Guided imagery for diabetes with Leslie Korn, PhD, MPH.
At first, guided imagery is a specialized therapy to relieve stress. This therapy can reduce stress by guiding the client's imagination to be more relaxed.
Leslie Korn in a 'Center for Traditional Medicine' mention that guided imagery therapy can lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. This is not something that is not possible. People with diabetes have an increased risk of depression 3 times greater than the general population (Soegondo et al, 2009). Stress can also be experienced by people with diabetes because diabetes itself (Diabetes New Zealand, 2011), excessive dieting (Widodo, 2009), as well as restful sleep is often disturbed people with diabetes because of the desire for urination and hunger.
Under conditions of stress, the pituitary gland releases Adenocorticotrophine hormone (ACTH) on the orders of the hypothalamus. The release of ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex to release cortisol, which plays a role in increasing blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The release of ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoids, which is a hormone that plays an important role to accelerate the process of gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process of formation of compounds of sugar instead of glycogen. Glucocorticoids will hydrolyze tissue proteins and turn them into amino acids that will be take to the liver that is then further converted to glucose that is channeled into the blood so that blood sugar levels increase (Isnaeni, 2006). In addition, stress can also activate the sympathetic nerve that stimulates the secretion of the hormone epinephrine. Increased secretion of epinephrine can increase the heart rate so that the increased oxygen demand, increased blood sugar levels, and improved mental acuity (Potter & Perry, 2005). Preclude epinephrine secretion also can release insulin in the pancreas (Syaifuddin, 2006)
If we look, stress and diabetes have a vicious cycle that is difficult to remove. People with diabetes who experience stress most likely stress. Then, people with diabetes are aware that their blood sugar levels can lead to increased stress, and so on. Of explanation, the stress in diabetics should be address. Guided imagery is one therapy that is believe to reduce stress in people with diabetes (Surwit et al, 2002). Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that uses the imagination to promote mental and physical health (Martin, 2005). Guided imagery usually begins with a relaxation in which participants take a few deep breaths and releasing tension in the mind and body, and then visualize pleasant or effective thought to accelerate healing (Hart, 2008). Visual cortex of the brain, which processes the imagination, has strong connections with the autonomic nervous system that controls involuntary activities such as blood pressure, respiration, and physical responses to stress (Mills et al, 2008). Then McGinnis et al (2005) mentions this relaxed condition can lead to modulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the subsequent decrease in plasma cortisol levels can increase the control of blood sugar levels.
I myself have tried guided imagery therapy at fifteen diabetics. The result, decrease in blood sugar levels after a single treatment of guided imagery therapy for 20 minutes with an average decrease in blood glucose 20 mg / dL. Therefore, for people with diabetes, especially those feeling stressed, guided imagery can try this therapy.