Constipation would be a very common condition that we experience. Bowel movements becomes difficult and it is usually associated with hardened faeces. This is mostly a symptom rather than a disease. There are many reasons for constipation. Also, laxatives are not the right approach in most contraptions!
Constipation is a boon of faulty lifestyle and wrong dietary pattern. Causes like unbalanced food habits, irregular sleeping pattern, low physical exercise are few of them. In elderly population, about 70% people are affecting or complaining about it.
So, the correct treatment is dealing with the cause and effect carefully.
In the department of herbal products, Ayurveda uses herbal cleanses under to broad categories - sramsanam and virechanam. Sramsanam is a prune-like gentle flush. Virechanam is a epsom-like purgative.
Ayurveda combines tissue-linking-herbs with laxative herbs to build specific tissue cleansing effects.
Some pastes/lehams as examples
Trivrilleham - general gut flush
Dantihareetaki - liver flush
Dasamulahareetaki - lung flush
Manibhadram - skin flush
Kalyanakagulam - reproductive flush
Using any above formulas in a specific context can change its effect. For example, if Trivrit paste is used at the end of a snehapanam, it works as a complete body cleanse.
None of these should be used without your Ayurveda practitioner's guidance and supervision.
Signs of constipation
What Causes Constipation?
Complications of constipation
Some Yoga techniques to relieve constipation
To be practiced under a trained yoga therapist
There are generally four types of laxatives.
1. Bulking agents
Food such as bran, or products such as Citrucel, Metamucil, Fibercon and plants like psyllium, chia, and flax can ease occasional constipation by absorbing more fluid in the intestines. This makes the stool bigger, which gives you the urge to pass the stool.
Risks: Bulking agents attract water and regular use can pull excess water off the intestinal wall. Over time, this can dehydrate the bowel and cause more chronic elimination concerns. In addition, most bulking agents expand greatly inside the intestines and, if used excessively, they can potentially distend the intestines, reducing their ability to contract and move fecal matter to the toilet. This can eventually result in a chronically sluggish, overly distended and dehydrated bowel.
2. Stool softeners
Products such as Colace lubricate and soften the stool in the intestine, making it easier to pass. Stool softeners do not often cause problems but they don’t work as well if you don’t drink enough water during the day.
Risks: The side effects from stool softeners can include sore throat, nausea, and skin rashes associated with dehydration. Stool softeners are also potentially habit forming and are not considered safe to use for more than 1 week without a doctor’s supervision.
3. Osmotic laxatives
Products such as Fleet Phospho-Soda, Magnesium, Milk of Magnesia, or Miralax and non-absorbable sugars, such as lactulose or sorbitol, hold fluids in the intestine and draw fluids into the intestine from other tissue and blood vessels. This extra fluid in the intestines makes the stool softer and easier to pass. Drink plenty of water if you use this type of laxative.
Risks: Once again, the mechanism for somatic laxatives is to pull water off the stool. Long term use can dehydrate the bowel making it more challenging for natural regular elimination, leading to dependency. Side effects can include malabsorption of key minerals, electrolyte disturbances and kidney strain.
4. Stimulant laxatives
Products such as Correctol, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax, Feen-a-Mint, or Senokot speed up how fast a stool moves through the intestines by irritating the lining of the intestines. Regular use of stimulant laxatives is not recommended as it can compromise the absorption of vitamin D through the intestinal wall.
Herbal stimulant laxatives include Cascara sagrada, Senna, Aloe latex, Frangula and prunes. Herbal laxatives that stimulate or irritate the bowel employ a constituent called Anthranoids that induce gut motility, stimulating a decrease in transit time. They also reduce fluid absorption and increase secretion in the colon, with the “end result” of softer stools.
Risks: Stimulant laxatives change the tone and feeling in the large intestine and can easily and quickly create a chemical dependency. Large doses can result in cramping and watery stools. Additionally, studies are inconclusive as to their overall efficacy. (8)
As bowel irritants, long term use can irritate and inflame the intestinal wall. Controversy exists as to whether this causes severe or lasting harm to the gut, but Ayurveda clearly says to be kind and gentle to the intestinal skin. (8)
Along with effectively managing a variety of health conditions, he specializes in “Vedic Age Reversal” and has developed his own method of “Ayruveda Tongue Diagnosis” as well as “Five Element Body Type Analysis” and uses these along with Ayurvedic psychology to form a complete treatment approach. Dr Rama also practice classical martial art (Kalaripayattu) and clinical Yoga. He has organised and has been part of over 2 dozen international Ayurveda and Yoga conferences in India and Australia, and kindly accept to welcome us.
1. You are practicing Ayurveda over the past 20 years. You are also specialized in “Vedic Age-Reversal”. Could you introduce your clinical experience and treatment approach ?
Rama Prasad : Ageing is a normal process. This normal ageing has nothing to do with health or disease. “Age” in age-reversal stands for the frequent or consistent state of low energy or tiredness with no specific reason. Reversing this is with a simple (6-8 week program) two pronged approach that involves rapidly boosting blood nutrient load and giving 12 hour deep rest to all cells to every day. The three zones of body (tissue-fluid-channels) are well managed in this program to flush toxins effectively and promote normal cell functions. Its based on Yogic, Ayurvedic and Physiological principles.
2. The West today has a lot more psychological than physical suffering. Mental-psychological conditions like depression are almost epidemic today. Even children are commonly suffering from conditions like Attention deficit disorder (ADD) or hyperactivity. Ayurveda is inherently a psychological as much as it is a physical system of medicine. I’d like to ask you how Ayurvedic psychology can be used to help people dissolve stress or physical and psychological suffering ?
Rama Prasad : I am going to give you a strange answer. Learning about how life works is the remedy for every disease. This will help us understand how we dream and how life gives us what we need for our personal development. And, this will help us to set realistic expectations, apply our whole hearted effort and accepting the result as it is. Once, the mind is empowered this way, stress becomes minimal and vitality dominates over depletion.3. Martial arts and clinical Yoga are also part of your training. Is this something you do recommend to your patients as well as a line of treatment ?
Rama Prasad : Of course. South Indian martial art contributed to most of Ayurvedic body therapies. So it is blended into all our Ayurveda therapies. I always incorporate various limbs of Yoga in the clinic as well.
4. According to you, a disease is first of all an inflammation, a process to protect the body. Could you explain what happen in the body during an inflammation, what is Inflammation and why we need it ?
Rama Prasad : Ease is lost, when body’s awareness (Prana) detects any pathogens. Tejas (attack, defend and repair) to uses Ojas (raw energy) appropriately to attack the pathogen, defend and body and repair any damage. These three components make up Immune system or Balam in Ayurveda. This process of detection, attack and repair is called Jwaram or inflammation. Based on the nature and strength of pathogen and balam, we might develop a form of inflammation or degenerative condition either simple or autoimmune type. Ayurveda helps the immune system while strongly support balam in its job and make healing complete, more bearable and complete.
5. How diet can play a role in reducing inflammation ?
Rama Prasad : Food is the physical world that becomes body. Use of excess inflammatory food (grains, flours, sugars, fermented items etc.) causes inflammation. Apart from this inflammatory eating (not chewing enough), eating at inflammatory time (after 2pm), living inflammatory lifestyle (unplanned etc.), having an inflammatory breathing (not breathing enough) and inflammatory mindset (having an issue and not addressing it effectively) are other causes as well.
6. Diet can be key in preventing and managing inflammation. Unfortunately, the typical western diet is an inflammatory one. What do you advise as an anti-inflammatory Diet Basics ?
Rama Prasad : Diet is one part. Mind is a bigger part. Modern diet is “grab and go” or “comfort food”. They are all dominated by inflammatory food items. In an anti-inflammatory diet we need to increase the blood nutrient load, by eating when the body can digest, assimilate and eliminate effectively.
7. Intolerance and allergy are both conditions of hypersensitivity, a reaction of the body to factors that it can no longer deal with in a healthy way. One of the root causes of this intolerance is imbalanced Agni or digestive fire. Could you explain this Ayurvedic concept and how its relation with Crohns colitis, irritable bowel disease / syndrome, digestive disorders?
Rama Prasad : A strong agni converts world into strong body. A strong body produces strong agni. Lifestyle (rest, relationship, exercise, nutrition, occupation etc.) connect them. When this relationship is broken with an unwholesome lifestyle, agni weakens and body become inefficient. Weak tissues are intolerant and produce weak agni. The vicious cycle kicks in. Based on the location they are called IBS, dermatitis, colitis, sinusitis and so on.
8. Your clinics are established in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne providing quality aryurvedic health care. Which services and treatments do you practice there and how is Ayurveda known in Australia ?
Rama Prasad : My clinics are to help people with building health and vitality. I teach them how to loose their illness quickly and easily. Most treatments are inexpensive. I also use some herbs, techniques and tools to speed up recovery and make it easier and more complete. Herbs include around 500 classical recipes and techniques include a huge range of Classical Ayurveda treatments tailored for the client.
9. Is Ayurveda qualifications nationally recognized by the Australian Government?
Rama Prasad : We have Certificate and Advanced diploma courses offered by around half a dozen colleges country-wide.
10. You are actively working on an Ayurvedic dictionary, and an interactive online health training software. How is it going?
Rama Prasad : A dictionary requires so much imagination and training software takes so much time. I am loving my life right now, waking up at 3am and jumping on to my computer to add one more paragraph to my manual and then 4am straight to sleep and up at 5m to run to my gym. My 7am breakfast is soon after my short yoga session. My mornings are my fuel cells for my days.
Thank you doctor !
Body type has nothing to do with your body, tendencies, personalities, preferences and diseases. Body type is constant. All other are contextual.
Body type is your true make up or what you are. There are many methods to analyse body type. We are using dosha in a specific style here. Body type is also called the mind-body constitution or Prakruti.
The benefit of knowing your body type can be compared to the advantage of knowing the car you drive is a sports car or family car, or a truck or a bike.
Once you know this, you will know how to apply the natural ability in life.
Every one is unique. Everyone has a unique proportion of elements and doshas. Knowing our body type is vital in engaging our energies appropriately, when we exercise our predominant energy in daily life, we will be healthy and fulfilled. This is the secret of personal sustainability.
Based on the predominance of dosha we get a unique body shape. Body type is always analysed based on the body shape when we are healthy or normal. Imbalance has nothing to do with our constitution at all.
If our constitution is a gem, health issue is the dirt (not in a negative sense, though. every disease bring some pain, hence the word dirt) on it.
Usually what we experience (eg: pain, stress etc) are due to some form of 'imbalance'. When we are healthy we feel light, right, 'everything is OK' etc.
All of us have all the five aspects of the three doshas.
Vata type A: Shape: Small, thin, light (light weight, short, thin bones). You are shorter than your same gender parent. You have small bones, fingers and toes and a petite body.
Designed to communicate, network, teach, sing, talk. Take up more than 2 roles at work, or 2-3 jobs.
Vata type B: Shape: Taller than same gender parent, one of the tall ones in the family with slender body. You have long fingers, limbs, light weight body.
Designed to guide, learn, share wisdom/philosophy, contemplate, go deep in science, be esoteric.
Pitta type: Shape: Angular, pointy (muscular, penetrating eyes, pointy nose/chin, triangular trunk) You have angular features, penetrating eyes. You have triangular trunk or face or a muscular body.
Designed for to analyse, be precise, fast, competitive, transform.
Kapha type A: Shape: Solid build, rectangular type (wide hips, broad shoulders, large fingers/toes/bones). You have wide hips, broad shoulders, look rectangular and solid with heavy bones.
Designed for managerial/admin, over-seeing, hands-on, building, to move heavy things.
Kapha type B: Shape: Soft, rounded, curvaceous (rounded eyes, fleshy nose and cheeks)
You have soft, curvaceous with rounded nose and soft fingers. You have rounded or soft curvaceous features.
Designed for to care, nurse, mother, listen, cook, nurture.
Applied body type
A tall-solid person is V2-K1. They are practical philosophers, hands on thinkers, thinking managers or calm doers. A muscular person with large eyes and soft cheeks P-K2. They are caring warriors, intense in emotions, fast yet gentle. So on so forth. To know more about please call us for a consultation. Based on precise information about your body type we will teach how to