A sedentary lifestyle and consumption of convenience foods has led to an increase in health problems such as obesity and diabetes. With about 387 million diabetics worldwide, diabetes is one of the most prevalent, non-contagious lifestyle diseases.
“Medicines have less significant impact in the treatment of the condition (diabetes) unless a time-bound healthy lifestyle is not observed. Naturopathic protocols are safe and comprehensive for reversing the condition where the aim of the treatment is to remove the cause and to build the wellbeing of a person,” explains Dr Bati Pandey, naturopathy and yoga physician, Aarogyam Spa, Aahana Resort, Uttarakhand, India.
She suggests naturopathic treatments, including diet, yoga postures, massages and other therapies to fight diabetes.
1. Diet Therapy
An alkaline diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, oats and low-fat foods slow down the absorption of sugar. A nutritious diet rich in micronutrients is a must.
- Foods You Can Consume
Vegetables like yam, tapioca, beets and sweet potatoes should be consumed in moderation. Eat raw foods such as sprouts of green gram and fenugreek seeds, as they are rich in essential enzymes and micronutrients that help boost metabolism. Garlic, guava, flax seeds, cinnamon, gooseberry, salads and soups are some healthy options.
- Foods You Must Avoid
Jackfruit, mango, banana, custard apple, black grapes, dates and figs.
2. Hydrotherapy Or Balneotherapy
Enema, colonics, hip bath, steam bath, full immersion baths, abdominal compress and abdomen wraps improve the metabolic rate, detoxify the system, correct impaired blood circulation and activate glands and muscles to utilize blood sugar and provide relaxation. Adequate water intake is also advised for proper hydration.
3. Fangotherapy Or Mud Therapy
All types of mud have heat retention properties. They can be heated and applied to the skin to improve the circulation of blood. This assists nutrient and waste exchange, improves skin elasticity and opens follicles. One can always visit a spa to take advantage of the health benefits of fangotherapy.
4. Heliotherapy Or Sun Bath
Soaking in the warmth of the sun under banana leaves improves blood circulation. The heat of the sun helps correct hormone imbalances in the body and is found suitable in treating diabetes. Spending 20-30 minutes in the sun under banana leaves yields wonderful results.
5. Chromotherapy Or Color Therapy
Yellow and green are predominantly used for stimulating the pancreas and thyroid glands respectively, which helps in balancing the anabolic (building up) and catabolic (break down) processes in the body.
6. Manipulative Therapy or Massage
Enhanced blood circulation, improved muscle activity and coordination, stress release and toxin drain are some of the health benefits of massage therapy. Massage at the site of insulin injection may increase insulin absorption.
7. Yogic Purification Practices
Jala neti, or nasal cleanse; kunjal kriya, or stomach cleanse, for detoxification; and agnisara kriya, or churning of abdomen, for stimulating digestive fire may also prove helpful.
8. Yoga Therapy
Asanas or body postures such as those below improve the functions of the liver and pancreas.
- Straight leg raising pose
- Triangle pose
- Cobra pose
- Diamond pose
- Seated Forward Bend Yoga pose
- Fish pose
- Corpse pose,
- Sun Salutations
Relaxation techniques and meditation also relax and balance the nervous system. This helps the cells to accept insulin more readily and effortlessly.
9. Pranayama/Breathing Practices
Anuloma-viloma, or alternate nostril breathing; bhramari, or extension breath; bhastrika, or active inhalation and exhalation; and suryabhedana, or right nostril breathing, are some of the pranayamas that balance the autonomic nervous system, stimulate nervous plexus and control blood sugar.