Why Is Pizhichil the Most Recommended Ayurveda Treatment for Detoxification and Rejuvenation?

Pizhichil is indeed one of the most royal treatments within Ayurveda, thanks to its incredible recharging power. It’s one of the most popular treatments in my Ayurveda clinic. Although this treatment is known more for its relaxing and rejuvenating power, pizhichil also has many other benefits. A whole-body version of the shirodhara, pizhichil (which literally means squeezing) is called sarvanghdhara (pouring a thin stream of oil or other fluids across the entire oil). The oil used in this procedure is medicated and is poured all over the body in a synchronous format when the oil is lukewarm. Thus the combination of heat, massage, and medicated oils makes this a complete therapy.

Unlike other treatments, pizhichil often requires more than one therapists who would simultaneously massage different parts of the body. This is also not a single-session procedure. It takes anywhere between 7 and 28 days, depending on the body’s condition and the patient’s schedule.

What are the benefits of pizhichil?

Pizhichil is especially beneficial for overcoming Vata rogas. Since it involves massaging the entire body, pizhichil is a great rejuvenator for the nervous system, circulatory system, and muscles.

Detoxification

The procedure results in profuse sweating, which is a great way to eliminate toxins from the body. The result of this detoxification is a soft and glowing skin, a healthy circulatory system, and slowing the aging process.

Neurological and psychological benefits

This procedure helps in overcoming anxiety and depression. It is also helpful in reducing stress and related body stiffness and pain. Pizhichil has proven effects in managing neurological disorders too.

Managing medical conditions

Pizhichil helps control the blood pressure and contributes to treating rheumatic diseases and managing conditions such as arthritis, paralysis

Wellness

The symbiotic effects of massage, heat, and medicated oils result in a complete feeling of wellness, improving mental and physical well being. It also enables quick recovery after your body fights an illness or infection by removing the fatigue and improving the body’s immunity.

The process

Pizhichil is an elaborate process requiring about 3 to 4 therapists, repeat sessions extending from 7 to 28 days, and with almost an hour per session. The patient usually lies down on a specially prepared treatment table. The entire body is covered with a warm medicated oil that is squeezed diligently from an oil-soaked piece of clean cloth. In parallel, more than one therapist massages the oil-soaked body gently. The process uses many liters of oil and this process takes almost an hour. The therapists take care to prevent the patient’s head from sweating. This procedure is repeated for each session, with  the composition of the medicated oil changed depending on the patient’s body’s response to the procedure

Pizhichil – the complete rejuvenation package

Before you decide to go in for pizhichil definitely consult with an experienced Ayurveda doctor and ensure that your body is ready to undergo this multi-session procedure. A great option for rejuvenation and relaxation, pizhichil is indeed a “royal” indulgence for your body. The medicinal benefits of the oil that penetrates through every pore of your skin into your body will help in detoxification. The procedure also revives your tired mind and soul. This is a procedure that you can certainly treat your body to on a regular basis.

Contact me at The Madras Institute of Ayurveda for any questions you have about pizhichil and how this procedure can help your specific health condition or support your body in rejuvenation. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:Finding Lasting Relief for through Ayurveda

One of the most common conditions I get to see in the recent times in my Ayurveda is severe wrist pain. Many of these patients are those who often work on the computer for prolonged periods or perform activities such as massages that require a lot of wrist movement. Their common symptoms include a sense of numbness that sometimes disappears when they shake, rotate, or move their wrist region. A common instance of pain is after long stretch of work, for example, on the computer. Do all these symptoms sound familiar? Yes? Then you are suffering from a common lifestyle disorder called carpal tunnel syndrome. What’s this syndrome all about? What is the Ayurveda treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome? Let’s find out.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel is the passage connecting the wrist to the forearm. A critical nerve called the median nerve passes through this region. Extended periods of activities such as typing, playing the piano, or carrying heavy weight can compress this nerve, leading to inflammation, pain, and numbness of the muscles in the wrist region. These symptoms when grouped together form the carpal tunnel syndrome. Women experience this syndrome more than men do. This condition is definitely related to our routine practices and is easily preventable.

Overuse of and excessive stress on the wrist easily exacerbates the condition. People whose professions involve excessive use of the wrists should be careful, for example, IT professionals, masseuses, drivers, people who work extensively on computers, writing, tailoring, playing the piano or other musical instruments that predominantly involve the wrist, and sportspersons whose games involve using the wrists.

Certain pre-existing medical conditions also increase the propensity for carpal tunnel syndrome. A few example conditions include arthritis and other conditions that affect the muscles and bones, diabetes, wrist fracture, menopausal stage in women, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

 Progression of the condition

Common symptoms such as a hint of discomfort after prolonged use of the wrists slowly progresses to pain not only in the wrists but also in the forearms. The pain continues even during sleep and expands to numbness and a burning sensation. If left unattended, over the course of time, this can affect the nerves too. A general sense of weakness prevails around the wrist region and there is difficulty in coordinating the fingers for coherent movement. This results in the patient often dropping items.

 Ayurveda treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

The earlier the treatment starts, the better the results are. The main focus of treatment at the initial stage is to clear the inflammation and relax the muscles in the wrist region. This requires some exercises and physical procedures including oil massages.

A complete lifestyle change is definitely recommended, incorporating yoga and diet restrictions in the patient’s routine.

This complete approach, aided by intake of herbal medications, will definitely rehabilitate patients. These corrective actions will encourage them to correct the lifestyle pattern that is causing the condition.

Other treatments include swedana, lepam, pizhichil, kizhi, and nasya. A condition-specific physical therapy routine and strict adherence to diet will completely cure this condition. Most of the treatment procedures aim at reclaiming the blood circulation around the affected regions and rejenuvating the median nerve.

A scheduled lifestyle, minimal stress, smart habits that minimize the strain on the wrist, and immediate correction of even the mildest of symptoms are smart approaches to nip the pain right at the bud stage.

Contact me at The Madras Institute of Ayurveda for any questions you have about this condition and for a detailed consultation and treatment to help you overcome carpal tunnel syndrome. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

foot care

Never Be Caught on the Wrong Foot: Smart Foot Care with Ayurveda

Our feet are a reflection of our health. Ayurveda indicates the feet to have some of the most critical marmas of the body. Hence, it’s really important for us to remember our feet when we think about our wellness. However, foot care is something we often ignore since it is considered as a luxurious splurge of money and attention. But most of us are indeed wrong. Caring for your feet or Pada is essential since most of the critical nerves end at the feet region. This means that keeping your feet happy is essential for a healthy living.

Wear and tear on your feet

Most actions of daily living that involve moving from one location to the other involve your feet. They also bear the weight of your body as you walk, run, or even stand. The workload on your feet is greater when you have to walk across uneven surfaces, move around on rough surfaces excessively, perform a lot of domestic work, do heavy labor outside, expose your feet to harmful chemicals, or use tight footwear. All these loads cause a lot of stress and wear and tear on your feet, making them prone to dryness, injury, and infection. However, just a little care can help you manage your feet well and nourish them with confidence.

Foot care with Ayurveda

Spending just a few minutes per day to take care of your stressed out feet will bring in amazing benefits.

Keep them clean

Ensure that your feet are always clean. Change your socks every day since the sweat from the socks can cause infection. Use only cotton socks as the synthetic versions can cause a lot of sweat. Wash them clean at least twice a day with warm water. Check to be sure that you have washed off all the soap from your feet and that the feet are well dried, especially between the toes. Else this will lead to fungal and other infections. Cut your nails clean every alternate week and keep them clean to avoid ingrown nails or dirt between nails and nail bed. Keep the floor of your home clean and walk barefoot when you are at home.

Keep them comfortable

Remember to wear comfortable shoes or other footwear that enables air circulation. Tight heels or shoes are not just uncomfortable, but they also hurt your toes and feet, applying excessive pressure and causing wounds. So find the size of your feet and buy just the right size. While wearing heels ensure that you do not go in for an unhealthy arch since this affects the bone structure of your feet and also builds pressure on your spine. All the friction and excessive pressure from heels and tight shoes can cause corns and calluses.

Foot massage or pada abhyangam

You really do not need an Ayurveda specialist to get a foot massage done. You can do it yourself at home. Regular foot massage not just refreshes your feet but also improves blood circulation to your feet, rejuvenating and detoxifying the entire body. This massage also has quite a calming effect and it moisturizes the feet well, removing all dryness. Foot massage can also improve the muscle tone, reducing chances of sciatica and foot-related infection. Adding ghee, sesame oil, coconut oil, or Ayurveda medications and creams meant for the feet can bring in maximum benefits, especially when performed just before bedtime. Of course, take the guidance of your Ayurveda doctor about the type of oil or cream to use and the procedure you can follow, since this depends on the type of roga your body has – vata or pitta.

Soaking your feet in Ayurveda herbs and medicated baths

If your daily routine cannot accommodate soaking your feet into a relaxing medicated bath, you can even go for this once a week. Soaking your ankles and feet for about 15 to 20 minutes in a shallow tub of warm water, with different types of ingredients such as rose petals or water, sandalwood, jasmine, coconut milk, aloe vera, etc., is the perfect combination. You can then rinse and dry off your feet. At all costs avoid cold water since it can trigger varicose veins. This procedure can also help you prevent foot odor.

Cracked heels

Cracked heels are called padadari and are categorized as a minor problem. This is a common condition caused by heavy workload to the heels, especially when working, walking, or standing on uneven ground on barefoot. People with cracked heels often have dry feet with cracks, which on worsening causes red itchy skin, pain in the heels, bleeding, and dry flakes. This can lead to infections when the condition is severe and foot ulcers in case of patients with diabetes. The solution to cracked heels is to ensure that the heels are always well moisturized. This can be done with regular foot massages, steam treatment, oil-based lepas, sesame oil and Ayurvedic creams. Ghee is also a great moisturizer, with turmeric or neem added to provide antiseptic effects.

 

 

Caring for your feet is not a luxurious option you have. Rather it is an absolute necessity. Your feet are a reflection of how healthy your body is. An unkempt feet is an indication that your body is prone to health complications and exposed to unnecessary back problems. So focus on healthy feet, foot care, and footwear right away.

Contact me for any questions you have about using the right external medication, cream, or oils to care for your feet, or to find out more about foot massages. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Magical Rejuvenation Treatment

The Magical Rejuvenation Treatment in Ayurveda – Rasayana Chikitsa

As an Ayurveda doctor practicing in my Chennai clinic, I receive a lot of excited inquiries about the magical rejuvenation treatment. Some of the questions are unrealistic, almost expecting fairytale solutions from the treatment. Hence, through this article I have provided a quick introduction to rasayana chikitsa or rejuvenation treatment, which is all about restoring the body’s health, strength, and longevity, and refurbishing the cells and tissues for building immunity. This elaborate treatment involves a comprehensive set of treatments including diet, herbal medications, exercise, physical treatments, and lifestyle modifications that nourish the body and restore its balance. However, despite all its brilliant influences on the body, using the wrong approach can have harmful effects. Hence, “rasa” or the essence of life and “ayana” or the body’s channels that transfer the rasa across to all the cells can be beneficial only when performed under expert monitoring.

Specific benefits of rejuvenation treatment

This treatment beautifies the skin, revitalizing it, toning it, and bringing a glow. It builds resistance to diseases, delivering physical energy, mental clarity, and anti-aging properties. The treatment also calms the mind, improves memory power, and catalyzes longevity. The treatment is said to nurture wellness and help the body recover after illnesses or excessive fatigue and exhaustion. It works from the bones to the muscles and reverses the harmful effects of damage to the cells. This treatment is also recommended as a supplement to vata rogas and incase of anemia.

What does rejuvenation treatment involve?

This treatment protocol is defined by an expert Ayurveda doctor who assesses the patient’s condition and purpose of treatment before making specific recommendations about the types of procedures and the duration of treatment. The duration could be anything between 1 week and 1 month.

Before starting the procedure, the patients usually undergo detoxification treatment – the panchakarma treatment. Of course, your Ayurveda doctor will determine whether you require this pre-treatment procedure. The doctor also provides a session on the purpose and the overall approach of the treatment process since it often involves making lifestyle changes.

The usual approach to treatment involves making changes to lifestyle and diet, taking in herbal medications, and physical treatments.

Physical treatments

Head and face massages with specific herbal medicated oils, supported by swedana or steam therapy, helps improve circulation, build immunity, strengthen the bones and muscles, and improve the skin’s tone and complexion. Massages and shirodhara help with improving memory, delivering a calming effect. Other treatments include navara kizhi and pizhichil.

 

Intake of herbal medications

This is a critical aspect of rejuvenation since specific herbal formulations such as triphala, bibhitaki, shatavari, and ashwagandha focus on specific organ systems such as digestive, blood, or skin to deliver specific effects. Certain formulations also focus on reducing the body weight.

Food

A strict diet is a critical part of making the rejuvenation treatment a success. It’s not just what you eat but how much you eat equally matters. Hence your Ayruveda doctor will recommend specific diet based on your condition. This will include nourishing foods that build your body’s resistance. But the amount matters since excessive intake can have the opposite effect. Common diets include ghee, nuts, coconut oil, whole grains, milk, etc.

Physical exercise

Your therapist will teach you specific yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation that not just delivers physical but also enhances mental wellbeing.

Lifestyle change

Lifestyle changes commonly include posture, sleep-wake cycle training, daily routine management, standard routines, and choosing healthy alternatives in day-to-day life.

 

The core of the rejuvenation treatment involves a lifelong change in your lifestyle and restoring your body’s health. Hence this not only requires an expert Ayurveda doctor but also needs your complete cooperation. After all, only your determination can help you make a strong and lasting change.

muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy – Ayurveda-based management of this set of genetic disorders

Mamsavatakshaya is Ayurveda’s terminology of muscular dystrophy. This is a set of many genetic disorders or beeja roga that results in increasingly weakening muscles and damaging the muscular cells, affecting a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities with ease. It also equally affects the heart and endocrine system, leading to early death. As an Ayurveda doctor practicing in Chennai for many decades, I have been researching about this condition, given its progressively crippling nature and the fact that there’s no cure for this condition as yet. So let’s find out a little more about this inherited condition.

Mamsavatakshaya – wasting away of muscles

The primary characteristic of this set of genetic disorders is gradually increasing weakness of the voluntary muscles (e.g., muscles of the arms and legs and other controllable muscles of the body).

It is an inherited condition where muscle strength is progressively lost, along with other associated effects on the heart, other organs, and involuntary muscles. Interestingly some of these conditions are common in men, with women playing the role of carriers.

A particular type of muscular dystrophy affects children, especially boys, right from the age of 2 or 3 years and is quite severe. This condition often leads to early death.

Cause and symptoms of muscular dystrophy – as per Ayurveda

Ayurveda associates this group of conditions to two causes – vata imbalance and improper functioning of the muscle-related agni.

This results in the muscles losing their ability to prevent their uncontrollable wear and tear. This results in the muscles getting wasted away and they lose their ability to function normally. As a result the muscle cells start dying.

The symptoms and the pattern of deterioration vary from person to person. In some people, muscular functioning first affects the limbs, reducing the person’s capability to move their legs and hands independently. In others breathing easily might become a challenge. However, the common pattern of declining muscular function and worsening symptoms is common.

It also affects the other related systems, especially heart, nervous system, digestive system, and endocrine system. It also affects the skin and eyes. Even simple movements such as sitting down or standing up can become a painful activity, eventually leading to early death.

Treatment of muscular dystrophy

As of today, science and Ayurveda have not yet found any cure for this condition. However, Ayurveda uses an effective combination of treatment protocols to control the condition and ensure that patients are able to improve their quality of life. The logic used by Ayurveda treatment is to focus on three aspects:

  1. Provide complete nutrition to all the muscles across the body to restore their agni. This helps in maintaining a reasonably appreciable ability of movement and building muscle strength
  2. Protecting the muscles through intake of herbal formulations, delaying their wasting away.
  3. Physical treatments that improve blood flow across the body and a lifestyle that beats the effects of the condition.

Specific treatments include detoxification with panchakarma treatment, which remove all toxic amas from the body (from the digestive system to the skin), steam treatments that correct the vata imbalance and improve the body’s flexibility, abhyanaga or oil massage that relax the muscles and improve the nourishment that reach the muscle cells, and a wide range of other treatments including dhara, nasya, basti, pizhichil, and rasayana treatments. Oral herbal formulations support these physical Ayurveda treatment modalities. Formulations such as ashwagandha, amla, guggul, and other herbal medications promote muscular strength. A healthy mix of physical exercises – from yoga and pranayama to meditation – under the guidance of an expert also brings in a lot of improvement.

The most important point to note is that you must take the guidance of an expert Ayurveda doctor first. The doctor can help you with a clear diagnosis and treatment protocol before you blindly jump into hearsay solutions.

Connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ for a comprehensive treatment that integrates the best of Ayurvedic healing and modern diagnostics and knowledge to deliver complete cure and enhance well-being.  

cervical spondylosis

Ayurveda Treatment of Cervical Spondylosis – Make No Compromise on Your Quality of Life in the Presence of Cervical Spondylosis

One of the most common spine-related disorders that can affect your day-to-day life is cervical spondylosis. This is a condition I see quite commonly in my Ayurveda clinic at Chennai. Sadly most patients come to me only after the condition exacerbates and when they are in intense pain. One of the main reasons for this painful condition is a complete lack of awareness of this condition. What causes cervical spondylosis? Is there an easier solution? Can you gain back your regular lifestyle after being affected by this condition? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is cervical spondylosis?

Cervical spondylosis involved complete yet gradual degeneration of the neck vertebrae (cervical vertebrae) and the cushioning cartilage between the vertebral bones. There are many causes of cervical spondylosis, including aging, overexertion, wear and tear, and poor lifestyle. In Ayurveda this condition is called Greeva Sandhigatvata. This condition is commonly seen in people older than 40 years, but of late younger people are also getting afflicted with this condition.

Common causes of cervical spondylosis

Ayurveda categorizes this condition as a vata roga, which leads to tissue degeneration in the neck as a result of excessive drying of the cushioning agent around the neck bones. The bones of the neck portion of the back bone are packed closely one above the other with a cushiony cartilage layer in between. It’s the cartilage that makes sure that the bones do not brush against each other painfully. In addition, sensitive nerves from the brain pass through these neck bones. So when the cartilage loses its elasticity the bones irritate the nerves when they touch the nerves.

Of course, age-related wear and tear, as well as previous instances of injury to the neck, is a major cause of cervical spondylosis, but there are other causes. Poor food habits in terms of eating excessive gas-forming edible items, eating excessive food after an excessive gap, eating a lot of fried food, poor water intake, and consuming excessive dry and cold food is a primary contributor. Poor posture, excessive body strain, poor sleep schedules, and sedentary lifestyle are dangerous contributors to this condition.

Symptoms of cervical spondylosis

One of the main symptoms is radiating pain that is initially bearable but quickly escalates in severity. This pain often radiates to the shoulders and upper arms. This is accompanied by a tingling sensation and numbness in the arms and sensory loss. There are also significant instances of vertigo and headache. The patient experiences extreme difficulty while trying the move the neck. Since this condition is increasingly debilitating, every symptom continues to worsen till it affects the patient’s ability to carry on the routine tasks of day-to-day life.

Treatment of cervical spondylosis

The treatment of this condition first requires a detailed assessment by an experienced Ayurveda doctor. The doctor will confirm that your condition is indeed cervical spondylosis and will determine the severity of your condition. The treatment protocol and recommendations depend on the stage of your condition. One of the main focus of treatment is to pacify Vata roga by detoxifying the body’s ama and correcting the digestive tract. Another critical treatment is to restore the nourishment of the cartilage cushion and pain relief. Rejuvenation treatments also help the body to recuperate faster.

Common treatment approaches

Snehana and swedana: Steam therapy or swedana is extremely effective in managing the pain, headache, stiffness, and other symptoms of the condition. Snehana or oleation helps overcome the dryness from vata roga and in improving joint flexibility.

Basti on the neck involves placing a well-like poultice at the back of the neck and pouring warm medicated oil into it. The heat from the oil will expand the space between the neck bones, which will prevent them from causing pain, while the medicated oil helps to nourish and rejuvenate the cushion.

Navarakizhi also helps with nourishing the cushioning agent while the heat from the kizhi is a great healer of pain. Pizhichil or complete oil massage with excessive medicated oil also plays a critical role in relieving inflammation and pain and in making the neck joints more flexible. However, all these procedures require multiple sittings.

Panchakarma treatment is critical for detoxification and helps revive the vata balance. However, this treatment can be performed only when your Ayurveda doctor is confident that your body is strong enough to take up this treatment.

Internal herbal formulations including ksheerabala are helpful in rejuvenating the body. But correcting your diet and lifestyle is critical to correct your condition. Avoid exposure to anything cold – cold bath, cold weather, cold food, etc. Maintain correct postures while at work or even while relaxing. Avoid stress and excessive strain on your neck and stay away from an excessively sedentary lifestyle. Do not consume food that exacerbates the condition, such as gas-forming food, fried stuff, sour curd, cold stuff, etc.

stroke treatment

Stroke Treatment and Management of Its Effects with Ayurveda

Stroke is literally a sudden jolt to your body, where your brain’s blood flow is suddenly blocked, leading to the death of brain cells. This leads to incredibly serious complications such as paralysis or pakshaghata and other serious conditions, even causing death when severe. This sudden effect on blood flow can be due to severe internal bleeding within the brain or an arterial clot in the blood vessels circulating blood to the brain. Hence, the extremely active brain cells do not receive the required oxygen and start dying. The severe implications of this condition require elaborate stroke treatment and therapeutic protocols to rejuvenate the body and mind.

As an Ayurveda doctor practicing in my Chennai clinic for many decades now, I have commonly seen many incidents of stroke, which often comes to our attention after quite a delay. This approach often delays the scope for successful stroke treatment and rejuvenation and the patient struggles with the aftermath of this rather complicated condition.

Let me take you through the causes, symptoms, and Ayurveda treatment options of stroke so you understand the seriousness of this sudden and serious condition.

Common symptoms after a stroke attack

The body’s response to a stroke attack is severe and dramatic. It leads to impaired consciousness and confusion in patients. They could fall or glide down as they lose consciousness. Alternatively, they could completely lose control of specific portions of the body after feeling a sense of weakness. Another term for this symptom is paralysis, which can affect movements across the entire body, or one or both the arms or legs. This is also accompanied by difficulty in normal vision, distinct memory loss, and headache in many instances. They are not able to talk clearly, with slurred speech being a definite indication of a stroke. The characteristic drooping of the mouth on a specific side is another characteristic symptom.

Causes of Stroke

Ayurveda categorizes stroke as a vata roga, which affects both the movement and the critical senses of the body. Conditions that lead to stroke are uncontrolled blood pressure, people with cardiac conditions, obesity, high cholesterol, and those struggling to manage their diabetes. The aftermath of a stroke is especially severe in the presence of diabetes. If your family has a history of stroke attacks, then you need to be watchful. Additionally, poor lifestyle, including smoking and lack of exercise, is a major risk factor.

Ayurveda stroke treatment

Every case of stroke and resulting conditions are different. Hence the Ayurveda doctor assesses not only the stage of the patient’s condition but also all the symptoms and the body’s ability to take up strong treatment protocols before prescribing the right combination of treatments.

One line of treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms. While the other combination works on restoring the brain’s impaired functionalities and improving the blood circulation to the brain. The therapy then focuses on detoxification and rejuvenating the body, thus preventing further damage.  This approach requires a strong combination of treatments, which your expert Ayurveda doctor will determine based on the patient’s condition.

A common combination of panchakarma treatment, abhyanga, kaya seva, shirodhara, herbal medications, kashayams, arishtams, herbal oils, vasti, and nasya is used.

Abhyangam and Shirodhara use herbal medicated oils. Ghee is also a popular option. Expert doctors recommend a continuous series of sittings.

The entire procedure of treatment takes time, focus, and a lot of effort. The guidance of an expert Ayurveda doctor will go a long way in delivering the desired results.

hip pain

Conquering Hip Pain with Ayurveda Treatment and Lifestyle Changes

Pain in the pelvic region or the joints of the hip is termed hip pain. It’s a common sight in most ads when men and women hold their hips in pain. Hip pain can just be an indicator that you need some rest. However, it could also be signaling to you that something else is wrong. A common pattern I’ve observed at my Ayurveda clinic in Chennai is that people often choose to wait until it is way too late before they seek support. So rather than ignore the pain and wait for it to worsen, you need to watch carefully and then seek the support of an experienced Ayurveda expert before moving on to treatments blindly.

Why don’t we look at hip pain, its possible causes, and treatment options in more detail?

Causes of hip pain

Hip pain can often be the result of excessive workload – probably a function in the family, shifting homes, renovation, or an adventurous outing – because of which you had to work excessively. In such cases, resting your tired body can do the magic.

An injury from the past can sometimes come to haunt you in the form of hip pain, especially if you are not careful to take proper care. It could be a recent traumatic injury, dislocation, or fracture and you have not really allowed your body to heal properly. It could also be an old injury because of which you had to make lifestyle changes and you did not listen to good advice.

Hip pain is also common in sedentary workers. Most of us are guilty of this because our work often forces us to be seated in the same position for long periods. What’s worse than being sedentary? Well, sitting or standing in the wrong posture, of course! Wrong postures can cause a lot of damage, and hip pain is a serious indicator of such damages.

Joint- or pelvis-related Infections and auto-immune disorders can also cause hip pain among other symptoms. This could also be related to tendonitis or conditions such as osteoarthritis, hernia, or even certain types of cancer.

In Ayurveda, hip pain is a strong indicator of vata roga and the treatments are all planned around mitigating the vata roga effectively. So if your hip pain persists despite taking a break and if it worsens then you really need to take the help of your Ayurveda doctor.

Symptoms

Of course there is pain, but you need to worry in case of any of the following:

  • Prolonged excruciating pain that worsens with time
  • Chronic dull and radiating pain that does not disappear despite care
  • Pain that makes movement and carrying out regular activities painful
  • Pain that persists overnight, leading to regular morning stiffness
  • Additional swelling around the hips
  • Any deformities noticed around the joints

Treatment of hip pain

Never blindly jump into treatment or do a self-diagnosis and proceed with self-treatment approaches. So the first step to treating hip pain is to diagnose the cause. Then determine whether hip pain is a symptom of any other underlying condition or is in itself the condition. Then finding the exact location of the pain is critical. The treatment process can be determined only after this step. Since diagnosis is a critical first step in the treatment process, always trust an expert Ayurveda doctor for correction. Some of the critical treatment options I have listed here is about managing the pain. The main treatment in case of an underlying condition would be focused on the condition and hip pain will then be taken up as a symptomatic treatment procedure to manage the pain.

Rest

Ayurveda recommends rest – not bed rest – but to care for the hip region by avoiding strenuous activities that exacerbate the pain

Abhyangam

Choose this massage option with care and choose only experienced therapists since any wrong approach can worsen the condition. But when you do it accurately, abhyangam helps reduce the vata roga effectively.

Kati Vasti

Sittings of about an hour with warm herbal oil or formulation poured into dough-based poultices placed on the region of pain provides immense relief and reduces vata roga.

Yoga

Yoga postures must be selected with care and by an expert because a wrong asana or a wrong posture can harm your body severely.

Food

Focus on food items that strengthen your skeletal structure – choose lentils, milk, and curd, for example. Completely avoid junk food and consume food that is rich in   and vitamins.

Lifestyle

Avoid activities that place pressure on your region of pain – strenuous exercise or domestic work. Avoid excessively sedentary lifestyles and choose ergonomic furniture for your home.

Hip pain can be both a condition in itself or a strong indicator that something else is wrong. Never ignore persistent hip pain that worsens with time. Immediately consult an expert Ayurveda specialist who can help you find the cause and treat your pain.

brahmi

Brahmi – the brain tonic from the world of Ayurveda

Brahmi has held the fascination of the Ayurveda world since time immemorial. Rightfully named after Lord Brahma, the creator, Brahmi is all about channelizing your body’s energy through its innumerable therapeutic benefits. The intense interest around Brahmi often leads to many questions from my patients at my Ayurveda clinic at Chennai, who want to know whether consuming this wonder herb will really enhance their brain capacity and memory power. So here’s a quick introduction to the powerhouse of Ayurveda, the Brahmi.

Why is Brahmi so important?

Brahmi refers to energy – it’s all about an energetic mind, body, and soul. Brahmi’s leaves resemble the cerebellum (a critical portion of the brain); hence, even nature has tagged Brahmi for greatness.  Rich in antioxidants, this wonder herb eliminate free radicals from the body, supporting in rejuvenation and detoxification.

Brahmi grows easily in humid conditions and has been in use for many centuries. So it is easily one of the most studied natural herbs not just in Ayurveda but also in Allopathy. Brahmi improves pitta and reduces kapha in case of imbalances. This is responsible for most of its extensive applications.

Some of the important uses of Brahmi

Stress busters

One of the most significant benefits of this herb is in reducing stress and its resulting body effects. Studies have found that it probably limits the release of stress hormones in the body, thus limiting the effects of stress on the body. This effect also reduces the brain’s reflex reaction to stress.  They also soothen the nervous system and reduce the stress in the body.

Improving memory, focus, and energy

This effect too is related to the stimulation of the nervous system, which drastically improves alertness at the same time calming the body and mind. This contrasting effect ensures that your mind is stress free and free from tiredness. It helps you sleep and rest well, decreasing your muscle tension and making your alert and attentive.  It also has an appreciable effect on your long- and short-term memory power. As a result you feel energetic and clear, always ready to take on mental and physical challenges.

This multiple effect of Brahmi makes it precious in controlling the symptoms of deteriorating brain function in case of Alzheimer’s disease.  Studies have indicated that this wonder herb also stimulates growth of brain tissues and that all these encouraging effects are because they act on the hippocampus, which is the seat for memory and intelligence.

Immunity boosters

Brahmi boosts your immunity, especially owing to its antioxidant property. This makes it precious in the Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritic pain and other types of inflammatory conditions.

Other applications of Brahmi

Brahmi is effective in joint pain treatment since it helps in detoxification and removing ama from the syanovial fluid, resulting in movement. It is also known to help in the management of gastric ulcers and digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Interestingly, this super herb also controls blood sugar in case of diabetes.

Support in panchakarma treatment

One of the main challenges during panchakarma treatment is that it alters the person’s sleep patterns, reducing the number of hours you sleep. In such cases, Brahmi helps in calming the mind and inducing sleep. Hence, this is a support treatment during panchakarma.

Brahmi – the bright intellectual  of Ayurveda

Brahmi in the form of oil, paste, powders, or formulations for internal use have innumerable benefits. However, rather than getting carried away by its brilliant advantages, always consult with an expert Ayurveda doctor to be sure that your body requires this wonder herb and that there will not be any undesired consequences before you enjoy the benefits.

Triphala – the Superpower Ayurvedic Rasayana for Rejuvenation

Triphala is quite a common wonder drug in Ayurveda. Most people familiar with Ayurvedic formulations must have heard about Triphala in association with most health conditions. As an Ayurveda doctor in my Chennai clinic, I am surprised at how often patients inquire about Triphala, asking whether they can take this formulation for detoxification and rejuvenation.

So here is a quick introduction to one of the super tonics of Ayurveda – Triphala.

What is Triphala?

As the name suggests, Triphala is a combination of three fruits (“tri” + “phala”) – amalaki (or the Indian gooseberry), haritaki (commonly called harra or kadukkai), and bibhitaki (commonly called tannikay). Interestingly, in earlier days, people used to assess whether the Ayurveda doctor was indeed the best based on how well he used Triphala to manage different health conditions. There is a strong reason why people chose Triphala as the ultimate test of an Ayurveda doctor’s capability.  The perfect combination of the three fruits creates a magical formulation that’s more powerful that most other herbal rasayana. Its power to detoxify the body, enhance immunity, and rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul is unparalleled. It powers the positive energy of the body, purifying the blood, muscles, and even the bones. One of the best cures for Vata rogas, Triphala helps the body regain its balance of the three rogas.

Each component of Triphala

The fruit of amalaki, or the Indian gooseberry, is rich in antioxidants, which makes it a powerful rasayana, rejuvenating the entire body and delaying signs of aging. Triphala uses the dried form of the haritaki fruit, and many of its acidic constituents act as laxatives, are great for nourishing the skin and hair, and boost immunity. The fruit of bibhitaki is rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, and copper. It also has vitamins, proteins, and cardiac glycosides. Bibhitaki is a powerful rejuvenator in case of respiratory complications. This fruit too has laxative properties.

Hence, the combined effect of all the three components in Triphala makes this formulation a superpower in Ayurveda.

Applications of Triphala

Triphala has a wide range of amazing benefits on the human body – from the digestive system to the respiratory system. Its laxative effect makes it sought after for constipation issues. It also helps in regaining the acid-base balance of the digestive tract in case of hyperacidity. It also promotes the growth of only the useful gut flora, destroying the harmful microbes. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help in removing all the ama from the digestive tract and enhancing the digestive fires. In addition, Triphala has powerful immunity-enhancing properties. It also has cancer-preventive characteristics. Experts recommend Triphala for nourishing the skin and eyes, and its overall rejuvenating effect makes it the formulation of choice for complete detoxification, body nourishment, and anti-aging.

Triphala acts in the long term since the body absorbs it all the way up to the core of the body and it influences every aspect of the body. Hence Ayurveda doctors often prescribe it for long durations of time. A common form of dosage is a powder (churnam) or pill and doctors recommend warm water as a common vehicle.

Triphala – the wonder therapy tool from Ayurveda

Although most of us understand the benefits of Triphala quite well, I recommend that you first take the guidance of an experienced Ayurveda specialist before you attempt self-medication. If you consume triphala excessively without monitoring, you are risking diarrhea and dehydration. Consume Triphala with caution in case of pregnancy and conditions such as diabetes. Hence always go in for a thorough evaluation with an experienced doctor before you proceed.

 

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terminalia_bellerica_05.JPG and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllanthus_emblica#/media/File:Phyllanthus_officinalis.jpg