Diagnosis – The Ayurveda Way
All treatments in Ayurveda are prescribed only after a careful diagnosis of the patient’s body constitution, family history, sex, age, stage of the disease etc. This will enable the patient to receive treatments that are specifically suited to his very needs. Ayurveda treatments will therefore vary from patient to patient.
The first consultation with an Ayurveda doctor, including the diagnosis will last for more than an hour. The basic step in the diagnosis will be to find the person’s body humor (Dosha) - Vata, Pita or Kapha, because it is the imbalance of these body humors that creates Retinitis pigmentosa.
The dominance of dosha in a person is found by asking several questions on his behavior, food habits, sleeping patterns, age, height & weight, place of life, profession, health problems and medical reports etc. Ayurveda diagnosis comprises of clinical and laboratory tests also.
Treatment methods for Retinitis Pigmentosa
After the diagnosis, the doctor sets out to treat the patient in a very systematic manner. This would include a set of appropriate Panchakarma treatments and Rasayana therapies .
The Panchakarma Treatments are meant to flush out the toxins, They are classified as pre-purification, main purification and post purification phases and include various types of therapies like oil massages, fermented liquid massages, medicinal enemas, herbal purification methods.
The Rasayana Therapies are meant to nourish the body, to bring the doshas back to balance and to regenerate the body.These comprise diet regulations, daily regimens, intake of oral medicines and ayurveda tonics, yoga and a stress free life. After the treatment the ayurveda doctors will advise you how to lead a healthy life. The beneifts and results of the treatment are shown only after the Rasyana Treatment is over and docotrs advise is strictly followed. The results will manifest itself normally after 3 to 4 weeks as the body takes time to regenerate itself.
Panchakarma for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Pre-purification therapies are the first ones applied to loosen the toxins, open up the circulation channels and get the body ready for discarding these wastes. These methods are highly relaxing for the body and mind.
The following pre-purification methods are usually adopted in curing retinitis pigmentosa.
Tharpanam is an ayurvedic therapy especially suitable for the eyes. In Ayurveda tharpanam or tharpan means retention of medicines over the eyes for up to 30 minutes or more a day. Tharpanam is effective in treating every type of eye disorder. It basically is an eye cleansing process and gives a cooling effect to the eyes. In tharpanam therapy, the eyes are bordered with a thick medical combination and the medicated oil is then retained over the eye.
Thalapothichil It is the application of herbal paste on the scalp of a patient for a specific period of time. Selected medicinal herbs, thoroughly ground and made in to a fine paste, is thickly applied on to the scalp of the person. The scalp part of the head is then covered up with usually banana leaf to allow the medicine to stay on and function well. This stays on the person’s head for almost 40 to 50 minutes giving wonderful relaxation to the mind. Fruits and herbs such as gooseberry, liquorices, asparagus, henna, lotus seeds, sandal, nut grass tuber etc are moisturized in buttermilk before grinding it to paste form. The paste thus obtained becomes a rich blend of various cooling agent.
This is the phase of elimination of toxins that were loosened at the pre purification treatment stage. These therapies are highly potential methods and are usually overseen by doctors. The two commonly adopted Panchakarma treatments for retinitis pigmentosa are Nasyam and Virechanam
Rasayana Therapies for Retinitis Pigmentosa
These are body nourishing therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind after the Panchakarma treatments. They keep the enzymes in the tissue cells in their normal functioning condition, restore and balance the body functions and maintain the overall health and well being of an individual for much longer periods after the Panchakarma course. Rasayana includes oral medicines and diet regulation.
Oral medicines used for treating retinitis pigmentosa will be extracts of pure medicinal herbs, leaves, spices etc. These are prepared specifically to restore the lost balance and to provide the needed inputs to cure retinitis pigmentosa. Kashayam and Arishtam - herbal decoctions and fermentations Lehiyams – semi solid formulation are commonly prescribed. Some of the herbs and spices used in the preparation of kashayams and lehyams for treating retinitis pigmentosa patients include fenugreek, cinnamon, ginseng, turmeric, stevia etc.
Diet regulations will be suggested for patients suffering from Retinitis pigmentosa during and after the treatment. Patients should always consume warm foods as these are easier to digest than cold foods. Consumption of fruits and vegetables are recommended. Cereals like wheat and rice can be consumed. Vegetable juices and soups are good. Juices of carrot, beetroot and cucumber mixed together are also beneficial. You can find out your type of prakruthi and decide a diet for yourself.
Yoga & Life Style for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Yoga and meditation are always beneficial and have always played a vital part in curing every type of disease. Yoga exercises done every day replenish and rebalance the physical and emotional systems that are depleted by the everyday stresses that lie so heavy on our lives. Yoga makes it possible to rest on a strong base of confidence and strength within oneself.
Life Style for Retinitis Pigmentosa: Patients suffering from Retinitis pigmentosa should avoid tension, stress and anxiety in their daily lives. They are also advised to take at least one or two weeks of rest after the Panchakarma experience. At this time the body is weak after the purification process and needs time to get back to normalcy. They should avoid direct exposure to the sun, staying up late in to the night and viewing television for long periods. They should take care to refrain from every form of eye strain. Light yoga postures, meditations and breathing exercises are advised.