Metabolic syndrome is an amorphous term used by the medical establishment to explain a cluster of biochemical and physiological abnormalities associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 Diabetes. These two diseases just happen to be on the top of the list of killers in the United States, and to a large extent, other countries as well. But when you combine these two diseases, it means more than half of all deaths in the US are preventable. How? Read further.
About 36% of the US population is suffering from diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, with children developing insulin resistance at younger and younger ages. This, while around 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US annually.
According to a study published in the journal, Complimentary & Alternative Medicine, yoga can help treat diseases associated with metabolic syndrome while helping to promote a fully functioning nervous system after we are exposed to stress.
Usually what is prescribed to ‘heal’ the body from diabetes and cardiovascular disease does not get to the root of the problem. There are anti-inflammatory drugs, and GMO-insulin available to sufferers of these diseases, but they don’t truly work. Other clinical trials of pharmaceutical solutions are touted as ‘miracle drugs’ but many on the list of most commonly used heart disease drugs have been subject to lawsuits and have even caused congestive heart failure.
Yoga practitioners, conversely, rely on calming the stress response in the body in order to relieve the metabolic burden on homeostasis which is linked to heightened sympathetic activity, increased energy expenditure, and pathology in the body. A cornerstone of many yogic health systems involves freeing the body of constant disease-fighting, and allowing it to restore itself to a more natural state of equilibrium.
A stressed body requires more oxygen consumption (OC), and non yoga-practitioners usually require more OC, even at rest. Most metabolic syndrome patients haven’t enough oxygen already, often requiring more of it – thus the paradox that creates disease.
The study’s summary states:
“Yoga practitioners have greater metabolic variability compared to non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients with reduced oxygen requirements during resting conditions and more rapid post-stress recovery. OC in metabolic syndrome patients displays significantly blunted post-stress recovery demonstrating reduced metabolic resilience. Our results support the findings of previous randomized trials that suggest regular yoga practice may mitigate against the effects of metabolic syndrome.”
You don’t have to wait for a yoga class to start reaping the benefits of a working metabolism, either. Try these yogic-inspired relaxation techniques to change your body chemistry now.