Recently, the rate of chronic health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis has increased. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects your bones, especially the joints at your extremities. Typically, this condition causes unusual painful swelling of the joints which leads to bone erosion and physical deformities. In the more severe cases, arthritis can cause other symptoms unrelated to the bones like tiredness, fatigue and dry mouth.
RA is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, specifically your bones and joints. In severe cases, RA can even affect internal organs. There is no known cure for this condition, but you can manage the symptoms associated with this disease. The most common treatment for RA is the use of immunosuppressants. Medication is usually paired with lifestyle changes which can further reduce the progression of this disease. Ayurveda, a natural alternative, is becoming more popular with arthritis patients because of its accessibility and organic nature.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian practice that believes a holistic approach is the best way to keep the body healthy. According to Ayurveda’s philosophy, it’s believed that there has to be a balance between a person’s body, spirit and soul before that individual can be regarded as being fully healthy.
According to these ancient teachings, your body type dictates how your body works. Every individual is a mix of doshas which are believed to be your major life force and dictate how your body works. Therefore, according to the Ayurveda concept, when you have a certain type of sickness in the body, it means that there is a preceding imbalance in that body’s dosha and realigning the body’s doshas will effectively manage this ailment.
The three doshas the body is made from, according to Ayurveda, are the Vata dosha, Pitta dosha, and Kapha Dosha, and they all are associated with different functions in the body. The Vata dosha is believed to control the basic physiological functions of the body such as cell division, breathing, blood flow, and the heart. The Pitta dosha controls functions that are metabolically inclined such as digestion. While Kapha dosha controls other functions such as muscle building, stability, weight and immune-related functions. Also, there are special diets for ayurvedic dosha. An imbalance in the Vata dosha is more often times associated with the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis.
In Ayurveda, there is a condition known as Amavata. Amavata is known as a disease in which there is an imbalance in the Vata dosha and is associated with an accumulation of Ama in the joints. Ama, in Ayurveda, is improperly digested products present in the body. The presence of Ama in the body is closely associated with symptoms such as the production of pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the ligaments and joints.
The presenting symptoms of Amavata are very similar to the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and is considered the traditional form of RA. A traditional ayurvedic practitioner may interchange these symptoms for each other. Ayurveda is considered a very viable form of management for the condition, a condition that has been treated by ayurvedic practitioners since ancient times.
In Ayurveda, the first line of management will include an individual ensuring that he avoids every possible cause of their condition. Proper cognizance of the dominant dosha, the Vata dosha, will be very effective in the management of this condition.
Asides from this, there are specific ayurvedic management modes that should be followed in order to manage rheumatoid arthritis specifically. Some of these treatment modes include:
Diet modification can help those who are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The foods in this special Ayurveda diet are specifically chosen because they can rebalance the Vata dosha. Specifically, legumes such as beans, grains such as rice and oats, fulvic trace minerals, leafy vegetables, and spices all help rebalance the Vata dosha.Generally, your diet should only include food that is very easy to digest, and should be well cooked before ingesting. When you incorporate these specific foods into your diet, it will
help rebalance your Vata dosha and, by extension, reduce the symptoms of your rheumatoid arthritis
Certain movements are vital in the management of this condition. These movements should not be vigorous. As such, gentle movements are required of the patient, especially in the affected joint area. Yoga, swimming and slow walking are examples of gentle movements that can also be quite beneficial to rheumatoid arthritis.
Yoga has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for the management of arthritis generally, especially for symptoms such as improvement of energy, physical pain, and even other symptoms like depression.
Maintenance of the overall body system is very essential as it will tell on the particular joint affected by the condition. Presenting symptoms such as sleep and stiffness can be relieved by ensuring that adequate rest is taken by the individual in the form of adequate sleep.
Following the ayurvedic standard for sleep routine will, therefore, prove to be quite beneficial for such individuals. Simple habits such as going to bed with sunset and rising with sunrise to will help ensure that the individual undergoes the required amount of time needed for sleep. Avoiding midday’s nap will also help to increase the length of time spent sleeping at night.
As with most ayurvedic treatment modes, constant practice of deep breathing and meditations have been proven to be quite effective with the overall maintenance of the body system of such individual.
Use of other modifications such as intake of herbs and supplements, oil therapies, and even hot therapies to the entire body can also help to improve the overall health of such individuals.
It is important to avoid rigorous activities such as running and high- impact activities in everyday activities to prevent an acceleration of the ailment in individuals. The use of alcohol should also be limited to the barest minimum possible to aid the improvement of this condition in individuals.
Before embarking on any different mode of treatment or lifestyle modification, it is very important that you consult your physician to discuss these new modes and how best to go about it.