HGH Diabetes Support Group will Demonstrate 'Chair Yoga' and Meditation

New research shows that yoga can be a very effective tool at self-managing diabetes—and participants don’t even have to leave their chairs.


“So was I,” says Humboldt General Hospital Director of Food and Nutrition Services Tiffani Nalivka.

In fact, Nalivka said chair yoga can improve stress, alter emotional eating patterns, lower blood glucose levels and reduce weight—all healthy steps toward successfully managing diabetes.

Wednesday, May 1, the HGH “Diabetes Talk” support group will welcome Jenn van der Veen, a local yoga and wellness instructor, for “Chair Yoga, Meditation and Diabetes.”

The one-hour discussion and demonstration will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room.

People with diabetes, prediabetes, caregivers and those who are interested in preventing diabetes are encouraged to attend.

Nalivka said when people with diabetes think of things that raise their blood sugar, “they only think in terms of food—of things they eat and drink,” she said.

But Nalivka said a review of 14 studies suggests that mindfulness meditation can significantly decrease emotional eating and binge eating behaviors.

In fact, a 2018 study in the International Journal of Yoga found a significant decrease in blood glucose, A1C and fasting serum insulin levels in 60 patients with coronary artery disease who practiced meditation compared with those who did not.

“All of these data encourage people with diabetes to develop a yoga and meditation practice,” said Nalivka.

She added, “And a yoga or meditation practice doesn’t have to be advanced or lengthy. Even five minutes a day can have a profound effect on well-being.”

The “Diabetes Talk” support group is open to people of all ages; the group meets on the first Wednesday of each month, and there is no charge to attend.

For more information, please email HGH Director of Food and Nutrition Services Tiffani Nalivka at nalivkat@hghospital.org or call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1756.