Sadly, Thyroid Disorder has become something of a household medical phrase that is not so far behind Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Hypertension.
The ATA notes that a good 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disorder, and around 60% do not even know it!
How prevalent the condition is also notes that this condition is actually more common in women than it is in men.
One of the causes that doctors are noting is that these thyroid problems do seem to be caused by the stressful lifestyles that we lead.
While there are so many people with thyroid disorder now, there are plenty of different options for treatment.
You should remember any treatment will take time to work, but you can actually help thyroid treatment with yoga and meditation.
Simply adding a few minutes of yoga to your daily routine each day can help you to reduce stress, making your life happier and less stressful, which are definitely what you want if stress is one of the primary causes of your thyroid problems.
So, how can you use yoga to help cure your thyroid?
We will get onto that in just a moment!
Types Of Thyroid Problems
There are many types of thyroid problems, but there are two that take the cake with how common they are. These are:
Hypothyroidism, aka. An underactive thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism, aka. An overactive thyroid.
It is very important that you talk to your doctor about which type of thyroid problems may apply to you.
Check for specific symptoms as well to better understand which may be affecting you.
However, you should always get your doctor to confirm which type it is, and they will be able to look into a proper medical process, and investigate properly, so you get the appropriate treatment.
You might have hypothyroidism if you have the following:
- Feeling disinterested in daily affairs, lethargy and having developed a laid back attitude towards everything.
- Just doing routine work as usual but are more tired than usual.
- Chronic constipation.
- Friends have noticed a sudden weight gain in you, but you are not overeating.
- Your face seems to be a bit puffy.
- Long, thick hair is starting to thin with bunches lying around the house.
- Irregular menstruation (many other potential causes however).
- Excessive facial hair growth.
- Throat swelling.
You may have hyperthyroidism if you have the following:
- Either you are overeating or under-eating, or are doing so more than usual. This may mean a change in appetite. No matter how much you eat you do not put on any weight.
- Sleeping at night is difficult.
- Sweating more and in situations where you would not usually.
- You become easily irritated.
- Nervousness/ anxiety and feeling in a rush.
Yoga & Thyroid Disorders
This may sound a bit odd, but let us explain. Before you start using yoga to combat thyroid disorders ensure that you contact your doctor.
Note that yoga techniques can help you to cope with the symptoms of a thyroid disorder and do not substitute medical treatment!
This being said, some medications may be reduced with consistent practicing of yoga over time.
While yoga Asanas are believed to be good for hyper and hypothyroidism, there are some postures which can be excessively useful, and some will benefit an under active thyroid more than an overactive thyroid and vice versa.
However, you do not need to restrict yourself to just these practices, you should check in with a yoga teacher (Sri Sri teachers specifically) about more Asanas for you to integrate into your routine.
Yoga Asanas For Hypothyroidism
There are some Yoga Asanas for you to try and fit into your routine if you have hypothyroidism.
- Shoulder stands. These are the most highly recommended if you have hypothyroidism. This is because it stimulates the thyroid to function as it should due to the effect of pressure. It will also help in the stimulation of glands in the head as well, including the pineal glands and the pituitary glands. These glands have an indirect form of control of the proper functioning of the thyroid.
- The inverted pose.
- The one-legged forward bend.
- The fast-paced sun salutation. (This is also a good pose for controlling weight).
- Plow pose.
- The fish pose.
- The cat stretch.
As well as these poses, the practicing of breathing techniques such as Kapal Bhati, and Nadi Shodhan, Ujjayi, and Shastrika can also aid in the reduction of symptoms you will suffer from with hypothyroidism.
Yoga Asanas For Hyperthyroidism
If you have hyperthyroidism there are 4 main Asanas that may help you cope with your symptoms.
- The bridge pose
- The child poses.
- The cat stretch.
- The corpse poses.
Alternatively, slow paced surya namaskars being practiced alongside mantra chanting can have a very calming and soothing effect and can therefore be of help.
Practicing nadi Shodhan, Ujjayi, and Bhramari, as well as cooling pranayamas like Sheetjari, Sheetali and such are also good for coping with hyperthyroidism.
You should also look into practicing a few minutes of meditation each day, this is the case if you have hypothyroidism, or hyperthyroidism.
Those with hypothyroidism need to make a much more conscious effort to stay active physically, as they will not feel so energetic.
However, hyperthyroidism patients will not need to motivate themselves so much.
This fact is wherein meditation can be very useful.
Not only this, but due to the stress reducing effects of meditation, if your thyroid issues are caused by stress then meditation can help you to reduce stress and find inner peace.
Thyroid issues are often caused by the stresses associated with modern life.
We associate these stresses with normal life, and thus there are more and more people experiencing hypo and hyperthyroidism.
Thankfully, yoga practices can help in reducing the effects of thyroid issues, and help you to reduce stress in turn.
While it cannot cure it, it can be a useful tool in reducing the symptoms.