The Ayurvedic Treatment of Chronic Pain

Healing Chronic Pain with Ayurvedic Medicine

A natural dietary approach that is modified according to your body’s needs, Ayurvedic medicine offers a unique way of treating chronic pain. It identifies the individual as a wholly unique physical and mental and is premised on the principle of providing customized healing diets that address every imaginable ailment.

What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

Ayurvedic Medicine is one of the oldest methods of medicine. The practice of Ayurveda began in India thousands of years ago. Studies have also supported the operating thesis of Ayurvedic medicine which is, in a phrase, to strike a balance between mind, body and soul.

To achieve this harmony between these components it involves a combination of practices, primarily concentrating on specific foods, spices, dietary changes, health practices and therapeutic exercises to suit the body’s complete needs.

The Ayurvedic Approach to Treating Chronic Pain

Ayurvedic medicine strives to bring balance to the body by healing and controlling excess inflammation and making the body as a whole less susceptible to pain. According to fundamental Ayurvedic beliefs, maintaining a balance in a person’s physiology (doshas), digestive system (Agni), tissues of cells in the body (Dhatus), and excretions (malas) can enhance the body’s function to assimilate nutrients, detoxify and boost overall health.

Ayurvedic medicine’s approach to treating chronic pain is, therefore, holistic- as it treats the root cause of the pain rather than just pain itself (in the case of painkillers!)

Chronic pain is not the usual pain you feel upon sustaining an injury that then heals over time. Instead, whatever the cause, it lingers and just never seems to go away.

So what exactly is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is generally caused by disturbance of the inflammatory response in the body. In conditions such as injury, infections or trauma, the body’s regular response is pain, inflammation or swelling in the affected part which is gradually followed by an anti-inflammatory response to restore the condition. In case of chronic pain, there is a disorder in the anti-inflammatory response leading to chronic imbalance and hence the unremitting experience of pain.

Ayurvedic science suggests determining the physiological tendencies (doshas) of each individual, which can be different in every case. Ayurvedic medicine revolves around the three doshas namely Kapha, Vata and Pitta- these determine the physiological functions in every individual, as each person tends to show all of these qualities in a certain proportions.

What Are Doshas?

The Doshas Explained
  1. Vata Dosha

People with the Vata personalities tend to be quick, creative and light; usually have thin frames and are more prone to chronic pain and similar problems such as arthritis. They tend to be anxious and worried under stressful conditions. They suffer from complaints of sickness due to their poor immune system and poor circulation, indicated by their hands and feet frequently feeling cold. People with the vata energy love to stay warn and dislike cold temperatures.

Mostly sour and sweet fruits such as pineapple, peaches, strawberries etc, and having cooked vegetables in the form of soups or broths and also including warm, oily and heavy foods (mostly sweet, salty and sour) in the diet are believed to keep the body warm and also help to keep the dosha in balance. Getting enough rest and keeping a regular schedule is needed to balance the Vata dosha.

  1. Pitta Dosha

People with predominance of this energy are almost always perfectionists, and passionate, alert with good concentration levels, but tend to be a little argumentative in nature. Physically, they have medium-sized frames and dislike hot or warm climates. As the Pitta energy is related with fire, the common problems related with this energy are fever, acidity, inflammation and infections etc.

Balancing Pitta dosha involves keeping everything in moderation, while also partaking in sufficient amounts of play and resting time. Including foods that are cold in nature and temperature such as watermelon, pears, pomegranate, etc and vegetables that are sweet and bitter like okra, broccoli, and leeks etc. and keeping regular meal schedule can help balance this dosha.

  1. Kapha Dosha

People in this category are usually built with broad frames and on the heavier side, and tend to gain weight easily. The Kapha dosha temperament is content and loyal, although appearing to be slow and lazy, with low endurance level. They are generally calm and stable.

The most common health problems seen among people with Kapha dosha is their susceptibility to allergies and sinus problems. They dislike damp climate and hence are more inclined to sunny climate.

To balance the Kapha dosha, it is important to have an active lifestyle otherwise they tend to be sluggish. Having a diet of fresh fruits and vegetable can help maintain this dosha.

How do I Start?

Ayurvedic medicine not only restores the physical aspect but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of life that also play an important part in the life of an individual. It is no surprise that several studies have also indicated Ayurvedic medicine to be effective for treating chronic pain and many other diseases.

However, consulting your health care practitioner for proper guidance on Ayurvedic medicine as an alternative approach for treating chronic pain can be a right way to start as they might seem to interfere with other medications.

Ayurvedic Reading Resources

For more information on natural cures for chronic pain, click here.

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Chronic Pain Team