What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an auto immune disease (where the body's immune system acts against the body) affecting the central nervous system. Here the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers neurons (nerve fibres in the nervous system). This will impact the brain and will cause loss of signals from the brain to other parts of the body. In some cases, the diseases can even cause the nerves to be permanently damaged.
The disease typically occurs between 20-50 years of age and is seen more commonly in women than men. While there is no complete cure for the disease, Ayurvedic treatment for Multiple Sclerosis is seen as highly effective in many cases.
What causes MS disease?
Even though there are many unknown factors causing MS, research has shown some indications which are listed below…
Stress: Long period of mental stress including any kind of trauma or shock
Family history: People who have close relatives (parents or siblings) with MS have a higher risk of developing the disease
Climate: MS is far more common in countries which are near the polar regions like Canada, United States (northern part), New Zealand, Australia and Northern Europe
Smoking: Smokers are more likely to develop the disease than non-smokers.
Vaccinations: Patient feedback have shown that many of them have developed the symptoms after taking multiple vaccinations as some of these affect the body functions.
Sleep disorders: Sleeping late and inadequate sleep are seen as aggravating the disorder.
Life style: Unhealthy life style, junk foods etc. Extreme sports are also seen as a cause in some cases.
Signs and symptoms of MS
Symptoms generally wary from person and person and is typically based on the amount of nerve damage. Typical symptoms include double vision, tremors in the limbs especially during sudden movements, numbness or weakness in the limbs, loss of balance etc. In some advanced cases, people may even have difficulty in walking and may need assistance in carrying out their daily activities.
Many people experience relapses which occur over days or weeks after periods of remission.
People with multiple sclerosis are also prone to develop other health issue like paralysis, depression, epilepsy, bladder/bowel dysfunction etc.
Ayurvedic treatment for Multiple Sclerosis in India
Modern medical treatment for multiple sclerosis are based on immunosuppressive drugs and steroids. These treatments can only suppress the symptoms and slow the progress of the disease. In addition, they have severe side effects also in most cases. Ayurveda has effective treatments for multiple sclerosis which have shown considerable progress in many people with the disease.
As per Ayurveda, a healthy person is one who has all the three doshas (Vata, Kapha, and Pitta) and 7 dhatus (plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone-marrow and seminal fluid) in balance. Any imbalance will result in the person being unhealthy and prone to disease. Ayurveda further considers the immune system of the body as of primary importance and believes that immune system is designed by nature to withstand all adversities and protect the body from harmful external and internal forces. Diseases typically occur due to improper life style habits and abusing the body with harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and chemicals consumed as part of food.
Ayurveda views MS as primarily a vata disorder. The objective of Ayurvedic treatment for multiple sclerosis is to restore the immune system especially the nervous system. The main treatment modalities include Shiro Vasti, Thaila dhara, and Kashaya dhara. However, the doctor would only decide on the treatment plan based on examination of the patient in person. The treatment method could vary greatly based on the stage of the disease and also importantly the body constitution of the patient.
Shiro Vasti: Here, medicated herbal oil and medicines in a cloth bag is tied over the head and kept for 1-2 hours. Some part of these medicines will be absorbed through the scalp influencing some of the most important nerve centers or energy centers.
Thaila Dhara: Warm medicated oil is poured over the body and a soft massage is performed focussing on the special nerve centers. This process also affects the neurological system. The body will become more flexible, numbness and stiffness will slowly disappear, and bladder and bowel will start functioning better.
Kashaya Dhara: This is similar to Thaila dhara except that instead of oil, decoction (Kashaya) is poured over the body combined with a soft massage. Kashaya is a medicinal preparation from a plant or plants. This process helps to increase the metabolism level in the body and causes overall relaxation.
Doctors may also decide on some other therapies like Nasya (application of medicated oil through the nostrils), Njavara Kizhi (rice massage with a very special rice which grows only in Kerala), Basti, Talam etc. This will be purely based on the condition of the person.
Duration and cost of Multiple Sclerosis treatment in Ayurvedic
Typical treatment duration is around 45-60 days tending more towards 60 than 45 in most cases. There may be additional 1 or 2 cycles required in subsequent years where the duration is typically lesser. This depends on the progress of the disease and the person's reaction to the initial treatment.
The long treatment duration is primarily because the body needs about 3 weeks to get used to the herbal medication and the real impact of the treatment will start only after those 3 weeks.
Actual treatment duration differs for each person and is typically dependent on the factors listed below.
Constitution of the person (person with a Vata constitution will need more time compared to someone with a Kapha constitution)
Form of the disease (RRMS or Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, which is the most common form, takes comparatively lesser time than other forms of MS)
Progress of the disease (people with initial symptoms and people with lesser number of lesions can be treated faster than others)
Typical treatment cost for Multiple Sclerosis in India would be between 4200 to 8300 USD. The cost of treatment would depend on the duration, type of hospital and type of room chosen.
Dos and Don'ts after the treatment
Consume freshly prepared food and at normal intervals only.
Chew the food properly while eating
Concentrate on food intake while eating
Avoid watching TV, talking etc. while eating
Avoid processed and fabricated food
Avoid coffee, alcohol, tobacco, drugs etc.
Never take a shower immediately after food
Drink a warm glass of water (this will stimulate the bowel movement)