Pain Relief and Management- The Ayurveda Route
Pain Relief and Management- The Ayurveda Route
Simply put, what is pain?
Plainly put, pain is a sensation that hurts. The definition put forth by the International Association for the Study of Pain is that, "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage."
Pain is described in many connotations. It could be an ache, a hurting or throbbing sensation, soreness, a sting-like feeling, tenderness, twinge, or a pinching sense and as pain levels go higher, it could feel like a jab or a stabbing, unbearable pain. The levels of pain are best described by the individual going through it and only they could pinpoint, describe or detail its intensity, its origins and the type and level of pain. It is something that is experienced or felt and cannot be seen and it is not apparent or visible. It is via the emotions of the person suffering the pain can we determine the discomfort, distress, agony, uneasiness and the physical suffering.
Pain is distinct and it is our nervous system that actually carries pain signals to the brain and communicates it. And most often, people consult physicians because they are in pain and seek relief from that.
Pain could be caused by an either a sickness or an injury. It could hamper daily routines and it manifests in many ways. It could be a toothache, headache, stomach ache, discomfort in the stomach, muscular strains and aches, joint pain or even back pain etc. It could also be a result of an injury or an accident. And in the quest of an answer to this and the panacea we seek is Pain relief!
What maybe the reasons for physical pain and suffering?
Pain could be caused due to inequities and disproportions that become a part of us and is entrenched in our composition over the years. And to achieve absolute pain relief, these inequities have to be dealt with in essence.
Some of the root causes of pain originate from:
The path to Pain Relief via Ayurveda
- Accumulation of toxins in the body
- Imbalance buildup in the body over time
- Poor food habits and lack of nutrition
- Digestion issues and stomach ailments
- Nervous system disorders
- Stress factors affecting the mind and body
- Reduced immunity and resistance power
- Sleep disorders and disturbances to the natural biological rhythms
People seek several methods, routes and machinations for pain relief. Our brain is made of many chemicals that are pain-relieving. And in order to activate this, and for these chemicals to be released, temporary pain medications help create the placebo effect and gives an instantaneous respite from pain. This experience is known as 'self efficacy'.
And some of these methods could be mainstay allopathic interventions or even alternative treatment courses like Ayurveda and Homeopathy. Pain relief could also be achieved with systemized exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. And of course, Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Relaxation, Massages and a couple Therapies can also help relieve pain.
And in this, the ancient, established, revered 'Science of Life' Ayurveda has some very effective, classic approaches to Pain relief.
Pain Relief Approach via Ayurveda
The Ayurvedic pain relief approaches are definitely individualized, unique and different. Instead, of trying to address pain at a general level, Ayurveda goes several notches higher, trying to nip it at the bud and eliminate the root causes. This is achieved by generating a conscious understanding of pain via self-awareness and also looking at pain as a combined mind-body occurrence. Through this, pain is eased and it is proven very effective and it is also not habit-forming.
As per Ayurveda, the source of pain originates when our inherent doshas
are aggravated. This is especially seen when our vata dosha
is affected and addressing and treating this will help subside pain and give great pain relief.Ayuryogashram,
the serene, inviting Ayurvedic resort in Kerala
has incorporated the classic Ayurvedic
principles and beliefs in their pain management therapies and treatments.
Pain and the Spiritual Angle
It is inherent knowledge that faith and spirituality can really influence pain management. As per the ancient Vedic texts and in line with Ayurvedic principles, it is believed that pain arises due to one's own karma
But it doesn't affect our soul or even higher self. And to substantiate this, as per the ancient text, Bhagavad Gita,
Lord Krishna imparts his teachings on pain to Arjuna, "weapons do not cut it, fire does not burn it ... the self is indestructible and timeless."
Therefore, if we consider pain impermanent and detach it from our self, then we develop the strength to deal with it and help ourselves to alleviate it.
Lifestyle and Way of Life affecting Pain Management
Our pain toleration and adaptability is dependent on our genes and our lifestyle, our background, our exposure, stress levels, relationships, emotional connect and quotient, awareness, positive influences and experiences. Women and men are affected differently by pain. A good mind-body awareness, exercise and diet also do help manage pain to a great extent. And if we do not let stress affect our lives, then the release of pain-easing chemicals is not affected. This cannot be truer, as Ayuryogashram believes that lifestyle changes have a very positive impact.
Pain remedies via Ayurveda
- Learn to relax, via yoga-inspired relaxation techniques like shavasana and pranayama and other asanas. This helps release spasms, stress, tension and calms mind and body. Ayuryogashram has a full-fledged Yoga Center where residents can learn asanas and benefit from them.
- Regular Ayurvedic oil massages or snehana, abhayanga and shirodhara are very therapeutic and help manage pain effectively. People with stiff knees, back pain, joint and knee pain can especially find great relief. Massages have such a positive effect that it renders an overall balance. To know more about the treatments and therapies offered by Ayuryogashram, visit ayuryogashram.com.
- Basti treatment or therapy performed for specific areas of the body, helps lessen pain and also strengthen them.
- Food is effective in pain management. A perfectly balanced and strict diet helps pacify any aggravated dosha and thus helps reduce pain.
- Herbs play a great role in pain management. It is incorporated in Ayurvedic medications, treatments or therapies and its combined effect should just be experienced.
Pain, its effects, unceasingly persisistng nature, types and intensities as per Ayurveda has very well been captured in the words of Robert E. Svoboda, "Ayurveda welcomes and accepts pain, even while trying to relieve it, for Nature intends pain to be a multi-layered message delivered to us. And the underlying edict is to look beyond that body part, not stop using it. With a request to look beyond, into our lives, lifestyle and to take note of what we are doing, and thus see what we are doing to create this misery."
Therefore, the cure lies not just by resorting to a on the spot reliever, or a placebo effect or any temporary fix, but to pursue pain doggedly and root it out via Ayurvedic determined principles and doctrines and learning to applying and assimilating it in everyday life!