We begin our search for medicine after we feel ill, but we can prevent diseases and stay healthy. Ayurveda is one such well-known centuries old form of medicine that stresses on the prevention of diseases and improving immunity. Ayurveda can help us choose the right delicate balance of the body and the mind. Moreover, Ayurveda is the way forward to several disorders of the body, from head to toe.
Dr Thushara T Dhar, Ayurvedic physician reveals, according to Ayurveda, human body is like a hollow canal, where unwanted toxins accumulate throughout, either because of unhealthy lifestyle or ageing.
Today, contagious diseases, bacterial or viral, are rising at an alarming rate and there is a sudden rise around monsoon. Dr Rhiju K, Additional Medical Superintendent (Ayurveda), Santhigiri Ayurveda Hospital, Kochi opines, “Panchakarma is the unique form of treatment that can help you get rid of the unwanted toxins accumulated in your body which enhances your immunity and treat existing ailments. When panchakarma is done during the monsoon, the immunity level will stay on for an entire year and hence is more effective and gives long-term positive results. However, panchakarma along with purvakarma can also be done throughout the year. You can choose from different packages, ranging from single day rejuvenation to 28-day extensive rejuvenation as per your requirement and health condition.
Ayurveda identifies three types of doshas in the body – vata, kapha and pitta. When imbalance occurs, it triggers the system and results in diseases. Based on your body constitution, the physicians decide on the course of the treatments best suited for you. Physicians suggest seven to 28 days of treatment for existing ailments, a mix-up of purvakarma, panchakarma, and vegetarian diet.
The purvakarma or the pre-purification therapies help in preparing the body to flush out the toxins. Physicians suggest one of the pre-purification therapies, depending upon the body constitution and ailment. Abhyanga, a purification therapy, increases body’ blood circulation by an oil massage, swedana involves steaming and removes impurities from the body. Kizhi makes use of medicated leaves and medicines, beneficial for soothing the nerve and joint pains. Thus, heat is applied to the body, and eventually, toxins are expelled from the body. Navarakizhi makes use of special rice boiled with milk and other medicines and nourishes the skin, strengthen muscles, nerves and joints. Pizhichil is the pouring of medicated oil in a rhythmic manner throughout the body. Warm oil is applied and helps in treating neurological disorders or join therapy. Dhara is the pouring of medicated oil, buttermilk and herbs over the body to reduce swelling, treat skin, rheumatic and neurological disorders.
Once done with purvakarma therapies, one can move on to panchkarma, the main course of treatment and a five-fold therapy, for the detoxification and purification of the body.
Vamana: Therapeutic vomiting or emesis is used to eliminate excess kapha from the body. It is effective in treating diabetes, chronic bronchitis and indigestion.
Virechna: Purgation to eliminate pitta and cleansing of the small intestine. It treats disorders like piles, jaundice, skin ailments, and gynecological disorders.
Nasya: Medication through nostrils are good for neck region and brain like headaches, migraines, and sinusitis.
Vasthi: Snehavasthi and kashayavasthi eliminate excessive vata dosha through enema and are good for lumbar spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
Rakthamoksha: It is a blood purification therapy in which blood is let out of the body using instruments and medicated leeches are used to suck out the impure blood. It is beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, varicose veins; and helps heal wounds associated with diabetes. In Ayurveda, the treatment varies according to the region of the body. For best results, a physician’s instructions including continuing medications, diet and rest are to be followed.
Text by Resmi Jaimon