to occur throughout the body. Major organs that synthesize IGF-1 are the human placenta, heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, spleen, small intestines, testes, ovaries, large intestines, brain, bone, and pituitary. Improper secretions of the pituitary gland, and shortage of hormones, may result in abnormal growth.
The growth plate is the area of growing tissue, near the end of the long bones in children and adolescents. Each long bone has at least two growth plates – one at each end. The growth plate determines the future length and shape of the mature bone. When growth is complete, sometimes during adolescence, the growth plates close, and are replaced by solid bone. Whether a growth plate is still open, or not, can only be known through an X-ray. For those whose growth plates are still open, an increased amount of human growth hormone can lead to height increase. Growth hormone does not only serve to increase children’s height, it also helps transform fat into muscle. It helps to build up and maintain bones, and to maintain other organ functions.
YOGA INCREASES YOUR GROWTH HORMONES OR HGH
Yoga is the safest way to boost human growth hormones, without any side-effects. The proper growth and functioning, of the various parts of the body, is possible only when there is a balanced secretion of all these hormones. Asanas balance the hormonal secretions from the various glands and affect the function of the pituitary, as do various breathing exercises that stimulate the brain. Any Asana, where the head is lower than the heart, will result in increased blood flow to the brain, and benefit the pituitary gland and its functions.
YOGA ASANAS FOR HEIGHT
• Asanas, recommended for increasing height, are Tadasana, Trikonasana Suryanamaskara, Shavasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Halasana, Paschimottanasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Sethubandhasana, Vajrasana, Shashankasana, and Usthrasana. They maximize the harmonious interaction of the endocrine hormones, secreted by the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands during the adolescent growth spurt. Minute concentrations of vital endocrine secretions, including growth hormone from the pituitary, calcitonin from the parathyroids, and thyroxin from the thyroid gland, control the rate and extent of physical growth and metabolism.
• Dynamic and static Asanas, such as Pada-hastasana, Paschimottanasana, Halasana, Yoga- mudra, Matsyasana, and Supta- vajrasana, which exert a powerful stretching effect upon the vertebro-spinal axis, hips and legs, profoundly influence the nervous and arterial plexuses, supplying and innervating the epiphyseal growth plates of the spine and long bones (femur and tibia). They promote maximal nutrition, and contribute to the development of the skeleton, before fusion of the epiphyses occurs – usually by the 16th year.
• Pranayama, such as Bhramari and Ujjayi, are very relaxing to the brain. When the human mind is relaxed and stress-free, it will increase the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
• Besides Asanas and Pranayamas, proper diet for the bones and muscles is a must. It should include water, protein, carbohydrates, iodine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
• An adequate quantity of sleep is also required to increase the height, and makes the body stronger. During deep sleep, growth hormones, produced by your pituitary gland, are released into your blood stream, and travel through your body, causing the thickening and lengthening of your bones.
• Do not forget to laugh, because laughter has numerous healing powers, and is also the best medicine for generating Human Growth Hormone.
Below is a technique of Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) for height growth:
• Spread mat or double-folded blanket on a flat ground.
• Now, lie down straight on your back.
• Bend each leg, at the knee, one-by-one.
• Both knees should touch each other.
• The heels and the toes should also touch each other.
• Take the heels quite close to the buttocks.
• Feet flat on the floor.
• Keep your hands, by your sides, parallel to the ground.
• By pressing the palms on the ground, lift the waist up.
• The middle part of the body should be lifted up, as much as possible, and it should be supported by both hands.
• The fingers, of the hands, should remain on the outer side, and the thumbs should point inwards.
• The waist should be supported with the hands.
• The arms, between the shoulders and the elbows, remain parallel to the ground, and the forearms, between the elbows and wrists, remain vertical to the ground, as a pole.
• Now, very slowly – straighten your legs one-by-one, with the right leg first, then the left leg.
• Both – thighs, knees, calf muscles, heels, and toes of the feet should touch each other.
• There should not be any angle at the knee joint.
• In this way, the shape of the whole body will be like a fly over a bridge.
• Hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable.
• When releasing the Bridge Pose, slowly fold the legs first, one-by-one, then remove the hands and put them on the sides of the body; slowly put the body back down on the floor.
The Sethu Bandhasana enhances the functioning of the endocrine system, which regulates secretion of the hormones. It increases flexibility and elasticity of the body, strengthens the lower back, abdominal muscles, and opens the chest. By the practice of this Asana, the vertebrae of the spinal column, shoulders, upper arm, both forearms, elbows, wrists, palms, fingers, neck, back, waist, thighs, knees, and the calf muscles, experience energy and vitality. By its regular practice, one becomes free from psychological abnormality, if any; and obtains a life filled with good thoughts, hopes, and joy.
If one follows the above Yogic lifestyle, religiously, which includes regular Asanas, Pranayama, adequate sleep, and a healthy diet – one can ensure maximal growth and development of the body.
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Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio.
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Dr. Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh (India).
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy. She is also imparting Yoga Teachers Training.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is running a Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).