A new approach to managing Pain according to Ayurveda

Last month of September Dr. Atul Rakshe, Ayurvedic Physician and Assistant Director at Institute of Indian Medicine in Pune, gave a workshop on Pain at “Associazione Operatori Ayurvedici” in Udine, Italy (www.assopea.it).

The ayurvedic approach to pain introduced by Dr. Rakshe was very interesting, as it suggests both an increase in the “pain threshold” and a reduction of the causes that produce pain.

The first aspect, that is the increase in the pain threshold, can be attained, among others, through practices like pranayama, or meditation, which reduces anxiety caused by pain. On the other hand, the causes that produce pain can be managed by eating sattvic food, for instance, as well as by panchakarma and the use of other ayurvedic techniques or herbal products which aim at balancing doshas and eliminating toxins from the body.

But Dr. Atul Rakshe also reminded that in Ayurveda pain is an indication of a Vata imbalance, and that aggravation of diseases is not only due to the normal physical causes, but also to the desires for material pleasures (ragas) and passions. As a matter of fact, in humankind there is a natural inclination to seek pleasure and avoid pain (kama), but as long as the mind clings to material pleasures (ragas) and desires, it is not possible to truly achieve wellbeing in its real sense. Therefore, Ayurveda aims also at attaining the state of vira or vairagya, that is detachment from the sensual world, with both its enjoyments and sufferings.

This means that the spiritual element is of utmost importance also in managing pain.

Thank you, Dr. Rakshe!

For those who are interested in knowing more about Dr. Atul Rakshe’s activity, his website is www.cozwecare.org.

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