When I met my first scoliosis patient, I was deeply moved on how this person was adjusting with his excruciating pain and difficult lifestyle. His was a 15 year old case and he was now in his late 30’s. Constant pain had made him irritable, and while I was checking his other parameters I found that almost all organ systems were malfunctioning. Almost as horrible as it sounds, scoliosis is a 3 dimensional bending of the spine, where the back bends downwards and laterally. While doing so it puts the person in extreme pain, apart from putting pressure on almost every organ such as heart, diaphragm, lungs, kidneys, stomach. Hence the activities of all these organs is affected. The surgerical aspects of curing this condition is dim and there are hardly any medicines which curbs the idiopathic abnormal curve of the spine. In this extreme case even the pain relieving tablets had become useless. At this point when I was called for specialized consultation, and I told that there is no immediate relief, everyone in his family got irritated.
Due to diminished physical activity, weight gain was a prominent issue. Further the diet was heavily restricted. There was more than 39degree curve, and osteoporosis was setting in.
The problem with an idealist doctor like me is that they are not bothered whether the patient is ready to understand the complexity of the therapy. They almost don’t want to convince anybody that they know how to deal the situation. Also most of the patients are in a hurry, and don’t want to put any extra effort apart from popping up a pill.
Nevertheless, the patient agreed for a long term treatment. He perhaps never knew that in the following days, his life was going to completely change forever. I knew exactly what it required. The first impression which I got regarding the patient was that he had become completely irritated out of his life. There was nothing new, nothing happening. He required something which would give him a mental rebirth.
Scoliosis is not a child’s game, and cannot be dealt with the so called home remedies. It requires serious efforts from both the doctor’s and patient’s side. I had chosen the following therapies for him
Scoliosis Treatment – At Mental Level
Well, its already titled as the best medicine. But apart from it, laughter is a way of life. My patient had forgotten living. To enjoy the fun hidden in the each passing moment. I presented him with a bunch of joke books and made it a point that he narrates at least ten jokes to me, when he comes for the evening panchakarma therapy. It brought the glow back in his eyes. I also presented him with some good Oscar nominated animation movies. I handpicked some movies and short stories for him which were full of bravery strength and zest to live life.
Though it’s not particularly recommended for everyone, but I wanted my patient to develop some stamina without giving a jerky movement to spine. Initially once a week and later thrice a week swimming was suggested. This also increased his lung capacity. His sleep pattern was regulated and eventually his habitual constipation was gone. Swimming brought some miraculous changes in him which I never expected, nor I had read anywhere before in a scoliosis case.
I contacted various people who suffered from scoliosis and had got partial success in severe cases. Every case was new. My patient came to understand that he was not alone in his agony. Further a lot more success story from real life people gave him a strong sense of hope. Everyone shared his own method, tips and tricks by which he or she got ahead of the situation. I helped him join an online community of scoliosis patients where he would directly discuss his case. Later, on the very same portal, he used to give advice to other people.
Scoliosis Treatment through Ayurveda
This is the main line of treatment in scoliosis. In this particular case Basti(Medicated enema) was the principal treatment. Before this the patient was massaged with warm dashamool oil and warm mahanarayan oil in alternative days. He was given nadi sweda( particular type of steam, where a jet steam of boiling herbs is applied to a particular portion of the body with the help of a pipe)on spine and pelvis. After this he was give enema of medicated oil and medicated herbal decoctions. The proportions and selection of herbs was done according to season and present condition of the patient. This was done regularly for the next 3 months. Basically it had all the pain relieving and Vata Dosha relieving herbs like ricinus communis. After this the patient was allowed to rest for one hour. After mild snacks the patient was taken again for panchakarma therapy, this time for pottali sweda. Here a bag of herbs is heated over oil and applied to the back and massaged. Alternatively we also used shali shasti panda sweda, where a particular kind of rice is cooked and applied with warm milk over the spine. Weekly once we gave complete body massage along with shirodhara and nasyam. In nasyam 2 drops of medicated ghee were put in each nostril. This is very important with respect to opening of nerves at a subtle level.
Internal medicines like vatagajankusha, vata vidhwansaka rasa, mahayograja guggulu were very helpful. I also made him restrict his diet to a proper ayurvedic diet and way of cooking. He was encouraged to grow his own vegetables on his roof top garden. Slowly he understood how important it was for him to have pure organic food. The taste, the quality and the effect after eating his hand grown vegetables was completely different. I arranged for organic pulses and other cereals straight from the valley of Himachal Pradesh. The quality and looks of the received items were exactly same as described in old ayurveda texts.
I assisted him for particular mild physiotherapy exercises thrice a week, which helped him stretch the clogged muscular tissues. It gave him greater flexibility and movement.
At the end of six months, the patient could not believe he was out of his situation. Now he could walk without support. Sit and stand by himself. He could touch his back. And the best thing, he could sit, stand and walk straight. His long standing pain was gone and he could take a deep breath.
Now he was a transformed person ready to help others in combating this rare and painful medical situation.