winter care

Easy and Effective Winter Care with Ayurvedic Solutions

I never thought I would ever be providing Chennaiites with winter care solutions! But this winter is turning out to be quite cold and dry. I am receiving many inquiries at my Ayurveda hospital in Chennai, seeking a solution for some of the common winter-related complications, from flu and infection to joint-related disorders. Hence, I thought I could pull out some of the most effective Ayurveda solutions that can help you stay healthy during tropical winters!

What are the common winter health complications?

Most of the health-related issues in winter are because of imbalances in vata, and sometimes kapha roga. Vata is associated with the words cold and dry; hence ensure that you balance vata roga by incorporating warm and moisturizing elements in your routine. Some of the common complications include the following.

Dryness of the skin

Lack of winter care completely strips out all moisture from the skin, leading to scaly and even broken skin. It often leads to intense itchiness, which is also confused with skin allergies. The dryness extends to the joint fluids also – this irritates most body joints, leading to numbness, severe pain, and even limited joint movement. Winter often sees an increase in such complaints. This dryness also attacks the sinuses, exacerbating the condition in those who are prone to sinus complaints.

Flu and other infections

The heavy atmosphere often leads to the irritants and contaminants hanging low in your immediate environment. As a result, flu and other contamination-related contagious conditions are on the rise. The mucus secretion also increases during this season, leading to related infections. Allergic conditions such as asthma are also on the rise during this season owing to the same reason – the allergens are present in the heavy air around the immediate environment.

Digestive complications

Interestingly, our digestive system is quite active during this climate, yet it increases our digestive complications. The reason is our increased hunger, which often prompts us to eat unhealthy or junk food that are tough to digest. This leads to digestive conditions that are entirely avoidable in the first place.

How can you ensure proper winter care with Ayurveda?

Many Ayurvedic solutions can provide you the much-needed relief in winter. The core focus of Ayurveda is to improve nourishment and build immunity – whether it is for your skin, body, or even hair. Rasayanas that rejuvenate your body and mind, building immunity and strengthening your digestive power, are a favorite. The other approaches include a smart combination of physical procedures, internal medications, food, and lifestyle changes.

Abhyangam

Abhyangam is one of the best ways to beat dryness of the skin. Avoid heating the oil excessively and stick to lukewarm coconut, sesame, or other oils that your Ayurveda doctor prescribes. Massages during the mornings are quite effective as they add a protective moisturizing coating on the skin, improve blood circulation, and even reduce stress by calming the nerves. This procedure is also effective in promoting joint movements and in detoxification. So not only do you enjoy a soft, glowing skin in winter, but you can also benefit from clean and fresh internal systems

Using lukewarm water

Although our tendency is to use hot water while taking a bath, avoid extremely hot water and stick to lukewarm water since too much heat removes the moisture and oily nature from your skin.

Preventing dry feet and legs

Dry feet and legs are a common problem in winter. Hence padabhyangam or a foot massage with volatile oils and ayurvedic formulations can not just remove dead cells from your feet but also soften and soothe your feet skin and muscles.

Dryness of the face

Face massage with sesame oil, castor oil, or Ayurveda oils such as nalpamaradi oil can help remove dryness; however, consult with your Ayurveda doctor if you have an oily skin and to determine how long you would need to leave in the oil on your face. Else it might worsen the condition, leading to pimples and pigmentation.

Preventing dryness in the scalp

Often confused for infections, dandruff is more the result of a dry scalp. You can prevent this by a long session of head massage that nourishes your scalp, improves blood circulation, and drives away the dryness. Popular oils include brahmi oil and coconut oil. But oils have a cooling effect on your scalp; hence avoid excessive massages.

A sensible diet

Ensure that your diet calms the vata and enhances your body’s immunity. Prioritize adding warm food and cooked or steamed vegetables to your diet. Use dairy products with care since although they have properties that benefit vata, they can also excessively cool your body, increasing mucus generation. Although you tend to feel hungry in this climate, avoid stuffing your body with too much food or with junk food.

Improve your body’s immunity

Follow a healthy lifestyle of normal sleep-wake cycle, stress-free lifestyle, healthy food, and smart exercise routines that boost your immune system. Supplement your body with Rasayanas as per your Ayurveda doctor’s recommendation.

 

A cool wintery Chennai is indeed a rarity. But before you can go all out and enjoy the pleasantly cool climate, ensure that your body is strongly protected against the troubles that this cold climate can bring in. Contact me for any further questions you may have about managing winter-related health troubles and proper winter care with Ayurveda. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Udhwarthanam

Udhwarthanam – Ayurveda’s Magical Powder-Based Massage for Weight Loss and Healthy Skin

Ayurveda has incredible solutions not just for illnesses and disorders but also for helping you lead a healthy and beautiful life! Udhwarthanam or Udwarthanam is one such procedure that helps your skin stay healthy and glowing, with your body getting rid of most of its excessive fat. This procedure is slowly gaining relevance, given the increasing number of calls my Ayurveda hospital in Chennai is receiving inquiring about Udhwarthanam and its benefits, especially in terms of weight loss. So here is a quick overview about this procedure, its advantages, and the logic behind how it works.

Udhwarthanam is quite a powerful technique that combines the inherent potential of the herbs used in the process and the massage techniques used by skilled therapists. It is also unique because this procedure uses powder rather than oil for the massage.

What are the benefits of Udhwarthanam?

Weight loss is quite a popular benefit that many people seeking to undergo this procedure are aware of. But this procedure also has other important benefits, including achieving a healthy balance between the vata, pitta, and kapha rogas. So let’s first start with the obvious advantage and then move on to its other effects.

  1. Obesity treatment – Ayurveda doctors often recommend Udhwarthanam for treatment of obesity as part of the treatment protocol
  2. This process also helps in curing skin problems and improves the quality of the skin because of the vigorous exfoliation. It is known to help reduce cellulite, remove blemishes, and even reduce skin wrinkles by increasing moisture retention on the skin
  3. The procedure is beneficial in case of joint and muscle complaints too since the massage strokes stimulate blood circulation to the muscles and strengthen them
  4. Improved circulation leads to detoxification, which benefits instances of clogged sweat glands
  5. This procedure is also said to be beneficial for certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, paralysis and high cholesterol levels

How does Udhwarthanam derive its benefits?

The massage technique involves applying powerful strokes in a direction opposite to the direction of growth of skin hair. This means that the therapist will be applying strokes predominantly upward. These strong strokes will generate heat and will ensure that the medication is absorbed through the skin. However, the primary effect occurs because of the pressure the therapist applies during the procedure. This pressure helps in breaking down all the fat that is commonly stored right under the skin. In addition the heat helps in melting the fat away. This fat is called the subcutaneous fat and is one of the main factors contributing to obesity. The additional effect of this massage is the improved blood circulation, which improves the texture and quality of the skin and efficient detoxification.

The process

The procedure begins with the Ayurveda physician examining your body to determine any specific condition requiring attention. The physician can then plan the right combination of procedures in addition to Udhwarthanam, define the number of sittings, determine the exact Ayurveda medication to be used, and choose the right process to be followed. Without this important step, you will most probably be going in blindly for a procedure that might not be entirely beneficial to you.

The next step involves preparing the herbal medications. Dry herbal powders are also called churnams. There are two ways in which you can prepare the medication. The first involves mixing the selected herbal medicated powder with water, milk, or even some oils to form a paste. The second approach involves drying the selected medicated powder completely using heat, commonly using a mud pot. This dried powder is then used as the base for the massage.

The third critical step involves applying the paste or the powder from neck to toe. This is important since the therapist has to ensure complete coverage. Once the therapist applies the prepared medication, the massage begins. This massaging technique is unique, since its strokes are different and quite powerful, involving many critical postures that apply the right pressure at the right body location to breakdown all the fat.

The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes. In case of a paste form of medication, the therapist again applies powder on the body the moment the paste dries of. After the intense massage, you will rest completely for about 30 minutes so your body can entirely benefit from the procedure. The process ends with a steam and finally, a bath.

Although Udhwarthanam sounds like a pretty straightforward procedure that is beneficial to all, you will need to be careful about consulting an expert Ayurveda doctor to be sure that your body is ready to bear the intense pressure and heat that this procedure generates. Some conditions contraindicate the use of this procedure, including pregnancy, conditions such as eczema that can be exacerbated by this process, or if you have undergone other intense Ayurveda procedures like panchakarma recently.

Contact me for any questions you have about udhwarthanam. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

 

Knee Joint Pain

Knee Joint Pain –Ayurveda-Based Causes and Solutions for This Debilitating Condition

Painful knees are one of the toughest battles that most adults face as they age. The knee joints are most often the first set of joints to lose the battle of strength, resulting in innumerable painful symptoms. W Ayurveda categorizes knee joint pain as a Vata disorder, with kapha influences. Interestingly, Ayurveda also connects ama or toxins as a result of digestive complications to knee joint pain. Let’s find out a little more about how you can manage knee pain with food, exercise, and massages. Since this condition is a common bother for many of my patients at my Ayurveda clinic in Chennai, I feel that this little detail will help many of us face knee pain with more confidence.

What causes Knee Joint Pain?

A million reasons can contribute to knee pin – it could range from a simple sprain that just needs some simple rest and Ayurveda-based pain remedy to complications the bone tissue due to lack of nutrition. The latter part of the spectrum of causes raises many concerns. The health of your knee joints depends a lot of the health of your bone tissues. Hence, conditions such as degeneration, in-depth infection, osteoarthritis, and other similar conditions can lead to severe knee pain. Inherent nerve conditions can also lead to knee pain. However, the most interesting connection is between toxins in the digestive system that enter the bone tissues and knee pain. These toxins or ama causes inflammation and severe knee pain. The response of your knee joints to these triggers varies depending on your body’s strength.

Symptoms accompanying knee pain

Many symptoms accompany knee pain, which helps Ayurveda doctors make a confirmed diagnosis. Some of the extremely common symptoms accompanying severe joint pain include stiffness, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, limited ability to move or carry weight, and a distinct coloration.

Managing knee pain

While treating the core cause is essential for getting rid of knee pain, you must be equally watchful about managing knee pain during your recovery period. The approach includes multiple focal points.

  1. Helping the joints in detoxification and rerouting the ama back to the digestive tract and subsequent elimination
  2. Efficient nutrition to the bone tissues
  3. Restoring healthy circulation to the knees
  4. Complete cleansing
  5. Gentle lubrication of the joints to relax surrounding muscles

Knee joint–friendly food

The following food item is found to be incredible for the knees

Ginger is a natural healer, given its anti-inflammatory nature. Adding ginger as a flavoring agent or as ginger tea can work wonders.

The very trustworthy turmeric is known for its antiseptic effect and is equally effective in getting rid of severe inflammation that accompanies knee joint pain

The sap from the bark of the Banyan tree has tremendous pain relief effect – hence using this ingredient often helps in masking the severe pain.

Ashwagandha helps in improving the strength and immunity of the body and in delivering anti-inflammatory effects.

Triphala heals by eliminating toxins such as uric acid from the joints and hence curing inflammation of knee joints.

Massage

Massages that focus on the knee joints relax the region, ease the pain, remove the stiffness and improves blood circulation. This helps with easily moving the affected region. Similarly, alternate heat and cold compress helps in relieving the pain and improving circulation

Yoga and exercise

A carefully planned exercise regimen is critical for recovery from knee joint pain. But avoid self-training and take the support of an Ayurveda doctor who can help you choose the right regimen of exercises

While the actual inherent cause of knee pain definitely requires attention and cure, you can definitely use a healthy combination of the above approaches under the watchful eye of your Ayurveda physician to gain relief from pain.

Contact me for any questions you have about knee joint pain and its inherent causes and cure. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Padabhyangam

Padabhyangam – A Special Ayurveda Procedure Focusing on the Feet

Ancient Indian healing methods refer to the feet as the windows to our body and mind. Our feet have the answers to most of the conditions affecting our mental and physical wellbeing. Since many nerve endings are found on the feet, massages that focus on these smart parts of the body or padabhyangam are indeed extremely popular. Padabhyangam not only helps overcome tired feet and other diseases associated with the feet but also strengthens nerves, reduces stress, and delivers many other benefits. This holistic approach to delivering vitality to the body starts and ends right at your feet. So let’s find out a little more about padabhyangam.

Why is padabhyangam so popular?

Padabhyangam translates to foot massage. This relaxing procedure when performed by expert therapists under the recommendation and overview of an Ayurveda doctor can have miraculous benefits not only for you but also for your entire body. This procedure has multiple benefits and is also an essential part of sarva-abhyangam or whole body massage. Let’s start from the obvious benefits it has on the feet.

Benefits to the feet

Padabhyangam helps in curing cracked, dry, stiff, sore, or tired feet; roughness in the feet, and a whole range of foot diseases. It strengthens the feet and makes it tender.

Retrieving energy balance

Five critical marmas are present in the feet; hence padabhyangam can remove all the negative energy from these marmas, allowing positive energy to flow through the body

Better eyesight

Feet contain critical nerve endings, especially those that contribute to clear eyesight. Hence a warm massage helps improve eye sight

Improve circulation

This procedure also improves blood circulation; hence this procedure is beneficial in case of circulatory disorders too.

Other conditions

Padabhyangam helps in overcoming the foot-related symptoms in case of conditions such as diabetes and arthritis; for example diabetic neuropathy, epilepsy, high BP, etc. Interestingly, this procedure improves digestion too and is critical in rebalancing the three rogas (vata, pitta, and kapha)

Minimizing stress and anxiety

Padabhyangam calms your mind as much as your body and helps in reducing stress and helping in case of insomnia and related sleep disorders, as well as depression, headache, and chronic fatigue. The procedure also improves immunity

The actual procedure

The specific procedure has many variances; however, it commonly has three stages.

Purvakarma

During this preparatory stage, the Ayurveda doctor does a thorough examination of your condition and recommends not just padabhyangam but also the specific oil-based formulation that the therapist has to use. The therapist prepares the oil formulation based on the type of roga and the desired outcome. Base oils or tailams, milk, or ghee are used as the carriers of these herbal medications. Sesame oil, coconut oil, and even sunflower oil are used commonly. Some of these carrier oils also have their own benefits. Hence determining the accurate type and dosage of medication and oil are critical for an effective padabhyangam procedure. This formulation is warmed.

Pradhanakarma

This is the main procedure, where the therapist applies the formulation in oil across the patient’s feet, soles, heel, and ankle, all the way up to the knees. Therapists use different massage approaches, with about 20 minutes taken for each foot. One of the approaches involves using the hand to stroke, massage, and even rub the feet to improve circulation and stimulate free energy flow across the feet. In another related procedure, the purvakarma of preparing the oil-based formulation happens in a kasa bowl, which is made of bronze.  The therapists also warm the oils inside this bowl and then use this warm oil for massage.  Foot massage also involves removal of toxins by focusing carefully on specific energy points.

Pashchatkarma

After completing the procedure, the therapist removes the excess oil using hot water or salt water dip.

 

This simple and popular procedure is extremely popular because of the immense benefits that you can derive. However, please do first consult with an Ayurveda doctor before proceeding with the process since each health condition requires a different oil-based formulation and technique.

Contact me for any questions you have about padabhyangam. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

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: 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.