Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Stroke Rehabilitation

The brain is one of the chronically active organs in the body. It gulps down 20 percent of the inspired oxygen, which amounts to about 3.5 ml per 100 g of brain tissue in a minute. Being a complex organ with a plethora of complex functions, its needs must be met without fail. Yet, some instances may pose a threat to the brain’s oxygen demand – either by obstructing blood vessels to the brain or by facilitating profuse bleeding. As an aftermath, the blood flow to the brain is significantly reduced, leading to cell death there. This condition is termed stroke. Stroke is also nicknamed CerebroVascular Accident (CVA), CerebroVascular Insult (CVA), and brain attack.

The stroke statistics of the last decade showed a jump of 10 % more than the previous decade. About 1 lakh people are affected by stroke each year globally. Of all deaths by cerebrovascular diseases, stroke is responsible for 75%. Men are more likely than women to have a stroke.

Stroke can be broadly classified into two based on its cause – ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke arises from ischemia or oxygen depletion due to decreased blood flow. It accounts for 87% of strokes. Thrombosis (clots inside the blood vessel), and embolism (lodging of globules like fat in the blood vessel) are the common causes of an ischemic stroke.   Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures. The blood loss will lead to less oxygen to the brain, and that, to brain cell death. Elevated blood pressure, use of anticoagulants, and blood thinners like aspirin, aneurysms, trauma, etc can trigger blood loss and hemorrhagic stroke. Modern-day lifestyles and habits like substance abuse contribute much to stroke.

Pakshaghata (hemiplegia) and Ardita are two Ayurvedic conditions that could be correlated to stroke. Vitiated vata could be cited as the culprit for both. Pakshaghata is the paralysis of one side of the body due to the constriction of blood vessels and ligaments as they host an aggravated vata. If the full body is paralyzed, the state is called sarvanga roga. Ardita, on the other hand, is the facial paralysis caused by the colonization of vitiated vata on the face. It vaporizes the blood there and causes contractions in the face. Both conditions are detailed in the 28th chapter of Charaka Samhita Chikitsa sthana.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of stroke can vary according to the intensity of the cause and the extent of the damage. Also, some may be temporary while some can cause lifelong disability. They usually start immediately and progress within a matter of minutes.

Some of them are-

  • Hemiplegia
  • Weakness of half of the face
  • Numbness of affected part – aggravated vata can cause numbness and tingling sensation.
  • Drooping of eyelid
  • Altered perception (of taste, smell, etc)
  • Loss of balance
  • Reduced response and reflex
  • Changes in breathing pattern and heart rhythm
  • Debility of tongue
  • Aphasia (difficulty in verbal communication)
  • Changes in gait and stance

Ayurveda Treatment for Stroke Rehabilitation

As mentioned before, pakshaghata and ardita can be correlated to stroke. These occur as a result of vata aggravation possibly from the excess intake of dry, cold, and light foods, excessive fasting, hyperactivity, over-exercise, untimely sleep, insomnia, sitting and lying in uncomfortable postures, and mental factors like chinta (overthinking), krodha (anger), shoka (grief), bhaya (fear), etc. Localization of vata on one side of the body is said to be pakshaghata while that on the face is called ardita. Though hailed as vata vyadhis, sometimes they can be seen associated with the other two doshas.

Our Approach

AyurVAID is a pristine institution that bears the virtue of Ayurveda. Our doctors, skilled and proficient in their field, are here to help you, by providing you with comfort and reassurance. At AyurVAID, we offer safe professional care for stroke rehabilitation, aiming at your complete recovery and overall improvement. In-depth assessment of the condition, precise diagnosis, thorough samprapti vighatana (breaking the disease pathway), properly planned prakriti-oriented treatment, quality procedures, safe and hygienic environment, etc are our peculiarities. We offer you complete care and cure for the conditions that ail you.

We are:-

  • First NABH-accredited hospital in India
  • The winner of the esteemed National Award for Best Ayurvedic Centre of the year 2017 from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Industry’s best customer satisfaction score of 92%, rated by our clients

Our Outcome

Stroke rehabilitation is the restoration of skills lost to an episode of stroke. Ayurveda offers some potential rehabilitation choices for stroke, but the question is when to bring Ayurveda into the picture. The first few weeks after a stroke is crucial, and this could be the best time to seek Ayurvedic solutions. Internal medication according to the degree of dosha vitiation is to be prescribed. Vata alleviating decoctions, ghee, etc can be given as per the physician’s choice. Panchakarma procedures like vasti (medicated enema), nasya (nasal drops), virechana (purgation), vamana (emesis) preceded by proper oleation (with appropriate fats), and sudation, 4 types of murdha taila (procedures done on the head- shirovasti, shiropichu, shiraseka, shiro abhayanga) with suitable oils, diet, and lifestyle modifications in accordance to the patient’s physical constitution and doshik status, etc can be prescribed as rehabilitation measures. Rasayana chikitsa or rejuvenating formulations should be given afterward. The key to the restoration of lost abilities is to follow the treatment plan correctly without fail.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Ayurveda restore the post-stroke body to its old form?
Yes, up to a great extent. Fixing the dosha levels and metabolism can go a long way when it comes to rehabilitation. Procedures like panchakarma and murdha taila, medicines processed with vata-alleviating herbs, and a properly curated diet and dinacharya (daily routine) will improve the quality of life post-stroke.
2. What are the risk factors for stroke?
Ayurveda considers so many aharajanya (born out of a faulty diet), viharajanya (arising from a faulty regimen), and manasika (mental) factors for stroke as mentioned above. Indulging in the same can worsen the condition and there lies the relevance of nidana parivarjana (avoidance of causative factors). Smoking, alcoholism, heart disease, obesity, dyslipidemia, etc may act as oil for the burning flame.
3. What is F.A.S.T in stroke?
F.A.S.T is a warning code for stroke. F stands for face droop, A for difficulty raising one arm, S for speaking difficulty or slurred speech, and T for the time to act. Identifying these symptoms can help save one’s life.

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