Colitis is a disease of the large intestine. The di sease occurs due to a specific amoeba that swells the large intestine, impairing i ts function and causing frequent diarrhea. The disease is also called ‘Amoebic Dysen tery’. Ulcers also affect this disease, in which case it is termed ‘Ulcerative Col itis’.
Frequent purging is the most significant symptom of this disease. Often, white mucus will be discharged along with the feces, whic h will smell strongly. Stiffness and pain in the stomach are the general complaints of the patient. Colitis comes as an attack or dwells in the large intestine for months. The consequence is reduced hunger, impairment in the process of digestion and loss of weight. There is a chance of anemia if bowels continue to bleed for a long period.
Although it is true that colitis is caused by certa in amoeba, the root cause of colitis is mental stress. Sometimes these stress-in itiated symptoms occur without any physiological defects. For instance, students often suffer from this trouble at the time of their exams; known as ‘Examination Diarrhea’. Th is temporary condition can be ended by stress medication or the end of the cause of stress. Similarly, mental stress is the main cause in prolonged colitis. Though colitis is caused by amoeba as well as stress, it has been seen that the disease is overco me by reduced mental stress regardless of the cause. Hence, stress reduction is the best solution for this disease, in the absence of an effective medical cure. Medicines are only able to decrease intestinal movement or destroy the amoeba, both of which produce no more than an interim relief. The disease is kept under control w hen on such medication, but recurs on stopping it. If high intensity medicines like st eroids are used, the ill effects will be more than the positive ones.
Sometimes the damaged part of the intestine is surg ically removed and in such cases, the rectum also has to be cut. The patient t hen has to carry around a bag for excrement for the rest of his life. Such a devastat ing permanent change can of course be avoided by the practice of yoga.
Though certain amoebas are responsible for the grow th of this disease, it is the favorable internal physical environment that is tru ly responsible for it. The perfect remedy therefore is to alter the condition of the i nternal environment that allows the growth of amoeba, thus completely uprooting it. Des troying the amoeba with the help of medicines is not the way out because while the i nternal environment favors their growth new ones will continue to grow, constantly r e-igniting the condition. Improving the environment entails improving digesti on. Undigested food rots in the intestine generating circumstances favorable for th e growth of amoeba. The digestive and excretory systems must be efficient to avoid th is situation. This efficiency can be brought about by the practice of yoga, hence yoga i s capable of curing the disease by correcting internal environment. Furthermore, the m ain cause behind ‘Ulcerative Colitis’ is mental stress, for which yoga is the on ly option. Pranayama, Shavasana, Aum chanting and Yoga Nidra are suitable remedies f or this trigger factor. Prolonged practice of these will uproot the disease completel y. Appropriate diet control is another of the chief measures as the disease is rel ated to the digestive system. Yoga 86 will also prove helpful in realizing dietary change .
As the disease is related to digestive system as we ll as to mental stress, the course is designed to support both of these element s.
Nearly all asanas are useful in improving the dig estive system. But a patient suffering from this disease is not capable of performing them all at once. He has to proceed step by step. The fundamental course (of 10 practical hours) ‘Yoga Sanjeevan’ is helpful for the patient. Body movemen t exercises performed in a slow motion and simple asanas are useful and effective f or a newcomer to yoga.
Colitis is related to increased body heat and so cooling pranayama like Sheetali and Seetkari are beneficial. Initially the patient must perform them without breath retention. Then, further practice can be car ried out with proper guidance. To start with, deep breathing and Anulom-Vilom are sui table processes to prepare for the advanced steps. Later, practice of Naadishuddhi Pra nayama is also permitted. But actual guidance must be sought for the practice of the three Bandhas
The patient cannot be advised to perform cleansin g processes if he has become feeble. When his health improves with the above treatment he may be taught Vaman, Agnisar and Kapalbhati. Complete Shan kha Prakshalana or Laghu Shankha Prakshalana is useful if the patient is cap able of performing them. But, before performing them, the patient should be check ed thoroughly, for which expert advice is necessary.
Chanting or listening to Aum is an effective meas ure, as Aum is related to mental stability. A regular 15 minutes o f Aum chanting will achieve substantial results. It will reduce mental stress a nd strain, improve mental stability and concentration, and generate circumstances favorable for curing this disease.
This is a very easy but effective procedure for t he establishment of mental and physical tranquility. Even Shavasana alo ne generates similar results. The patient may perform Yoga Nidra 3-4 times a day duri ng the period of trouble. A recorded tape or CD is recommended for ease of use.
Drink water boiled with a copper piece in it.
Grind a mixture of opium seeds 25 gm + cardamom po wder 8 gm + sugar candy 50 gm. Eat this mixture every three hours.
Mix 1 teaspoon of ginger juice in half a cup of bo iling water and take it every two hours.
Paramhansa Satyanand Saraswati from Mungher suggest ed a remedy for Amoebic Dysentery as follows-
Mix 250 gm of curd in three glasses of water. Add t wo teaspoons of sugar and churn it thoroughly. Strain using a clean cloth and add a further three glasses of water. Churn again, then strain. Consume this mixture cons tantly and do not eat or drink anything else but plain water. A regular diet may b e begun at the end of the trouble.
Diet control is the most important part of the tr eatment of colitis. It will not be cured unless the diet is controlled.
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