Yoga Therapy for Thyroid Health by Melissa Delaney
The thyroid gland is an incredibly important part of the endocrine system and can affect various systems within the body such as brain function, bone development, metabolism, as well as the cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems. Thyroid disorders can be linked to hormone imbalances, genetics, autoimmune disorders, reproductive health and may even surface as a side effect from certain medications. As with many health risks poor diet and stress can also impact thyroid health.
Unfortunately, thyroid disorders are common and if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications such as increased risk of osteoporosis and heart problems. To further educate yourself on thyroid health as well as keeping your thyroid healthy it is important to find an integrative thyroid specialist, get regular testing and follow a proper yet holistic treatment plan.
My interest in yoga for thyroid health comes from my very own experience with thyroid disease. I experienced the typical symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, insomnia, weight fluctuations, heart palpitations and brain fog. I also showed other symptoms such as bouts of intense anger and stress which I didn’t know were associated with the disorder.
After completing my first yoga teacher training program in 2009, I noticed a significant positive change in my health. This drastic improvement in health was soon followed by finding out I was pregnant, something of which I assumed was not possible with a wacky thyroid. It was this shift in health which sparked my desire to heal the thyroid through the act of yoga. Since I began Yoga Therapy training in 2014, I have been in full remission and have had my second child.
Yoga Therapy is proven to be an effective complementary therapy for many health conditions. As a Certified Yoga Therapist, I work closely with clients to develop appropriate treatment plans according to their individual needs and goals. Yoga tools such as pranayama, asana, and meditation, can help manage the symptoms associated with thyroid disorders and may help to keep the thyroid healthy. Previous experience with yoga is not necessary to reap the many benefits of this healing practice.
Pranayama (Breath) is a powerful tool. Simply focusing on the breath helps us to slow things down, clearing the mind and effectively reducing stress and tension to calm the nervous system.
Asanas (Postures) help to balance the body and mind, build strength and flexibility. Postures that work with the thyroid can tone, stimulate, compress and release the thyroid, squeezing and flushing the area with fresh blood flow and vital prana.
Meditation and Visualization can reduce negative thoughts, increase self-awareness, create a sense of calm and well-being while reducing stress to relax the body and mind. All of which help to promote healing from within.
Melissa is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Teacher at PranaShanti. Join her for classes on Saturdays.