Paralysis

Paralysis

Definition

Paralysis can simply be defined as the loss of movement of muscles or muscle function in the body. It can occur when there is a disruption of communication between the brain and the muscles. The nervous system which processes and disseminates messages to and from all parts of the body controls the muscles which aid the movement of the body. Thus, in cases where the nerve cells controlling the muscles become damaged, the body loses the ability to voluntarily move the muscles. When such happens, the body is said to be paralysed.

Paralysis can either be complete or partial. It can occur anywhere in the body. Also, it can occur on one or both sides of the body. When it occurs on one side of the body, it’s termed “unilateral”, but when it occurs on both sides, it’s called “bilateral”.

Types of Paralysis:

  • Hemiplegia: Muscle weakness on one side of the body. It could also result from damage to the opposite side of the brain.
  • Paraplegia: Paralysis of the lower half of the body. i.e., (paralysis of the lower limbs).
  • Quadriplegia is a type of paralysis in which both the arms and the legs becomes paralysed.

Causes:

Paralysis results from damage to nervous system or brain. Mostly, paralysis is often caused by stroke. It could also be caused due to a spinal cord injury, trauma, or a broken neck.

Paralysis can also be caused by;

Neurological Disorders;

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Bell’s palsy (an inflammation of the facial nerve)
  • Neuropathy

Auto-Immune Disorders

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis,
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Also, exposure to some toxins could lead to paralysis. Examples of such toxins include botulism, some toxins in shellfish.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Paralysis:

In Ayurveda, paralysis is called Pakshavadha / Pakshaghata, which indicates a disorder caused due to the imbalance of the vata with the association of Pitta and Kapha. The Vata is one of the three Doshas, and its sole responsibility is to ensure that, voluntary movements in the body are coordinated. Once there is a damage of the vata dosha, pakshavadha is likely to occur.

Symptoms:

  • Loss of sense of feel or touch
  • impairment of vision
  • speech difficulties
  • body imbalance

Line of treatment:

Balancing the vata- pitta-kapha, correcting Agni (digestive system and cellular metabolism – Dhatwagni),  strengthening Ojus. Virechana is considered very important in treating Pakshagatha

Treatments:

The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and lifestyle changes.

  • Panchakarma – Virechana, Basti, Nasya
  • Externally – Abhyanga, Udwarthana, Shiro Dhara / Shiro Basti, Kashaya Seka, PPS,  Sarvanga Dhara, SSPS, Chandana Avagha,
  • Internally – Deepana – Carminative
  • Pachana – Digestives
  • Vatanulomana – Balancing vata
  • Measures to balance pitta and stabilise Kapha
  • Rasayana – Rejuvenators

Activities:

  • Specific Asanas, Panayamas, meditation
  • Physiotherapy,  Aqua yoga.

Food:

  • Improving on the intake of water preferably warm water and foods which aid easy digestion.
  • Include fresh ginger tea as it a good digestive – carminative.
  • Timely regular wholesome meals in a conducible non-disturbing atmosphere
  • Lifestyle changes:  specific to the individual’s constitution, nature of work and geographical conditions.