Monday, March 14, 2011


     Mrs. X is a hypersensitive lady; she can’t tolerate pain at all – whether it is physical or mental.  In this circumstance, slowly if she has developed Arthritic problem,  just try to imagine her position.  Yes, literally she began to cry while explaining the problems suffered by her.  As same as some other patients, after trying Modern Medicine, which consists painkillers and then another system of medicine unsuccessfully, the case came to my hand.  A couple of month’s treatment did definitely give her a considerable relief.  Subsequently, I advised her on the routine that is to be followed and asked her to report if there is any problem.  Since then a few months have elapsed and once, incidentally, when I asked her on phone as to how she is and how is the pain, she asked me in reply, “what pain”?!  Well, let her not remember it, I thought for a while as  I didn’t want her to cry.  Nevertheless, I advised her to continue the natural medicine that I prescribed, at least for a few more months.

   What is Arthritis?  It’s inflammation of the joints and is one of the most pervasive types that extends the problem to muscles, tissues etc.  The word, “Arthritis” has been derived from Greek words; Arthro means joint and itis means inflammation. Mostly, people above the age of fifty - fifty five start showing symptoms of this imbalance of the body.  Further, if not taken care or not treated in its required manner, Arthritis may lead to various other problems and ultimately end up in disability too! The patients suffer severe pain, swelling around the joints and stiffness.  Septic and Gouty Arthritis are caused by joint infection and deposition of uric acid in the joint respectively.  The term Osteoarthritis refers to the ailment resulting from structural changes that take place in the cartilage of the joints in the old age and Rheumatoid Arthritis affects muscles and tissues also besides joints of wrists, fingers, knees etc.  As same as some other diseases, the reasons for this disease could be many including hereditary which could be considered as a prime factor.

     The Modern Medical Science gives much importance to diagnosis and the treatment with required medicines and equipment depends upon the same.  In some Alternative Systems of Medicine, symptoms are considered important,  as the indicated remedies do show result when the same are matched well with the symptoms after administration of remedies that drain out the ill effects by medication and its deposition in the digestive system.  But, when symptoms change, accordingly the medicines also are to be changed giving little inconvenience both to the patient as well as the practitioner. 

     Well, now let’s see it from the Naturopathic point of view.  As the “disease”, like any other disease, is considered as an “imbalance” of the body/mind, to bring it into “balance”,  a detailed study of daily routine of the patient by the Naturopath is a must.  There will be a root cause for any imbalance and it may pave way to other tribulations, one by one.  In a quite natural way and without any remedies that give after effects, the same are to be attended.  The word, “cure” (not just relief) will have its real meaning only when the “disease” is removed from the root as otherwise, if not immediately, at a later stage definitely it will reoccur with same, similar or different symptoms of disease/s!  While this is the truth, unfortunately, laymen’s including well educated people’s  understanding is that “cure” means disappearance of the existing symptom/s “immediately” with just one doze of medicine or so (without knowing the background well as mentioned above)!        

     The patient has to avoid constipation keeping aside his/her likes and dislikes at least for some time.  If required, the patient could be given a lukewarm enema, in order to make the bowel movements clear. The diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables.  Salad of raw vegetables viz. tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, beat, carrot, radish, onion etc. sprinkling there on some lime juice (and little salt to taste, only if it is a must for the patient) are advisable. 

     Depending upon the patient’s total symptom picture, some of the food items may not suit to the patient. Also, in general, cold water and eatables – particularly, refrigerated ones are not advisable at all.  The pain and the associated problems of Arthritis aggravate by cold and in cold season. 

     Obesity is really an obstacle so as to carry the right weight by the knees, ankles etc. and thus for the smooth functioning of muscles, tendons and ligaments.  If the patient has obesity, the same is to be attended with proper diet in order to reduce the body weight as well. 

     Massage with mustard/peanut/sesame oil can be given to the affected part.  While mustard oil is good for relief from pain, peanut oil and sesame oil are better for application due to their anti-inflammatory properties.  A complete and regular massage to the palms and feet in the morning and evening will not only give a considerable relief but also it will activate the inner organs to normalize their functions.  You must have observed the old people doing this or others for them, just from the life experience. 

     Wheat Grass is found highly beneficial in the treatment.  It is called as a natural miracle remedy in the treatment by Nature cure methods.  It can be grown in the house and raw juice prepared from the grass is a natural food supplement.  It helps to overcome the existing problem and also the associated ones by regaining the vital force, which was reduced or lost by the body.

     Doing Pranayama – Ujjai Breathing, Anuloma-Viloma, Bhramari and also Kapalbhati along with Meditation at the end for a few minutes will help the body to get oxygenated pure blood (removing the impure blood from the system that creates lot of problems and ultimately resulting in the imbalance of the body) and also to get peace of mind.  Moreover, some simple Yoga exercises slowly slowly (not advisable while suffering from severe pain) by standing, sitting and lying viz. trikonasana/vrikshasana, vajrasana (with the help of a pillow, if required)/padmasana, shavasana etc.  will definitely help to eradicate the problems.

     In short, like a number of other ailments, Arthritis also can be cured and the patient can be brought back into normalcy (considering the age factor) by advising for proper attention to be paid to the food habits, exercise, massage and natural medicines that are advised by a Naturopath (without any medicines that give side effects) depending upon the problems and its severity.  Just, a firm determination to adopt natural methods is required which would save the patient from unnecessary medication, expense and from its hard and fast rules (but, still with ill effects).  That’s it.  

(Published in the March ’07 issue of Nisaropachar Varta, NIN, Min. of Health, Dept. of Ayush.)

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