The thyroid glands in the endocrine systems partici pate considerably in the functioning of the body. Hence any impairment in th e functioning of these glands affects the functioning of the body extensively. Le t us start with the knowledge of functioning of these glands before studying the dam ages in them and their ill-effects on the body. Thyroid glands are a type of endocrine glands, i.e. the secretion by these glands is mixed with the blood. These secretions ar e termed as hormones. These hormones affect certain organs and their functions, and an increase or decrease in the hormonal level directly affects the function of tho se organs. This implies that a control on the functioning of various organs can be achieved with the help of these hormones. The hormones that control the most import ant function of metabolism are secreted in the thyroid glands.
The thyroid glands are located at the base of the t hroat. It is divided into two similar parts and they are situated on each side of the respiratory tract. Both these parts are connected to each other from behind to th e center. Each part measures approximately 5 X 2 X 2 cm. and it weighs 20-25 gm. Its weight is affected by factors such as age, physical state and sexual state. These glands get a high blood supply - 3.5-6.0 ml/gm. The two main hormones secreted by th ese glands are Thyroxin (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). Iodine is used in the pr oduction of these hormones. Our diet normally consists of 100-150 micrograms of iod ine. The iodine is absorbed in the blood from the intestine at the time of digestion w here it is transformed into iodide. The thyroid glands absorb this iodide from the bloo d and produce T3 and T4 hormones. But the process of absorption of iodide t akes place in proportion to the TSH hormone secreted by the pituitary glands. The h ormones secreted by the thyroid glands control the functioning of the following:
These glands function extensively during puberty, a nd in the state of pregnancy. Furthermore, they function more if the e xternal temperature decreases and vice versa. This helps in maintaining the body temp erature in all kinds of environment. It has been found out by research that these glands are responsible for some other secretions as well.
The process of production of energy in the body f rom the food and oxygen taken from the external environment is calle d metabolism. There are two processes involved - anabolism and catabolism.
The process by which chemical reactions of the va rious digestive juices on the food we eat takes place and absorbed glucose is transformed into glycogen and stored in the liver.
The process by which the glycogen stored in the l iver is transformed into glucose and carried to the cells where burning of g lucose with the help of oxygen takes place thus producing energy.
Any activity by the body requires energy provided b y the process of metabolism. Hence any damage in the process of meta bolism affects adversely the functioning of the body. In fact, a system controll ing this metabolic process is situated in the body itself. It increases or decreases the r ate of metabolism as required. That is, the metabolic rate increases with physical exertion and decreases during rest. This control is carried out by hormones in the thyroid g lands. Sometimes there is imbalance between the physical requirement and the metabolic rate. This state will be termed as disorder. There are two types of disorder s due to the malfunctioning of the thyroid glands.
In this type, the hormone level in the thyroid glands exceeds the normal, thus increasing the rate of metabolism. Con sequently, there is an increase in the heart rate, rate of respiration, purges, genera tion of more heat in the body, more sweating, complaints about menstruation in case of females, swollen eyes, feeling of exhaustion. The person feels like increasing activi ty but cannot. He becomes short tempered. A temporary measure can be taken by intak e of medicines or a permanent measure can be achieved by removing a part of the t hyroids through surgery, thus reducing total hormone levels.. However, if later t he gland starts functioning normally the operated part cannot be rejoined and hence the hormonal level will stay below normal, leading to other disorders.
n this case, the glands secrete a less than normal level of hormones, or hormones are not secreted at all. Thus when the rate of metabolism needs to increase, it cannot. The physical and ment al activity thus lowers down. Symptoms like laziness, indigestion, muscular pains , deafness, dryness of the skin, forgetfulness, lack of hunger and still increase in weight are seen. This patient is so depressed physically and mentally that he is not re ady even for treatment. The further stages of this disorder are swelling all over the b ody, thickness in lips, and lack of luster on the skin. These patients are not able to talk properly. If this disorder is not treated appropriately, (eg. by yogic therapy), the heart may even stop functioning.
The main cause of hypothyroidism is the surgery per formed in hyperthyroidism to reduce the size of the glands. Once surgery is carr ied out, the hormones in thyroids are never regenerated. Hence the patient has to inj ect hormones externally to control this disorder. But frequent injections may reduce t he remaining functioning of the thyroid glands. Such treatment has to be followed f orever, and its consequences could be hazardous.
The size of the thyroid glands increases beyond normal in this kind of disorder. It is of course neither an infection nor a tumor. This happens if the amount of iodine in the food is too low. This does not inc rease the secretions of the glands but 117 its enlarged size creates pressure on the other org ans thus affecting their functioning. Goiter may be a consequence of sideeffects of some other medicines too. The enlarged part of the gland is removed by surgery, but again it ends the secretion of hormones forever indulging the patient into some ot her trouble. Medicines constituting of iodine are useful to some extent. B ut they too may cause adverse effects if used constantly.
It can be stated from the above discussion that yog ic therapy is better than the ill-effects caused by the prevalent medical treatme nt. Medical treatment is helpful only in the temporary phase. But yoga is the only w ay to achieve permanent effects.
Yogic therapy is generally the same for all the thr ee types of disorders discussed above. This can happen because yoga is ca pable of controlling the function of the thyroid glands to maintain a balance between the need and the actual rate of metabolic process. This treatment constitutes of Yo gasanas, Pranayama, cleansing processes and contemplation.
Among the Yogasanas, Sarvangasana is the best for m etabolic disorders as it creates the necessary pressure on the thyroid gland s, supporting secretion as well as production of hormones in optimum quantity. Sarvang asana also helps in increasing blood supply to these glands thus improving their f unctioning. The asana is performed in the form of repetitions initially and the durati on is increased with increased practice. The duration of stability can be increase d from one minute to ten minutes, without repetitions. Movements of legs in Sarvangas ana will be possible with increased practice, and then Padmasana can also be performed in Sarvangasana.
After sufficient practice of Sarvangasana, improved effects may be achieved by performing asanas like Halasana, Hala-ugrasana, etc. Additionally, Sun Salutation, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Pa shchimottanasana, Yogamudra, Supta Vajrasana, Sinhasana, Sinha Mudra, etc. are also useful. With progress achieved in this practice, the patient may learn mudras like Mahabandha and Mahamudra which prove very effective in the recover y of these disorders.
Ujjayi is the Pranayama that works on improving the functioning of these glands. It helps in creating a balance in the suppl y of oxygen to this gland. It also improves functioning of the Vishuddhi Chakra situat ed in the throat, thus improving function of the thyroid glands. Besides, the Jaland har Bandha that is performed during breath retention in this Pranayama is very useful i n improving function of these glands. The Pranayama must be learnt from an expert and sufficient practice of asanas must be performed before learning it.
Naadishuddhi Pranayama is also useful to some exten t in these disorders. Sheetali and Seetkari are useful in case of hyperth yroidism. Likewise, Bhasrika and Suryabhedan prove very beneficial in hypothyroidism .
The complete relaxation technique- Yoga Nidra is he lpful in bringing the thyroid glands to normal as one of the root causes of the d isorders lie in the mental stress. Yoga Nidra is helpful in reducing mental stress. Th e root cause of imbalance of hormonal secretion in the thyroid glands is often n ot detected. In that case too yoga proves useful as yoga can achieve a balance in the functioning of the organs. Hence, regular practice of yoga improves the functioning o f the organs, and prevents any future cause of imbalance.
All Asanas are to be practiced on Level – 4 with co ncentration on the Thyroid glands. The Asana is to be maintained as long as it is comfortable to the patient.
Ujjayi Pranayama with kumbhak for 10 min utes for both types.
Asanas: Vipareetkarni, Vakrasana, Uttanpadasana, Pa wavanmuktasana, Ardhpaschimottanasana, Sulabh Ushtrasana. Garudasan a, Parivart Trikonasana, Patangasana.
Pranayama: Anulom Viloma with kumbhak
Cleansing Practices: Neti – Dand Dhouti – Vastra Dh outi – Nouli ( all types)
Walking for 60 minutes
Suitable : Normal food with less fats & carbohydrate s but with high fibres. Best food is fruits ( except banana, mango & grapes ) & vegetables
Avoid: Nonveg food, Milk & milk products ( Skimmed milk can be taken), Oily & Spicy food, refined foods, Fast Food, Preser ved Food.
|No.||Asana / Yoga technique||Duration in minutes|
|1||Shavasana (Corpse pose)||3|
|2||Basic Movements all Types||15|
|4||Vajrasana Series - ref YogaSopan Book||10|
|7||Dhanurasana (Bow pose)||1|
|14||Tadasana, Tiryak Tadasana||2|
|17||Anulom Vilom, Deep Breathing||10|
|18||Sheetali Purek & Bhramari Rechak||10|
|19||Ujjayi breathing without Kumbhak||10|
|Omkar Chanting||30 min|
|Jala Neti ( once a week )|
|Yoga Nidra for Stress relief (Once a day)||30 min|
|Listen Omkar chanting throughout the night|
|Medation on Anahat Chakra with mantra “Yam|
Yoga Vidya Dham, Kaivalya Nagari,
College Road, Nashik - 422005.
Phone - +91-9822770727 (for courses in ENGLISH)
+91-253-2318090 (For courses, in HINDI or MARATHI)
(Please call during 9.00 AM to 5 PM Indian Time)
E-mail - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org