By, Brinda Nair, Board Member- CHAI, Inc.
This blog is a personal reflection of Ms. Nair’s experiences with Ayurvedic and Homeopathic treatment and expressly her experience. CHAI recommends that each individual research different treatment modalities and seeks information and advice from qualified professionals before beginning any type of new treatment.
To say that I am a product of modern allopathic medicine is an understatement….I have been associated personally or through my work with large hospital networks since I was 15. Whether it was a personal health issue or that I work in hospital administration….the fact remains that I have always always believed that the end all “cure” for all ailments lies in modern medicine….My name is Brinda Nair, I work at Johns Hopkins and I am a modern medicine junkie…I work with the best there is …I see miracles being performed everyday……can’t help it….
With that as the background I want to share something……My first born has autism….he’s 5 ….he’s highly functional and is quite a darling…..check out his pic…. adorable huh?……sorry! that was my “mom” moment….
Suffice to say that it took a while to accept his “autism” diagnosis….the entire jugular question of “nature” vs “nurture”…..He’s been through every genetic testing in the book….blood work, therapies, he goes to one of the best private special schools there is….have we seen results?….yes and no…..good days and bad days as we parents of kids with autism say….
I know there’s a whole world out there of various “treatments” for these special kids…I have never acknowledged them nor have I dissed them….they just existed in the realm of autism but never really reeled me into trying them out to help my son out…..Be it chelation or special diets like the CF-GF diet.
In February of this year we took a trip to India…..just visiting family…..it’s tough explaining autism to people who don’t understand it….. or don’t believe there’s anything wrong with him…..needless to say it was arduous at times……until someone mentioned an ayurvedic center in India that deals with neurological and psychiatric disorders and suggested we meet with them to see if they had anything to offer…..
Now for some background – Ayurveda is a holistic healing science which comprises of two words, Ayu and Veda. Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge or science. A Person is seen in Ayurveda as a unique individual made up of five primary elements. These elements are ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata,Pitta and Kapha. These ratios of the Doshas vary in each individual and because of this Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity. The elements combine with Ether and Air in dominance to form what is known in Ayurveda as Vata Dosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration and elimination etc. The elements with Fire and Water in dominance combine to form the Pitta Dosha . The Pitta Dosha is responsible for the process of transformation or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a Pitta function. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism. Finally, it is predominantly the water and earth elements which combine to form the Kapha Dosha. Kapha is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. It also offers protection, for example, in form of the cerebral-spinal fluid, which protects the brain and spinal column. The mucosal lining of the stomach is another example of the function of Kapha Dosha protecting the tissues.
According to Ayurveda , Autism is the end result of systematic toxins such as Mercury in the body causing this tridoshic disease which is especially a gross imbalance of vata and particularly prana vata which is the vata seated in the mind controlling all mental functions such as speech, concentration, memory, learning and neurological response. The protocol for autism is focused on removing toxins from the system and at the same time nourishing and energizing the cells so that they may repair.
That being the theory behind it which maps the theory in modern medicine we decided to give it a shot. I have to say I have been amazed by the changes in my son since he started the therapy. I have come to become a believer….the therapies were done in house for 2 weeks and he was very compliant for most of them. I am posting a picture to the “massages “he got done. Some of the medicines I have brought back and am continuing them here….
We even tried homeopathy and have some medicines that we are giving him…..Homeopathy is the science of therapeutics based on the signs and symptoms of the patient. Frequently the more unusual or strange the symptoms the easier it is to find the remedy.
Homeopathic remedies act by stimulating individuals to heal themselves and are selected based on the Law of Similars: “Let Likes Be Cured By Likes.” A remedy is given to an ill person, who if given to a healthy person would produce similar symptoms to those of the ill person. Hence the name homeopathy (Greek for like illness).
I have a much calmer child whose digestive system has improved, who’s drinking more liquids and is also sleeping much more peacefully…..these changes may seem very subtle and I know that I am not expecting a miracle but it’s a step in the right direction…..needless to say I’m a believer now…..would love to do a “donkey” impersonation from Shrek ….”I’m a believer” to prove it!
The purpose of this blog you say? To anyone who’s ever turned their nose up to herbal remedies and complementary medicines…..open yourself up to possibilities other than modern medicine….some of them are based on centuries old wisdom that our new age medicines cannot even pretend to understand or emulate.….who knows …….the cure might just be an acupuncture needle or an Ayurvedic massage away from your grasp……. That being said, though it’s important to note that such medications may not have the same impact on everyone and if they are handled by a person with inadequate qualification, it may lead to further damage. This blog also just relates my personal experience with Complementary medicine modalities and CHAI or anyone associated with CHAI is not endorsing Complementary medicine, its various products or any one treatment modality over another. CHAI recommends each individual seek information and professional advice before beginning any type of treatment.