Ayurvedic treatment of chronic ailments
Most of us have experienced situations like this: Daily deadline pressure, constant availability by email, mobile-phone and other electronic media, dozens of phone calls, meetings, preparations for the next business-trip, and at home you would like to devote yourself whole-heartedly to your family and their needs. This is not a description of a day in the life of a top manager, but all too often a completely normal every day life. No wonder more and more people complain of stress symptoms - the so-called burnout.
The most common characteristics of burnout are physical and emotional exhaustion, lasting loss of performance and lack of energy, poor concentration, failure to observe individual needs, mood swings, and the inability to recover substantially.
At first a state of exhaustion is a completely normal reaction of our body and mind. All too often, however, the early warning signals are ignored, and the over-exploitation of the body and mind are continued. Chronically, this weakens the immune- and vascular system and it is not uncommon for a total collapse to be the result. The batteries can not recharge, despite relaxing activities, the person affected feels constantly weak, listless, irritable and over-loaded.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, the term "burnout" stands for a condition in which the body-fire “Agni” is extinguished. Consequently, the resulting shortages on the energetic and substantial level lead to a severe lack of physical and mental well-being. Although the word "stress" was unknown in the Ayurvedic terminology 5,000 years ago, the symptoms certainly were not:
- Dryness and roughness of the tissues
- Breathing difficulties
- Pressure or pain in the chest
- Sensitivity to noise
- Lack of interest
Ayurveda offers highly effective treatment options to counteract these symptoms with its holistic approach. "Burnout" does not consist of a single symptom against which one single therapy is prescribed. Rather, Ayurveda considers the whole person, his or her thinking, feelings, and the individual physical condition.
Ayurveda offers a variety of ways out of this often seemingly hopeless situation: Special massages and Ayurvedic treatments help to relax and reduce stress. Individual dietary recommendations by the Ayurvedic doctors will rebuild the physical strength. Specific herbal remedies are tailored to each visitor according to his or her constitution. A variety of relaxation methods complete the optimal program for body, mind and soul and offer sustainable solutions to those suffering from burnout.
Yoga and meditation will contribute to the spiritual relaxation. Regular training of the mind through meditation and yoga is one of the crucial factors to deal with stress and burden in the long term in order to cope better and to find new vitality and joy.
Ayurveda requires not only a passive surrender to the soothing oil treatments from those suffering from burnout, but also some active participation in awareness-raising. Quite often, the reason why they are so stressed and exhausted is because they allow others to control their lives in the permanent attempt to meet outside expectations and by being perfectionists. Through the deep relaxation they experience during the Azurvedic cure, the mind is set free to explore different valuation models and new ideas. Thus, Ayurveda and the “time out” offer a unique chance to come to terms with oneself and to giving life a new direction.
Even the ancient Ayurvedic writings already treated migraine extensively. According to old Ayurvedic wisdom, migraine is caused by too much heavy and dry food. Also excessive physical activity can effect this strong pain. Today we know that Migraine can be caused by insuffi cient sleep, indigestion, muscular tension, and many other reasons. Emotional stress is one of the most common origins of migraine-headaches.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, migraine is caused by an imbalance of the Tridoshas – the constitution of body and spirit. In Ayurvedic terminology, this condition is called "Ardhavabhedak". The treatment of migraine in Ayurveda is fundamentally different from that applied in other healing methods.
Treatments often include fermentation on the forehead, "Nasya", nasal drops and -powders, gentle head massages, Shirodhara Takradhara (a treatment with buttermilk) Dhurma pana (medicated smoke which is inhaled through the nose), Chakra-massages, special foot-baths as well as relaxing body-massages. These treatments are accompanied by a special diet, herbal remedies especially prepared to reduce the cause of the suffering as well as relaxation-instructions, Yoga-exercises and general advice how to avoid migraine-attacks.
Physical and mental relaxation, the preferred consumption of watery vegetables, avoiding hot spices, cabbages, peanuts and pineapples are used to cause avoidance. Furthermore, in general, people suffering from migraines should avoid direct exposure to the sun.
A very helpful advice: If you feel the beginning of migraine headaches, pull down your earlobes with both hands and yawn hardily. This reduces the pressure in your blood vessels and minimizes headaches.
The ancient Ayurvedic texts describe rheumatism with the term Ãmavãta, which is associated with Vãta-illnesses. The symptoms of Ãmavãta are extreme pain throughout the body, especially in the joints, loss of taste, thirst, enthusiasm, and appetite, a feeling of heaviness, fever, poor metabolism and swelling of joints. Cause of rheumatism from the Ayurvedic point of view are deposits of toxins (Ãma) in the joints, caused by poor digestion or poor metabolism. Ama accumulates in the joints, thereby also increasing Vãta. This in turn causes infections in muscles and joints, which lead to severe pain.
Ayurveda describes the disease pattern in the following way: Incompatible foods and lifestyle habits, lack of physical activity or physical exertion after the consumption of fatty foods as well as people with weak digestion develop Ãma.
While conventional medicine finds it difficult to really alleviate the pains of Rheumatism, Ayurveda can achieve incredible results for the betterment of those suffering. The Ayurvedic treatment is based on a thorough cleaning of accumulated toxins and strengthening the body’s immune system. It provides both curative and palliative treatments of rheumatism, depending on the state of the chronic disease.
The Ayurvedic treatments can be divided into two ways, depending on the clinical picture of the disease. The impairment is addressed through Panchakarma (purifi cation treatment of the body) combined with a special diet and advice for specific behaviour patterns. Through the use of herbal medicine together with the external applications, the toxins are released and excreted. Further treatments often include sauna, steam bath and herbal bath, Ayurvedic herbal packages or pastes as well Ayurvedic massages with different oils and herbs.
The success of this regimen depends not only on the Ayurvedic treatments and medicinal herbs, but to a large extent also on the individual itself. Patients can - based on the recommendations of their Ayurvedic doctors - greatly contribute to an improvement and relief of symptoms by adapting their lifestyle and eating habits.
Sleep Disorder - Nidranasha
Next to headaches, sleeping disorders are among the most common complaints in modern day societies. The causes are manifold; the usual therapies often do not achieve satisfying results. Sleep is an active process of the brain. During sleep, important activities are carried out, such as the processing of the information of the day. At night, the body regenerates, rejuvenating hormones are produced, cells are repaired and toxins disposed of. Sleep is a very basic human need. The duration of sleep needed varies significantly from one person to the next. About 25% of adults suffer from occasional sleeping disorder or sleeplessness (insomnia), 7% frequently or even permanently.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, insomnia reflects a Vata imbalance. Vata is the principle of movement and activity; it is light, active, changeable and quick. In Western industrialized countries, stress, over-stimulation and hectic pace very much contribute to Vata-imblance. The results are symptoms such as restlessness, worry, anxiety, racing thoughts, cold, dryness or tension. Relaxing becomes increasingly difficult. Needless to say, these are not really conditions beneficial for good sleep. Bad eating habits, excessive talking and thinking, lack of exercise and / or a poor sleeping routine also result in Vata disorders.
In an Ayurvedic cure, the physician will find the exact causes of insomnia during a detailed consultation and through pulse diagnosis. Based on his findings, he will design a personalized treatment strategy. The focus of the therapy will be on harmonizing oil massage, Shirodhara, Thakadara, foot baths and other special applications with dosha specific oils and herbs. In addition, special herbal remedies will be prescribed based on the individual constitution. The physician will also make recommendations for a Vata-reducing diet. Yoga and an extensive recreation programme complete the cure.
In order to sleep well, Ayurveda recommends a healthy diet, sufficient exercise, regular meditation and a daily routine. Good sleep is a result of physical and emotional balance during the day.
To keep Vata in balance, our doctors generally recommend:
One of the most effective practices to calm the mind is meditation, ideally right after getting up and before dinner. The serenity will accompany you throughout the day and into the evening.
Soothing Oils and Herbs
Ayurveda utilizes warm, sweet, heavy scents to calm Vata. Sandalwood, vanilla and Indian Patchouli can be used in the room before going to bed or added to a warm bath.