Yogic Management in Obesity - An Outlook

Discussion in 'CAT / MBA INDIA Forum' started by krishna, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. krishna

    krishna Banned


    Science and Technology have revolutionized the life style of man. Increased standard of living has brought great comfort to mankind. With in a short period of about 100 years, the modern medicine with its scientific approach and research has bee able to unravel many mysteries, which were out of reach for mankind over generations.

    Along with this developments, the modern man becoming submerged by a world full of contradiction with large number of problems and recurrent crisis. Among these are the restorations of values, the corruption of mind, endless social problems. Drug consumption and abuses, stress, mental and physical ailment are increased in high rate.

    Today the major killer (after accident) is heart attack. The modern day diseases are the so-called psycho-somatic diseases (stress-induced) like Heart attack, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, and Asthma etc. The medical science has recognized that in these modern diseases STRESS plays a major role.

    Physical Stress like accidents, infection, etc.

    Psychological stress, which can occur independently or as a reaction of the physical stress. For example anxiety, fear, tension, hatred, anger, excitement, emotional conflicts etc.

    The modern man suffers more psychological stress than the physical stress. He is trying to live a successful life as per the expectation and norms of the society and is continually challenged with rapidly accumulating stress. In this fast moving social set up, with high standard of living and innumerable changes, the individual have no time to look back and think above what is happening to his body and mind. This accumulated stress for prolonged period leads him to the so-called stress induced disorders, like heart attacks, high blood pressure, Diabetes, Asthma, Back pain and other psychological problems.

    A change in attitude and life style is necessary to help the individual to come out these health hazards and to cope with the future. Traditional yoga philosophy, regards human being an indivisible entity. The root cause of the ailment is stress. Through the various therapeutically techniques of yoga one can pluck-out this root cause and can provide health and harmony. The approaches of these techniques are Holistic and Integration of the yogic concept of human body providing physical mental, social and spiritual health.


    Obesity is one of the most common disorder in medical practice and among the most frustrating and difficult to manage. Little progress has been made in its treatment in the last 25-years, yet major changes have been understood about its causes and its implications for health.

    Glucose metabolism is under the control of the hormone insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach. When this gland becomes stressed or exhausted, the hormone insulin becomes deficient in quantity or sensitivity. As a result, the blood sugar level becomes high and uncontrolled.

    Types of Diabetes Mellitus

    There are two broad types of diabetes mellitus

    Type – I : Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Juvenile Onset

    In this type of diabetes the hormone insulin is completely or almost completely absent from the islets of langerhans and plasma, and insulin treatment is essential. It is called insulin dependent diabetes because of compulsory periodic insulin administration, to control the rise of blood-glucose level. It can occur at any age, though it most commonly occurs during younger age.

    Type-II: Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Maturity Onset

    This type of diabetes is much more common than Juvenile onset and most often occurs in people who are over 40 and over weight. Since it occurs in the later stage in life, it is termed as maturity onset diabetes. In this condition of diabetes the hormone insulin is often present in plasma at near-normal or even above-normal level and additional insulin is not required to sustain life and to maintain normal blood glucose level. Patient with this type of diabetes produces little or excessive insulin in their pancreas, it either is not enough for proper function or is not being produced quickly enough to influence glucose levels in the blood effectively. This happens probably due to defects in the molecular machinery that mediates the action of insulin on its target cells. That is why this diabetes is called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.


    i) Psychogenic obesity: Studies of obese patients show that a large proportion of obesity results from psychogenic factors. Perhaps the most common psychogenic factor contributing to obesity is the prevalent idea that healthy eating habits requires three meals a day and that each meal must be filling. Many children are forced into this habit by over-solicitous parents, and the children continue to practice it throughout life.

    ii) Genetic factors in Obesity: The genes can direct the degree of feeding in several different ways, including (i) a genetic abnormality of the feeding centre that sets the level of nutrient storage high or low, and (ii) abnormal hereditary psychic factors that either whet the appetite or cause the person to eat as a 'release' mechanism.

    iii) Genetics – Leptin: it is widely accepted that leptin – a natural occurring hormone that controls the appetite – may be one of the causes of obesity. When full, fat cells, release the hormone leptin, it curbs appetite. If leptin production is hindered, the fat cells are unable to signal that they are full, and weight gain occurs. Research into leptin is only just beginning, although the leptin-opesity link appears to have been disproved by some initial studies.

    iv) Genes – Hormones: A small minority of cases of obesity can be explained by glandular or hormonal problems. One such problem is clinical hypothyroidism, where there is not enough thyroid hormone to control normal rates of metabolism. In Cushing's syndrome also, where the production of the corticosteroid hormones is abnormal.

    Sex hormones can also affect obesity. In women, the balance of female sex hormones determines body fat levels during adolescence, pregnancy and the menopause, Changes in energy intake, desire for food and specific cravings occur at various stages of the menstrual cycle. Some women appear to be more susceptible than others to hormonal changes and many overweight women cite pregnancy as the time when their problem started.

    v) Illness and/or Drugs: Some illness can lead to obesity or a tendency to gain weight. These include hypothyrodism, Cushing's syndrome, depression, and certain neurological problems that can lead to overeating. Also, drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may cause weight gain.

    vi) Lack of Physical Activity: As stated above, weight gain occurs when a person consumer more calories than he or she burns. So far we have dealt with an excess of energy/calories IN. but lack of calories OUT is also one of the major causes of weight gain and obesity. Lack of physical activity caused by watching too much TV, or playing too many computer games is strongly associated with obesity levels, especially in young people.


    viii) Bronchitis is basically the inflammation of the bronchi and is characterized by hypertrophy and goblet cells lining the bronchial airways. Cigarette smoking remains the most important cause of chronic bronchitis, whereas other factors that influence the development of the disease are the family history, air pollution, carbon monoxide, respiratory infections and deficient antibodies etc.


    The disorder can be acute or chronic. An acute exacerbation of a chronic condition is also possible. The symptoms consist of cough, wheezing and breathlessness (dyspnoea). They can be present singly or in varying combinations. A small amount of sputum, typically sticky, is produced. Ventilator assistance may be required if the spasms worsen.

    Yogic Management

    Yoga is very useful in the treatment of asthma as it primarily woks by stabilizing the autonomous nervous systems. According to yoga, quietitude in the body always stabilizes irritable responses. The parasympathetic tone is in excess in asthma, yogic practices always help balance the autonomic tone by raising the sympathetic. It is possible to change the very responsiveness of the body. Asanas helps to ease the congestion in the lungs. This promotes relaxation of smooth muscle and better oxygenation. Constant practices is required to change the sensitivity of the body.

    Standing poses can be practiced. Back bends are very helpful to open the frontal lungs and relax the bronchial muscle. The cells lining the bronchial tree are soothed by the improved blood flow and breathing mechanics of back bends. The sympathetic system being stimulated, the bronchi dilate. Constrictive activity is reduced with the lowered parasympathetic tone.

    Forward bends are useful during an attack, but the requirement varies from person to person. The posterior lungs are made to open out or supported and rested, the secretions squeezed out and the nervous tone altered, relieving the stress on the lungs. Inverted poses condition the lungs, for exertion of a particular kind, they flush the lungs free of accumulated toxins and enhance fresh blood flow, healing the irritated areas. The circulation of the bronchial tree has to be soothed and refreshed to prevent an allergic response.
  2. krishna

    krishna Banned

    Role of Pranayama

    Pranayama is of direct help in this situation. The sympathetic tone is raised and vagal tone lessened; in other words, a balance is obtained. The effect can be felt soon after the practice of pranayama is over. A single long inhalation has been shown to enhance airways relaxation. The resistance to air flow in asthma occurs in medium sized airways. The slower and longer inhalation, gives better relaxation. The exhalation in yoga is never forced, as it would narrow the bronchi. It is rather a slow, very deliberate process. It can take as much as one minute to complete an inhalation and exhalation.

    Regular practice improves ventilation, better control of smooth muscle as the process of breathing helps in voluntary opening of airways. There is a gradual change in the frequency of attacks and then a reduction in their severity. The breathing soothes the lining of the bronchial tree and prevents hypersensitivity to external allergens. Hence the chemical irritation of the lining is less. In pranayama, the varying rates of inhalation and exhalation give added benefits. As pranayama works at the microcellular level, stabilization occurs over a prolonged period of time.

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