Ancient Wisdom for Type 2 Diabetes Management

Though it’s unlikely Lao Tzu, philosopher and poet of ancient China, ever lectured a room full of people with diabetes, many of his teachings are applicable to diabetes management.

Eight of Lao Tzu’s pithy remarks could actually be turned into an inspirational poster titled “Eight Precepts For Good Glucose Control.”

Lao Tzu’s Eight Precepts For Good Glucose Control

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."

Do nothing to alleviate pre-diabetes or diabetes symptoms and you are headed for increased insulin resistance, progressive nerve damage, an astronomically high risk of cardiovascular disease, plus possible kidney, eye, and liver complications.

Do a few things now and then to alleviate symptoms and get to the same place as doing nothing—just at a later date (not much of an option).

Do what is required to alleviate symptoms and there are no guarantees other than being at peace with where you are heading.

"Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it."

Knowing how to monitor blood sugar is valuable, but useless unless put into practice. Knowing the best food to eat is only helpful when it’s on your plate.

"Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here."

Now, the present moment, makes everything new and possible. The first step to a healthier diet, regular exercise, or consistent monitoring - no matter what has gone before - can be taken now.

"Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small."

Though diabetes management is sometimes difficult, overwhelming, and frustrating, it is more doable now than when symptoms become worse. Whatever the current intensity of symptoms, they are more manageable today than they will be tomorrow.

"Great acts are made of small deeds."

Big goals require small steps. Taking small, consistent positive actions everyday can greatly reduce symptoms, improve overall well being, and bodes well for longevity.

"Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry... The soft and supple will prevail."

Engage in physical activities, especially those most enjoyed, to keep the body’s tissues and organs soft, supple, and strong. Pursue personal interests, take time to relax, treasure the company of family, and friends.

"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures."

Eat simple (unprocessed) whole foods knowing they give your body the best opportunity to heal. Be patient and disciplined knowing that consistently kept healthy habits will pay off. Be compassionate with yourself knowing that anger, impatience, and guilt are harmful to health.

"People in the handling of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed."

Continue doing the things that must be done. If important things were not done yesterday, do them today—and again tomorrow.

Photo credit: James Jordan

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