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Transcendental Meditation and Its Effect on Diabetes

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Meditation is a practice that has been passed down for millennia to transform the body, mind and spirit. Meditation has also been used as a powerful tool for healing purposes by using two techniques known as Medical Meditation & Transcendental Meditation. The effects of meditation can be emphasised by accompanying it with the use of binaural beats. Binaural beats have been used as a kind of therapy that is likened to meditation but does not require the same level of discipline or experience required by meditation. They are also used as soundwave therapy where the left and right ear listen to two different frequency tones and the brain interprets the sound as one frequency the difference between the two frequencies is what is heard.

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There are a range of binaural beats available for purchase or for free and each beat has been tuned for a specific healing purpose. The topic of mind-body medicine has played an important role in the field of healthcare; mind-body medicine understands and acknowledges that the mind has a key impact on influencing the body’s health. Meditation is commonly used for pain and stress reduction; many of the other beneficial effects of meditation are overlooked due to lack of easily accessible scientific proof, finding scientific proof of these claims often requires extensive and thorough research. There are various meditation techniques, with each technique having its own claims as well as scientifically proven benefits. Medical meditation balances the body’s etherical and physical energies to trigger the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This technique has been said to heal several chronic ailments, diabetes mellitus included, and has been proven to rejuvenate the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal and other endocrine glands. Transcendental meditation establishes a profound state of rest as well as promotes holistic brain development, but its effects are not limited to these. A study conducted in 1972 showed that transcendental meditation affects human metabolism by lowering the biochemical by-products of stress e.g. lactate and decreases heart rate and blood pressure. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed transcendental meditation can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. It can also lower blood pressure and reduce insulin resistance. Meditation has also been linked to decline in cortisol levels in the blood which improve insulin-resistance.

Ancient beliefs state that humans are more than just their physical bodies; the physical body is merely a vessel for one’s energy self. These beliefs also state that the energy body inter-penetrates and extends beyond the physical body. Our body is made up of seven energy centres known as chakra and each chakra governs all the cells, tissues and organs in that specific area. When these energy centres are blocked or are overactive, ailments in the area may arise and this is what diabetes is believed to be. The chakra responsible for the region where the pancreas is found is known as the Solar Plexus or Manipura in Sanskrit. Chakra meditation heals these affected energy centres. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The endocrine function of the pancreas enables it to make a hormone called insulin to assist the cells in our body take up glucose. Sometimes the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot produce and use insulin accordingly, causing a build-up of sugar in the blood also known as hyperglycaemia. This could result in symptoms such as Unusual thirst, Frequent urination, Unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue or lack of energy, Blurred vision and these symptoms are synonymous with Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Mellitus has reached epidemic status in South Africa with 7% of adults aged 21 to 79 3.85 million people suffering from the chronic illness (Ruder, 2016). These alarming figures have been associated to urbanisation that has led to the adjustment to a carbohydrate-based and processed food diet, limited exercise; these constitute as an unhealthy lifestyle that creates an optimal environment for the chronic illness to thrive.

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The government has done their deal on tackling this disease by trying to raise awareness about the illness and by giving diabetics advice on how to manage the disease effectively. Like other countries, the South African government has placed a tax on sugary items to lower the average South African’s daily sugar consumption, thus lowering their chances of contracting the illness. The success of the taxation method is unverified. In our busy lives we often find it very difficult to lead healthy lifestyles and inevitably fall into the trap of living the fast-food life and rarely get any exercise. I believe that if people could teach themselves to meditate effectively, this would lower their risks of suffering from Diabetes Mellitus or will help sufferers manage their illness effectively. A case study that was once conducted investigated the effects of meditation on depression, which just like diabetes is a chronic illness (Zoysa, 2011). A man who has been diagnosed with depression received six training sessions for fifty minutes once a week. Because of solely practicing meditation and mindfulness for 6 weeks the individual suffering from depression felt treated from his illness. Meditation could have similar effects on diabetes [hyperglycaemia].

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