Diabetes, like many other chronic diseases, can also affect the mind. Similarly the mind has great power to influence the body.

Knowledge of how to manage your diabetes and prevent complications is an important first step, but understanding how to stay positive and nurture the spirit can also help in a holistic approach to diabetes care.

Allopathic healthcare

Many countries focus primarily on allopathic healthcare – treatment with medication – to the exclusion of a more complete system of diabetes management.

The Diabetes.co.uk forum includes a section on mind, body and spirit to help people with diabetes understand all aspects of care.

Physiological response

There is no doubt that the mind has great capacity to affect the body and its physiological response to illness. Much mind-body intervention stems from Eastern healing practices, some of which have been taken up as adjunct care in the case of diabetes. The Mind, Body and Spirit forum is a place to discuss and debate aspects of diabetes care that fall outside standard healthcare.

Emotional, mental, social and spiritual

Many believe that emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can all have a direct influence on health.

There is no denying that the mind has an influence on the body, and advocates of alternative healing practices maintain the power of this relationship. The number of patients using, or at the least taking an interest i, alternative practices has soared in the last decade.

Mind and body care for diabetes may include relaxation and calming techniques, imagery, biofeedback, meditatio, hypnosis, yoga, tai chi and many others. These approaches can help patients to deal with their diabetes in new and different ways. Each approach has distinctive techniques, many of which can be learned in the home.

If you are interested in the relationship between mind, body and spirit when it comes to diabetes please use the Diabetes.co.uk Mind, Body, Spirit forum to discuss.

What the community is saying about Mind, Body and Spirit

  • Rushy : I agree that Tai Chi is beneficial. I’ve been doing it for some years now, since before I was diagnosed in fact, and I feel so much better in all kinds of ways after doing my forms.
  • Caroline W : I’m type 2 and practice tai chi whenever I can. As far as I am aware, because it is so relaxing, it helps reduce glucose levels in the blood, but you still need to keep taking your medication be it insulin or pills.
  • Dragongirl : There is a therapy called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) that uses body meridian work alongside a cognitive focus to shift some aspects of bodily complaints, including pain management. You’d have to look it up!
  • Davewoods : It is funny how many times I have seen deep breathing mentioned in various things I have been interested in. Whether it was acting or singing, or a brief interest in martial arts and yoga. I think we sometimes forget that breath is the thing that keeps us going.
  • Dendan : It’s true that visualising can actively help to relieve stress. It isn’t just imagery that can help – scents and sounds can also trigger emotive responses which directly affect blood pressure, thus calming and relaxing the body. Music therapy can help alleviate stress. If you have a favourite piece of music DO NOT use it for this type of exercise. The emotions that are triggered are specific and whilst they engender a “feel good” factor the feelings they engender may not be suitable for your needs.

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