Yoga Cure Diseases


Yoga Cure Diseases
Let us now look at some of the diseases that can be cured with the power of yoga:

  • Asthma. Practicing various yoga forms like the pranayam and anulom-vulomserve as the only sustainable cure for asthma.
  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hypertension.
  • Depression.
  • Poly Cystic Ovaries.
  • Liver Problems.
  • Lower Back Pain.

Can yoga cure any chronic disease?

Not just mind & body, experts say yoga can prevent and help manage chronic diseases iStock Yoga incorporates postures, breathing exercises and sometimes meditation. The popularity of has grown tremendously in the past decade. More than 10% of U.S. adults have practised yoga at some point in their lives. Yoga practitioners spend on average US$90 a month, and the yoga industry is worth more than $80 billion worldwide.Yoga is now a mainstream activity in the U.S.

And is commonly portrayed as a healthy lifestyle choice. I am a behavioural scientist who researches how physical activity – and specifically yoga – can prevent and help manage chronic diseases.Many people attribute improvements in their physical and to their yoga practice. But until recently, research had been sparse on the health benefits of yoga.

As the body of rigorous research on yoga grows, more and more work is showing the many health benefits of a yoga practice. What is yoga? The name “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to unite, join or connect the mind, body and soul.

  • The first text on yoga was written by the sage Patanjali over 2,000 years ago in India.
  • Patanjali described yoga as “citta-vrtti-nirodhah,” or “stilling the mind.” This was achieved through a mix of breath work, meditation, physical movement and body purification practices, as well as ethical and moral codes for living a healthy and purposeful life.

Over the years, various yoga teachers have modified the original Patanjali yoga, resulting in different styles that vary in their intensity and focus. For example, some yoga styles such as Vinyasa focus more on intense movements similar to an aerobic workout.

Restorative yoga includes more relaxation poses. Iyengar yoga uses props and emphasizes precision and proper alignment of the body. These different styles provide options for individuals with different physical abilities.Generally speaking, yoga instructors in the U.S. today teach styles that incorporate postures, breathing exercises and sometimes meditation.

What does the research show? As yoga has grown in popularity in recent years, researchers have begun to study its effects and are finding that it has great benefits for mental and,Yoga involves physical movement, so it is no surprise that most types of yoga can help to improve a person’s strength and flexibility.

  1. In one study with healthy untrained volunteers, researchers found that eight weeks of yoga improved muscular strength at the elbow and knee by 10%-30%.
  2. Flexibility at the ankle, shoulder and hip joints also increased by 13%-188%.There are a number of less obvious but meaningful benefits from yoga as well.

Research has shown that yoga practice can reduce risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and abdominal obesity. Studies on older adults have shown significant improvements in balance, mobility, cognitive function and overall quality of life.Yoga seems to be effective at managing pain, too.

Research has found that yoga can improve symptoms of headaches, osteoarthritis, neck pain and low-back pain. In fact, the American College of Physicians recommends yoga as one of the options for initial nonpharmaceutical treatment for chronic low-back pain.Yoga also provides many benefits for mental health.

Researchers have found that a regular practice over eight to 12 weeks can lead to moderate reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as help with stress management. More than physical exercise Yoga is a type of exercise in that it is a form of physical exertion that helps build fitness.

A lot of the benefits researchers have found are due to the physical activity component and are similar to benefits from other forms of exercise like running, weightlifting or calisthenics.But unlike these other activities, yoga practice incorporates mindfulness as a key aspect. With its focus on controlling breath, holding postures and meditation, yoga increases how much a person pays attention to the sensations of their body and the present moment.

This mindfulness leads to many benefits not found from other forms of exercise.Studies have shown that mindfulness training on its own can increase a person’s self-awareness, along with the ability to recognize and skillfully respond to emotional stress.

  • It can even give a person greater control over long-term behavior.
  • One study found that increased mindfulness from yoga can help people better recognize and respond to feelings of being full when eating, decrease binge eating and alleviate concerns over how their body looks.My colleagues and I observed a similar effect in a pilot study on the benefits of yoga for individuals with Type 2 diabetes.

After doing yoga twice a week for three months, several participants reported paying more attention to their diet, snacking less and eating healthier, even without any nutrition intervention. Our patients also reported less stress and an increased willingness to engage in other types of physical activities.Yoga is clearly different from Western exercise in how it approaches mental health.

  • With more research, it may be possible to understand the biological mechanisms as well.
  • Things to know if you want to start doing yoga Yoga may not be helpful for all medical conditions or right for every person, but people of all age groups, body types and physical abilities can practice yoga.
  • It can be a form of mental and physical exercise for people who do not enjoy sweating during strenuous forms of exercise or for individuals with medical or physical conditions who find working out in the gym challenging.

It is important to consider that although yoga is generally safe, just as with any other form of exercise, there is some risk of getting injured. Individuals with medical conditions who are new to yoga should practice it initially under the supervision of a trained instructor.If you do decide to give yoga a try, talk to the yoga instructor first to assess whether the style they offer meets your preference and fitness levels.

How yoga helps in curing diseases?

How Does Yoga Help In Preventing Diseases? | Tata AIG Blog

Author : TATA AIG Team●Published on : 18/05/2022

Many people wonder if a few sun salutations or calming yogic breathing can help in becoming healthier. Over the past several years, yoga has gained immense popularity in the western world. It is a spiritual, mental, and physical practice with several associated benefits.

  1. First, it is a form of workout that involves both the body and mind.
  2. It doesn’t only burn calories and strengthen muscles but also helps in dealing with stress and anxiety.
  3. A yoga session leverages over 100 different forms and targets almost all areas of the body – back, core, arms, and legs.
  4. In addition, you can perform asanas as preventive measures.

Some forms of yoga, like Hatha and Iyengar, are relaxing with gentle movements. Others like Bikram and power yoga are faster and more strenuous. Practising yoga asanas regularly can prevent many diseases like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, PCOS, back pain, and respiratory conditions.

  1. While practising yoga is essential for the prevention of diseases, it is essential to have the right health insurance policy.
  2. With Tata AIG, you can get a comprehensive health insurance plan that fulfils all your needs.
  3. It will keep you protected in case a medical emergency arises.
  4. Moreover, you get a vast network of hospitals where you can file cashless claims at the time of a health-related emergency.

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that connects the body, mind, and soul through controlled breathing, body postures, and meditation. Its practice has many health benefits. By practising yoga regularly, you can get toned muscles. Moreover, yogic management of common diseases helps cure asthma, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, depression, polycystic ovaries, liver problems, and lower back pain.

There is hardly any disease that yoga cannot help in controlling. When you start practising yoga, you promise yourself the following health benefits that prevent lifestyle diseases: Sitting at the work desk for long hours can hurt your spine. It can also make you feel exhausted. Some yoga asanas help to improve your posture and keep neck and lower back pain at bay.

Thus, this helps in the yogic management of common diseases. Yoga asanas strengthen the weak muscles of the body. They tone the muscles, thereby preventing frequent straining of the muscles. When you practice different yoga asanas regularly, your body’s flexibility improves.

  • For example, you can hope to touch your toes while bending forward.
  • Over time, yoga lets you perform complex asanas.
  • Thus, this is essential for yogic management of common diseases.
  • If you’re wondering how can yoga help in preventing diabetes, you must know that it can lower blood sugar, lower bad cholesterol, and boost good cholesterol.

In addition, performing various asanas help in weight loss and improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Yoga for diseases helps in boosting the body’s immune system. It helps in destroying different viruses the body can contract during season change.

  • Moreover, it can boost immunity to ward off diseases.
  • Yoga helps to regulate blood flow to all parts of the body.
  • Yogic postures like handstands help in flowing venous blood from the lower part of the body to the heart.
  • From here, the body pumps blood back into the lungs for oxygenation.
  • Therefore, practising yoga for disease control and prevention is beneficial as blood flow increases in your body.

The number of diseases cured by yoga is plenty. The practice also helps you develop a routine that leads to a more disciplined sleeping pattern. It reduces stress and anxiety. When your body is relaxed, you enjoy a deeper and more peaceful sleep. Breathing exercises help in improving lung function.

  • By establishing a routine and practising breathing exercises in the long run, you can avoid many respiratory conditions.
  • Likewise, yoga helps to increase your lung capacity.
  • Thus, doing yoga for diseases is one of the ways to stay away from them.
  • Now that you have understood what is the role of yoga in preventing lifestyle diseases, let us proceed.

Healthcare expenses are rapidly rising. For example, a single visit to the hospital for diagnostic testing can cost you thousands. While healthcare resources are limited, their demand is high. As a result, you must accept and understand that preventive measures are vital.

  1. There are many benefits of asanas for the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular illness, and blood pressure.
  2. Yoga reduces the need for curative medicine.
  3. It also helps in avoiding arthritis, chronic back pain, and other lifestyle diseases.
  4. In addition, it can treat anxiety, stress, depression, and pain.

Practising yoga helps you achieve overall body fitness. As a result, it helps to reduce the overall cost of your health insurance policy. Various factors determine the premium you need to pay for a health insurance policy. The medical history of the policy consumer is one of the vital factors.

Good health means a lower premium comparatively. Therefore, if you regularly practice yoga, you can ensure all-round fitness and stay healthy. Insurance companies place healthy individuals under the low-risk category. Unhealthy individuals suffering from prolonged health-related issues will require more coverage.

As a result, the insurance company can demand a high premium rate. In certain cases, the insurer can deny providing insurance coverage. So, the practice of yoga not only helps in remaining fit but also saves money on your premium amount. Moreover, it eliminates the need to purchase critical illness insurance, further helping you save on premium costs.

  • Yoga helps in boosting immunity.
  • It reduces risks to your health and also improves health development.
  • If you’re healthy, you don’t need to spend much on health care.
  • When it comes to health insurance, you can enjoy comprehensive coverage with a minimum exclusion and a lower premium rate.
  • The benefits of health insurance include coverage for pre and post-hospitalisation, domiciliary hospitalisation, day-care procedure, in-patient hospitalisation, etc.

Thus, yoga helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and availing comprehensive coverage under the policy. Practising yoga regularly keeps you protected from different illnesses. When an individual is healthy and does not suffer from illnesses, the need to file a claim under the policy reduces.

One of the most vital benefits of health insurance is that you can earn a cumulative No-claim Bonus for every year that you do not file a claim. The reward results in an enhancement in the sum insured without any increase in your health insurance premium. Yoga is a complete mind-body workout. It combines meditation and deep breathing exercises with strengthening and stretching asanas.

Although there are many high-quality medicines for treating almost all diseases, one can practice asanas as preventive measures against the development of many medical conditions. One of the essential benefits of yoga is that it is a completely natural form of mind-body exercise.

  • Also, there are numerous benefits of asanas for the prevention of diseases.
  • Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording.
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Can yoga cure genetic disorders?

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.

What diseases can be cured by pranayama?

What is Anuloma Viloma or alternate nostril breathing? Conscious breath regulation or control of vital energy, also called pranayama, is one of the essential techniques of yoga, particularly when working with people who are experiencing stress or anxiety.

  1. To most people in the so called Western civilization, the most commonly known breathing technique is diaphragmatic breathing.
  2. However, more recently other pranayama techniques and their benefits are being recognized as well.
  3. The reason why the process of breathing is such a powerful act is because it establishes a direct connection between our voluntary nervous system (aspects of our physiology under our conscious control) and our autonomic nervous system (aspects generally not under conscious control).

It is a form of direct communication between our brain and our body. Moreover, it offers a direct link for balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. The sympathetic branch of our nervous system is responsible for our fight-or-flight reactions, while the parasympathetic branch is reserved for rest and relaxation/repair of our body.

  • Anuloma Viloma Pranayama is one of the main practices of Pranayama,
  • It is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Tirumandiram, Siva Samhita, Puranas and in the Upanishads,
  • In Sanskrit, Anuloma means ‘successive’ (continuous) or in ‘accordance with the natural order’, Viloma means ‘produced in reverse order’ or ‘against the natural order’, and pranayama means control of breath or vital energy, and is an extension of the breath or life.

One form of Anuloma Viloma is Nadi Shodhana, meaning ‘purification of nadiis’ and is normally referred to as alternate nostril breathing. Generally speaking, alternate nostril breathing should be taught to students who have practiced asanas for a considerable time on a regular basis.

It should not be taught to complete beginners of yoga, Normal breathing does alternate from one nostril to the other at various times during the day being more predominant through one particular nostril at a time. This has been termed as the ‘nasal cycle’ by scientists who recently discovered it, even though this phenomenon has been known to yogis ever since pranayama was invented by Shiva about 7000 years ago.

The Nasal Cycle In a healthy person the breath will alternate between nostrils about every two hours – this is called the nasal cycle. Since most people are not in optimum health, this time period varies considerably from person to person and the longer it takes to switch from one nostril to the other the more it is a sign of decreased vitality.

When the breath continues to flow through one nostril for more than two hours, it will have an adverse effect on our health. If the right nostril is involved, it will result in a mental and nervous disturbance. If the left nostril is involved, it will result in chronic fatigue and reduced brain function.

The longer the flow of breath through one nostril, the more serious a certain illness will be. In the practice of pranayama, inhalation (called Puraka ), retention (called Kumbhaka ) and exhalation (called Rechaka ) is used. Anuloma Viloma pranayama can be practiced with or without Kumbhaka (holding of breath).

In the beginning it is taught without breath retention. How Can You Benefit? Nadi shodhana has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. It is thought to harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain. This results in a balanced sense of well-being, in physical and mental, as well as in emotional terms.

In fact, the term Nadi Shodhana means “clearing the channels of the circulation of prana.” When practiced correctly, it introduces the practitioner to all the processes that will be encountered on the pranayama path: heightened sun energy activated by the breath retention and the sweet flow of relaxation that comes with slowly releasing the breath.

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It activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces blood pressure. It enhances respiratory functions – it increases respiratory strength and endurance. It improves attention and fine-motor coordination/performance.

Basically, it is good for our heart, lungs, and our brain. There are also the following benefits:

It balances the two main energy channels – Ida and Pingala, The left nostril ( candra ) is the path of the nadi called Ida (moon – calming), the right nostril ( surya ) that of Pingala (sun – energy). When these nadis are balanced, it awakens the central channel called Sushumna Nadi, It revamps brain function by calming the mind, sharpening our memory, providing clarity of thought, strengthening willpower, improving our endurance to meet challenges, and increasing concentration power. Five minutes of breathing practice, before an exam or interview greatly improves the performance and increases the chance of success. It relieves anxiety, depression, anger, panic, and stops mood swings. It cures diseases of the muscular system and is beneficial in arthritis, flatulence and varicose veins, acidity and sinusitis. It maintains body temperature from head to toe, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summers. It cures the problem of gas in the abdominal region. It improves sleep. It helps to balance hormones. It removes toxins from the body. It can reduce weight in some practitioners and is a good practice for obesity. It helps to alleviate respiratory allergies that cause hay fever, sneezing, or wheezing. It is excellent for the skin and makes it radiant and glowing. It prepares for meditation.

Anuloma Viloma Practice This is an advanced practice (especially when done with retention of breath). It has to be learned from a yoga expert. Those suffering from heart ailments or blood pressure problems (high as well as low) should avoid retention of breath.

Consult a doctor if you have any medical condition before taking up the practice. The purpose of Pranayama is to control the breathing mechanism which is an involuntary process. In the yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the breath is compared to a wild animal. Just as elephants, lions and tigers can be controlled with steady and prolonged training, the yogi also brings the breath under his control with constant practice.

The practice of Pranayama should be taken up with care. Do not overdo the practice. It is said that pranayama can cure all diseases. But, if done improperly, it may create diseases, which cannot be cured easily even with medical treatment. Hence one should proceed very cautiously.

In fact it should be learned from a teacher. Anuloma Viloma pranayama should be done on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning after evacuation. It can also be done in the evening before dinner or with a gap of 4 hours after the last meal. Also, avoid doing this practice with retention of breath when your body temperature is high.

How to do it? Sit in any comfortable seated position. Padmasana is most suited for the practice. Siddhasana may also be used but is prescribed only for men. Relax the body and breathe naturally for a few moments, allowing your mind and body to settle. The spine must be straight.

Several tongue gestures can be included ( khechari mudra, kaki mudra or jiva bandha ). Rest your left hand on your lap or knee in Jinana Mudra – connecting index finger and thumb. Make a “peace sign” with your right hand and then curl in the index and middle fingers toward your palm, in Vishnu Mudra.

Inhale first keeping both nostrils open and clear, then exhale through the left nostril by placing your thumb gently onto your right nostril thereby closing it. Close your eyes and inhale slowly, deeply, smoothly, gently and without strain through your left nostril.

  • Do this as slowly as you can, till your lungs are full.
  • Close your left nostril (using your ring and little fingers) and release closure of your right.
  • Exhale through your right nostril.
  • Inhale through your right nostril.
  • Close your right nostril and release closure of your left.
  • Exhale through your left nostril.

This completes one round. The ratio is 4:16:8. Inhaling on 4, holding the breath on 16 and exhaling on 8. Continue this pattern for as long as you wish. The duration of inhalation and expiration depends entirely on the capacity of the practitioner. Start with whatever you are comfortable with – say 4 seconds inhalation and 4 seconds exhalation.

Later it can be increased up to 20 seconds or even more. Ratio of Inhalation, Retention and Exhalation Pranayama practitioners start with the ratio of 1:1 for inhalation and exhalation (if you inhale for 4 seconds through one nostril, then the exhalation from the other nostril is also 4 seconds). As you progress, the ratio can be changed to 1:2 (if inhalation is 4 seconds, exhalation is 8 seconds).

Once you add Kumbhaka (retention of breath), the ratio can start with 1:1:1. With further progress, the ratio can be increased to 1:1:2, 1:2:2, 1:4:2. The actual Anuloma Viloma starts with a ratio of 4:16:8 and can be increased to 5:20:10, 6:24:12. Experienced Pranayama practitioner will increase the ratio as instructed by a teacher.

  1. When you have finished: relax both arms, sit and breathe naturally for a few moments before opening your eyes.
  2. You can do one sitting in the morning and one in the evening.
  3. For advanced practitioners, the yogic texts recommend four sittings – one in the morning, one at noon, one in the evening and one at midnight.

But for all practical purposes for most people, two sittings (one in morning and one in evening) are enough.

Can yoga reverse diseases?

Yoga is a great way to get rid of diseases and health conditions from heart problems to sciatica and depression, There exists a body of research suggesting that yoga is the best healing therapy for improving spine alignment and joint health. But on the flip side, research also suggests that yoga can’t cure cancers though it can help one deal with chemotherapy,

Can yoga cure autoimmune disease?

How to manage auto-immune disorders with yoga How to manage auto-immune disorders with yoga What happens when your immune system doesn’t quite work as it should? Instead of protecting the body from foreign antibodies, it starts attacking itself. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus are attributed to auto-immune disorders.

  1. While most such disorders are chronic, they are not fatal.
  2. But, living with an auto-immune disorder can be very challenging.
  3. One has to usually take medications to help manage symptoms like fatigue, pain and weakness.
  4. In most cases, one must also look out for factors that can worsen their condition.
  5. Most auto-immune diseases cannot be cured.

But they can be managed through medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain. However, a better solution lies in yoga or rather its ability to manage the symptoms of auto-immune disorder. Anecdotal evidence suggests that yoga can not only help with symptoms like inflammation, it can also lower the tendency of the immune system to misfire and trigger these very symptoms.

Additionally, yoga does not have the side-effects often associated with regular medications. In fact, it can improve our overall fitness, including mental health and physical flexibility. On the 10th International Conference on Yoga and Mental Health: Scope, Evidence, and Evolution, let’s take a closer look on how yoga can help manage auto-immune disorders.

A holistic approach One of the key elements of yoga is its holistic approach towards health. Yoga takes our overall state as a result of your physical, mental, and emotional health. By doing so, it takes a fundamentally different approach than conventional medicine which merely focuses on treating the physical symptoms.

Yoga emphasizes on healing the body from within by following an overall healthy lifestyle. A yogic approach towards life prompts one to look inwards and be more mindful of our overall health. Auto-immune conditions take a toll on our physical and mental health that can be stressful on its own. Studies have proven that yoga can be extremely effective in managing stress, anxiety, and depression.

It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and helping one to deal with the depression and stress that often accompanies auto-immune conditions. But the stress-busting properties of yoga are not just good for dealing with diseases.

It may actually lower the likelihood of developing such a condition as studies show that people with stress-related disorders can develop multiple auto-immune diseases. In addition, the chances of such disorders are higher among younger patients. In other words, yoga can help manage stress, lowering the chances of stress-related disorders from occurring or worsening into auto-immune diseases.

Managing auto-immune disorders Apart from reducing stress, yoga can help in many other ways when managing an auto-immune disorder, especially in reducing pain from inflammation. One research proved its effectiveness in dealing with the most commonly occurring inflammatory autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. It found that yoga can significantly reduce psycho-somatic symptoms of the diseases, including pain perception, joint flexibility, and disability quotient, thereby improving range of motion, posture, coordination, and muscle strength.
  2. Auto-immune disorders are among the leading cause of chronic illness, especially in women1.

While it can reduce their productivity, it also has a damaging impact on the quality of their life. Yoga can not only help us manage these conditions, reducing their severity, it may also help in its prevention. It is these safe management and preventive properties of yoga that put it ahead of conventional medicine in disease management.

Is yoga self healing?

How to Yoga Practice for Self Healing and Development Self healing is like a gift that is given to humans. It happens only at times when a human is entirely relaxed and at peace. Rejuvenation, replenishment and healing come to us in times of dire need.

  • A body is designed to heal and rejuvenate in times of suffering, pain and illnesses.
  • But the body must be rested for that.
  • Yoga is one such practice that aggravates the entire process of healing with its intricate ways of working.
  • Yoga does this by regulating Prana throughout the different parts of your body.

Prana (or breath is seen as the life-force of human beings. Prana helps in healing, by reaching to the farthest tips of your body part, and yoga helps Prana get to these tips. If you have practiced yoga in your daily life, you may be well-aware of the life-altering benefits of this practice.

By knowing these benefits, you may have wanted to share this knowledge with the people around you. However to be a good yoga practitioner, from whom people can learn, you must take a yoga teacher training to certify your knowledge in yoga. Since India is Yoga’s place of origin, you must consider a, Rishikesh, which is the world yoga hub located in India, conducts these yoga retreats where one can gain 200 hour,

Self healing is a part and process of yoga When the ancient yogis in India came about to devise a way to reach the inner realms of human existence, a realm that was beyond human knowledge, personality, behavior and understanding; they devised what we know today as Yoga.

These yogis realized that as they conducted the practices of yoga, they were able to reach a higher connection with their spiritual selves. And in reaching this spiritual self, their physical bodies were becoming stronger, indestructible, afar from all kinds of illnesses that they could notice in the people around them.

The process of healing and rejuvenation came about with the state of being a yogi. Practicing yoga every day brings your body to a state of continued rest. The physical and the mental being were rested and healthy and able to carry out many functions in this rested state.

Even today, the knowledge and the findings of these ancient yogis hold true. This is why millions are known to adopt the practices of yoga for a better health with each passing year. If your body experiences pain, and illnesses, it is a way for your body to tell you that it needs help. One must pay close attention to these signs.

Listen to your body for these signs Because this is how the body speaks to you. Be patient in understanding that there may be more than one ailment ailing your body at a time. The key is to listen carefully and heal holly. When we are going through illnesses and these signs, we tend to distract our minds away from it, not being able to ace these problems.

One must listen carefully and devote time to completely healing these problems from their roots. It is only when a cause is healed in its entirety that it adds to the wholesome healing of the self. Yoga takes care of healing all these aspects and brings to your eyes and notice, the time you must devote to the self.

It is not easy to do this, which is why it is called a “practice”. You must “practice” yoga everyday in order to heal every day. The parasympathetic nervous system and its relation with healing It is known that the parasympathetic nervous system that helps the functioning of the healing mechanism in one’s body.

  • It is this nervous system that is responsible for the flight or fight response.
  • This response is capable of surging tremendous amounts of energy throughout the body that establishes healing in a body function.
  • Yoga is a way to keep this parasympathetic nervous system under control, so that you can provide your body with energy as and when you need.

Yoga is a holistic practice, which is in my consideration, the best way to start the process of self-healing in one’s body. Whether you are physically, mentally or psychologically ailed, practicing yoga everyday helps you start with the intricate process of self-healing.

Should I do yoga everyday?

How do you know what’s right for you? – If you use Yoga to complement your athletic training, you’ll probably know if it’s right for you to practice Yoga beforehand, afterwards, on recovery days or in a specific weekly pattern. It may take some trial and error to find a pattern that works for you.

Some people prefer to practice first thing in the morning, others later in the day. This also depends on your schedule and what you’re looking for – if you have trouble getting the day started, some energizing morning yoga might just be right for you. Usually, mornings are the best time of day to create habits as morning schedules are least interfered with.

If you struggle to wind down and fall asleep, you might want to build a calming evening yoga routine. Hardly anyone gets it right straight away so it’s not just ok to experiment – it’s part of the process. For best results, try to practice Yoga at least three times a week.

How often should you do yoga?

👍 #1 | Follow the rule of thumb – A general rule of thumb is that yoga is best when practiced between two and five times per week. As you ease your way into a consistent practice schedule, that’s a good goal to aim for! Over time, you might find that your body can handle five or six sessions each week, if that’s what you want.

If that sounds manageable to you, we encourage you to keep one or two of those sessions on the chill side (try one of our Activate classes!) — you may even want to try yoga sesh with your kiddos ! And, we would remind you that it never hurts to hang on to at least one rest day over the course of a week – taking time to recover is important, too! Right now, you might be thinking “I don’t have the time.” But, remember, you can find online yoga classes that fit your schedule.

By taking your yoga online, you can get your yoga workout done on your schedule. And, there are many classes that are shorter in length!

Does yoga rewire the brain?

Final Thoughts – Yoga is commonly thought of as a series of poses that involve stretching and other complex movements. As such, its benefits are often believed to be physical. However, its effects are more far-reaching. The combination of poses, breathing, and meditation produces structural changes in your brain.

Can yoga change your genes?

Change your DNA with yoga – Yoga has been well documented to help with emotional, physical and psychological issues but research shows it can actually change your DNA for the better. Dr. Manny sits down with Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham to find out how it works The ancient practice of yoga, which derives from India and surrounding countries, has long been associated with improved quality of life.

  • The blend of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation has been studied in modern settings, showing benefits for the cardiovascular system, stress reduction, improved brain function and more.
  • Methods of yoga are taught at hospitals for stress reduction, and for recovery after surgeries, including those for cancer.

The Eastern system of yoga, once the purview of ascetics living in monastic seclusion, is now taught widely worldwide. Now it appears that yoga can alter DNA, the molecules that carry our genetic information and instructions, in positive ways. DNA contains the fundamental life code for all living organisms.

  1. Recent studies show that yoga not only imparts the benefits described above, but also alters the function of genes in ways that range from intriguing to profound.
  2. This is known as an epigenetic effect, arising from non-genetic influences.
  3. Diet, sleep, and thousands of other life factors are believed to produce epigenetic effects, both positive and negative.

In the cases of investigation into how yoga affects genes, the epigenetic effects appear very positive and beneficial. One study published in the journal Cancer shows that yoga practice can help to extend telomere length, and thus possibly increase the lifespan of cancer survivors.

  • Telomeres are filamentous protective extensions at the ends of chromosomes and their length is directly related to cell life.
  • As cells divide, telomeres become progressively shorter.
  • At a certain point, they become too short for cells to divide.
  • When that point occurs, the cells die.
  • Extending telomere length extends cell life, and that may extend lifespan overall.
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In the study conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, breast cancer survivors participated in weekly yoga and meditation classes, and also practiced at home. A control group did not learn any particular practice. Before the study and after twelve weeks, blood samples were taken from both groups.

Can yoga cure anxiety disorder?

Many people turn to yoga for stress and anxiety relief. Learn how yoga for anxiety works, plus some basic poses to get started. Many people living with anxiety use a combination of methods to manage their symptoms, including therapy, lifestyle changes, and often, alternative treatments like yoga.

  1. Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million ( 18.1% ) U.S.
  2. Adults over age 18 each year.
  3. Anxiety is treatable, but only around 40% of people are receiving treatment.
  4. Over the years, research studies have shown that yoga can help relieve stress and anxiety.
  5. It works by soothing an overactive nervous system, relaxing both the mind and body.

The 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report shows that the number of people seeking help for their anxiety disorders has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so right now, the need for effective anxiety management is especially high. Yoga is an accessible, adaptable practice you can do from the comfort of your own home.

The practice can be modified to accommodate bodies of all types, abilities, and backgrounds. If you live with chronic anxiety, your nervous system — specifically your sympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight, flight, or freeze system — is operating in overdrive. This means your body has a heightened reaction to perceived threat, leading to anxiety responses such as agitation, stress, and heart palpitations.

As a consequence, you also have an underactive parasympathetic nervous system, or your rest-and-digest system. This system regulates your physiological functions, like heart rate and digestion. According to research, stimulating the vagus nerve — a key part of the rest-and-digest system — is key to modulating the fight, flight, or freeze stress response.

Can Kapalbhati cure all diseases?

Can Kapalbhati Pranayama cure all diseases? – Kapalbhati is a pranayama technique that involves practicing in all areas of the throat and sinuses. Through this, the accumulated mucus in the sinuses can be eliminated. It should be noted that success cannot be achieved in this technique without the support of other practices.

When the sinus area is cleansed, many parts of the brain become active and energized. That is why the sages named it Kapalbhati, meaning shining of the forehead. It should also be noted that when an attempt is made to remove mucus from the sinus area, it also has an effect on the intestines. In other words, the health of the intestines of those who practice this technique improves.

It helps in getting rid of problems like constipation. Now, let’s come to the fundamental question of whether all diseases can be cured by practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama. So, based on my personal experience, I would say no. It is certainly true that many diseases can be cured by practicing it, but it is not appropriate to claim that all diseases can be cured.

  • In my experience, this pranayama is excellent for individuals with a predominance of kapha dosha because the accumulation of mucus in their sinuses negatively affects their lungs, heart rate, intestines, and all sensory organs, among other body parts.
  • However, this practice is not entirely suitable for individuals with a predominance of pitta and vata doshas.

In fact, in my experience, practicing this technique is extremely harmful to them. If someone has dryness in their sinuses, sensory organs, or is experiencing dehydration, then practicing this pranayama can be very harmful. During my experiments, I found that in many cases, some diseases worsened with more frequent practice of this pranayama.

  1. A patient cannot expect that practicing any particular pranayama or exercise will cure all their illnesses.
  2. Just as eating a particular type of food or thinking in a particular way cannot prevent all illnesses.
  3. Therefore, it is important to understand that while Kapalbhati Pranayama is an effective technique for treating certain diseases, it is not a panacea for all illnesses.

People should practice it under the guidance of an experienced teacher and with an understanding of their own body’s constitution and health condition. Some less-visionary gurus present the special features of pranayama in an exaggerated manner, as if they are marketing it.

  1. However, in the practice of pranayama and yoga, it is necessary to delve deep into the depths of each action.
  2. Understanding its fundamental philosophy is extremely important so that the patient and the practitioner always have knowledge of their limitations.
  3. It is important to note here that if a patient does not have knowledge of their limitations, then they become sick.

Here, the limitations of the senses, the limitations of how to live life, the limitations of food, how much and how to eat it – all of these are not widely known. And if the patient starts to use the same nature in the practice of pranayama, then instead of reducing, the amount of their illness will increase.

Which pranayama is most powerful?

Bhastrika Pranayama – The most powerful pranyama technique Bhastrika translates as Bellows. Bellows are an instrument used to produce a strong gust of air with the aim of fanning the fire. When practicing this yoga technique, you produce similar movements that could be said to be like the bellows.

  • You are also generating heat, in the sacrum, in the pelvic floor area.
  • Fanning the flames of your latent energy.
  • This is a very powerful pranayama when it comes to yoga breathing practice.
  • It is the most effective to lead to the awakening of kundalini.
  • The most suitable for the spiritual aspirant.
  • Bhastrika is often taught as a more energetic version of Kapalabhati, with an active inhale and exhale, almost akin to hyperventilation.

While it could be argued that this does have some physiological benefits, it is not correct. Done in this way it can lead to a stimulation and aggravation of the nervous system that is actually counterproductive to our spiritual progress. For the record I would suggest that both Kapalabhati and Bhastrika should be done with an active exhale and passive inhale.

Has yoga been scientifically proven?

Although there’s been a lot of research on the health effects of yoga, many studies have included only small numbers of people and haven’t been of high quality. Therefore, in most instances, we can only say that yoga has shown promise for particular health uses, not that it’s been proven to help.

Can yoga reverse aging?

6 WAYS YOGA COMBATS AGING “It is a known fact that yoga imparts more energy, strength and flexibility. Some people turn to yoga for a reduction in stress, and then stick with it because it makes them feel, look, and remain young agrees Larry Payne, Ph.D, A yoga Director at Loyola Marymount University, and co-author of Yoga Rx.” “Unlike traditional exercises, yoga blends moves that enhance circulation, flexibility, balance and strength, along with meditative techniques, including deep breathing.” “In fact, Yoga serves as a natural face-lift-it cleanes, relaxes, and restores.” “Yoga reduces signs of ageing considerably in the following ways.” “Minimizes wrinkles: Yoga has the ability to reduce stress, relaxing clenched jaws and furrowed brows, apart from easing away the wrinkles naturally.

Further it helps in enhancing and maintaining the glow of skin by reducing oxidative stress that reduces skin’s elasticity. According to a study conducted on a group of 104 people in India, their oxidative stress levels dropped by 9 percent, withing 10 days of yoga practice.” “Weight Control: In a 10 year study conducted in Washington on 15,500 men and women, over 45 years of age, participants who did not do yoga, gained up to 35 pounds, while those who practiced regularly, lost nearly 5 pounds.” “Easing Pain: Yoga yields promising results in relieving back pain, particularly the lower back.

A study on 101 people with low back pain, by the University of Washington, revealed that people who do yoga or stretching exercises at least once a week for three months, had great improvement over their condition.” “Helps with insomnia: The amount of sleep lowers with age because the levels of the brain’s night time sedative, melatonin, decreases with age.

An Indian study on 15 men aged 25 to 35, practicing yoga daily for three months, revealed that the melatonin levels of the men increased.” “Brain sharpness” The researchers at the jefferson Medical College revealed that justa single yoga clss checks the release of the stress hormone cortisol, as high amounts could lead to age-related memory problems.” “Shedding flab: Although regular weight loss programs and exercises help in shedding those extra pounds, they do little to cut down on the flab, often asociated with ageing.

Our skin is attached to something called “facia”. Yoga helps in gently stretching and rejuvenating the underlying fascia, making it more springy and flexible.” “Facial Toning: Facial exercises, also called yoga exercises for the face, help in toning and bringing harmony to your facial features.

Light facial exercises, apart from toning facial muscles, also helps sculpt and define the face, helping to achieve chiseled jaw-line, enhanced cheekbones, and minimizing wrinkles.” “Immunity booster: Another wonderful benefit of regular yoga practice is that it helps detoxify on a daily basis, while also boosting immunity levels.

It can no-doubt improve hearing and eyesight, while reducing stiff neck, and improving blood circulation to these organs.” Anti-Aging, Yoga : 6 WAYS YOGA COMBATS AGING

Can yoga unblock arteries?

Gomukhasana – Gomukhasana is another effective asana and a sitting asana at that. For this pose, you need to cross your legs. The heels of one of your upper leg should be placed under the buttock of the other leg. Raise the lower leg side arm. Here the forearm will be bent down. With the other arm reach behind the back, with your forearm bent up. Now try to clasp both hands. Besides its many other benefits, Gomukhasana can help lower blood pressure.

Is It Safe To Do Pranayam? Below are a few generalized precautions before starting pranayama.

If you have any chronic medical condition, seek advice from your doctor. Always breathe through the nose unless specifically asked to do so. There should not be any strain during pranayama practice. Lungs are delicate organs; ensure that your breathing is not forced beyond limits. Do not make loud sounds during breathing. Keep the breath rhythmic and steady. Pranayama should not be practiced immediately after meals. You can do pranayama at least three hours after meals. Beginners should not hold breaths. When you become comfortable with the basics of pranayama, learn to hold your breath under the guidance of an expert teacher. If you feel tired or discomfort, stop doing pranayama, and lie down in Shavasana while carrying out normal breathing. Consult your yoga teacher. Do not practice pranayama if you are too tired, relax for 10-15 minutes in Shavasana before doing pranayama. If you do yoga asanas and pranayama, practice yoga asanas before pranayama. After practicing asanas, relax in shavasana before doing pranayama. Do not do any strenuous exercise after pranayama. Pranayama should not be practiced in a hurry. Do pranayama outdoors or in a well-ventilated room. Pranayama should not be practiced when the lungs are congested.

People who are suffering from heart disease, high BP, or hernia should refrain from practicing “Kapalbhati and Bhastrika Pranayama”. If you are practicing Kapalabhati, exhalation must be gentle for beginners, do not use excessive force. “Shitkari Pranayama” is not meant for people having low blood pressure and it should not be practiced during winters.

People with a hernia, high blood pressure, and stomach surgery should not practice “Agnisar Pranayama”. Conclusion Yoga asanas are very effective and can help a person overcome many illnesses and lead a healthy life. However, if you are suffering from medical conditions like heart diseases, you need to avoid some asanas.

Before starting yoga, seek the advice of a doctor at a leading hospital like Max Healthcare and do the exercises under the guidance of a trained instructor. Frequently Asked Questions 1. What are the main factors that put you at risk if suffering from heart ailm ent? Smoking, an unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

  1. Can put you at risk of a heart ailment.2.
  2. How can yoga help? Yoga lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.3.
  3. What yoga can I do to prevent, control, and reverse heart diseases? Extended triangle pose, seated forward bend pose, half spinal twist pose, and cow face pose are a few asanas that are good for the heart.4.

Can Yoga unblock arteries? Yoga can help unblock arteries by improving blood circulation and reducing blood cholesterol levels.5. What are the symptoms of heart blockage? Shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating, and shoulder or arm pain, are a few symptoms of heart blockage.6.

Can exercise reverse chronic disease?

Physical Activity Helps Prevent Chronic Diseases Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health, fitness, and quality of life. It also helps reduce your risk of chronic conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many types of cancer, depression and anxiety, and dementia.

Moderate or vigorous intensity, every minute counts Gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster

Examples: brisk walking, biking, dancing, yard work

Works best when you work all your body’s major muscle groups Includes legs, hips, back, chest, abs, shoulders, arms

Examples: Heavy gardening or carrying heavy loads, including groceries Talk to your doctor if you have a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Get the support of your friends and family—and invite them to get active with you! Start slowly and add time, frequency, or intensity every week. Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you’re most energetic. Plan ahead. Make physical activity part of your daily or weekly schedule. Walk instead of drive to nearby destinations or park the car farther away and fit in a walk to your destination. Support improvements in your neighborhood that make it easier to walk or bike to where you want to go. Learn more about physical activity at, : Physical Activity Helps Prevent Chronic Diseases

Are any chronic diseases curable?

Overview – One important element of effective communication is having a shared language or at least a shared understanding of the meaning of the central words used in a conversation. One term that is often used in discussions between patients and medical providers, in the academic literature, and in policy discussions, is “chronic disease.” There is not only tremendous variation in the diseases that are included under the umbrella term “chronic disease” but also variation in the time a disease must be present for something to be referred to as chronic.

Furthermore, there is a move to include chronic conditions that are not indicators of disease, but long-standing functional disabilities, including developmental disorders and visual impairment ( 1 – 4 ). Within professional communities (i.e., medical, public health, academic, and policy), there is a large degree of variation in the use of the term chronic disease.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classify the following as chronic diseases: heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis ( 5 ). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have a more extensive list of 19 chronic conditions that includes Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and HIV, to name a few.

This difference, within the Department of Health and Human Services alone, although not surprising to those in the field, has the potential to create confusion and misunderstanding when speaking in generalities about the impact of chronic disease, the cost of chronic disease, and overall measures to reduce chronic disease.

The academic literature is not immune to the same kind of terminology variation. Differences in how “chronic disease” is used are largely dependent on the data used for the research and the discipline of the lead authors (i.e., public health and sociology).

  1. For example, one study, authored by individuals from Harvard Medical School, explored the prevalence of chronic disease using NHANES data (1999–2004).
  2. The study classifies the following as chronic diseases: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, asthma, COPD, and previous cancer ( 6 ).

Another academic study on chronic disease, authored by a geriatrician, classifies chronic illness as “conditions that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention and/or limit activities of daily living” ( 7 ). The implication of a non-uniform use of the term is that a detailed read of each study is necessary to avoid erroneous conclusions regarding interventions necessary to reduce chronic disease burden for the individual and society.

Popular Internet sources used by the general public to gather medical information use the terms “chronic disease” or “chronic condition” to mean slightly different things. For example, MedicineNet describes a chronic disease as, one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear ( 8 ). According to Wikipedia a chronic condition is, a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time.

  1. The term chronic is often applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months.
  2. Common chronic diseases include arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes and viral diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS ( 9 ).
  3. Finally, the World Health Organization states that chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person.

They are of long duration and generally slow progression. The four main types  are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes ( 10 ).

  1. The CDC’s Chronic Disease Overview omits chronic respiratory conditions, such as COPD and asthma, and makes no mention of duration of the disease or symptoms.
  2. MedicineNet’s definition does not list specific diseases, but does include the phrase “cannot be cured by medication.” Similar to MedicineNet, Wikipedia uses the 3-month time span as a marker, but does list specific diseases, including HIV.

The WHO’s definition would eliminate HIV as a chronic disease as the virus is “passed from person to person.” The variation in meaning is amplified when viewed in an international context. For example, the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare includes the following as common features of chronic disease ( 11 ):

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complex causality, with multiple factors leading to their onset a long development period, for which there may be no symptoms a prolonged course of illness, perhaps leading to other health complications associated functional impairment or disability.

Highlighted prominently in the information from the Australian government on chronic disease is the disease burden of mental illness and oral disease. Both of these conditions are often excluded from the chronic disease conversation in the United States ( 12, 13 ).

  1. Given the worldwide dissemination of medical information, the variation in public information is not only confusing on paper but also has real implications for those managing chronic diseases or conditions.
  2. It is possible that recommendations for chronic disease management are missed by individuals who do not know that the information applies to them; conversely, individuals may use the recommendation when it is not advisable to do so.

For example, the CDC lists “cancer” as a chronic disease when, in fact, only certain types of cancers (i.e., multiple myeloma) can be viewed in terms of a chronic illness. Other types of cancers have little treatment options and prove fatal in the near term.

Can chronic conditions be reversed?

Read the Show Transcript – Erin Spain, MS Welcome to Advance with MUSC Health. I’m your host, Erin Spain. This show’s mission is to help you find ways to preserve and optimize your health and get the care you need to live well. Many chronic diseases can be prevented and even reversed by making healthy changes to your diet, exercise, routine sleep habits, and stress levels.

  1. Dr. Erika Blank an MUSC Health physician who is board-certified in both internal and lifestyle medicine, is here to talk about how lifestyle medicine is changing the lives of MUSC Health patients.
  2. Welcome to the show, Dr. Blank.
  3. Erika Blank, M.D.
  4. Thank you.
  5. Thanks for having me.
  6. Erin Spain, MS Tell me, what is lifestyle medicine? Some folks may have never heard of this term before.

What is it and what makes it distinct from, say, internal medicine? Erika Blank, M.D. That’s a good question. The field probably started in the early 2000s and has really been growing exponentially, especially in the last few years. So, internal medicine is general adult medicine.

  1. We learn about all the chronic diseases and we treat them.
  2. And lifestyle medicine has an emphasis on really preventing diseases and treating diseases with lifestyle changes.
  3. It’s very evidence-based.
  4. We don’t recommend anything that we don’t have a lot of good evidence for.
  5. And the main pillars focus on diet, exercise, sleep, social connections, and stress management.

So, it’s really that extra time talking to patients about all of those behaviors where there’s the difference. Truly, every doctor should be practicing lifestyle medicine as part of practicing medicine, but there’s just not enough time. Erin Spain, MS So, you are board-certified in lifestyle medicine.

  1. What made you want to take this extra step and really immerse yourself into this practice? Erika Blank, M.D.
  2. Yeah, it just kind of happened naturally.
  3. I was living in New Hampshire at the time and I did a CME in Boston on lifestyle medicine.
  4. That was probably 2016 and something just spoke to me.
  5. At that point, I’d been a doctor for 20 years and probably practicing for 17, and I realized that all I was doing was treating patients for a lot of chronic diseases, prescribing a lot of medicines, and the patients didn’t feel well, they weren’t happy.

It was just sort of frustrating to see the same thing over and over. So many people had diabetes and high blood pressure and heart disease and then for each one of those, they were taking a few medicines. The lifestyle medicine course came around at the right time, and then after doing that, I got notified that there was going to be a board certification, and I took it the very first year in 2017, and I’m actually number 22 of all the people certified in lifestyle medicine.

Erin Spain, MS What do your patients say when you talk to them about, hey, let’s try some of these changes and you let them know that there’s a chance that they may be able to reduce or even get off of some of their medications. How do people respond to that? Erika Blank, M.D. The response is variable.

Some people are excited. Some people I don’t even need to tell them a lot. They go home and they make changes. And then I’m getting a phone call a week later that they’re lightheaded because their blood pressure so low because they changed their diet. I think that generally there’s some interest and I think that the difficulty is that making changes is hard.

  1. I think that’s really the meat of the matter is helping people with those behavior changes.
  2. And then, of course, there are the people that I get the response, just give me the pill, doc.
  3. I start talking and then I get responses.
  4. Like I like to eat what I like to eat.
  5. And then, you know, they’re not ready to hear that and that’s okay.

Erin Spain, MS You mentioned these pillars and you mentioned diet and eat, mostly plant based. Can you go through these different pillars for me? You know what you do recommend that patients do to embrace lifestyle medicine? Let’s start with diet. Erika Blank, M.D.

  • Yeah, there’s a lot of evidence for a plant-predominant diet.
  • And I don’t want to scare anyone into thinking that I want them to become a vegan and that’s the only thing they can do.
  • Any shift toward eating more plant foods is good.
  • So it’s eating a diet of whole foods.
  • So vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds as the base of the diet.

If a patient is having some small amounts of of meat with their diet and that’s what they’re comfortable with, I think that’s okay. And really eliminating all of the popular foods in Western culture, like the sugar-sweetened beverages and the refined carbohydrates and all the processed food that we have in the middle of the grocery store and the boxes and really limiting the red meat so it’s really simple.

And I think that we probably all know what to do. We probably all know that soda and chips and candies and lots of cookies, cakes, ice cream can’t be a regular part of the diet. I think people are often scared to let go of what they’re used to, so I don’t want them to think they could never eat something that they enjoy or some family traditional food, but really to focus on making healthy choices most of the time.

Erin Spain, MS Exercise, physical activity is also a pillar. Erika Blank, M.D. Yet there’s a few aspects of physical activity. There is getting in enough aerobic exercise. I recommend, and the American College of Sports Medicine, recommends at least 150 to 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, and it can be broken up any which way.

It could be 30 minutes five days a week, can be as simple as a brisk walk. It doesn’t have to be speed running, just something to get the heart rate up. So you’re you’re breathing a little heavy. The aerobic part is one thing. And then strength training and that is what I find most people are not doing is the strength training.

It’s so important, especially as people get older, it’s harder to maintain your muscle mass as you get older. You didn’t have to think about it when you were younger, but you have to make a conscious effort to do that. So twice a week to hit all the major muscle groups in whatever way somebody will do that, whether it’s a gym, whether they prefer to do it at home.

The pandemic affected things in certain ways, but we seem to be coming out of that. So really, I end up talking about strength training a lot because everybody knows they should be doing it, but they’re not. And it’s really important. And then the other aspect of exercise is to not be sedentary, to really be moving most of the day.

So whether it’s getting up or I took the dogs for that walk today, I like doing my own yard work on the weekends, so I stay more active. If you can walk to a store or meet somebody to walk and be moving instead of sitting still. Those are the three parts of exercise that are important.

  1. Erin Spain, MS And then sleep.
  2. Sleep is something that at least a lot of Americans seem to struggle with.
  3. How critical is sleep? Erika Blank, M.D.
  4. It may be most important, you can’t do anything without good sleep.
  5. It’s harder to keep up all of those other habits if you’re not getting healthy sleep, and poor sleep really sets you up for chronic diseases.

The most scary to me is Alzheimer’s disease and there is evidence for that. I think that we don’t make sleep a priority. Start with making it a priority. And people talk about instead of setting the alarm for when you wake up to set an alarm, to go to bed, to make sure you’re getting to bed on time and leaving enough time to sleep.

Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep, so leaving the time to sleep, creating a good bedtime routine. There’s a lot of sleep hygiene that most of us have looked up at one point or another. If people are still struggling, then the best option is something called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

It’s difficult and it takes time. It’s not an immediate fix, but it’s really the best way to to treat a chronic sleep issue. And then, of course, if there’s a medical issue like sleep apnea, I highly encourage anyone who suspects that they or a partner has that to have that evaluated, because that really puts a strain on the heart and can really lead to chronic diseases, arrhythmias, and it’ll affect somebody’s ability to lose weight.

So I can’t emphasize enough how prioritizing sleep, leaving enough time for it, creating a good routine, sleeping the same hours every day, not sleeping in on the weekends, just staying consistent with it. Erin Spain, MS Minimizing stress. It’s been a stressful time for a lot of people in the recent years, and a lot of folks may not know that stress can impact things like blood sugar.

Tell me about how stress can impact health and why it’s so important to minimize it. Erika Blank, M.D. Yeah, we have a very strong mind-body connection and we might not even realize how stress is affecting us. And a lot of times a patient will come in with certain symptoms, whether it’s abdominal pain or headache.

After teasing everything out, it turns out that’s what is affecting them. You know, it’s very important to find that out and address it, you know, because chronic stress, there’s good stress and bad stress: the good stress of your flight and fight response when something happens and you need to respond and flee or something like that.

And that’s one thing. But having this chronic low level stress affecting your body can cause inflammation. It puts you at risk for all of those chronic conditions like diabetes and blood pressure and even inflammatory diseases. One way to combat that is to really try to strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system.

  • The sympathetic nervous system is your flight and flight response.
  • If you’ve ever even felt anxious or you might know that increase in heart rate that you feel an increase in respirations.
  • So the parasympathetic nervous system kind of slows everything down.
  • And one way to access that is to practice mindfulness just to sit quietly and observe.

And the more you do that, the more you strengthen that muscle and can get there more quickly and more often and decrease that chronic stress response that is is going on in your body. There’s one saying that that stuck with me. That stress is probably about 10% of what is happening and 90% of how you’re reacting to it, really learning how to stop, stay in the moment, calm down, can really help fight that stress response.

Erin Spain, MS And then there’s a social component and staying connected with people. How important is that to overall health? Erika Blank, M.D. I think it’s really important. There’s just that nice, positive feeling you get when you have a social connection, even with a stranger, if you are in line in a store and start up a conversation.

That was something that was really challenging during the pandemic because a lot of people were isolating themselves intentionally because they were afraid of getting a virus. But on the other hand, they were really affecting their mental health by doing that.

So yeah, social connections are really important. Also being, you know, part of a group, whether it’s religious or just your community. If you look at the blue zones, blue zones are areas where people live a long time. A National Geographic journalist wrote this book. He worked with a bunch of demographers and they found the areas of the most longevity where they had the highest percent of centenarians.

And one important feature in all of those areas was the social connections that people had. So we know that will help people live longer based on that observational evidence. Erin Spain, MS Tell me about some of the diseases that you have seen be completely reversed in some patients that you’ve helped and who’ve embraced lifestyle medicine? Erika Blank, M.D.

  • Definitely diabetes.
  • If somebody hasn’t had it for that long, it is very possible to reverse it.
  • So I have seen hemoglobin A1Cs, which is one of the measurements that we use to diagnose and monitor diabetes.
  • I’ve seen that come down to normal levels.
  • Cholesterol numbers are always fun to follow because you can trend them and see the results.

I’ve had a lot of patients really lower their cholesterol And then blood pressure also. I think that those are the the main things. People dealing with anxiety or stress just there’s not a number that you can follow, but just more of a general sense of well-being that the patients feel.

Erin Spain, MS While these seem like simple changes that can be overwhelming for people to change their diet, start new exercise routines, work on stress. How do you approach this with your patients? How do you get them started with lifestyle medicine? Erika Blank, M.D. I think that it’s important to prioritize where the the main issue is also to think about what changes you can make easily so that people will feel some positive reinforcement from being able to do something instead of aiming to do too much and feeling like they failed often, or leave it up to them to decide where they think they need to focus on and what they think they could do, even just to start small.

I’m going to go to bed at 10:00 every night, and if they do that, they’ll feel good about that. They’ll have a lot of self-efficacy and they’ll feel confident that they can make changes and then will do something else. You know, it comes up a lot with the diet that I have to ask people what they think they can do, what works with their family and work situation.

So I really just let them lead me in that. Erin Spain, MS What resources are available to people through MUSC Health to start tackling some of these pillars? Erika Blank, M.D. There’s an excellent mental health program downtown called Modern Minds, and I really like them because they approach mental health in a holistic manner.

So they focus on everything, you know, the sleep and stress and diet and exercise and meditation. That’s one great resource for people. MUSC is also starting a new Health and Wellness Institute, and they have nutritionists and health coaches and exercise physiologists there to help people.

  1. It’s an excellent resource that attacks most of these pillars.
  2. Probably the combination of the two would cover everything.
  3. Erin Spain, MS If you could leave listeners today with a couple of pieces of advice, if they’re interested in getting started and treating some of these conditions that they may have through lifestyle modifications.

What advice would you give to them? Erika Blank, M.D. I think that what I see is that people have a hard time letting go of what they’re used to do, of what they’re used to eating, of how they’re used to socializing, whether that’s drinking beer on the weekends.

  • So, I don’t like to focus on what somebody is giving up.
  • But what they’re adding and how they’ll feel when they do that — it’s just that letting go aspect.
  • I used to eat this, I eat meat, I do this.
  • And I’m not saying you can never do that again, but just try some meatless meals, add another vegetable, maybe try not to drink alcohol for a short time and see how you feel.

Inevitably people feel better. That would be the biggest part, I think just to focus on on what you’re adding, not what you’re giving up and not necessarily giving up forever. Erin Spain, MS What do you do to optimize your health and live? Erika Blank, M.D.

Well, I try to practice all of this. None of us are perfect and I think that patients need to know that and they don’t need to strive for that themselves. What I do is I do eat a mostly plant-based diet. I try to limit my eating hours to stop definitely by eight. I am doing a boot camp five or six days a week and I do yoga on the seventh and try to move as much as possible.

I leave myself 8 hours to sleep. I try to read a book before I go to bed to relax. I sort of created rules for myself that I don’t drink on school nights so it doesn’t affect my sleep and I can perform well at work. And I do look forward to relaxing on Friday and meeting with friends and having a glass of wine.