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Sep12
Vedic Concept with role of complementary & alternative therapy in pain management
Nayak Sukdev. Prof, Deptt of Anaesthesiology, IMS & SUM Hospital Bhubaneswar 751019, Odisha, India

Introduction:
Chronic and cancer pain is a human malady. Yoga and pranayama have been used to alleviate several disease processes by acting at cellular oxidative process for thousands of years in the ancient Indian tradition. Recently there has been considerable global interest in these simple and inexpensive techniques. These act as adjuvants with immense benefit to the suffering humanity around the globe.
Yogic approach to pain enables the patient to differentiate the pain itself versus mental picture it creates. The consequent emotional reactions to pain perception activate the sympathetic nervous system, making matters worse.
Pranayama:
Practice of pranayama quickly relaxes the nervous system, shifting the balance from the fight-or-flight sympathetic side to the more restorative parasympathetic division. Slowing the breath, lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation, and pausing briefly after the exhalation, all tend to shift the balance to the parasympathetic side. It also breaks the vicious cycle of stress, reduced pain threshold and reduces reactive oxygen species.

Meditation reduces the transmission of pain signals from the thalamus to the higher centers, reducing pain perception. Increased production of endogenous endorphins has also been proven.

Asanas:
Regularly doing different asanas helps by rectifying the poor anatomical alignments, dysfunctional movement patterns, engage the unused muscles, relax the overused ones, the bones also realign relieving the joint stress and soft tissues. Practice of regular asana improves sleep and breaks the vicious cycle of poor sleep and chronic fatigue; a major contributor to chronic pain.

Chanting OM:
Several studies for generations on sounds & their effects on the body & mind have shown that chanting different sounds at different pitches & intensities has beneficial effects: buttressing the role of good pronunciation. Different sounds resonate maximally in different areas of the body, and this was explicitly considered in chanting Sanskrit mantras; which connects to the different areas of the body & brain. The sound OM is primordial and has been proven by NASA to be the sound recorded near Sun. Chanting of OM is proven to be of beneficial immense health effect.

Summary:
These CAM techniques can be practiced almost anywhere as an adjuvant to the various analgesic therapies, for a synergistic effect with tremendous internal endogenous endorphin releasing benefit sans any additional extra financial burden to the patient.

Conclusion:
Chronic and cancer pain is a human malady. Yoga and pranayama are ancient Indian methods to alleviate several disease processes by acting at cellular oxidative process. Recently there has been considerable global interest in these simple and inexpensive techniques. These adjuvants shall be of immense benefit to the suffering humanity.


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