Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yoga Therapy

Therapeutic yoga is basically a system of self treatment . According to yogic view , diseases , disorders and ailments are the result of some faulty ways of living , bad habits, lack of proper knowledge of things related to individual's life and improper food. The disease are thus the resultant state of a short or prolonged malfunctioning of the body system. This malfunctioning of the body system . This malfunctioning is caused by an imbalanced internal condition, created due to certain errors of the individuals.People will turn to Yoga therapy only when they have some health problem for which there is no treatment available in the modern science or there are treatments available are not having satisfactory results. Yoga therapy is really useful for many of the chronic diseases which often can be attenuated but not cured and also for the psychosomatic ones, where the psychic factor is especially evident and which are therefore difficult to treat with the common medical methods.In any medical systems the primary reliance is on medicine. It is assumed that a particular medicine will cure a particular diseases . The medical doctor does the diagnosis, identifies the disease and prescribes a suitable medicine . The patient in this system has to do very little or nothing at all. The task of correcting the diseases and disorder and restoring the health is assigned to the medicine.

Seen in this context , there is a contrast between the medical system and yogic system of treatment . Where as in the medical system an external agent medicine does the corrective work, in the yogic system this external agent is not needed at all. As said earlier, it is the patient himself whose personal understanding , practice and care cures his disease in the yogic system.Patients suffering from various chronic disease, who had lost their faith in the medical system because in spite of years of treatment they had not achieved the permanent and satisfactory cure. In certain cases, the medicine provided them immediate relief, but not a lasting cure. On the other hand , a great number of such patients achieved the permanent cure through therapeutic yoga. This has specially been so in a cases of diabetes , arthritis and various other cases.This limitation of the medical system should not mean that it is inferior to the yoga system; rather it is only a matter of the limitation and scope of a given system . There are areas where only the medical science and not yoga can come to the rescue of the patient. Similarly , there are certain diseases ,which , though regarded incurable through medicinal system, are definitely cured through yoga.This shows that every stem of treatment has certain unique points as well as limitations.Further , the medical treatment has now become so expensive that millions of people all over the world can not afford it. It is, therefore, not surprising that our hospitals now fail to provide medicines to the patients although they used to do so liberally in the past . Yoga on the other hand does not involve any expenses .Therefore , it would be prudent on the part of the medical men to adopt and use this tested ancient system of yoga, for treating those diseases and ailments whose medicinal cure is not certain. Since the system of therapeutic yoga is now scientifically established , it can be used as a "self-cure" method by people suffering from various disorders in any part of the world.What can Yoga therapy offer these patients? The approach. Theoretical and practical, to disease, or better, to the person who is suffering from a disease, or better, to the person who is suffering from a disease, differs very much from the one of medical science. The latter tries to isolate the pathogenic factor - a micro organism, a toxic substance, a metabolic disorder - and eliminate it. Of course, this principle is valuable, but it fails if the etiology is unknown. In this case the therapy must be symptom-oriented and often proves unsatisfactory. Yoga on the other hand, even if it doesn’t refuse the scientific explanation of a disease, looks at it from another point of view: from the personality of the patient. If he is ill there must be a deeper reason behind it - a disease doesn’t arise by chance. There is an imbalance, a disturbance in whole body-mind-complex which creates a disease condition. The symptoms, the pathogenic factors, the name of the disease are not the main issue - the root cause lies elsewhere. Yoga holds that it depends on the individual himself if he is sick or healthy. The same instance which causes the disease condition can also cure it. What is called natural healing power is nothing other than that. It’s nothing mystical from outside, but an inner capacity. All that is required is not to interfere with it. Yoga Therapy tries to re-establish the inner balance by various means, working from the gross to the subtle. On the physical level it uses: Asanas: They energize the organism, create awareness of the body and its function and stabilise the mind. Kriyas: These are simple hygienic procedures which support the body’s own cleansing mechanisms and draw the attention of the mind towards the affected area. Pranayamas: These are breathing techniques which have very subtle influences on the whole organism. Diet: Many diseases are directly or indirectly linked with wrong food habits. A change in diet can stimulate the whole system. Simple Nature-cure Techniques: The elements water, air, sun and simple procedures like massaging or steam inhalation are used as a support.

The second line of therapy is the work on the mind. Mental disturbances - anxieties, confusion, unsteadiness are the most important factors which can cause a disease condition. Therefore, various techniques have been developed to create positive mind states. Among others there are: Relaxation: both physical and mental. Conditioning : Sitting in a meditative posture one tries to calm down and centre oneself. Bhavanas: Contemplation on certain basic ideas like the transitoriness of all things can stimulate a change of attitude towards life. These are some of the technical means that may be used. The technical aspect is however of minor importance compared to the primary goal: to create a condition which can encourage the patient to give free way to his own inner forces. If he succeeds in doing so, the results can be surprising. If not, Yoga-Therapy is at its limits - it can work only together with nature, not against it. Yoga has claimed that tension is disease and relaxation is health. To this end the whole eightfold path of Yoga is to purify the body mind complex.

Since the root cause of a disease lies in the mistakes of the individuals , its cure also lies in correcting those mistakes by the same individual . Thus, it is the individual himself who is held responsible in both the cases , that is , for causing as well as curing the disease. This being the basic assumption in the system about the nature of the trouble and its remedy , there is total reliance on the effort of the patient himself . The yoga expert shows only path and works no more than as a counsellor to the patient .