Diabetes in various forms affects up to 5 percent of the world population with 12 million diabetics in Western Europe alone . Of the different ways in which diabetes presents, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is probably the most commonly encountered genetic disease. NIDDM or Type II diabetes is multi-factorial, depending also on environmental factors including obesity, sedentary lifestyles and nutritional imbalances.
Some beneficial results in curing diabetes have been found by doing yoga . The yoga exercises that are prescribed for curing diabetes is different from hatha yoga exercise because it involves positions tailored to treat certain conditions, as well as meditation, relaxation and stretching exercises.
One of the studies conducted to cure diabetes was the one set up by the Yoga Biomedical Trust, founded in 1982 by biochemist Dr Robin Monro, and an Indian yoga research foundation which discovered that practicing yoga for 30 minutes a day for one month helped reduce blood glucose levels in some diabetics.
Two 90-minute sessions a week the yoga patients took part in and were also asked to practice at home . The classes included the specific yoga exercises of the spinal twist, the bow and abdominal breathing.
Blood sugar levels fell significantly in all patients in the group at the end of the 12 weeks . Three yoga students managed to reduce their medication, including one man who had not changed his drug regime for 20 years.
Long time exercise has been known for a long time to help diabetics . Yoga therapy may help reduce stress levels which could play a part in maturity onset diabetes. But one drawback is that some patients would find it hard to keep up the regular sessions needed to sustain the benefit. All the patients said they would like to see these classes set up on a permanent basis but we don’t have the money.
It is not necessarily the weight loss exercise component of the yoga therapy package which is most important, because there is not enough physical exercise to account for the changes, but stress reduction has a lot to do with it. Stress hormones increase sugar levels in the blood . People also benefit from the stabilization of their moods which yoga brings, an increased feeling of well-being and a feeling of being more in control, which may help with their diet control.