The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body known to maintain the energy usage level, protein production and control of the body’s sensitivity to other hormones. Disorder of the thyroid gland has become a common problem in every household these next only to blood pressure problems and diabetes. Though there are several medications available for the treatment of this disease, yoga is one of the ancient methods to deal with such problem. To know the benefits of yoga for treating thyroid first we need to know the symptoms of having thyroid disorder, the types of such disorder and the effect of different yoga techniques followed that are beneficial.
Some common symptoms of Thyroid Imbalances
Every person must know the probable symptoms of having a thyroid disorder so that, he/she can take necessary steps in advance to prevent the growth of such diseases.
Some of the common symptoms are as follows –
- Fluctuations in body weight and irregular sleeping habits
- Mood swings
- Water retention
- Increased heartbeat
- Lack of energy
- Dry skin and hair
- Increase in menstrual flow for women
- Inability to tolerate cold
- Muscle cramps
Types of Thyroid Imbalances
Though there are various types of thyroid disorders two of the most common types are Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) and Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid).
Hypothyroidism affects the metabolic activity of the body due to malfunction of the thyroid gland. In such cases the gland produces low levels of thyroxine hormone.
Some of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism include –
- Lethargic attitude and decrease in energy levels
- Increase of fatigue in everyday work
- Sudden weight gain
- Excessive growth of hair on the face
- Swelling up of the throat
Hyperthyroidism results in speeding up the metabolic activity in the body through increase in the levels of T3 and T4 hormones.
The common symptoms are –
- High blood pressure
- Increased sweating
- Irregular sleep
- Bone loss symptoms (osteoporosis)
- Feeling of nervousness
Yoga Asanas for different Thyroid Disorders
There are various yoga asanas which help to cope with thyroid problems but extreme care must be taken while considering this natural treatment to fight thyroid disorders. It should always be remembered that taking up yoga for the treatment of thyroid problem is not a substitute to medication and a physician must be consulted before deciding to go for yoga. Sometimes the combination of both gives better results.
The recommended Yoga Postures to fight Hypothyroidism are –
- Sarvangasana (shoulder stand): stimulates the functioning of the pineal and pituitary glands which has an indirect effect on the thyroid gland.
- Viparitakarani (inverted pose): helps to increase the flow of blood in the neck and head region affecting the thyroid gland function.
- Janushirasasana (One-legged Forward Bend): strengthens the spinal cord and massages the thyroid gland helping in its better functioning.
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose): aimed at gently massaging the thyroid gland.
There are several other asanas like Halasan (Plow pose), Marjariasana (cat stretch) and Surya Namaskar (Fast-paced sun salutation) which gives out similar effects in combating thyroid imbalance.
Some Yoga Asanas for Hyperthyroidism are as follows –
- Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
- Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- Shishu asana (Child Pose)
- Surya Namaskar (Slow-paced sun salutation)
A few Suggestions
It is highly recommended to learn yoga asanas from a well trained and experienced yoga instructor who will help you out by suggesting yoga poses depending on the problems you are experiencing. It is equally important to consult your doctor before taking up any yoga lessons so that he can guide you and make you aware of any severe complications that could occur in the future. Proceeding with extreme caution for health-related problems is the key to getting effective results.