Paralysis: Cure with Panchakarma


Paralysis: Cure with Panchakarma

By Prof. Dr. Sanjeev Sood

Literal meaning of Ayurvedic term Paksha Aghat or Pakshaghat is Paralysis i.e. trauma of one half of the body. In Ayurvedic texts it is clearly described that Vata or neurological pathologies influence the Dhamni / Shira vessels of head region leads to destruction of the function of the corresponding Paksha or half side of the body. Pure Vataj Paralysis is difficult to cure as Kshya due to vitiated Vata causes extensive degeneration of nerve tissue and nervous regenerations is quite difficult. Paralysis due to vitiated Pitta is easily curable as inflammation caused by Pitta is better treatable. Paralysis caused by Rakta being haemorrhagic is most difficult to cure.

In Paralysis loss of voluntary muscle movement is accompanied by numbness, or loss of sensation, in the affected part. Due to this, the person does not feel any pain or climatic changes like heat, cold, etc. in the paralyzed part of the body. After some time, due to paralysis, the circulation and other metabolic activities of the affected part may come to a stop. This could cause disuse atrophy, which could change the shape of the affected part. Prolonged disuse atrophy could lead to ‘death’ of the part, and the person may lose the use of it permanently, even after the condition of paralysis is treated.

Types of Paralysis: Depending on where the paralysis has occurred, it is classified as Monoplegia, in which only one limb – hand or leg – is affected, Diplegia, in which both the limbs are affected, Paraplegia, in which both the trunk and the legs are affected, Hemiplegia, in which only one side of the body is affected, Quadriplegia, in which the trunk and all the four limbs are affected

Causes of Paralysis: Paralysis is always caused due to the impairment of the central nervous system, i.e. the brain and the spinal cord, or due to the impairment of the peripheral nervous system, i.e. the system of nerves radiating outwards from the brain and the spinal cord.


Reasons of Paralysis

(1) Strokes – Strokes are the leading cause of paralysis. Strokes are the sudden loss of function of a particular portion of the brain. Hence, the brain is not able to send reflexes or receive stimuli from the corresponding nerves. Usually strokes can cause the paralysis of arms and legs, but the torso is not affected. Further, the stroke itself can be caused due to the loss of blood supply to the brain. The causes for this erroneous blood supply are Atherosclerosis, which may result in clogging of the blood vessel carrying blood to the cranial region, Haemorrhage, which may be the rupturing of a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain, Hypertension, which increases blood pressure and makes it more difficult for blood to reach the brain, Diabetes, which also increases blood pressure and makes it difficult for blood to reach the brain.

(2) TumoursTumours in the brain or the spinal region can cause pressure to be exerted on the blood vessels to these regions. Consequently, the blood supply to the brain and/or the spinal cord reduces, which may cause paralysis.

(3) TraumaTrauma refers to direct injuries. These injuries could result into internal bleeding (haemorrhage), which would reduce the blood supply to the central nervous supply. Direct falls on the head or fracture of the vertebral column could cause such traumas.

(4) Multiple SclerosisMultiple sclerosis is a chronic ailment that causes the damage to the mucilaginous sheath that covers the nuclear sheath. Due to this the sensory and motor nerves are damages and are not able to carry impulses and bring back responses to particular parts of the body.

(5) Cerebral PalsyCerebral palsy is a condition that occurs in babies during their birth. If their central nervous system is impaired either during or shortly after their birth, then their coordination becomes faulty, leading to paralysis.

In addition, there are the following conditions which pertain to the malfunctioning of the spinal cord:-

(6) Slipped Disk or Herniated Disk This happens when the vertebra of the backbone get dislocated. The fractured vertebra could cause an injury to the spinal cord, thus making the portion of the spinal cord permanently impaired.

(7) Neurodegenerative DiseasesThe neurodegenerative diseases are several conditions that cause serious and permanent impairment of the nerves of the spinal cord (or the brain). These diseases are also associated with loss of memory and dementia.

(8) Spondylosis Spondylosis is the medical term to the pain and stiffness in the joints of the vertebral column. This condition can cause impairment of the spinal cord.



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