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Nervous System Problems

Nervous Disorders

One of the most complex systems responsible for governing the human body is the Nervous System. The Nervous system is a network of cells called neurons that transmit signals to all parts of the body. It regulates the interaction between the external world and the internal system, as well as coordinates between the trillions of cells within our body. As per Ayurveda, the main dosha that controls the nervous system is the vatha dosha. Saying this does not undermine the importance of the other doshas, as they interact with each other and are interdependent. For example, when we eat, the vatha dosha is responsible for the movement of the food to the digestive tract, the kapha dosha lubricates it and the pitha dosha aids digestion.

However, vatha is considered to be of prime importance with regard to the nervous system. The vatha dosha represents movement, and is identified with the prana vayu (one of the five types of vatha that resides in the head and governs reasoning, learning, creativity, reception of information, interpretation of and reaction to signals, consciousness). One of the prime  indications of vatha imbalance for sensitive people is anxiety. Anxiety can arrest our creativity and attention significantly. Unresolved anxiety can convert into chronic debilitating stress. Vatha needs a balance between stability and movement to be effective. All Ayurvedic treatments mainly aim at restoring and stabilizing the balance of the vatha dosha (unless the condition is governed by a different dosha). This enables an individual let go of anxiety, opening the door to more creativity and calmness.

Regular practice of dantha dhavana, mukha prakashalana, gandoosha, abhyanga, vyayam, pratimarsha nasyam, dhoomapanam, nidra etc are treatments that are very effective in treating nervous system disorders. Panchakarma also plays an important role in restoring health and vitality. Shirotharpana, nasyam, shirodhara, shiropichu, etc. are highly useful in treating depression, hair loss, headache, migraine and other ENT diseases.

According to Ayurveda -‘Dosha Dhathu mala moolam hi sareerem’ - i.e. the essentials that make up the human body are the doshas (body humors), dhatus (tissues) and malas (waste). Our improper choices made regarding lifestyle and food habits, cause imbalance in the dosha, dhatu and mala, thus causing all problems. To maintain the dosha in their proper manner, one should follow regulated lifestyle and food habits. Also, undertaking cleansing therapies often helps the body get rid of the toxins that tend to accumulate in the body owing to various internal and external factors. This, combined with yoga and meditation, help restore peace and calm to the mind and body. 

Headache

Headache (Shirehshool) is a term commonly used for pain felt anywhere in the head. It is observed as a symptom in most of the diseases. The diseases in which headache is the prime symptom are named as shiroroga according Ayurveda

Headaches can be triggered due to various reasons such as sleeplessness, high blood pressure, weak eyesight, sinusitis, hunger, anemia, emotional stress and digestive disorders. Headaches caused due to tension are the most common in type. The pain usually is constant and generalised but often radiates forward from the occipital region. It is characterized by a dull ache or tight feeling of pain. It is characteristically less severe in early part of the day and aggravates as the day continues. The main reason for this headache is emotional strain and anxiety that causes the muscles of head and neck to contract excessively.

 

Ayurvedic Treatments for Headache

Ayurveda states that headache is primarily caused due to a sensitive nervous system and an impaired digestive system. A sensitive nervous system impacts and reduces the body's energy. Due to diminished energy, the ability of the body to fight against problems is diminished. This can cause toxins to accumulate in the mind channels, thus triggering headaches. Improper diet and lifestyle vitiates the pitha dosha (the dosha representing fire). The aggravation of the pitha dosha impacts the digestive system, thus leading to production of digestive impurities. When these impurities accumulate in the mind channels, headaches are triggered. Ayurvedic treatments not only help relieve pain, but also treat the root cause. The treatments focus on calming the nervous system to restore the balance of the vatha dosha and improving the digestive system to balance the pitha dosha and arrest the accumulation of toxins.

Migraine

 

Migraine is characterised by head ache associated with visual disturbance, photophobia and vomiting. While the exact cause of migraine is unknown, it can be attributed to strain, psychological stress, intake of incompatible food items, exposure to loud noises, excessive smoking or alcohol consumption, hormonal imbalances, lack of exercise or allergic reactions. The pain typically begins in the forehead, side of the head and gradually worsens. The onset of migraine can be accompanied by fatigue, depression, insomnia, mood alterations, constipation or diarrhoea, muscle stiffness amongst other discomforts.

According to Ayurveda, the vitiation of the tridoshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) causes the problem. However, the prime troublemaker is the pitha dosha (the dosha associated with fire). The vitiation of the pitha dosha causes heat to build up in the blood vessels. As a result of this, the blood vessels dilate and put pressure on the nervous system. This is what leads to migraines.

 

Ayurvedic Treatments for Migraines

The Ayurvedic approach to treating migraines mainly focuses on restoring the balance of the pitha dosha in the body, and also aims at replenishing the energies of the body and mind. The Ayurvedic treatments aim at eradicating the ailment from its roots. Various cleansing and detoxification methods are administered to restore the digestive system of the body. Also, various treatments (both internal and external medication) are administered to calm and strengthen the nervous system. Apart from the treatments, the doctors also recommend a diet and lifestyle plan tailored to suit the individuals body type and root cause of disease. 

Vertigo

Vertigo is the nervous disorder in which one tends to feel dizziness or a sensation of spinning or light headedness. Nausea accompanies vertigo in most cases. It could also cause a ringing sensation in the ears. In Ayurveda, Vertigo is referred to as “Brahma”, which is caused due to the vitiation of the vatha as well as the pitha dosha.  

Vertigo is mainly caused due to factors such as a sudden change in the position of the head that causes spinning, imbalance in the ear caused due to inflammation in the inner ear, change in the volume of the ear fluid. It could also be caused due to lack of sleep or rest, excessive fatigue, digestive disorders, eye-sight impairments, frequent migraine attacks, poor blood circulation, repeated attacks of epilepsy etc.

 

Ayurvedic Treatments for Vertigo

In Stroke, lower back pain, Cervical spondylosis treatments like
Abhyanga(oil Masage), Pizhichil, Navarakizhi, Elakizhi, Vasti etc are useful.

Anxiety/ Depressive disorders/Manasika rogas

Most people who become physically ill experience some degree of psychological upset which is usually brief and not distressing. In some cases the emotional impact of illness is sufficiently profound to precipate psychiatric disorders which need special attention from the physician. Several factors influence, this include the patients personality, social circumstance, type of treatment required and due nature of physical illness following an exceptionally stressful event. Some people with no previous psychiatric history develop a characteristic pattern of symptoms which include a sense of anxiety, anger, depression, over activity and withdrawal.

Anxiety is a universal human experience which only assumes medical significance if it is disproportionate to external events or if it persists long after precipitating factors have been resolved.
Symptoms includes tremor, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, breathlessness, headache, dizziness, diarrhoea, frequency of micturition, initial insomnia, poor concentration, irritability, depersonalization.

According to Ayurveda these disorders can be correlated to Manasika roga’s (related to mind).

“Sukhadhyupalabdisaadanam indriyam mana”
Manas is that which helps in perceiving the sukha, sensations, etc. (happiness).
“Satwatma sareeram cha thrayamethat thridanda Vat”

Three pillars of our life are manas, atma and sareera, so manas is so important for the healthy individuals. Due to excess shoka (sad), Krodha (anger), chinta (thinking ), bhaya, lobha etc. Intake of virudha ahara’s aggravate the Rajas and Thamas dosha thus causing Manasika vikaras.

Treatment includes
1) Counselling the patient
2) Nidana parithyaga (avoid all causative factors).
3) Samshodhana therapy includes vamana, virechana, vasti, nasyam.
4) Shirodhara, Shirovasti, thalapodichil are also beneficial.
5) Intake of shamana oushadhis.

By our panchakarma-whatever the toxins or aggravated dosha, present inside the body are forcefully eliminated from its roots. So that recurrence of the disease won’t be there in future.

 

Syncope

This is the loss of consciousness with or without falling down. Can be correlated to dizziness. This may be associated with tinnitus and deafness, then it is called as Meniers’s disease.

4) Epilepsy:-Means tendency to have seizures and is a symptom of brain diseases, rather than a disease itself.

5) Stroke: - It is a condition where half part of the body completely/partially becomes weak, so that patient cannot do his daily regimen. May be because of cardiovascular disease or hypertension it occurs.
Risk factors include age, heredity, history of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, smoking, intake of excess alcohol, oral contraceptives. According to Ayurveda, term Pakshaghada/Pakshavada is used for stroke. In this due to intake of Asatmyahara, too much oily or spicy food, stressful work, psychological stress etc leads to aggravation of one’s vata dosha and this aggravated vata causes contraction of Sira( Veins) Snayu (tendons) thus causing weakness or total paralysis of body.

6) Motor Neuron Disease- This is a progressive disorder of unknown cause, in which there is degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord, cranial nerve nuclei and pyramidal neurons in the moter cortex.
Clinical Features. Usually occur after age 50yrs, there may be limb muscle weakness, cramps, disturbance of speech and difficulty in swallowing.

7) Cervical spondylosis- This is the commonest disease in which degeneration of the intervertebral discs occurs. It is often asymptomatic but may be associated with neurological dysfunction at the C4/5 C5/C6, C6/C7 vertebral levels and C5 C6 C7 roots are most commonly affected. Patient complains of pain in the neck & stiffness and neck movements may aggravate pain. Numbness and sensory loss, weakness, wasting, reflex impairment may be found in the affected segment.
According to Ayurveda, aggravated vata dosha due to improper lifestyles, stays in the shoulder and neck region and does the contraction (samkocha) of Sira’s and causes pain and numbness in that region.

Lower Back Ache (Lumbar Disc Herniation)

Onset may be sudden or gradual. Constant aching pain is felt on the lumbar region and may radiate to buttocks, thigh, calf and foot. Pain aggravates by coughing, straining and may be relieved by lying flat.
Acute lumbar herniation is often precipitated by trauma, usually by lifting heavy weights, while spine is flexed. The nucleous pulposus may bulge or rupture through the annulus fibrosis, giving rise to pressure on nerve endings or nerve roots.

Treatment of other nervous system problems

Ayurveda correlates this to Gridhrasi where prakupita vata dosha stays in pelvic, lumbar region and causes pain in thigh, knee and foot region.

Treatment according to Ayurveda: Our body is maintained by dosha, dhathu, mala. In their normal state ‘Dosha Dhathu mala moolam hi sareerem’. Due to our improper life styles, taking excess oily spicy, creamy improper food, lack of exercise or excess exercise, tension, stress & strain full work etc, causes imbalance in the dosha, dhatu and mala, thus causing all problems. Nervous system is controlled by vata dosha. Any aggravation of this vata dosha causes pain in the body. To maintain the dosha in their proper manner, one should follow proper life style, yoga, shodhana therapy & meditation.

Ayurveda is the life saving science aimed to preserve the health and to treat the diseases. To pleasure the normal health different methods are explained. Regular practice of Dantha dhavana, mukha prakashalana, gandoosha, abhyanga, vyayam, pratimarsha nasyam, dhoomapanam, nidra etc is effective

Panchakarma plays an important role in the healthy individual as wells as in patients. This includes Vamana , Virechana, Nasya, Raktamosshana, Vasti

According to the dosha vitiation doctor will decide the treatment.

Treatments like:-

Shirotharpana, nasyam, shirodhara, shiropichu, etc. are highly useful in depression, hair loss, headache, migraine and other ENT diseases.

In Stroke, lower back pain, Cervical spondylosis treatments like
Abhyanga(oil Masage), Pizhichil, Navarakizhi, Elakizhi, Vasti etc are useful.

 

Anxiety/ Depressive disorders/Manasika rogas

Most people who become physically ill experience some degree of psychological upset which is usually brief and not distressing. In some cases the emotional impact of illness is sufficiently profound to precipate psychiatric disorders which need special attention from the physician. Several factors influence, this include the patients personality, social circumstance, type of treatment required and due nature of physical illness following an exceptionally stressful event. Some people with no previous psychiatric history develop a characteristic pattern of symptoms which include a sense of anxiety, anger, depression, over activity and withdrawal.

Anxiety is a universal human experience which only assumes medical significance if it is disproportionate to external events or if it persists long after precipitating factors have been resolved.
Symptoms includes tremor, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, breathlessness, headache, dizziness, diarrhoea, frequency of micturition, initial insomnia, poor concentration, irritability, depersonalization.

According to Ayurveda these disorders can be correlated to Manasika roga’s (related to mind).

“Sukhadhyupalabdisaadanam indriyam mana”
Manas is that which helps in perceiving the sukha, sensations, etc. (happiness).
“Satwatma sareeram cha thrayamethat thridanda Vat”

Three pillars of our life are manas, atma and sareera, so manas is so important for the healthy individuals. Due to excess shoka (sad), Krodha (anger), chinta (thinking ), bhaya, lobha etc. Intake of virudha ahara’s aggravate the Rajas and Thamas dosha thus causing Manasika vikaras.

Treatment includes
1) Counselling the patient
2) Nidana parithyaga (avoid all causative factors).
3) Samshodhana therapy includes vamana, virechana, vasti, nasyam.
4) Shirodhara, Shirovasti, thalapodichil are also beneficial.
5) Intake of shamana oushadhis.

By our panchakarma-whatever the toxins or aggravated dosha, present inside the body are forcefully eliminated from its roots. So that recurrence of the disease won’t be there in future.