Ayurveda has a very interesting understanding of the development and manifestation of arthritis. Arthritis results from weak digestion, which results in a build-up of toxins in the colon which then migrate to the joints. These toxins, along with an imbalance of at least one of the doshas, results in painful, swollen and stiff joints. Ayurveda differentiates between Vata, Pitta and Kapha arthritic symptoms as treatment will differ depending on the root cause and original dosha imbalance.
Joints are dry, swollen and will crack and pop. They are painful with movement initially, but some exercise is important to prevent further stiffness. Typically, we know this as osteoarthritis.
Joints are hot, inflamed and are very painful, even without any movement. They are red, swollen and hot to touch – if it is possible to touch them. Bursitis and gout are two of the main Pitta arthritic conditions.
Joints are stiff and swollen but also cold and clammy to touch. However, unlike Vata and Pitta Arthritis movement and exercise tends to ease the symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis has Kapha and Pitta involvement.
Ayurveda offers completely holistic treatment, designed to improve the quality of life. The core of my treatment centres around therapeutic massage with warm anti-inflammatory oils and hot poultices to reduce inflammation, pain, stiffness and to slow the deterioration of the damaged joint. In addition, I offer the following naturopathic approaches which may well be needed to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment:
- An initial Detox diet, with a bowel cleanse to improve digestion and clear the toxins lodged in the joints.
- Herbs and spices to treat the symptoms and strengthen digestion, allowing for the body to heal and repair and again, slow down the rate of degeneration of the affected joints.
- If massage is too painful – in the case of gout for example, herbs are applied topically and prescribed to take internally.
- Specific yoga postures for each type of arthritis to ease pain and stiffness.
- Yogic breathing exercises which aids relaxation and healing.
- Dietary and nutritional planning for arthritis sufferers.