There are two types of ulcers that occur within the digestive system – peptic and duodenal. Peptic ulcers occur within the stomach and are most common among women. Duodenal ulcers occur within the duodenum (the first section of the intestines after the stomach) and are more common among men. Both types seem to be the consequence of our pressurized modern living.
Ulcer sufferers are a distinct group of people. They tend to bottle up their worries and problems, afraid to let other people see how they feel. Society sets high goals which most people feel they must attain to be successful in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. To achieve these ends, they continually drive themselves too hard, taking insufficient sleep, rushing here, there and everywhere. They gulp their food at odd hours. Ulcers are often the product of this situation.
The ulcer appears as a hole or defect in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. Normally, when there is food in the stomach, nerves stimulate the release of hydrochloric acid for digestion purposes. When the digestive system is working correctly little or no acid is present in the stomach when it contains no food. However with ulcer sufferers, the nervous system is unable to relax and continues to stimulate the release of digestive juices within the stomach. The acid tends to eat away the lining of the stomach or the duodenum. This takes place over a period of months and years and results in the formation of ulcers.
The root cause of ulcers is worry and chronic stress. People are unable to relax even for short periods. The result is the continual secretion of acid in the stomach when it is not required. It is here that yoga is indispensable. The essence of yoga is relaxation. .All yoga practices, from asanas to meditative techniques are intended to remove tension in all its forms, whether physical, emotional or mental. These practices allow the nervous system and consequently the digestive system to return to normal.
Furthermore, yoga creates a deeper understanding and tolerance of both oneself and others. This encourages each of us to live a more harmonious life and develop optimism and confidence. The result is that the ulcers will either heal themselves or not occur in the first place. Therefore, we can say that yoga is the way to remove both the ulcers themselves and their root cause, mental tension.