Piles – Yogic Prevention and Cure
Piles or haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that develop inside or around the anal canal and rectum. Anyone can be affected by piles at any age, and about 50% experience it at some point in their lives. It is more common in older people and during pregnancy. There are two types of piles – Internal, which lies inside the rectum and is usually painless, and external, which lies inside the anus and is often extremely painful.
Anti-inflammatory creams and warm sitting baths are traditional therapies for piles. Paracetamol is usually prescribed to alleviate pain. In severe cases of prolapsed haemorrhoids; sclerotherapy, cauterisation or surgery is recommended
Samkhya Yoga View:
Piles, according to the Samkhya Yoga view is caused by imbalance between Earth and Fire elements. Usually caused due to an excess of Fire and a lack of sufficient Earth energy, Piles can be overcome using sequences that concentrate on the Earth and Water elements. Heightened sexuality as well as heightened ambition or self-worth issues, tending to defensive egotism can also aggravate the systemic imbalances that lead to piles.
Yogic Lifestyle advice:
Those suffering from piles must hydrate themselves sufficiently. They must stay away from concentrated juice drinks and alcohol or fermented grains. They must not indulge in too much heavy walking or trekking. Heat and hot environments must be avoided as much as possible. Spicy foods must not be consumed and caffeinated drinks, especially strong black coffee must be avoided. Specific Chikitsa Yoga sequences dealing with Piles can help to completely overcome the problem. Anxiety and stress relieving meditation techniques will also be helpful towards long term disease reduction in the case of piles.
Asanas for disease reduction:
The Yogic techniques always start with the physical, in order to bring a state of homeostasis, which leads to symptom reduction. The following are a small selection of simple asanas that will begin the process of recovery from Piles.
JANUSIRSASANA – Head to Shin Pose
- Sitting on your hips, straighten both the knees while keeping the back straight
- Bend the right knee and place the right foot in the inner left thigh, close to the perineum
- Drop the right knee on the mat
- Keeping the spine straight, collapse your stomach and bend the upper body forward and down
- Breathe from the chest
- Inhaling, straighten your back and come up. Repeat on the other leg
SARVANGASANA – Shoulder Stand
- Lie flat on your back with the palms facing down
- Raise your legs & hips up, keeping the chin close to your chest
- Support your lower back with your palms, lift your back off the mat while keeping your knees and back straight
- Gaze at the point between the toes, breathing deeply through the chest. You may even close your eyes
- Remain here for 3-4 mins then relax your palms and come down gently.
ARDHA NAVASANA – Half Boat Pose
- While sitting on the floor, stretch your legs out keeping the knees straight.
- Interlock your fingers behind your head, just above the neck
- As you exhale, recline your back and simultaneously raise your legs off the floor about 30-35 degrees.
- Don’t hold your breath in this pose, and keep the breathing normal to deeply massage the abdominal organs. Stay for about 30 seconds then relax and sit up
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA – Downward Facing Dog
- Lying face down on the floor, rest the palms down on the floor, the palms in line with the shoulders.
- Raise the trunk off the floor and straighten the arms tucking the belly in. Keep a distance of one foot between your feet.
- Feel the stretch in your hamstrings, keeping the knees and elbows straight. The head loosely resting between your upper arms without any tension.
- Stay in this pose for about 45secs while breathing deeply. Then slowly drop your trunk down on the floor and relax.
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