By Faye Martins
After a new instructor’s first Yoga teacher training intensive, he or she may teach in many different atmospheres. When teaching in a corporate, medical, legal or academic setting, the person who initially hires you may ask for proof of Yogic methodology’s benefits.
You may be asked questions from people who want to know more, are pure skeptics, want to throw you off guard, or just don’t share our faith in a practice we’ve devoted decades to learn. Everything we say is anecdotal, unless we have proof in the form of studies, tests, and research. Let’s look at one serious condition and review how the therapeutic aspects of Yoga have help up during studies.
The Trouble with Diabetes
Diabetes is growing at alarming rates, and some of the latest research shows that Yoga can be a helpful intervention. Based on information from the “2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet,” over eight percent of children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Of these, seven million are undiagnosed, and additional 79 million are pre-diabetic.
Type 1 diabetes, commonly known as juvenile-onset diabetes, usually occurs in youth under the age of 20 and requires treatment with insulin injections or pumps. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is frequently diagnosed in adults who are in their 30s or older and overweight. While type 1 diabetics must follow strict diets and get plenty of exercise, type 2 diabetics are sometimes able to avoid medication by making lifestyle changes. They are the subject of research regarding Yoga and diabetes.
The Studies and Research
• The National Institutes of Health reviewed 73 summaries of studies done between 1985 and 2007 to evaluate the use of Yoga in the management of diabetes. They acknowledged the health benefits of the practice and validated its potential as a tool for preventing diabetes. They determined, however, that more study is needed to determine the most efficient way to offer training and to identify the kinds of practices that are the most helpful.
• In August 2011, “Diabetes Care” reported the results of a study involving 123 adults of middle age and above who added Yoga to their standard care for type 2 diabetes. Not only did they have modest weight loss over three months, but their average blood sugar levels remained steady, too. On the other hand, blood sugar levels rose in the “control” that did not practice Yoga.
• Shreelaxmi V. Hedge of the Srinivas Institute of Medical Science and Research Center in Mangalore, India, agrees that Yogic techniques can be helpful, but he says it will work better when the exercise regimen is more strenuous. At his institute, 60 participants practiced Yoga several times a week, and their body mass index, a measure of weight in relation to height, dropped from 25.9 to 25.4. A BMI over 25 is generally considered overweight.
As in any other illness, any change in treatment should be carefully discussed with medical professionals before implementing. However, it is common knowledge that a regular Yoga practice helps the adrenaline system, and the rest of the body, operate more smoothly. Since this is the same system affected by diabetes, it only stands to reason that Yoga training would help manage diabetes.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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