As we are aware of the coronavirus; it is a Pandemic. People are in a panic; schools are closed, roads are closed, cities are closed and everybody has to sit in their home in their house with the family. So this is a very critical time.
COVID – 19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus is relatively a new disease, with fresh information being known on a dynamic basis about the natural history of the disease, especially in terms of post-recovery events. In addition to that now we are facing more critical illness, and high mortality. The events are so depressing and heartbreaking.
Fever (Jwara) is well understood in Ayurveda and it occupies the first chapter in treatment (chikitsa) in two of the canonical texts of Ayurveda, namely Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdayam. It deals with diagnosis (nidanam), pathophysiology (samprapti), classification, management, medicines, diet and prognosis. Along with this right now we are observing that covid 19 also affects other systems such as the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, urinary system, musculoskeletal system etc. in short we need to focus on the whole body and not particular systems. Here comes the main and important role of Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, we don’t treat symptoms or an affected system but a person as a whole. We believe in a holistic approach and treat the person as an individual considering his dosha dhatu mala, samprapti, and dosh dushya sammurchhana in the centre. According to Ayurveda the person (purush, – unlike gender) is made up of Chetana, panchamahabhuta, ekadash indriya and ashta prakruti. This is chikitsiya purush according to Ayurveda. So without running after symptoms or damaged system Ayurveda finds the main origin of diseases and target them with the best of it. So lastly the results are miraculous with utmost attendance of health. Choosing Ayurveda will not let you suffer from any post disease complication.
Many of you people must be unaware of the word prakruti sthapana. Prakruti is our body’s health condition. A healthy status of dosha-dhatu-mala. When we suffer from any disease this regular arrangement is disturbed. After getting free from disease completely one should take small steps to attend to his health properly. This is called prakruti sthapana- regaining normalcy back in terms of Ayurveda.
See the beauty of Ayurveda, it offers utmost health and not merely a symptoms free body or good medical reports with normal value.
Many people are getting out of the quarantine period after contracting the Covid-19 virus. It’s a tough time for every individual and his/her family who has been infected with the virus. Dealing with the quarantine period is difficult but equally important is Post-Covid care. It is critical not to ignore and take utmost care of your body when you are recovering.
After acute COVID-19 illness, recovered patients may continue to report a wide variety of signs and symptoms including fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, Sleep abnormalities, Depression and anxiety, Diffuse myalgia, Some cognitive symptoms such as confusion, less focus, forgetfulness etc. As of now, there is limited evidence of post-COVID squeal and further research is required and is being actively pursued. A holistic approach is required for follow up care and well-being of all post- COVID recovering patients.
If proper care is not taken, then patients can develop many severe conditions such as lung damage, heart damage etc.
People with a history of health conditions such as immune disorders, diabetes, hypertension etc. are at a much higher risk for post COVID-19 health conditions such as cytokine storms.
This immune response is responsible for numerous autonomic dysfunction such as temperature abnormalities, sleep abnormalities, cognitive abnormalities and severe fatigue, which can be severe for people with preconditions.
What Ayurveda have, to offer in post covid management?
According to this ancient medical science called Ayurveda, any abnormalities in the body are caused due to Agnimadhya causing accumulation of Ama(toxins) in your body. . Later on causing the imbalance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. So, the focus is to bring the Agni in normal and doshas in balance, detoxify the body to make it ready for overall healing. Here are a few suggestions from Ayurveda that you can take and make a part of your lifestyle to protect yourself and deal with post covid problems if any.
(i) At Individual Level
- Continue COVID appropriate behaviour (use of mask, hand & respiratory hygiene, physical distancing).
- Drink an adequate amount of warm water or medicated water (if not contra-indicated).
- Take immunity promoting Ayurveda medicine from the nearest vaidya available according to your dosha and Agni.
- After being asymptomatic consult your vaidya and go for Virechan (panchakarma) to eliminate the biological waste materials been deposited into your body during this condition
- After completing Virechan one should start taking anyone or two Ayurveda Rasayana type medicine to combat covid and regaining the utmost level of health. This is called prakruti sthapana minimum for 45 days.
- If health permits, regular household work to be done. Professional work to be resumed in a graded manner
- Mild/ moderate exercise o Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and Meditation, as much as health permits or as prescribed.
- Breathing exercises as prescribed by treating physician.
- Daily morning or evening walk at a comfortable place as tolerated.
- A balanced nutritious diet, preferably easy to digest freshly cooked soft diet.
- Have adequate sleep and rest.
- Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
- Take regular medications as advised by your vaidya for COVID and also for managing comorbidities, if any.
- Vaidya to be always informed about all medicines that the individual is taking (allopathic/ AYUSH) so as to avoid prescription interaction.
- Self-health monitoring at home – temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar (especially, if diabetic), pulse oximetry etc. (if medically advised)
- Look for early warning signs like high-grade fever, breathlessness, Sp02 < 95%, unexplained chest pain, new onset of confusion, focal weakness.
- The first follow-up visit (physical/telephonic) should be within 7 days after discharge, only to vaidya treating you.
(ii) At the Level of Community
- Recovered individuals to share their positive experiences of Ayurveda with their friends and relatives using social media, community leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders for creating awareness, dispelling myths and stigma.
- Take the support of community-based selfhelp groups, civil society organizations, and qualified professionals for the recovery and rehabilitation process (medical, social, occupational, livelihood).
- Seek psycho-social support from peers, community health workers, counsellor. If required seek mental health support service.
Cherry on Cake
We can clean our prana vaha srotas, our respiratory system with pranayama and it will give us a boost of energy so that we can keep away the virus. Another interesting health-supporting practice is to do some yogasana — camel pose, cobra pose, cow pose, boat, bow, and bridge pose, locust, lotus, and lion pose. If you think that is too complicated, just do Surya Namaskar.
For Surya Namaskar, do a minimum of 7 rounds and a maximum of 12 rounds. We do 7 rounds because there are seven dhātus (bodily tissues). There are 12 important poses in Surya Namaskar. So, do 12 or 7 Surya Namaskar and then do pranayama and then sit for meditation. For meditation, you can do So’Hum meditation. For this, sit quietly in the lotus pose, siddhasana pose (accomplished) or sahajasana pose (easy), and inhale with the sound “so” in your mind and exhale with the sound “hum”. This is a great opportunity. When you do this So’Hum meditation, you will flower the inner joy, the inner beauty. Then sit quietly and feel your presence. Your easiness is awareness. And that awareness is Sat Chit Anand. Sat means truth, Chit means Awareness, And Ananda means joy.
These are not just three words. They are the same thing: sat is awareness, chit is awareness, ananda is awareness. Treat these as awareness and there is awareness. So we have to see what is going on in this outer world. Everything that is going on, will come and it will go; nothing is permanent in this world. Let it go. Even this coronavirus will come and will leave on its own accord. But we have to keep our integrity, harmony, happiness and balance between body mind and consciousness. At your home, you can do Pooja-Prarthana (ritual), you can do arti (offering of light during puja), burn a little camphor and do arti or ghee lamp. The others in your household can clap during the puja. This clapping is a kind of marma therapy. A marma of the heart, lungs, kidneys are situated in the palm and this clapping will stimulate them all and strengthen your energy. It will send a message to your internal organs. You can chant OM. You can chant Hari Om. Or, you can say Jai Ganesh. All these are very creative, positive vibrations of higher Consciousness and they will support our family, will support our friends, will support our neighbours so that we will stand together, walk together, share the same truth.
Uthistaha (Rise Up)
Jagrataha (Wake Up)
Prapyavaranbodinva [Let us] Achieve the highest supreme knowledge
Let us walk together, share together, stand together — but not too — close with a little distance, resistance because of too much close. Never shake hands, but do Namaste. Namaste is a very beautiful gesture. If you see your friend, do Namaste and this is a wonderful greeting, and there is no direct hand-to-hand contact. So this sangatchadvam (Let us go together) — Let us speak the same truth together. Let us share this wisdom with our friends and be happy and this period will soon go away within a couple of weeks. We will see positive vibration and don’t be nervous. Don’t be unhappy. Don’t be sad. Come out. Stand together and you will see the energy will flower into bliss, into peace.
Be kind to everyone even if he/she might not giving you the same in return.
Love yourself and love others with compassion