Management And Prevention of Prostate Problems With Yoga
Introduction'Prostate problems' include all mild, severe, acute and chronic disorders of the prostate gland. The most common prostate problems are prostatitis (an inflammation of the gland), benign prostate hyperplasia (enlargement of the gland which can be chronic or acute, bacterial or non bacterial), and prostate cancer. Let us understand what the prostate is, where it is located inside a human, and what functions it performs in the body.
The Prostate GlandMany of our body's functions and processes are carried out by various chemicals called enzymes, hormones & fluids. Secretion of these chemicals is a specialized function of the glands that are located throughout our body. The prostate is such a gland working as a part of the male reproductive system. It is located just below the urinary bladder and between the penis and the anus. Its main function is to produce a fluid called the prostate fluid, which acts as a medium containing and delivering sperms and semen via the penis. Both urine and semen pass through the prostate before exiting the body. For this reason, any structural or functional abnormality in the prostate gland affects both urination and ejaculation.
If you have an inflammation or any abnormality in your prostate, you may be experiencing some or many of these symptoms:
- Urinary incontinence, i.e. inability to pass urine
- A weak flow of urine
- Urination in drops
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Pain during or after ejaculation
- Unsteady ejaculation, only part of it flows out
- Unable to urinate completely, some of it remains in the bladder
- Too frequent urination
- Abnormally odorous or tinted urine
- Disturbed sleep due to need to urinate
- Pain in the penis or the scrotum
- Pain below abdomen
- Pain near the anus
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
- Leaking fluids from the penis other than urine
CausesCauses of prostate disorders are not clear. Sometimes a bacterial infection may cause pain and inflammation. Symptoms shouldn't be ignored and a diagnosis should be performed to rule out the chances of cancer.
Risk factorsIf prostate disorders run in your family, you are at greater risk of developing prostate problems.
DiagnosisA physical examination is required to find the cause of the problem. A urine test, or an urodynamic test i.e. a study of how urine stream is held and released may be conducted. It tells about any blockages inside the urethral pathway. An ultrasound may be performed to see if the gland has increased in size. A blood test may be performed to check the activity level of the prostate gland.
If unrecognized and untreated, minor prostate problems can turn into other complicated diseases; like:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Stones in the Urinary bladder
- Kidney failure
- Inflammation of the prostate
- Difficult sexual intercourse
- Urinary tract infections that won't go away
TreatmentCommonly used treatments include pain relieving medications, muscle relaxants for the bladder, antibiotics, diuretics and physical therapy. For more serious conditions, medications that hinder the growth of the prostate or even make it smaller are prescribed. In some circumstances, surgery is performed on the prostate to shrink it or remove a part of it. It may still grow in size and be inflamed after surgery.
Yoga For Prostate HealthYoga has healing properties which can be utilized for treating various disorders. The following practices should be done on an empty stomach on a mat, a folded thin blanket, a carpet or on the grass. Practice 5 should not be attempted out of expert supervision.
Also known as 'forward seated bend' this pose is great since it enhances one's control over the movement of contents from the penis as well as the anus.
- Sit on the mat with legs straight in front of you.
- Keeping the spine straight, raise and straighten the arms.
- Inhale while doing so.
- Lean forward until you can hold or touch your toes.
- Touch your knees with the chin.
- This is the final position.
- Stay in the final position for at least 10 seconds.
- Perform 3 repetitions.
This pose is an excellent pose for the male as well as the female reproductive system.
- Sit on a mat or your bed by kneeling. The hips should rest on the feet.
- Inhale while raising your arms straight up.
- Start bending forward with the arms still extended.
- Exhale, and keep leaning forward until your face touches the bed/mat.
- Let the arms rest on the floor/bed.
- This is the final position. Keep eyes closed and breathe normally in the final position.
- Stay in this position for upto thirty minutes.
'The pose of the cobra': this pose presses against the reproductive glands in such a way that their secretions are regulated.
- Lie on your stomach.
- Let the arms rest on both sides of the body.
- Bring the hands parallel to your chest, palms facing down.
- Lift the head up, and bend the spine backwards with the stomach resting on the mat.
- Support the body with the palms sharing weight. Keep the elbows slightly bent.
- Inhale while doing so.
- This is the final position.
- Stay in the final position for 5-10 seconds.
Sarvangasana means the pose of the whole body. It is especially recommended for all disorders of the pelvic-rectal region.
- Lie on your back.
- The arms should be resting on both sides of the body.
- Exhale fully.
- Raise both the legs without bending them at the knees.
- Support the buttocks and the back with your hands. The elbows should be resting on the mat.
- Align the feet, the knees, the pelvis and the chest in a straight line perpendicular to the earth.
- This is the final position. Resume normal breathing in the final position.
- Practice three repetitions.
- Care should be taken not to strain the neck.
5. Moola Bandha
A practice of the adept yogis that kept their reproductive systems healthy even though they were not sexually active. It involves energy modification by contracting the muscles of the reproductive glands. This practice should not be practiced by just learning it from a book. It is recommended that you learn it and practice it in the physical presence of a yoga therapist.