As a result of various studies conducted on the efficacy of Ayurveda treatment for arthritis, it was proven that arthritis patients who underwent personalized ayurvedic treatments have shown significant health improvement, which can be correlated to other treatments with lesser side effects. Ayurveda is called life science and is based on a natural, holistic approach to the treatment of any medical condition. Instead of treating the symptoms, as in any other medical practice, arthritis treatment in Ayurveda focuses more on the root cause of the disease and devises personalized treatment plans based on a thorough analysis of each patient which may involve internal herbal medicines as well as external therapies. Ayurveda focuses on a holistic approach to handling any disease and its symptoms by making changes in diet patterns, therapeutic massages, herbal remedies and supplements, routine cleansing and detox, as well as marma treatments.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the condition where inflammation of one or multiple joints results in excessive pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints. Pain and other discomforts resulting from Arthritis get elevated during cold weather. Arthritis, being one such condition for which no permanent cure is available, can be kept in check by having a lifestyle change with a healthy lifestyle.
Main types of Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis / Polyarthritis is an autoimmune system inflammatory condition where the joint capsule lining gets attacked by the body’s immune system which gets inflamed. If not addressed properly and at the right time, the disease eventually damages bone and cartilage within the joints. In Ayurveda, this condition is called ‘Amavata’. An increased accumulation of toxins / aama in the body triggers an antigen response which results in dhathu kshaya
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder affecting the cartilages in our joints, mostly knee joints, which in Ayurveda is described as ‘Sandhigatavata’. Cartilage acts as a cushion to curb the friction that can happen with any movement in joints. A damaged cartilage results in bones coming in contact with each other generating friction between them and resulting in pain and loss of movement. It can result from unattended discomforts over a period leading to major deterioration to the cartilages or can expedite due to an infection or injury.
Gout is a result of uric acid build-up in our bloodstream and can be a symptom of other notable health issues. Even though the cause of gout is known and direct, the reason behind uric acid accumulation can be plenty including a diet high in sugar, salt, purines, alcohol consumption, kidney disorder, lifestyles, or even some medicines. In Ayurveda, gout is considered to be a result of an imbalance in Vata dosha.
Treatment of Arthritis in Ayurveda
For arthritis treatment in Ayurveda, the patient might need to make changes in diet plans, include supplements, herbal remedies, and include exercises as a part of life. Ayurveda bases its treatment on getting to the root cause and making changes to the body and mind in such a way that can alleviate many symptoms of the diseases by being non-invasive.
Some common herbal supplements that are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Ayurveda are Ginger, Garlic, Ashwagandha, Castor Oil, Kunthirikkam (Shallaki Plant), Turmeric, Triphala, and some of the medicines. Herb-infused oils are prescribed by the medical practitioner to be massaged onto the affected areas to relieve symptoms.
Ayurveda treatment for Arthritis might also include Abhyanga (Massage therapy), Panchakarma, or hot herbal potli treatments that are known to improve blood circulation and flexibility to the joints.
A combination of a healthy diet and lifestyle along with herbal supplements and suitable therapy sessions, Ayurveda can help bring the symptoms down gradually with a holistic approach. It is ideal to take Abhyanga once every two weeks, where herbal infused oils specific to your doshas will be used, to improve flexibility and encourage blood circulation. Panchakarma treatment is the ultimate detox therapy that can also rejuvenate our body by getting rid of pent-up toxins in our system.
Once diagnosed with the condition, it is ideal to get in touch with a certified practitioner who can assess the type of doshas and prescribe a treatment and lifestyle plan suitable for you. Our treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Ayurveda spans a period of 21 – 40 days depending upon the severity of one’s condition.
Yoga & Ayurveda
Ayurveda and Yoga keep their focus on maintaining both physical and mental wellness and thereby ensuring the overall well-being of a person. Yoga has been found especially beneficial for people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yoga is all about finding one’s body alignment. Yoga poses are structured in a way as guidance, but they need to be practiced after listening to one’s own body.
A few Yoga poses that can help curb Arthritis related discomforts are listed below:
Vrikshaasana (Tree Pose)
As the name suggests, a Vrikshaasana is done with one foot placed high on the thigh and knee pointing straight to the side like a tree. To be able to do this pose effectively, one must understand their hip-opening capacity and central balance. This Yoga pose will help enhance coordination and balance.
Setu Bandhana Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Bridge pose helps rejuvenate, restore and energize the body. It helps stretch the neck, chest, and spine, Improves digestion, brings down stress, helps deal with high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, menstrual disorders etc.
Mritasana (Corpse Pose)
Corpse pose is all about conscious relaxation of every muscle in our body. With savasana, we teach our body how to relax one muscle at a time and our mind to relax one thought at a time. This is why it helps relieve stress and improves the emotional well-being of the person. It is a means to reset our body and mind while relaxing on the floor.
Apart from these, there are a lot more poses that can help with the condition which needs to be discussed with the Yoga practitioner before moving on to it.
Marma points often referred to as ‘Bindu , is like a doorway to access the inner body of a person without being intrusive. Hence activating a marma point has the power to change the body functions. Marma therapy is done by stimulating marmas associated with each internal organ which instructs the body to perform in a certain manner by producing hormones and neurochemicals that can heal one’s body and mind.
Try to have hot, fresh home-cooked nutrient-rich food. Include cooked fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet. Include warming spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and nutmeg in your meals.
To aid digestion and the disintegration of aama, having warm water infused with Panchkola is very effective.
Food that is easy to digest like barley and horse gram need to be included in the diet. So are the spices that have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial properties like turmeric, ginger, and garlic.