TN turns to yoga therapy for diabetes-free India

News Bharati English    29-Jun-2015

Chennai, June 29: Even though the health benefits of yoga have always been known, the world will soon see how yoga can control and regulate diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, thanks to scientific efforts in this direction by Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore.

More than 8,000 diabetic patients in Tamil Nadu took part in a week-long “Diabetes-Mukta Bharat” camps held at 250 places across the state. In the camps, which concluded on Sunday, chronic as well as new diabetic patients were initiated into yoga therapy.

“This is the first attempt of its kind in the country to regulate diabetes with yoga therapy. Though we know from our own experience that yoga is a one-stop-solution for all diseases, it has not reached the masses. We have medical evidence to prove that yoga plays a major role in regulating and controlling diabetes without any medicine,” said R Nagaratna, a MRCP doctor who heads the yoga initiative of Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, a deemed university in Bangalore.

Nagaratna disclosed that the participants would continue with the yoga on a regular basis. “We will collect their blood test reports at the end of the first month followed by the third, sixth, and 12th month to find out the variations. This will definitely furnish valuable clues about diabetes management through yoga,” she said.

For the last one week, Vasumathi (67), a diabetic for the last 23 years, has been practicing Surya Namaskar and other yoga exercises with 24 others, including her husband R M Srinivasan (76) at a camp at Virugambakkam. “I can do the entire Surya Namaskar without any help,” a beaming Vasumathi told The Pioneer on Sunday.

Durai Shankar, who is in-charge of the yoga session, said he would be monitoring each participant even after the conclusion of the camp. “The asanas meant for the participants have been chosen carefully by a team of physicians and yoga acharyas,” said Shankar. Surya Namaskar helps in burning calories accumulated in the body. “It is more effective than the work outs in a modern-day gym,” said Jayashankar, a yoga instructor for one of the camps in Chennai.

CV Krishnaswamy, South India’s leading diabetes specialist, said yoga plays a crucial role in regulating diabetes. “But I’ll not say it alone can manage the problem. Medicines contribute one-third in controlling the disease,” said Krishnaswamy who waged a relentless battle with the WHO for banning certain drugs prescribed for diabetes.

Shriram Mahadevan, endocrine specialist, said the Diabetes Prevention Programme launched by the US Government has shown that those who followed tough physical exercise regimes were saved from diabetes. “This could be true for yoga as it coordinates breathing and body movements,” said Mahadevan.

However, Abdul Rehman, consultant surgeon, based in Melbourne, chose to disagree.”There is no scientific evidence to the claim that yoga can regulate diabetes or any other disease. It is critically important to highlight this fact to patients on medication. Let them follow a holistic approach of medicines and other modalities, including yoga,” said Rehman.