Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Parkinson's Disease
Understanding Parkinson's disease
Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala is today proving to be a great blessing for Parkinson's patients with its effectiveness in relieving the symptoms and slowing down the degeneration of brain cells. Medicines used in the ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease have neuroactive and neuroprotective properties which make it a far superior mode of treatment than any other system of medicine today. Many Parkinson's patients come for ayurvedic treatment in Kerala when they find that modern medicine is not able to address their symptoms adequately, making it difficult for them to do their ordinary daily activities like buttoning a shirt, holding a spoon etc. Often patients also experience side effects of the medicines that they are taking, lose independent mobility and stop going to work. Even at that stage, ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease in Kerala is found to be effective in managing the condition well and improving patient’s overall quality of life.
What is the ayurvedic understanding of Parkinson's disease?
In ayurveda, Parkinson's disease is called Kampavata. A person is affected by Parkinson's disease when some cells in the brain die and causes the deficiency of a chemical called dopamine. Ayurveda understands the death of brain cells to be the result of aggravated vata dosha, one of the three doshas in our body. When vata dosha aggravation is not treated in time, the degeneration of brain cells increases and more and more symptoms manifest. Therefore, the basic approach of ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease in Kerala is to correct this disturbance in vata dosha and stop/slow down the death of brain cells.
What causes Parkinson disease?
We know that Parkinson's disease is caused by death of brain cells and deficiency of certain neurochemicals. Ayurveda understands that this disturbance in normal brain physiology is caused by a disturbance in the proportions of the three doshas in our body, especially an increase of vata dosha. Vata has a drying quality, so aggravated dosha causes severe drying up of neurons and accelerates degeneration of brain cells.There are various factors that cause vata dosha aggravation:
Genetic: Persons who have a vata constitution are more prone to Parkinson's disease.
Food habits: Certain kinds of food are vata vitiating food - food which is dry in nature, foods which are deep fried, junk food etc.
Environment: Extreme cold weather conditions tend to cause an imbalance in vata.
Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle blocks channels in the body, thereby causing vata to get vitiated and when combined with the above factors, it contributes to the development of the condition.
How does Parkinson's disease develop in a person?
Ayurveda considers tremors, the most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease to be primarily due to disturbed vata. Vata is normally in circulation in the body, but when it is vitiated, it gets lodged in certain parts of the body. When vata lodges in brain stem, it leads to degeneration of neurons followed by altered coordination and tremors. If vata dosha is not brought under control, degeneration progresses and makes day to day activities difficult. Muscle rigidity, another common symptom in the later stages, is due to the vitiated vata relocating to weaker tissues in the body. The muscle tissue is affected when vitiated vata finds a lodging spot in the muscles that are continuously or repeatedly used, thus causing muscle fatigue along with stiffness. Ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease in Kerala addresses this root cause - aggravation of vata dosha - and all the problems that it causes.
Ayurvedic Treatment and its Benefits
When should you consider ayurvedic treatment in Kerala?
If you have a confirmed diagnosis of Parkinson's disease or if you have been experiencing tremors and rigidity for some time, do not delay seeking ayurvedic treatment any further. Parkinson's disease is the result of degeneration of brain cells; it is a progressive disease. Ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease gives best results in its early.stages. If you were diagnosed with Parkinson's many years ago and if your disease has already progressed and you are experiencing multiple symptoms, you can still undergo ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease, arrest further progress of the disease and prevent future complications.
How long does it take to complete ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease?
One full course of ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease in Kerala may require 3 to 4 weeks of in patient treatment. This is because ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease is done in different stages. Going through each of these stages correctly is important for treatment success. In patient treatment will be followed by 3 to 6 months of post discharge medicines to be taken at home. In advanced cases of Parkinson's disease, the physician may advise a follow up course of treatment after a period of time. Comply with your physician’s advice strictly during your in patient treatment time and after discharge to get the intended treatment results.
What are some therapies used at a Kerala ayurvedic centre in the treatment for Parkinson's disease?
There is no one common set of therapies used in every Parkinson's patient. Therapies to be used in each Parkinson's patient is determined by the ayurvedic physician after a careful analysis of the patient’s symptoms. A few commonly used therapies in the ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease are:
Sirodhara: The gentle pouring of a stream of warm medicated oil on the forehead between the brows to stimulate the third eye or the Ajna chakra and create an increased flow of prana the vital energy towards the brain. This nourishes brain cells by increasing blood circulation and strengthens nerves. The intended effects include stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to increase the secretions of neurotransmitters. By calming down the hyper action of aggravated vata in the brain, shirodhara helps in significant reduction of tremors.
Abhyanga: One of the most simple yet powerful treatments in ayurveda, the procedure is massaging the whole body with medicated oils. In the treatment of Parkinson's disease, this therapy is especially valuable in arresting vata aggravation and restoring its proper functioning. It stimulates sensory nerve endings and provides strength to muscles. Long term benefits include the reduction of tremors.
Pizhichil/Kayaseka: This is yet another highly potent therapy in the ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease. In this procedure, streams of warm medicated oil is poured on the body along with simultaneous massage to enhance the penetration of oils. By pacifying vata dosha, it has the power to calm down the over excitation of nerves caused by aggravated vata dosha. Another valuable effect of the treatment is enhancement of microcirculation - by dilating blood vessels, more nutrients are made available to injured cells and by improving lymphatic drainage, metabolic waste in cells is expelled thus cleansing the cells. The treatment has a rejuvenating effect on the nervous system.
Njavara Kizhi: A strengthening therapy used to nourish tissues that are undergoing depletion and degeneration, this therapy is found to be highly effective in degenerative neuromuscular diseases like Parkinson's disease. In this treatment, a special kind of highly nutritious rice cooked in milk and vata pacifying herbs is rubbed against the whole body to provide nutrition to tissues . In parkinson’s disease, this treatment has a rejuvenative action and helps to strengthen muscles and nerves and reduce the tremors.
Vasti: Vasti or medicated enema is a part of panchakarma treatment for Parkinson's disease and is used to alleviate vata dosha, flush toxins out of the body and also nourish the nervous system.
What are the different stages in the ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease in Kerala?
As we have seen in the earlier sections, Parkinson's disease is caused by an aggravation of vata dosha and its drying effects on the brain and nerve cells. Therefore the chief goal of ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease is to pacify the vata dosha and correct the damages caused to the brain, nerves and muscular tissue.
The first stage in the ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease in Kerala is pacification of the aggravated vata dosha and preventing its further aggravation. This is done with the help of various internal medicines and vata pacifying external oleation and fomentation treatments. Therapies like abhyanga and pizhichil which have neuro rejuvenative effects are started in this stage. Another aspect of the first stage of treatment is rekindling the digestive fire and metabolic fire which got affected by the increase in vata dosha. Preliminary panchakarma treatments are also administered to extract toxins / metabolic waste from cells and prepare the body for detoxification in the second stage of treatment.
The second stage of Parkinson's treatment in Kerala is the detoxification stage where the extracted metabolic waste is expelled using treatments like vasti and virechanam. Eliminating metabolic waste and thus detoxifying and cleansing the micro channels in the body has the potential to relieve and prevent symptoms associated with Parkinson's like muscle rigidity, dementia and depression.
The last stage of treatment is the rejuvenation stage where the depletion and damage caused to tissues is corrected and they are once again nourished and strengthened. Ayurvedic medicines that have neuro active and neuroprotective properties are an important part of this stage of treatment. Treatments such as njavarakizhi are usually done during this stage to prevent further damage to nervous tissue. Mild yoga procedures and pranayama techniques which help the patient regulate the prana in their body may also be Incorporated in this stage.
How successful is the Parkinson's disease treatment in Kerala?
Ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease offers both short term and long term benefits. The expected short term benefit of ayurvedic treatment is relief in tremors and muscle rigidity, though they may not completely disappear in all cases. The degree of relief will vary from person to person and depends on various factors like the stage of the disease, the chronicity of the condition and treatment compliance. The long term benefit of Parkinson's disease treatment in Kerala is of course the prevention of the progress of the degeneration happening in the nerves. This is done by controlling vata and preventing its further vitiation thereby effectively preventing the progress of the condition. Since ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease has minimal or nil side effects and is cost effective, it could be considered the best option available to Parkinson's patients today. The effectiveness of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for Parkinson's disease lies in its holistic approach that goes beyond its pharmacological aspect and helps the patient in coping with their present conditions while protecting the body and mind from further damage due to the disease.This is a very valuable outcome especially since Parkinson's disease is progressive in nature and modern medicine is unable to prevent the progress of the disease.
Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle advice
What is the diet advised in the ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease?
Ayurveda recommends a vata pacifying diet for Parkinson's patients. The general advice is to eat fresh, warm and well cooked foods that are easily digestible. Avoid dry and light foods such as nuts, fried foods and cold foods such as ice creams, shakes, frozen foods etc. Dairy products such as milk, ghee and butter are quite good in pacifying vata and pitta. Yoghurt may be used in moderation but do not have it at night. Fruits such as oranges, mangoes, lemons etc are good and fruits like apples, pears, pomegranates are to be taken moderately. Avoid foods which are incompatible when taken together eg. milk with fruits, honey with meat, curd with fish etc.
What is the recommended lifestyle for Parkinson's patients?
During the first couple of weeks after your discharge from the ayurveda hospital in Kerala, it is ideal to refrain from vata increasing situations. This includes any sort of excessive physical activities like excessive sexual activities, extended walks, long distance travel, sitting or remaining in a same posture for long hours, staying awake at night, fasting, indulging in excessive thoughts, getting too emotional, sleeping on uneven surfaces such as sofas etc. as these tend to increase the vata in the body and thereby worsen the situation. You may engage in light activities like a stroll, socialising with your friends etc as this will help your mind relax and keep you calm. Maintain good sleep hygiene. Make sure you use the oils prescribed for you. Use warm water for your body shower. Keep warm during cold and windy weather. You may resume your work when your symptoms subside and you feel confident.
Ayurveda understands Parkinson's disease to be a result of brain cell degeneration caused by an imbalance in vata dosha. Ayurveda treatment for Parkinson's disease focuses on correcting the vata dosha imbalance and rejuvenating the nervous system using various medicines and therapies that have neuro active and neuroprotective properties. Treatment modalities include internal medicines, external therapies using medicated oils, yoga, pranayama, meditation as well as diet and lifestyle modification. The initial course of management requires around 3 to 4 weeks of inpatient ayurveda treatment in Kerala, followed by medicines to be taken at home for 6 months or more. In some cases, patients may be advised to take repeat courses of ayurvedic treatment in the subsequent years or in a few years’ time. It is important to follow the diet and lifestyle advised by your treating doctor for sustained effect of the treatment. In the current scenario where modern medicine is unable to prevent the progress of the disease and manage the symptoms adequately, ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for Parkinson's disease may be the best option available to patients today to lead their best possible life without side effects and minimising the chances of drug dependence.
Will I need to stop my current tablets in order to undergo ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease?
You may undergo ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease even if you have been on medications for a few years. You do not need to stop your current tablets in order to undergo ayurvedic treatment. When you come to Kerala for ayurvedic treatment of Parkinson's disease, please bring all your current medications. Ayurvedic internal medicines will be administered with sufficient time gap from your current medicines. Medications may only be tapered based on the results of ayurvedic treatment and after consultation with your current neurologist.
I have other health issues too like diabetes, hypertension and back pain. Can I still undergo ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson’s disease?
Yes, you may undergo ayurveda treatment for Parkinson’s disease despite you having other health issues since those conditions can be managed as well during the time you undergo the treatment. Please provide your complete health history to the consulting physician so that treatment can be planned in a holistic manner.
After ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson’s disease, will I be able to stop my current tablets?
It has been found that the anti Parkinson’s medications that are currently being prescribed by western biomedicine tend to fail to have the intended action on the body after a period of time. You may be able to stop your western medicines if your body responds sufficiently well to the ayurvedic treatment. You will need to consult your neurologist while tapering your medicines.
Does ayurveda have a permanent cure for Parkinson’s disease?
Ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease does not offer a permanent cure, but the disease can be effectively managed with sustainable results.
What are the benefits of ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson's disease over western biomedicine?
The main advantage of adopting ayurveda treatment over western biomedicine is that ayurveda always treats the root cause, whereas western biomedicine offers more or less a symptomatic treatment. Ayurvedic treatment will help to prevent the progress of the condition thereby preventing further damage due to the condition.