Omantribune
Oman Tribune
Omantribune
Omantribune Search News
Web Oman
    Google Search Button
      Tribune
- Oman
- Soccer World Cup
- Other Top Stories
- Middle East
- Business
- Sports
- India
- Pakistan
- Asia
- Europe
- Americas
- Columnists
- Editorial
- Oman Mirror
- Special Features
- Cinema
- PDF Pages
- Weather
- Travel
- Currency Rate
- Hospitals
- Pharmacies
- Services
- Flight Timings
- Museum Timings
Omantribune Home Omantribune About Us Omantribune Advertising Information Omantribune Archives Omantribune Subscribe-Form Omantribune Jobs Omantribune Contact Us
Monday, September 01, 2014  
Ayurveda for Life
The basic principle is to prevent illness and maintain a balance in the body and mind through change in lifestyle and herbal remedies, Dr Dhanya Umanath tells Anupama Arunkumar

Any discussion on alternative medicine can never be complete without the mention of Ayurveda. University of Maryland and Medical Center describes Ayurveda as a healing science that many scholars consider to be the oldest. With a holistic approach to health, this system of medicine from India, uses a constitutional model. With its centuries old treatment techniques varying from herbal mixtures, massages to hot fermentations, the Ayurvedic treatment is quite popular in Oman.

“The word comes from Sanskrit words ‘ayush’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘veda’ meaning ‘knowledge’. It’s the science of life. The tradition goes back to centuries and every ailment big and small used to be treated with Ayurveda at one time,” explained Dr Dhanya Umanath, Ayurvedic physician working at Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala in Ruwi.

So how does the treatment work?

Dhanya says: “The basic principle is to prevent illness and maintain a balance in the body and mind through change in lifestyle and herbal remedies. If you go to an Alopathic physician with a back pain, they will probably give you analgesics and anti-inflammatory gels. This only treats the symptoms and the problem will be seen to persist. In Ayurveda, we try to root out the cause rather than symptomatically treating it. So if there is a swelling there would be something causing it and through massages, hot fermentations and change in the lifestyle, the pain will be relieved.”

Ayurveda, increasingly sought out to treat osteo-arthritic conditions, gastritis and stomach related ailments, migraine and even serious ailments like diabetes, plays a huge role in rehabilitation of patients and increasing the general health.

“When there is wear and tear happening, Ayurvedic treatments to an extent enables the regeneration and strengthening of these muscles and joints. Even paralysis or semiplegia can be cured provided the root cause is identified.”

Since the introduction of modern technology in the field of medicine like CT scan, MRI and X-rays, the age old-style of treatment hasn’t shied away from using these facilities to help diagnosis.

“Now when there is an availability of such facilities which will help detect problems faster, it is only sensible to use it. You have to rely on the scans to understand if it is a blood clot or haemorrhage that is causing paralysis or we need to use X-rays to know if the disk is involved or if it’s just a case of muscle spasm when you say you have a back ache.”

While Ayurveda used to once be relied on to treat diseases of every kind, Dhanya reminds us of its limitations in today’s world. “There is a practical aspect to this. It might have been sought to treat all diseases at a time when no other kinds of medicine was available. Today there are better ways of approaching certain ailments, so I don’t totally agree when people say Ayurveda can treat anything and everything. We don’t use painkillers like in Alopathy, so that’s one downfall. We need to depend on antibiotics for extreme cases like infections that has to be immediately arrested or heart conditions.”

Often mistaken for relaxation massages, the treatments has now gained popularity with awareness of its benefits and effectiveness. “Seven years ago, people used to come here only to take appointments for relaxation massages. But now out of 50-60 patients we see every day, 50 per cent are Omanis and they come in with great faith in the effectiveness.”

The sight of her neighbour – a Nigerian doctor who got instantly relieved from his back ache after receiving Ayurvedic treatment from the centre, got Lissi excited. “Coming from Kerala I am a big fan of Ayurveda and even as I grew up, had a baby, my mother used to give me Ayurvedic medicines to keep me fit and healthy. Unlike the general myth, it immediately takes effect and its effects are long term.”

Ayurvedic doctors score over their Alopathic counterparts when it comes to giving time for their patients, allowing them to express how they feel which in turn results in a better diagnosis. With a general faith in the treatment approach and first hand experiences, Omanis even make trips to India, to get elaborate treatments done. It is also used for beauty treatments like skin cleansing and hair fall solutions.

“The desalinated water and the heat cause hairloss and there are oils and supplements for it. In these cases there need to be nourishment from the inside also,” said Dhanya.



Like cures like



Another genre of medicines is the Homoeopathy which was discovered in Germany. The medical system practiced to prevent and treat many diseases was developed by German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann around 200 years ago.

Homoeopathic physician Dr Yamini Bhagat of Lama Polyclinic explained: “Hahnemann who was not happy with the general practice, read somewhere about China or chloroquine that cures malaria. So what he did was dilute the medicine and took it personally and developed the symptoms of Malaria. It was already proven that the same substance that bring the symptoms can also cure the symptoms. He has worked on some 99 drugs.”

The system of drug generally working on your immune system uses natural substances to evoke the symptoms of the disease and cure it. Quite popular in Germany and India, Yamini discussed the general myths that hover around homeopathy. “The first thing I generally hear a lot is that it is very slow acting. I had a child come here with a high temperature of 102 degrees Celsius. He had a very bad swelling in his throat and had adenoids…. after taking the medicine, the temperature had come down to 92 degrees at 10am the next day. By 7pm the next day he was feeling absolutely fine with minor nasal problems which I am looking into. But this answers the question as to how long a Homoeopathy treatment takes to work. We believe every disease to be a chronic disease. So when a child comes with a cold and a cough, I will try to control the cold symptoms with acute medicine. The medicine that is registered is diluted a million times. So there can never be any kind of allergic reactions, nor is it slow acting”

“At other times when homoeopathic medicines cure ailments instantly, it is accused of carrying steroids. This is also never true. The well indicated drug sometimes acts so quickly that it might seem to act much more faster than an Allopathic drug like in the case of asthma. It is the energy of the substance that is released.”

While Homeopathy avoids life threatening conditions there are still physicians who work in the cardiac area. The system which generally prescribes only orally registered pills, very recently finds a rush of different patented products that treats diseases externally.

“The treatment is for the long term as it builds up your immune system. There are patents that are coming up with externally applicable medicines but they are certainly not traditional. Calendula application can be very effective but otherwise, even with skin diseases, it’s always orally taken medicine.”

Even though the homoeopathy department at Lama Polyclinic sees about 40-50 patients a day, Yamini feels that there is a general lack of awareness about this system in Oman. “I don’t think a lot of people in Oman know about Homeopathy or its workings. It’s almost alien to them. I do get references from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital once in a while but there certainly has to be more awareness.”

Oman Mirror
NEWS UPDATES
Oman
Number of visitors to Salalah rises 3.9pc, stands at 415,209
Sultanate to host office of Unesco water resources wing
ISG carnival a big hit
Jabel Sifah dive centre opens
SQU BSc Chemistry stream gets boost
Forum on teaching science, maths opens tomorrow
Other Top Stories
US planes hit rebels near Iraq’s Amerli
4 Lebanese soldiers, cop freed
Libyan militiamen enter US embassy
Israel to acquire 400 hectares of Palestinian land
Shabaab rebels attack Somalia intelligence HQ
India
No white flag if truce violations continue: Rajnath
Adityanath remarks on riots leave Congress, Left angry
After petrol, Rajnath hints at diesel price cut
Storm brews in Bihar BJP over bid to project Sushil as leader in poll
Modi to win over Kerala Dalits
CRPF to go hi-tech to protect VIPs
States pull out all stops to help kids interact with PM
Assembly election in 4 states to be de-linked: Poll panel
J&K has final say in pandits’ minority status
CBSE evaluation system, teachers’ training need thorough review
Ganesh tweet puts Varma in dock
Pakistan
Imran vows ‘fight until death’
Resolve crisis politically, says army top brass
Sindh polio drive put off over lack of vaccines
Journalists rally, seek protection
IDPs forced to leave as schools set to reopen after vacations
Middle East
IS brutality, rigour attract youth, says German spy chief
Syria refugees turn unwelcome in Turkey
US wages digital blitz on social media to combat IS militants
Tunisia finds 42nd shipwreck victim
Australia ‘will help US’ to arm Kurds in Iraq
Filipino UN force safe after ‘greatest escape’
Asia
HK braces for stir as China rules out democracy move
Bangla strike over TV anchor’s murder hits transport services
China arrests 6 OSI officials over tainted meat scandal
MI6 ‘funded’ anti-Maoist operation in Nepal, helped torture rebels
3 in dock in Singapore for killing Indian
N. Korea slams UK TV show on nukes
Business
ECB under pressure for more stimulus amid deflation fears
HSBC revamps management with new faces
India better prepared for Fed rate hike, says Rajan
Several Swiss banks pull out of US tax programme
Bad loan levels at Indian banks not scary: Rajan
Batelco to pursue $212m claim against former partner Siva
India deal market grows 12% to $22b, says EY
Private equity investments in Indian realty sector hit $2b in H1
Funds bet on Saudi stocks despite high valuations
Merkel ‘unhappy’ with Draghi over stimulus thrust
China’s shale gas prospects look up
Shell gears up for Alaskan Arctic drilling in ’15
EU to hold meet on growth, job creation
Europe
Putin backs east Ukraine ‘state’
Cameron glad about Tusk’s reform plan
Arrested kin of UK boy with brain tumour to appear in Madrid court
Fairhead first woman boss of BBC Trust
Tusk a symbol of shifting balance of power in Europe
Sports
Dominant Marquez on roll with 11th win
Top three starting slot for Al Harthy and Caine in UK
Gasol sizzles as hosts Spain down Iran
Atletico begin La Liga on winning note
Allegri begins Juve title defence with win
Monaco held in Falcao’s absence
Djokovic, Murray march on in US Open
Dhoni surprised by turn in pitch during third ODI
Marin stuns Li to lift women’s singles crown at worlds
Oman U-16 begin training ahead of AFC tourney in Thailand
Zimbabwe pull off shock win over Aussies
Liverpool thump Tottenham, Arsenal held 1-1 by Leicester

Sports


International

© 2013 Oman Tribune. All rights reserved. Best viewed in 800 X 600 resolution