Joint pain is considered to be one of the first few signs of aging. According to the science of Ayurveda, joint pain is triggered mainly by an accumulation of toxins in the body. These toxins can create an imbalance in the doshas which in turn can cause pain and inflammation on the joints. Along with joint pain, a person is likely to experience a loss of flexibility, weakness, tenderness and enlargement of the joints.
Unlike some popular forms of medication that focus on relieving the pain, Ayurveda addresses the root cause of the issue. Panchkarma aims at cleansing the body of toxins and clearing blockages in the body’s digestive and circulatory system. This helps the vatta dosha flow easily through the body and reduces pain associated with arthritis etc. Panchkarma can be defined as a collection of five ayurvedic techniques. These are:
Vasti or Medicated Enema: Vasti aims at removing toxins and waste products from the body through the colon. In doing this, it cleanses the digestive channels and improves circulation of air or the vatta dosha in the body. With better circulation, joint pain is effectively reduced. An enema also nourishes the body and gives it the strength to rebuild tissues while boosting the immune system.
Abhyanga or Full Body Massage: This technique helps I the removal of toxins from deep tissues within the body. It pacifies the vatta and nourishes the body while simultaneously reducing stress and enabling better quality sleep. A full body massage also helps calm the body both physically and mentally.
Potli or Poultice Massage: As the name suggests, a potli involves massaging the body with medicated herbs tied together in a tiny bundle that has been warmed with medicated oils. This potli is then used to massage the entire body. This technique helps relax the muscles of the body and soothes the aggravated vatta dosha. It is very effective when it comes to providing relief from joint pains caused by arthritis, spondylitis, muscle cramps etc.
Pizhichil or Rich Oil Massage: A rich oil massage involves subjecting the body to streams of lukewarm oil that has medicinal properties while simultaneously softly massaging the body. This type of massage helps relieve tension and stress and is a very effective remedy against joint pains. It is highly recommended in the case of rheumatic diseases.
Svedana or Steam Bath: A steam bath helps cleanse the body both physically and mentally by aiding in the removal of toxins through sweat and calming the mind. It also helps soften the muscles and tissues and dilates the channels in the body.