It is estimated that over 350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis. If you are feeling aches and stiffness in your body, experiencing pain and swelling in the joints or are simply have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis.
Because the medications that reduce the pain of arthritis also can have serious side effects, many people are looking into alternative, natural approaches to arthritis. Research has shown statistically significant improvements in patients with arthritis when Ayurveda doctors were allowed to create individualized, patient-specific combinations of herbs and therapies for each person. Why was this a requirement for success?
Ayurveda identifies 3 categories or types of arthritis corresponding to Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.
Vata Aggravated Arthritis
Those with Vata aggravated arthritis may find that their joints may pop and crack because they are dry. Joints also may feel cold to the touch. With this type of arthritis, joints are painful mostly with movement and usually there is one particular area, which is tender or sore.
Pitta Aggravated Arthritis
With Pitta aggravated arthritis joints there is usually inflammation. Joints become swollen, red and hot to the touch and can be painful even when there is no movement.
Kapha Aggravated Arthritis
With Kapha aggravated arthritis joints also appear red, but the joints feel cool instead of hot. There can also be stiffness in the joints. In this case, pain occurs when one is at rest and movement can actually decrease the sensation of pain. Waking up in the morning after a night without movement can be quite painful for many with Kapha aggravate arthritis.
Treatment for arthritis is specific to the dosha that is aggravated. But it is also important to understand that the underlying cause of arthritis is poor digestion. Because of a person’s underlying constitution, diet, life-style and daily routine, Vata, Pitta or Kapha can become aggravated. When that happens, that aggravation of doshas interferes with digestion, which in turn leads to the creation of ama, a sticky toxin. Ama accumulates in the colon from where it gets absorbed into the body and circulates, eventually accumulating in the tissues and joints.
The ama is “flavored” by whatever dosha is out of balance: thus there is Vata-aggravated ama, Pitta-aggravated ama and Kapha-aggravated ama. Ama settling into the joints is what causes the symptoms of pain, inflammation and swelling.
If you are seeking alternative approach to dealing with joint pain, the best first step is a consultation with an experienced Ayurveda expert. Using pulse assessment, an expert can see the root cause of your particular kind of arthritis and design the most effect approach for your specific symptoms and degree of imbalance and accumulation of ama.
Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments address arthritis on many levels. Panchakarma begins with a home cleansing program that starts to loosed and remove impurities and helps open the channels of elimination in preparation for the more intensive treatments. The treatments themselves are gentle, yet powerful cleansing therapies that remove the toxins and impurities from your tissues and help open the channels of circulation and elimination. An individualized treatment program will be designed to specifically address the dosha that is causing problems, as well as removing ama and blockages from the joints and tissues.
Some of treatments used in dealing with arthritis are:
In this treatment a continuous stream of warming herbalized oil is poured over the entire body. The oil soaks through the skin, penetrating deep into the body’s tissues. This softens the skin and mobilizes impurities. It also helps to balance Vata dosha and ease stiff joints.
Boluses filled with a mixture of rice cooked with milk and Ayurvedic herbs are used to give a full-body massage. This treatment balances the physiology, and strengthens and nourishes the muscles and joints. It is often recommended for with those with joint pain from arthritis as well as those suffering from joint and muscle pain caused by accidents and injuries.
For more information on Ayurvedic treatments for arthritis, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website: