The Ayurvedic concept about hemiplegia or Pakshaghata is that it is due to imbalance of Vata energy, or ‘Vata dosha’. In general, the symptoms of the disease manifest in loss of function of the left or the right side of the body.
Also, typical characteristics of hemiplegia are poor body balance and speech difficulties. The Ayurvedic Panchakarma has proved to be very beneficial in terms of improving the body functions. It improves the sensation and the person’s abilities to do his daily activities efficiently.
The cause for hemiplegia is cerebra-vascular accidents or brain injuries. Brain injuries could be a result from abnormal blood supply to the brain tissues. In some cases, it may come as a result from long-term conditions like hypertension, vascular disorders, brain tumors etc.
Lifestyle that increases the chances of hemiplegia:
- having cold drinks or cold water;
- habit of eating frozen food like ice cream: icy-cold water puts lots of pressure on the digestive tract in order to maintain the normal body temperature and ultimately, it results in blood pressure imbalance which leads to development of hypertension.
- Fat-free food, as well as pungent and spicy food tastes can also be the reason for making serious changes in both the structure of the blood vessels and the nourishment of the nerve tissues. Weak body organs lead to Vata-energy imbalance, that may result in hemiplegia.
- Lifestyle: busy and hectic lifestyle puts stress on the body and mind; over-exertion leads to mal-nourishment of the body tissues. With the time the hectic lifestyle can also become another reason for Vata imbalance and one of the causative factors for developing hemiplegia.
In Ayurveda, hemiplegia can be successfully managed by following its treatment principles:
- Restrain from factors that can cause the disease: Ayurveda makes you aware of all possible reasons and risk factors. Knowing the cause, one can easily keep hemiplegia away from his life. E.g. avoid excessive physical activities by controlling the physical work-outs in the gym; avoid late night work; avoid jobs that require lots of physical strength, keep a balanced diet according to your body needs.
- Use regular purgative: The practice of using purgative regularly helps to prevent from hemiplegia, as well as to improve the condition for those who suffer from the disease.
Panchakarma for hemiplegia
The Ayurvedic Panchakarma procedures have been very effective in the treatment of hemiplegia.
Snehana (oleation) oil massage and swedana (fomentation therapy) with medicated herbal oils like Maha Narayana taila, Sahacharadi taila, Dhanvantara taila, Karpasasthyadi taila, Kshirabala taila are used for head and body massage.
Herbal massages increase the muscle strength, reduce the muscle stiffness and improve the muscle tone. Snehana corrects the protein and fat metabolism. It stimulates the process of repairing and restoration of the functional abilities of the body.
Virechana (medicated purgation): Medicated purgation helps for reducing and elimination of the pressure on the body organs; it also removes the toxins from the body and improves the function of the nerves.
The regular purgative therapy keeps the chemical composition of the blood constituents well-balanced; As an ultimate result from the treatment, one can see improvement of the condition of the blood-vessels, the muscles and the nerves.
- Vasti is the base treatment of hemiplegia. It cleans the body, corrects the function of the nerves and rejuvenates the nerves. Vasti also cuts the hemiplegia progression by eliminating the cause of the disease from the roots. A highly nutritional medicine is used, that is directly absorbed by the mucosa layer of the guts and the toxic substances are flushed out of the body.
- Shirodhara and Shiropitchu: Shirodhara is pouring of medicated liquid on the forehead from a specific height and in a specific rhythm. Shirodhara helps to purify and rejuvenate the central nervous system. It also eliminates the toxins and the mental exhaustion; it reduces the stress by stimulating the production of serotonin, the serum which helps to reduce stress.
- Nasya: Nasya is administration of drugs through nose. Drugs administered through nose can reach the brain easily. As the ‘controlled stimulation’ is a target of hemiplegia treatment, we can use this treatment effectively to stimulate the brain. It helps to eliminate the toxins accumulated in the brain.
Hemiplegia (pakshaghata) is a difficult condition, but Ayurveda plays an important role to take care and restore people’s health, so that they can have a normal life and manage their daily activities successfully.