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When the patient is weak and the disease is strong, balance doshas.

          

          Sunday, October 22, 2017

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Treating Depression
By  Dr. Maulik B Vyas (BAMS; DHM; CFN)

During depression, the nervous activity gets disturbed, something that is attributed to vata dosha involvement. Following that, certain enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters function in an impaired manner, something that is attributed to pitta dosha involvement. These two conditions play their role within the brain and subsequent to that the affected person reflects this disturbance in his or her behavior, in the external form of dullness on face and a torpid appearance, which is said to manifest kapha dosha involvement.

Meditation and yoga being parts of Ayurveda strongly help one to overcome the depression. Ayurveda focuses on both – an internal and an external therapy that affects brain one or the other way.

EXTERNAL THERAPY

SHIRODHARA

This comes under “third eye” treatment. Ayurveda believes this is the location for “shringataka marma” (the vital point on forehead). This locates exactly at center of two eyebrows and slightly upwards in direction. The area it covers is the center part of the forehead. In this, the person is made to lie down in supine position on a table, which is called droni.

Hanging at a height of about 50 cms, there is this special vessel called shirodhara droni. A wick is passed through the orifice that this shirodhara droni has and it hangs out of the pot targeting the perfect brook of the material inside. As per the disease and diseased, there are plenty of medications available like oil (taila dhara), medicated buttermilk (takra dhara) and so on that are used.

After pouring the decided drug, the pot is stroked a little that it starts swinging like pendulum. The dripping of liquid material is allowed on the forehead of the patient in such a way that it falls in equal quantity and everywhere on forehead restricting eyes and ears. So one has to cover eyes with cloth and can put gauze piece in the ears carefully.

SHIROBASTI OR SHIROVASTI

This is labeled as “cap treatment”. A perpendicular long cap is taken that fits exactly to the person’s head. The head is shaven off preferably. A person is asked to sit on a chair with light clothing. The cap is fixed and is sealed at the junction it touches to the head. This is done either by the tape or the dough of wheat flour. The idea is preventing leaking of cap containing onto forehead and rest of the body.

The medicated oil is poured into the cap and is filled up to certain level. The retention of the oil is allowed for about 45 minutes in general. Ayurveda believes that holding of certain medicated oil restores the functions of brain by its penetrating property.

ABHYANGA

This is nothing but general body massage. This also refers to normal anointing. Abhyanga is one of the most popular and world wide accepted therapy. Apart from the typical Ayurvedic massage, there are other massages including Thai massage, Swedish and many more.

An Ayurvedic approach is when one undergoes the massage therapy; overall circulation of the blood in body is regulated giving rejuvenation effect to the living being. The massage increases the plasma concentration of Tryptophan, one of the most important amino acid, which is responsible for nourishing the body as well as brain. This has also something to do with regulating the serotonin level which is an important neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates the mood and stress. Certain type of oil like brahmi tailam (an Indian herbal oil preparation) is also used to massage the head. This could be done in weekends.

There are certain techniques and strokes to perform the massage applied by masseur (one who perform massage) depending upon the organ or area of the body. Ayurvedic physician has to decide the types of the oil for massaging as different type of oils are used in different types of conditions.

INTERNAL THERAPY

One has to follow the strict Ayurvedic diet for what to eat and what not to. Along with the life style changes here are certain internal medications those help overcoming the depression.

MEDICATIONS

Ayurveda has plenty of herbs that work on the nervous system and calm down the brain. These include single herb extract like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), vachaa (Acorus calamus), Mandook parni (Centella asiatica) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia). Apart from these there are plenty of patent medicines available in the Indian Ayurvedic market.

Some of the classical formulae regulate the affected Dosha involved in depression (maanasik roga). These include Ghrita preparation (the ghee – butter oil preparation with Ayurvedic herbs), to name them… Saarasvat Ghrita, Brahmi Ghrita and Kalyanaka Ghrita. Sarasvatarishta and Ashwagandharishtam are the fermented Ayurvedic formulae used for the same.

-- © August Ayurveda .

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