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Raktamokshana – Therapeutic Bloodletting

Introduction-

Raktamoksha is a technical word comprising Rakta (blood) and Moksha (to expel), which means the process in which the vitiated blood is expelled out of the body. In general we translate Raktamokshana as bloodletting. It is withdrawal of blood to cure or prevent an illness.

raktamokshana raktamokshana1

There are various methods to conduct Raktamokshana. They are- Siravedha (venipuncture), Prachhana (bloodletting by pricking), Jalauka avacharana (application of leeches), Shringa avacharana (bloodletting using horn) and Alabu avacharana (bloodletting using bottle gourd). Now modified modern equipments are being used as an alternate to Shringa and Alabu.

The theory put forward in the choice of the correct method of Raktamokshana is based upon the predominance of vitiated doshas. According to the vitiated doshas the Shringa (horn) is used in conditions where blood is vitiated by Vata, because it is snigdha (unctuous). Jalauka (leech) being sheet (cold), it is used in Pitta vitiated condition and Alabu (bottle gourd) is used in Kapha dominance because it is Rooksha (dry). Prachhana is indicated when doshas are localized and pindita (collected). Shiravedhan is indicated in Tridoshaj (vitiation of all doshas) and generalized condition.

Duration-

Once and may be repeated after an interval of 7 days, 15 days, 30 days or 45 days.

Indications-

Raktamokshana is very much useful in diseases like skin diseases (scabies, erysipelas, blemishes etc), filariasis, non healing wounds, varicose vein, high BP, frozen shoulder, sciatica, acute inflammation etc.

Contraindications

Raktamokshana techniques like shiravedha and prachchhana are avoided in children and coward patients. Some diseases like anemia, diabetes, bleeding disorders like hemophilia etc. are contraindicated for Raktamokshana.

 

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Nasya Karma – Therapeutic Nasal Drops

Nasya Karma is a bio purification method by which either the medicated oil or churna (powder) administered through nasa marga (either in one nostril or both of them). Nasya Karma is also termed as Nasyam. Nasya is very useful in the diseases related to neck, shoulder, cervical, mouth, nose, eyes, ear, head, brain, and hairs.

nasyanasya

Nasya Karma Procedure

  1. The patient is lying on a bed or sits comfortably in Nasya chair.
  2. Soft massage over face, neck and head is given for few minutes and followed by light herbal steaming locally.
  3. Then the Nasya medicine is administered in each nostril.
  4. The patient is supported by experienced therapists.
  5. All precautions and safety measures will be followed to avoid any complication.
  6. After Nasyam, Dhumrapana, Kavalam should be done as Paschat Karma (post-operative).

Duration

3 days, 5 days or 7 days, may be extended to 21 days according to the condition.

Indications

Nasya karma is very much useful in diseases like a headache, migraine, cervical spondylosis, lock jaw, diseases of the mouth, teeth, eyes and ear, sinusitis, hair fall, premature greying of hairs, blemishes, brain tumour, paralysis, insomnia etc.

 

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Vasti Karma – Therapeutic Enema

Introduction-

Vasti is most important procedure among Panchakarma. The word Vasti is named so because the urinary bladder of animals was used to eject contents of either unctuous drugs or eliminatory drugs in to rectum of the body in ancient days. Vasti karma may also be understand by term “medicated or herbal enema”.

vasti karma vasti1

The word Vasti is used in following meanings- to dwell, to inhibit, to live, to stay, to abide, to reside, or to produce effect of aromatic drugs. The procedure of introducing the Ayurvedic medicines (oushadha, siddha (processed) kwath (decoction), tail (oil), ksheera (milk), mamsarasa (meat soup) etc to the Pakwashaya (large intestine) through guda (anus) is called Vasti Karma. It is also given through yoni (vagina), mutra marga (urethra) and to Vrana (wound or ulcer). The Vasti karma is considered to be the best treatment as it has got multifarious action on the body rather than other Panchakarma procedures. Vata is considered as active force. All the movements in the body are activated by Vata. Vata is pacified or controlled by Vasti karma and therefore is considered as Ardha chikitsa.

In modern medical system enema is used only to remove the stool from intestine/ rectum, but in Ayurveda, it will also produce Shodhana (detoxification and bio purification) of doshas, samsamana (pacifying) of disease, increases strength, vigor, immunity and longevity.

Procedure-

  1. Poorvakarma- Snehana- Abhyangam (external oleation) with appropriate medicated oil followed by Swedana (sudation/ herbal steam) is given to prepare patient fit for Vasti karma.
  2. Vasti karma- After proper poorva karma Vastikarma is done carefully. Patient is supported by experienced therapists. All precautions and safety measures will be followed to avoid any complication.

Indications-

Vasti karma is very much beneficial in Vata predominant diseases like Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, paralysis, facial paralysis, diseases affecting all body parts, sciatica, infertility, cancer, spondylosis, slip disc, disc bulging, kidney diseases, diabetes, gynecological problems, sexual problems etc.

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Virechana Karma – Purgation Therapy

Introduction-

Virechana is a process in which prakupita doshas (vitiated doshas) are expelled through adhomarga (rectum/ anus) by the administration of medicine through oral route. Medicines are used in different form like choorna (powder), kwatha (decoction), sneha (medicated oil/ ghee), lehya etc., depending on the condition of the patient.

virechana karma virechana1

Procedure-

  1. Snehapana- Proper Snehapana (oral intake of medicated ghee or oil) with appropriate sneha (ghee or oil) to be given before Virechana for 3-7 days. After completing snehapana, Abhyanga (external oleation- oil massage) and Bashpasweda (herbal steam) is given for 1-2 days.
  2. Virechana- After proper poorva karma oral medicines (Virechana oushadha) is given in prescribed time along with suitable adjuvant. Patient has to take rest and drink hot water to stimulate virechana vega. The patient is advised to drink lukewarm water after each vega to avoid dehydration. Generally virechana vega starts after 60 to 90 minutes after medicine intake. Patient is supported by experienced therapists. All precautions and safety measures will be followed to avoid any complication.
  3. Samsarjana Krama- Some dietary regimen and guidelines will be followed according to Doctor’s advice for 3-5 days.

Duration-

For classical Virechana 5 to 10 days are required which includes preoperative and operative procedure. After Virechana some dietary regimen will be advised and followed for 3 to 5 days.

Indications-

Virechana shows very good effect in Pitta predominant diseases like Jaundice, Acne, Hairloss and premature graying, Psoriasis and some skin diseases, Gout, Piles, Obesity, Anorexia, and Hyperacidity etc.

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Vamana Karma – Emesis Therapy

Vamana Karma is the therapeutic procedure where forceful expulsion of vitiated doshas occurs through mouth following administration of Vamana oushadha. Vamana karma is to be administered in diseases due to vitiated Kapha either alone or in combination with Kapha predominance.

Vamana

Vamana Karma Procedure

  1. Snehapana – Proper Snehapana (oral intake of medicated ghee or oil) with appropriate sneha (ghee or oil) to be given before Vamana for 3-7 days. After completing snehapana, Abhyanga (external oleation- oil massage) and Bashpasweda (herbal steam) should be given for 1-2 days.
  2. Vamana- After proper poorva karma oral medicines (Vamana oushadha) will be consumed. After few minutes bouts of vomiting will start. It will stop after few vegas (bouts). Patients are supported by experienced therapists. All precautions and safety measures will be followed to avoid any complication.
  3. Dhumrapana- After proper Vamana, the patient is consoled for a while and Dhoomapana (herbal smoke) is administered.
  4. Samsarjana Krama- Some dietary precautions and guidelines will be followed according to Doctor’s advice for 3-5 days.

Duration

For classical Vamana 5 to 10 days are required which includes preoperative and operative procedure. After Vamana karma some dietary precautions will be advised and followed for 3 to 5 days.

Indications

Vamana shows a very good effect in Kapha predominant diseases like Psoriasis and other skin diseases, Asthma, Obesity, Diabetes, Sinusitis, Filariasis, Anorexia, Cough, Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, and Depression etc.

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Agnikarma – Ayurvedic management of Pain and skin overgrowth

Agnikarma is a thermal para-surgical procedure, in which “AGNI” is used for intentional burning as therapeutic purpose. It is indicated for various Vata- Kapha disorders.

IMPORTANCE OF AGNIKARMA

  1. It is a highly potential procedure than the bheshaja, Shastra & ksharakarma.
  2. It is very effective to terminate the chance of recurrence of the disease.
  3. No infection.
  4. No secondary complication if done properly.

INDICATIONS

  1. Painful conditions of musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. Hard, elevated and desensitized vranas/ulcer.
  3. Granthi, Arsas, Bhagandara, Arbuda, Sleepada, Charmakeela and Antravridhi.
  4. Severe bleeding condition.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. Pitta Prakruti
  2. Antah shonita (Internal bleeding)
  3. Bhinna koshtha (Ruptured viscera)
  4. Nuddhrita shalya (in presence of foreign body)
  5. Durbala (emaciated), Bala (children), Vriddha (old aged), Bheeru (coward), Aneka vrana peedita (with multiple wounds)

INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES

Manpower: A trained doctor and technician

Space and requirements: 1 small sized room (10x 10) with proper light. It can be done in OP level also. Chair or stool- 1, Examination table/ Droni- 1.

MATERIALS REQUIRED

  1. Shalaka
  2. Permanent Marker
  3. Gas stove, lighter
  4. Surgical spirit or Murivenna, Gloves
  5. Cotton gauze
  6. Haridra Churna (turmeric), Aloe vera pulp

PREOPERATIVE

  1. Educate the patient
  2. Obtain informed consent
  3. Ask the patient to satisfy natural urges
  4. Check vitals

PROCEDURE

  1. The patient should be allowed to be in a comfortable position, exposing the site of the problem.
  2. Keep Shalaka in the gas stove for heating.
  3. Wear surgical gloves.
  4. Clean the site with the surgical spirit or Murivenna.
  5. Mark the tenderest points with a marker.
  6. Ensure Shalaka to be red hot.
  7. Hold red hot Shalaka strongly in one hand and touch in the marked points for 2-3 seconds only (depends on the site and tenderness).

POST OPERATIVE

  1. Keep Shalaka in specified the place.
  2. Apply Aloe vera pulp over the Agnikarma site. Wait for a while and then apply Haridra churna with cotton over there.

MODE OF ACTION

Agnikarma (ushnaguna) >> Utkleshnam to dhathu >> Activates dhatwagni >> Digest Aama and achieve niramavastha >> Pacifies Vata & Kapha

  • Agnikarma produces a coagulative necrosis on the surface layers of skin which causes self-healing. There is no need of post-procedural medication locally or orally.

EFFECTS OF AGNIKARMA

  • Increases metabolism
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Decreases pain
  • Exciting/stimulating nerves
  • Relaxation to muscles
  • Decreases infection
  • Decreases joint stiffness and inflammation.

APPLICATION & DURATION

  • It depends up on site & disease
  • Usually 2 to 5 seconds & more than 5 seconds in corn, callosity etc.

Effect of Agnikarma on mamsa dhatu will reaches into sira, snayu, asthi & sandhi.

TIME / SEASON

All seasons except Greeshma & Sharat Ritu. In the case of emergency, it can be done in any season with special precaution.

PRECAUTIONS

  1. Agnikarma should not be done empty stomach. It is better to take Pichchila anna before Agnikarma.
  2. Should be aware of vital parts of the body, season, vyadhi dhosha avastha.
  3. Care should be taken while heating Shalaka and placing it in specified place after Agnikarma.

COMPLICATIONS AND MANAGEMENT

No specific complication if done properly.

CONCLUSION

  • In the field of pain management and cosmetic therapy, Agnikarma procedure can be done very effectively and safely.
  • Its procedures are simple and almost have no medicines for internal and external use.
  • To the patients, it is very convenient and economic.
  • Agnikarma procedure needed to have more scientific studies and evaluation.
  • Agnikarma will become one of the most promising branches of Ayurveda in future.

TYPES OF TRADITIONAL SHALAKA IN PRACTICE Nowadays

IMAGES OF AGNIKARMA IN VARIOUS DISEASES

Treatment of Tennis Elbow by Agnikarma
Treatment of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome by Agnikarma
Treatment of Sciatica by Agnikarma
Treatment of low back pain by Agnikarma
Treatment of Calcaneal spur (Heal pain) by Agnikarma
Treatment of osteo arthritis (knee joint pain) by Agnikarma
Treatment of numbness of toes by Agnikarma

Read more about Ayurvedic Treatments & Therapies