Thyroid disorder has become common like cough and cold. You are either a person having some issue with your thyroid gland or you know at least a half dozen of women in your social circle with thyroid problem. Even men can have issues with their thyroid but women are more prone to it than men. Why thyroid is so rampant today? Medical specialists believe that this is a by-product of our wrong lifestyle and habits. The blame, off course, has to put on sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices.
Thyroid is a very important endocrine gland that regulates our both physical and mental health. This butterfly shaped gland, located in front part of the neck, secretes T3 and T4 hormones which regulates our metabolism and also secretes important brain chemicals like endorphin, dopamine and adrenaline. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, situated in the brain, control the thyroid. Pituitary gland, in turn, produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The thyroid gland and TSH shares an inverse relationship—the high level of TSH results in an under active thyroid gland (Hypothyroid—the gland produces too little hormones) that slows down the process of metabolism resulting in weight gain among people suffering from it. And the lower level of TSH induces hyperactivity in the gland (Hyperthyroid—the excess secretion by the gland), means extreme weight loss.
The problem in thyroid gland can have adverse impact on your energy center too, particularly in throat chakra (Visudhha Chakra). The major seven chakras are associated with our endocrine system. Thyroid Glands represent the fifth chakra Visudhha. This energy center takes care of vital functions like communication and expression. A problem in expressing and communicating, thoughts and feelings, may dampen your self-confidence and a person may slip into a depression mode too.
A very easy treatment is available today. You can take thyroxin orally every day and set your problem. But this is not a solution. You may have to continue these pills for your lifetime. The dependency on pills may be so much that if you miss your doses for few days, your body and mind will start showing off all critical symptoms again. But discontinuing your medicine is not going to take anywhere. Yoga can definitely help you to reduce your dependency on medicine. There are many cases that many people have put their thyroid glands on balanced modes with yogic practice without medication. But such a decision must be taken always in consent with your physician or endocrinologist.
However, the best measure is to put this butterfly shape gland into active mode by being like butterfly free spirited, painting your life with all possible colors of life–joy, love, affection, self esteem along with body and mind care regime.
A person with hypothyroid can maintain a normal level of TSH by adapting a healthy lifestyle and practicing yoga regularly along with proper medication. Yogic practice is not limited to asanas. You have to work on four major pillars of yoga; Ahar (Diet), Vihar (recreation, asana practice, rest, and relaxation), Achar (Routines & Discipline) and Vichar (Constructive thoughts, change in mentality) to get the best for your thyroid.
As the food, so the mind
Under-active thyroid may create some vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your body according to nutritionists. So observing food vigilance will give you surprising benefits in the long run. Yoga believes, “As the food, so the mind and as the mind, so the man.” Follow some simple food guidelines given below mindfully, not blindly. Always rely on locally grown seasonal food.
• Iodine plays a significant role in functioning of thyroid. It can be taken through water, iodized salt, sea vegetables, mushrooms, spinach, and garlic.
• Thyroid glands cannot utilize iodine without vitamin B. Vitamin B is found in dairy products, seeds, brown rice and bananas.
• Zinc is needed to convert T4 into T3. You can get enough zinc through walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, spinach, kidney beans, flax seeds, Lima beans, peanuts, brown rice and the dark chocolate.
• You can rely on dried figs, dates, dark leafy green vegetables, nuts and whole grains for adequate intake of iron.
• Vitamin A is available in plenty in all orange colored fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, red pumpkin, papaya, dried apricots and beet root.
• You can strengthen your immunity with vitamin C through citrus fruits like orange, lemon, sweet lemon and Indian gooseberry.
• Avoid soya products as soya is high in isoflavones, which are goitrogens—food that doesn’t allow thyroid glands to function properly.
Feel Body, Experience Healing
How can yoga help your sluggish butterfly gland to fly high? Some of these asanas put a gentle pressure on your thyroid while few increases blood flow to thyroid and pituitary glands—induces more hormone secretion by these glands. Here’re asanas that will be helpful for regulating your thyroid glands. However, please note that the wholesome yogasanas, pranayamas and relaxation practice will be more helpful than just practicing only recommended asanas for thyroid in the given video link.