Adding Yoga and Meditation to Your Wound Care Regimen
Yoga and meditation can help address stress and anxiety as well as provide many physical benefits.
If you’re one of the 6 million or so Americans living with chronic wounds (per figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you’re no doubt already begun a regular wound care regimen. While these vary from person to person, successful wound healing often takes a multi-faceted approach, involving several forms of therapy, such as skin grafts, topical oxygen application, or negative pressure treatments.
But did you also know that there are alternative methods? Yoga and meditation, for instance, are two approaches that can have a huge impact on your health and well-being.
The power of yoga
Stress can be especially dangerous for patients with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes association, excess stress causes the body to stockpile energy as a sugar called glucose. Too much glucose, in turn, can cause a number of different reactions, according to Wound Care Centers. That includes damage to the eyes or kidneys, constipation and even wound healing impediments. That’s why yoga is such a powerful way to deal with life’s stress. Not only will it melt away all that negative energy, but yoga can increase muscle strength and improve a person’s flexibility. Best of all, though, a 2008 study in the International Journal of Yoga found that a 40-day yoga class can drastically reduce blood-sugar levels and help manage insulin. This effect can help patients across a number of different age ranges.
Meditation’s many benefits
Yoga involves physical exercise or extended movement. With meditation, though, most people are quite silent and still, and the aim is to focus on something aside from life’s barrage of stressors. As it turns out, yoga is an effective way to reduce anxiety. And this emotional state, much like stress, can have its effects: A 2011 study in Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America found that people who live with anxiety are four times more likely to experience delayed wound healing. Meditation’s effects aren’t just psychological either, and the Mayo Clinic noted that there are a number of physical benefits to boot. Those include helping to manage conditions like high blood pressure, chronic pain, heart disease, insomnia and other sleep problems, and even cancer.
Find a balance
Though yoga and meditation are powerful tools for improved wound care, it’s important to talk to a doctor beforehand. He or she may have insight into how to apply these techniques without complicating your treatment regimen or reduce the risk of injury.
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