When the nerves no longer work properly and the flow of connectivity is disturbed, a combination of Eastern and Western medicine can be very effective. Ayurveda has many possibilities in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
The diagnosis multiple sclerosis (MS) means shock, anxiety, uncertainty, and insecurity for the patient – how is it going to affect me? Many questions arise concerning the professional and family situation.
The relatives are also affected by the diagnosis. This requires sensitive informing, counseling, social and psychological accompaniment in order to re-plan life and to adapt it to the situation. Plans and dreams are important for MS patients. They nourish the soul, give strength, and structure and lead back into stability.
In Ayurveda multiple sclerosis belongs to the diseases of the nervous system that gives the impulse for all forms of movement in the human body. This comprises pulse-beat and eyelid movement as well as the nervous impulses, intestinal peristalsis, reproductive and excretory functions, movement of the body, etc. Hence, the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system form a functional unit that is represented by Vata Dosha (elements ether and air), the principle of motion.
“In Ayurveda multiple sclerosis is seen as a disease of the nervous system.”
Women are more affected
In Central Europe, MS is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, affecting women twice as frequently as men. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly perceives corporeal tissue as a foreign matter.
This leads to inflammatory reactions in which the myelin sheaths of the nerve cells are attacked and the nerves are damaged. In connection with the surrounding connective tissue scarring occurs which hinders the transmission of the nerve impulses and delays the information flow. Therefore, command execution is delayed or not executed at all.
The symptoms of MS are very diverse. They could even be attributed to different pathologies, which makes the diagnosis more difficult. The first symptoms occur surprisingly – there may be visual and emotional disturbances in the arms and legs combined with walking problems and balance disorders as well as adynamia. In more rare cases, trigeminal neuralgia, pain, and cognitive difficulties may also be symptoms at beginning of MS.
The outbreak of the disease occurs in most MS sufferers by shoves, which can last for days or even for months. Between those attacks, the disease is at rest. These phases of rest do not initially show any worsening of the symptoms, but in the advanced stage fifty percent of those affected develop a slowly increasing worsening of the symptoms, even in the non-relapsed period. Walking problems and balance disorders, emotional problems, spasticity, fatigue, weakness and coordination disorders in the arms and legs, bladder and sexual disorders can also be added to the disease pattern. Also, double vision images, pain and muscle spasticity as well as loss of cognitive performance (e.g., concentration problems) and other psychological symptoms are within the scope.
Those various complaints may not have to occur at the same time. In some MS patients, only a few occur. They can come and go and vary strongly in their appearance.
Vata, Pitta, Kapha
Vata, formed by the elements of air and ether, the principle of motion, is responsible for all movement in the body, such as breathing, circulation, transport of food, transmission of nerve impulses, and psychological processes.
Pitta, formed from the elements fire and little water, is the principle of transformation and implementation. It reigns over metabolism and heat balance.
Kapha, formed from the elements of water and earth, is the principle of structure, endurance, and resilience. It stands for bones, teeth and fingernails, and care, the social principle.
Important medicinal progress
Until today, MS is considered to be not curable, its course is individual and not foreseeable. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the course.
In recent years, however, there has been some remarkable progress in MS research. The timely beginning of therapy can significantly slow the course of the disease or prevent progress. This is where Ayurvedic medicine, in addition to school medicine, can offer good support in order to positively activate the self-healing forces and the healing process.
The unpredictability in MS often leads to a weakening of the psychic stability of the sick person and to depression. Consequently, the strengthening of the emotional and mental constitution is particularly important in the holistic approach of Ayurvedic therapy. The motivation of the patient and the belief in the success of the treatment are the basis for the healing process.
From Ayurvedic point of view, multiple sclerosis is a disease caused by bioenergy Vata (movement principle), in which, however, all three bioenergies, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, are involved. Accordingly, therapy is just as elaborate as that of traditional medicine; but together they can achieve a lot in the treatment of MS.
Adapt your life habits
A curative measure – as mentioned below – at the beginning of the Ayurveda treatment is absolutely recommended. It provides the basis for all subsequent medical treatments and therapeutic measures.
An individual nutrition consultation at the beginning of the cure, an intensive manual-therapeutic care and the psychological accompaniment enable a sensitive change of the dietary habits and the attitude to life.
“MS is a disease caused by the bioenergy Vata”
Depending on the constitution of the patient, the state of the disease, age and general condition and the season of the year, there are approximately 30 different ways of therapy that can be chosen. Some of those therapies are: Murdi thaila (treatment of medicated oil on the head), Kanji Dhara (pouring of medicated herbs) Abhyanga (massage), Shiro Dhara (pouring medicated oil on the forehead), Shiro Vasti (approx. 11 medicated herbal oils are in contact with the scalp by the help of a leather hat), Kizhi (massage with herbs tied in a cloth), Thaila Dhara (oil treatment over the entire body), Pizhichil (variation of whole body oil treatment), Anuvasana Basti (oil enema), Asthapana Basti (enema with herbal decoction), Karna Poorana (treatment of the ears), or Tarpana (treatment of the eyes).
On one hand the main focus of the treatment is to calm Vata, especially of the central nervous system, in order to bring calmness and stability into the way of life. On the other hand Agni (the digestive fire) has to be strengthened and stabilized in order to remove slacks (Ama). This may stop the further course of the disease and have a positive influence on life quality. Digestion regulating spices such as cumin, ginger, coriander, some black and long pepper, and hing (asafetida) may have a positive effect.
“Ayurveda disposes of many health enhancing remedies activating the cell metabolism”
The basis for the treatment is, on the one hand, an exact anamnesis and the determination of the individual constitution, Prakriti, and, on the other hand, the analysis of the actual condition, Vikriti, the current constitution. It has to be found out to what extent the patient lives against his congenital constitution and how the doshas manifest themselves as disturbing factors, as symptoms of the disease.
Ayurveda has many medicinal herbs and tonics, so-called Rasayanas, which activate the cell metabolism and stimulate regeneration. An experienced physician or curative practitioner should prescribe them. The accompanying manual therapies revitalize the body, release sclerosis, relax the muscles and soothe the nervous system. They stimulate metabolism and blood circulation and thus promote the purification and the elasticity of the individual body tissues.
Calmness, a regular biorhythm, a healthy change between tension and relaxation, a healthy sleep-wake rhythm, a balanced diet, physical activity and fresh air support the healing process and the immunity as well as mental food in the form of joy of life.
Meals should be characterized by the following Vata soothing elements: they should be predominantly moist, warm, regular and easily digestible. Freshly prepared vegetables, rice, mung-dal, soups, desserts, boiled milk, and ghee are recommended. If the digestive power is good, a small salad can be eaten at noon after the hot meal.
Dry, raw, cold, sour, spicy, and bitter food should be avoided as they promote Vata. Similarly, cheese, yoghurt, and curd should be avoided as well because these foods block the body canals, the Srotas.
Watch the trauma
Not only slags on the physical plane can be removed by these measures, but there is holistic cleansing on all levels –on the physical, mental and psychological levels. Even deep-seated trauma – psychological slags – can be alleviated by therapeutic treatment in order to be healed. Traumas sometimes play a serious role in the development of the disease. If they come to the surface through the initiated measures and treatments, special spiritual therapy methods and the psychotherapy of Ayurveda are used.
The possibilities of Ayurveda therapy, especially for MS, are unfortunately only restrictedly possible in Europe due to the reduced infrastructure. Traditional medicine is also at its limits. However, both could jointly make an excellent contribution to the treatment of multiple sclerosis. They could, through mutual open-mindedness, make an important contribution to the treatment of multiple sclerosis – for example, though inpatient treatment, curative measures, and outpatient care. It is worth bringing visions into space so that they can manifest themselves.
…..to be continued