The Maharishi AyurvedaSM Approach to Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can often be caused by a variety of imbalances that have become deeply embedded in the physiology over years. True healing of these imbalances requires a comprehensive approach, using several healing modalities.
The three-step program offered at The Raj provides the breadth of recommendations and length of treatment necessary for making significant progress with natural health care therapies. Following is a brief description of our three-step program, immediately followed by a thorough discussion of how Maharishi Ayurveda addresses pain.
1. Home Preparation for In-residence Treatments
When you schedule your in-residence stay, our staff will ask you some health-related questions that allow our Ayurveda Health Consultant to individualize a home program to be followed for several weeks before you arrive at The Raj. This program starts to improve digestion, balance the body and eliminate impurities to prepare you to gain maximum benefit from your in-residence program.
2. In-residence Treatment Program
Each day of your 5-21 day stay at the Raj, you receive 2-3 hours of Maharishi Rejuvenation TherapySM treatments to cleanse the body of toxins and impurities that are creating the imbalance at the basis of your condition. These In-residence cleansing programs are the foundation of the Maharishi Ayurveda approach to pain.
3. Post-treatment Home Recommendation Program
You will have at least two visits with our Ayurveda Health Consultant during your stay at The Raj. Your Ayurveda Health Consultant will provide you with a comprehensive set of recommendations that you can use at home to stabilize the gains you made during treatment and continue your progress toward better health.
We highly encourage everyone to study the following material on the Maharishi Ayurveda approach to pain and start gaining benefits immediately through the two-booklet Introductory Education program.
The Raj program for chronic pain is conducted under the supervision of an Ayurveda Health Consultant and draws on knowledge from Maharishi Ayurveda, the world's oldest and most complete system of natural health care.
Through its unique assessment of causal imbalances at the basis of a condition and its wide range of time-tested recommendations, Maharishi Ayurveda provides the most comprehensive natural approach for chronic pain available today.
Ayurveda Assessment of Balance and Imbalance in Chronic Pain
A quick review of the chronic pain condition shows how many imbalances could contribute to the condition. Therefore, gaining true relief from pain will usually require a multifaceted, natural approach like the one offered at The Raj. (See our fibromyalgia section for a further discussion of the Ayurveda understanding and approach to pain.)
Poor diet, digestion and elimination can lead to buildup of toxins in tissues that activate the pain response. Certain foods sensitize the nerves to increased pain response. Accumulation of stress and disruption of bodily rhythms through poor lifestyle destabilize the nervous system and predispose the individual to increased pain. Lastly, any factor that depresses the body's natural healing ability will slow the recovery from the experience of chronic pain.
Because there are so many factors that could create a symptom, the Ayurveda assessment of balance and imbalance does not simply identify the gross physical abnormality and match up drugs to a symptom. This is also because people can have the same disorder for different reasons. For example, ten people could walk into a doctor's office with a headache and have it for ten different reasons. Likewise not everyone has chronic pain for the same reasons.
An Ayurveda evaluation determines the imbalances in the functioning modes of the body. These underlying imbalances are the root causes of a condition and must be removed if real healing is to occur. By determining the causal imbalances at the basis of a disorder, an Ayurveda evaluation helps The Ayurveda Health Consultants address the fundamental source of ill health in the individual.
Since chronic pain can be influenced by many factors, such as diet, digestion, toxin accumulation, stress, exercise levels and daily routine, the Ayurveda approach to the condition is a comprehensive one that balances many physiological functions simultaneously.
The Root Causes of Chronic Pain
According to Ayurveda, the following are the general types of imbalances at the source of most chronic conditions, including chronic pain:
- Toxins accumulating in tissues and blocking circulation.
- Poor nutrition.
- Poor digestion.
- Imbalance of the nervous system.
- Accumulation of physical and mental stress.
- Lowering of natural resistance and immunity.
- Disruption of natural biological rhythms.
The common modern medical approach that matches drugs to symptoms does not completely address many of these factors. As a result, modern medicine often cannot fully remove the disorder and the condition becomes chronic. Chronic means that the condition persists over time even with the best modern medical treatment. Currently over 100 million Americans suffer from a chronic condition, indicating that some new approach is needed in our health care.
A Natural Treatment Program for Chronic Pain
Following is a discussion of how The Raj program for chronic conditions provides the most comprehensive set of natural recommendations available today to address the true causes of chronic pain. These therapies are not only effective at removing the imbalances at the basis of chronic disorders but also have no significant side-effects. The goal of this Ayurveda approach is to enliven the body's natural healing and self-repair ability not only to help cure chronic pain, but also to prevent disorder and create the highest state of health and well-being.
1) Removing the Buildup of Toxins and Impurities
Most chronic disorders start when toxins accumulate in tissues and begin to disrupt the delicate biochemistry there. Toxin buildup can also obstruct the channels of circulation and elimination. This blockage prevents proper nutrition from reaching the tissues and blocks the processes that cleanse them of impurities.
Your Ayurveda Health Consultant will provide natural recommendations to remove and help prevent toxin accumulation from:
- Hard-to-digest food
- Poor digestion
- Poor elimination
- Improper metabolism
- Mental and physical stress
Maharishi RejuvenationSM Therapy (MRT) Treatments
The most powerful treatments for removing toxins and opening circulation are the Maharishi Rejuvenation Therapy treatments you receive each day of your in-residence stay. This daily three-hour treatment program of massage, heat treatment and mild herbal enema is the cornerstone of your in-residence stay at The Raj. These three treatments received in combination every day for 5 to 21 days create the ideal internal physical environment for healing.
Maharishi Rejuvenation Therapy treatments address the problem of toxin accumulation by systematically:
- Loosening impurities that have become embedded in tissues and helping liquefy them for easy absorption into the circulation and eventual elimination.
- Softening and opening the channels of circulation and elimination so proper nourishment can reach the tissues and impurities can be more easily eliminated from them.
- Activating the elimination process for the most thorough cleansing of the entire physiology.
Herbalized Oil Massage
Herbalized oil massage is used both at home and in our in-residence treatments to aid the cleansing process.
Your Ayurveda Health Consultant will choose a specific herbalized oil that is individually prepared for your condition. You will also be instructed in the technique of Ayurveda massage, which involves using specific strokes over different parts of the body.
Herbalized oil massage provides a deeply soothing and balancing effect for the entire physiology. The motion of massage creates heat and friction which enhance circulation and help cleanse affected tissues of chemical impurities that could be causing symptoms of chronic pain. The oil and herbs cleanse and nourish the tissues to aid in their repair and development.
The various herbs that have been boiled into a base oil, and the oil itself, are specifically chosen for their effectiveness in removing the imbalances at the basis of your condition. The oil helps the balancing process by allowing the herbs to more deeply penetrate the affected tissues.
Your program involves two types of Ayurveda herbalized massage:
- The home program involves herbalized self-massage for 5-10 minutes in the morning before you take your shower.
- During the in-residence portion of your program, highly trained Ayurveda technicians will give you a very specialized massage each day using oils in which as many as 50 herbs have been cured. These special oils are only available as part of the in-residence program.
2) Proper Nutrition
Your Ayurveda Health Consultant will provide you with detailed understanding of which foods to favor and avoid for your condition. Avoid foods that are hard-to-digest, clogging to the physiology and aggravating to the functioning modes that are already imbalanced in you. Favor foods that are easy-to-digest, nourishing, cleanse the physiology, strengthen digestion and balance your body's inner intelligence.
One of the great strengths of the Ayurveda dietary approach is that it contains knowledge of how to have a light, easy-to-digest diet that still is both satisfying and nourishing. Many individuals have easily followed this diet and have improved their digestion and energy while also reducing their symptoms.
Proper food preparation
During your in-residence stay at The Raj you will also learn the basic principles of Ayurveda cooking. The Raj cooking classes provide knowledge of how to prepare foods in ways that create maximum nourishment for the body while simultaneously preventing incomplete digestion and clogged circulation.
Herbs are considered nutritional supplements in Ayurveda. Their purpose is to restore balance to the specific functioning modes whose malfunctioning is causing your condition. During your personal interview our Ayurveda Health Consultant will select the appropriate herbal formulas for aiding the healing process, strengthening digestion and helping the body purify itself of toxins and free radicals.
Free radicals are a specific class of chemicals that are highly irritating to the physiology. Scientific research has found that free radicals contribute to a wide variety of disorders. When appropriate, our Ayurveda Health Consultants can recommend Ayurveda herbs that research has shown contain powerful anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers. Two Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparations have been shown scientifically to have 1000 times more anti-oxidant activity than either vitamin C or E. Ayurveda herbs can also have a holistic influence of balancing and nourishing the entire physiology.
Traditional Ayurveda theory says that herbs are most effective after a person completes an internal cleansing program. The cleansing and rejuvenation treatments that you will receive daily are the main focus of your in-residence stay. Once this program is finished, you are ready to gain maximum benefits from your herbal program.
3) Creating Strong Digestion
Our ability to properly digest food is as important as what specific food we eat. Incompletely digested foods create toxins and impurities that are eventually absorbed, travel throughout the physiology, localize in tissues and disrupt their functioning. This process plays a major role in a wide variety of chronic conditions, including chronic pain.
Your Ayurveda Health Consultant will provide recommendations for strengthening digestion including information in the following areas:
- Proper use of spices and cooking oils.
- Herbal preparations for improving digestion.
- Important differences between breakfast, lunch and dinner foods.
- A simple system to determine a balanced diet.
- Digestion-enhancing foods to favor.
- Digestion-depressing foods to reduce.
- Eating behavior for maximum digestion.
- Proper food combinations to avoid indigestion.
- Non-dietary regiments to improve digestive strength including exercise, specific Yoga asanas and breathing techniques.
4) Balancing Nervous System Activity
The nervous system controls most bodily functions, and almost every chronic condition is affected in some way when the nervous system activity becomes imbalanced. According to Ayurveda, the physiological principle at the basis of nervous system stability and activation is called Vata. Because nervous system imbalance contributes to chronic pain, from the Ayurveda perspective Vata imbalance is an underlying cause of the condition and needs to be reversed.
Maharishi Ayurveda contains a wide variety of time-tested Ayurveda recommendations to help restore balance to Vata and remove the symptoms caused by its aggravation. These include specific diets, herbs, cleansing programs, the Transcendental Meditation technique, Yoga asanas and Yoga breathing exercises.
5) Stress Management
Excessive mental, emotional and physical stress can worsen the symptoms of many chronic disorders, including chronic pain. This is due to hormonal changes and other biochemical responses to stress that can imbalance the nervous system and depress the healing ability of the body.
Enhancing the body's ability to recover from stress is an integral part of The Raj's approach to health and well-being. The following Raj in-residence programs help reverse the body's response to stress:
- Instruction in the Transcendental Meditation® program
- Ayurveda massage and heat treatments
- Instruction in Yoga asana postures
If you choose to learn meditation during your in-residence stay at The Raj, highly trained teachers of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program are available to instruct you. The TM technique has a wealth of scientific research verifying its effect on reducing many of the mental and stress factors associated with chronic pain. Research shows that TM practice creates virtually the opposite physiological response that stress does and helps the body recover more quickly from stressful stimuli.
Practice of the TM technique twice a day is a powerful mind-body healing approach to the problems of chronic pain. The TM program at The Raj gets you off to a superb start with your practice and your instructor will help connect you with the local TM program center in your home area for any follow-up that you may desire.
6) Lifestyle and Daily Routine
One of the most important factors for maintaining healthy functioning is to have a lifestyle that does not disturb natural bodily rhythms. When we eat, sleep and exercise in constantly fluctuating and disturbing patterns, the body loses its natural balancing cycles and cannot cleanse or heal itself as effectively. Therefore, regularity in our daily routine can be extremely effective in reducing physiological imbalance at the basis of chronic pain.
Our Ayurveda Health Consultants will review your daily routine and provide the information you need to create a daily schedule that will increase balance in your physiology and aid in healing your body.
7) Exercise and Flexibility Education
Maharishi Ayurveda considers proper stretching and flexibility exercises to have a very positive effect on circulation, nervous system function, the body's healing response and the treatment of many chronic conditions.
During your in-residence stay at The Raj, we offer Yoga classes every day and teach you a simple but profound set of postures that you can practice daily to improve circulation and create a healthy flexibility throughout the body. We also instruct you in individualized Yoga breathing practices that create a state of restful alertness in mind and body.
These in-residence courses give you knowledge that you can continue to apply after you leave The Raj to maintain your progress in alleviating the symptoms of chronic pain.
8) Strengthening the Body's Natural Healing and Self-Repair Mechanisms
Ultimately every treatment approach must depend on the body's natural healing ability for a real cure of the condition. Maharishi Ayurveda's approach is not to attack the disorder with something from the outside, like drugs or surgery, but to attempt to enliven the innate healing response of the body.
The healing response is one of the most complex and coordinated activities within the human physiology and often cannot be strengthened significantly without a comprehensive natural approach like that provided at The Raj.
Taken together, all the Maharishi Ayurveda programs described above aim to create the ideal mental, physical and behavioral environment for healing.
For detailed information on program structure and fees see Program Overview.
Wishing you perfect health,
Causes & Treatments
Ayurveda Health Consultations
The Transcendental Meditation Program
Maharishi Vedic Vibration Technology Consultations
Scientific Research on our in-residence Treatment Programs