Every breath you take....

Every breath you take....

Nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy can be a frustrating and debilitating complication of diabetes because of the pain, discomfort and disability for which available treatment is not uniformly successful. The symptoms of this peripheral neuropathy may begin with numbness, tingling and pain in the toes, feet, fingers and hands. In a small percentage of patients it could be so severe that it could lead to sleep disturbance.

The nerve damage in this type of diabetic foot pain is usually due to:
*Damage (narrowing) of the small blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
nHigh blood glucose over many years where the high glucose, low insulin and abnormal fats in blood may be responsible for the nerve damage.

What do studies say?
Interest in the mind-body benefits of yoga and meditation has generated substantial research on the subject. Researchers have demonstrated a significant reduction in fasting and post-prandial glucose levels and insulin glucose ratio with reduction in oral glycemic agents and insulin requirements after pranayama.
In a control study on integrated approach of yoga therapy, the group practising yoga showed significant improvement in their fasting glucose and  HbA1 levels after 12 weeks of intervention.

Tackling diabetic neuropathy
Try this simple exercise: Stand up. Close your eyes. Slowly start lifting your right arm, first horizontally and then vertically. Touch your right ear and stay in position for a few seconds. Pay attention to the sensations in your finger tips. You may experience tingling and numbness. Now start moving your right arm down slowly. Observe what happens to the finger tips as you wait for a few seconds with eyes closed. You can feel the blood rushing to the finger tips. You may experience a throbbing sensation with warm blood flowing down. When you raise your arm, the tingling sensation occurs because the flow of blood to the sensory nerves was reduced. The tingling disappeared when the blood flow increased as you brought your arm back to normal position. This experience can be enhanced if you combine it with deep breathing while stretching and relaxing the arm.  
A person with diabetes needs to keep repeating this exercise many times in a day and for a longer duration to reverse the changes in the blood vessels and improve blood circulation.

Those suffering from diabetic neuropathy are advised to practise the following exercise every two hours during the day. Lie supine at the right corner of your bed, raise your right leg up to an angle of 60-80 degrees. Hold for 5 counts. Breathe slowly and deeply. Bring the leg down and let it drop down to the floor as you continue lying down. Repeat the exercise 20 times with eyes closed and breathe deeply. Move to the left edge of the cot and repeat the same exercise with your left leg.
Pay attention to your diet, take regular walks, keep your lifestyle stress free and follow regular sets of kriyas, yoga asanas, pranayama and medication, under supervision, to stay healthy.     

Parsva means ‘side’ or ‘flank’. This sarvangasana variation is done by giving the trunk a lateral twist.

Technique:
*From Salamba Sarvangasana, turn the trunk and legs to the right.
*Place the left palm on the left hip, so that the coccyx rests on the wrist. Lower the body on the left hand and bear the weight of the body on the left elbow and wrist.
*The right palm remains as in sarvangasana on the back dorsal region.
*Move the legs over the left palm at an angle and stay in this position for 20 seconds, breathing normally.
*Exhale, come back to Salamba Sarvangasana and repeat on the right side for the same length of time.

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