Ayurvedic Pain Management

The theme of this year’s National Ayurveda Day is ‘Pain management through Ayurveda’. The treatment of pain, which is a symptom of most of the diseases, is a major challenge faced by any system of medicine. The number of patients suffering from mental as well as physical pain has been continuously increasing.

The more alarming trend found in the society is the overuse of pain killers without consulting doctors. It’s the responsibility of each system of medicine to create awareness against overuse of pain killers and check it.

Ayurvedic pain managementAyurveda consider pain as a symptom of the changes happening in a person’s health conditions. Pain is caused by various reasons. Therefore treatment after analyzing exact reasons of pain will be more effective than taking painkillers for all kinds of pain. Pain has been divided into two types for the convenience of treatment – acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute pain includes a range of pain starting from stomach pain caused due to indigestion to heart attack, which requires immediate treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the disease causing pain and treat it by using the most suitable system of medicine. Ayurvedic treatments are found to be more effective in treating all types of pain, which don’t require critical treatment. According to Ayurveda chronic pain is caused by doshic imbalances and is influenced by many factors like diet, digestion, toxin accumulation, stress, exercise levels and daily routine.

Ayurvedic way of Pain Management is through Herbs, Diet, Yoga and Meditation.

Ayurveda suggests following steps to Eliminate Chronic Pain-
  • 1. Removing the Buildup of Toxins and Impurities: achieved through medicated herbalized oil massages which helps in loosening impurities that are embedded in tissues and helps liquefy them for easy absorption into the circulation and eventual elimination of pain.
  • 2. Proper Nutrition: Ayurveda advises a easy to digest and a satisfying and nourishing dietary approach that improves the digestion along with ayurvedic herbal formulas which helps in restoring balance to the specific functioning modes whose malfunctioning causes the chronic pain.
  • 3. Improving Digestion: Incompletely digested foods create toxins and impurities that are eventually absorbed, localize in tissues and disrupt their functioning leading to a chronic pain which is treated by a proper use of spices and cooking oils, by favoring digestion-enhancing foods, by avoiding digestion-depressing foods.
  • 4. Dietary Treatments for Joint Pains: Ginger and garlic are extremely good for controlling joint pains. All bitter tastes are good for arthritis. People with joint pains should totally avoid all kinds of sour foods, since these can increase the vata. Constipation can aggravate the pains. Hence foods that are difficult to digest must be avoided. This also extends to protein-rich foods such as pulses. Foods must not be fried so as not to vitiate the vata further.
  • 5. Balancing Nervous System Activity: Vata imbalance is an underlying cause of the painful condition and is reversed by specific diets, herbs, cleansing programs, meditation, yoga asanas and yoga breathing exercises. Excessive mental, emotional and physical stress can worsen the symptoms of many chronic pain. Meditation is an important healing tool that uses the mind-body connection to help people deal with pain conditions. Meditation is fast becoming recognized as an effective way of reducing pain.
  • 6. Lifestyle and Daily Routine: One of the most important factors for maintaining healthy functioning is to have a lifestyle that does not disturb natural bodily rhythms. Ayurveda reviews and creates a daily schedule that will increase balance in your physiology and aid in healing your body.
  • 7. Exercise: Ayurveda advises proper stretching and flexibility exercises as it has a very positive effect on circulation, nervous system function, and healing response thereby treats many chronic pains.

Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Chronic Pains -

-- Boswellia serrata, also called Indian frankincense, alleviates joint pain and inflammation. Boswellia blocks an enzyme (5-lipoxygenase) that plays a major role in the formation of chemicals called leukotrienes, which stimulate and perpetuate inflammation.

-- Ashwagandha (Withaniasomnifera) is the herb popularly known as Winter Cherry in the west. It has several positive properties for the treating joint pains Read More about Ashwagandha.

-- Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It is also used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments, many of which are related to inflammation. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to inhibit key inflammation-producing enzymes. Read More about Turmeric.

-- Guggulu this herb (Commiphora guggul) has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of the enzyme NFKB, which regulates the body’s inflammatory response. There are several studies that show decreased inflammation and joint swelling after administration of extracts of guggulu resin. Read More about Guggul.

-- Garlic (Alliumsativum) is a very effective remedy for the treatment of joint pains. About five to six cloves of garlic must be eaten every morning to seek relief. Read More about Garlic.

-- Ginger (Zingiberofficinale) is also one of the best methods in the treatment of joint pains. It must be included freely in the daily diet of the person. Tea made with ginger in it is also beneficial.

-- Triphala - herbs in triphala have anti-inflammatory effects. Read More about Triphala.