Ayurvedic (East Indian holistic medical system) perspective on joint pain relief using natural solutions.
Ayurveda treats musculo-skeletal problems holistically, taking into account the whole physiology, psychology and physical presentation of the person and the problem. The goal of the treatment is to restore homeostasis and to bring the person back to their natural psycho-physiological baseline or constitution.
Joint pain relief treatment is based on bringing the disturbed Dosha (Energetic principles that govern all biological processes in the body - Vata, Pitta and Kapha respectively) back into a balanced state.
This is achieved by diet, lifestyle, Marma (Ayurvedic Acupressure) massage with herbal oils, use of herbal poultices, Nadi Svedan (herbal steam treatments), herbal oil dhara (oil dripping) treatment on the affected body parts, herbal formulations and Panchakarma (detoxification and rejuvenation therapies).
The focus is on opening up blockages in micro-channels of the injured tissues, to remove toxins or metabolic waste products from these tissues, to improve metabolic capacity of the injured tissue for proper uptake and assimilation of nutrients and to improve macro and micro digestion of the whole system.
Opening up of channels facilitates flow of Prana or Qi or energy. Prana is the cellular intelligence that controls proper movement and functioning of the whole system. Removal of blockages also allows for proper circulation at the micro-cellular level providing nutrition and removal of metabolic waste products. With right movement of Prana and circulation the tissue is given an optimal environment for recovery.
Joint pain relief assessment focuses on the affected Dhatu or tissue, the state of the Dosha, the type of pain, state of Agni (digestive fire or digestive/metabolic capacity of the system), presence of Ama (toxins) and functioning of the excretory systems. This detailed examination of the person allows an Ayurvedic practitioner to accurately determine the disturbance in the system and choose the appropriate therapies to treat the whole system.
In addition to looking at the location of pain, the cause of injury and the structures involved - joint, muscle, ligaments, tendons, etc., Ayurveda pays close attention to the type of pain one is suffering from. It classifies pain according to the Doshas and presence of Ama.
Types/nature of pain:
Vata type of pain is radiating, shooting, shifting, cutting, pulsating, moving, fluctuating, vague/confusing, comes and goes, worst at dawn or dusk, shivering, body can feel cold, person feels restless or anxious, creates insomnia, emotionally person might have fear or anxiety, standing creates pain, worst during Autumn season, worst with movement, feels better with heat, moisture and firm pressure.
Pitta pain is burning, pulling, sharp, inflammatory, fever, might have complaints of nausea and vomiting, irritability and anger, penetrating, worst at mid day and mid night, increased perspiration, body feels hot and with redness, flushed face, insomnia, perforation, diarrhea and vomiting, worst during summer season, aggravated by firm pressure or deep massage, feels better with cold.
Kapha pain is heavy, dull, deep, mild, aching, long standing, pain with stooping or bending over, chronic, worst early AM and PM, congestion in lungs, swelling, heaviness, able to sleep in pain, emotionally can feel depressed or lousy, generalized pain throughout the body, pain worst in spring season, lingering, worst in cold or damp weather, feels better with dry heat, deep massage and deep pressure relieves symptoms.
Ama or toxin related pain is heavy, dull, mild, aching, even the hair hurts, debilitating, generalized pain all over the body, pain varies according to Ama level, heavy coating on tongue, bad breath, deep pain, sluggish or sleepy, mental confusion, pain anytime and can be all the time, feeling drowsy and lousy. Feel better with ginger tea and fasting.
Joint pain relief for different pain presentations
For example, a Vata problem would present as a complaint of cracking, popping in the joint, feeling of instability or giving out, possibly muscle atrophy or wasting might be present, moving or shifting pain, pain is aggravated by movement and increased activity level, dry, cold or windy weather would aggravate these symptoms.
Symptoms are relieved by heat, massage with warm herbal oil or Sesame oil, rest, staying warm and avoiding movement and excessive activity. Nadi Svedan (herbal steam therapy) or warm herbal poultices can also be applied for join pain relief and to improve circulation/lymphatic flow to facilitate healing. Use of herbal formulas like Yograj Guggulu and herbs like Ashwagandha, Tagar, Jatamamsi, Musta, Bala, etc. can be very beneficial for reducing pain and inflammation while strengthening the joint and local muscles.
Pitta related join pain would be treated with a Pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle. Emphasis of treatment is on cool, soft, dry therapies reducing excess heat, sharp and penetrating qualities of Pitta.
Herbal formulations like Kaishore Guggulu, Gulwel Satva or herbs like Turmeric, Musta are good anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. Cold pack, Castor oil or herbal oil massage is recommended to relieve Pitta type of pain in the joint.
Kapha related pain would be treated with a Kapha pacifying diet and lifestyle. Emphasis of treatment is on warm, light, dry and mobile therapies to reduce the slow, congestive, cool and sluggish nature of Kapha.
Herbal formulations like Punarnavadi Guggulu, herbs like Punarnava, Musta, Ashwagandha, Shilajeet, etc. would be used to control swelling, heaviness or dull ache. Massage with herbal oils, application of dry heat and movement of the joint is recommended to relieve Kapha type of pain in the joint.
Ayurvedic treatments can be very effective in removing the specific cause of the problem and achieving lasting relief. This ancient medical system can help the body heal from within while bringing the person back to their natural state of wellbeing.
*This article is for educational purposes only. Please consult with your physician, physical therapist or medical practitioner before starting any exercise program or trying any of the herbal products/recommendations mentioned in this video/article. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Since your childhood, you have been told of the so-called proper ways of doing certain things. You are taught the proper way of sitting, standing and walking. In other cases, you are also taught of the proper way to eat, talk and act in specific situations. Most of these are actually about posture and etiquette. But do you also know that there is actually a proper way of breathing? Yes, for all intents and purposes, there is a proper way of breathing.
Doctors agree that what is called as diaphragmatic breathing is the proper way of pulling in to and letting out of air air through your lungs. Your diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle just below your rib cage. It is a muscle that separates your chest area from your digestive system. When you breathe with your diaphragm, it means that you are pushing down your diaphragm every time you inhale. This is a more correct and preferred way of breathing than actually enlarging the chest bone.
Diaphragmatic breathing entails the intake of shallow breaths when you are at rest, meaning when you are not engaged in any physical activity. Do not take in deep breaths because you would not be able to control the amount of air you breathe in as well as the carbon dioxide that you breathe out. Breathing improperly therefore can lead to problems related to over intake of oxygen and unsatisfactory expulsion of carbon dioxide. This can disrupt the whole cycle of your respiratory system.
When you breathe improperly, you would be inclined to release too much carbon dioxide and your red blood cells will be restraining the oxygen they have in them that can be used by your other organs. That is why you have to be mindful of how you breathe.
It is quite surprising that there is actually a proper way of doing something that comes very naturally to you. Every time you breathe, you can admit that you do not really mind how you do it. You do not consider what part of your respiratory system expands and which one collapses. But this time, you are being suggested to mind how you breathe. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are very much important in ensuring that you continue living. Therefore, inhaling too much and exhaling just as much would prove to be fatal as your organs may not get enough oxygen they need to function properly and healthily. If you want to know more about the correct way of breathing, you can ask advice from your trusted osteopath.