Marma chikitsa for insomnia

Introduction

ZZzzz…….A-ha!!! Sleep is the most superlative and precious thing for human beings. The act of sleeping is a natural phenomenon which occurs to impart relaxation to body and soul of species when they get bone tired because of day to day activities. It seems to be a dream world for us because it is perfect and better than reality as during sleep we are naturally turned away from our tiredness, fascinations, anger, jealousy, cupidity and depressions. But when we are unable to sleep, find difficulty in maintaining it or awake without any reasons, leisurely it turns into our foe and took a shape of a disorder that entitled as insomnia. In present era because of strenuous life challenges and changing lifestyle a huge percentage of people are suffering from this disorder and now a days it metamorphosed into a rapidly growing disease. So be alert and let’s save ourselves from being a patient of insomnia.

Insomnia or anidra (अनिद्रा)

In ayurveda (the ancient science with modern perspectives) insomnia is commonly called as anidra. Anidra is composed of two words A+ nidra where A means “not” and nidra means “minimum 6 hours of sound sleep”. When a human being get exhausted because of his daily physical and mental activities, at the end of the day they need some rest in the form of sound sleep of 5-6 hours for relaxation and is termed as nidra but if he is unable to have a sound sleep then it is called as anidra.

Conditions responsible for anidra

  1. Activities: Troublesome conditions, psychic and somatic activities are responsible for mental and bodily weariness. Depression, anxiety, too much worries, pains, discomfort, diseases such as ureteric colic, asthma, cancer, angina are shooting causes of sleeplessness.
  2. Age factors: It was first seen that only elderly people are affected by this disorder but now a days our youth is in imprisonment of insomnia. Steadily it is also spreading its roots in school going children because of their desires related to studies, achievements, careers and many more.
  3. Sleeping pills: Sometimes in case of insomnia person becomes fully dependent upon the sleeping pills which is a very dreadful condition because initially they have sedative response but later on shows their serious habitual consequences and hence actually causes sleep disturbances.
  4. Altering lifestyle: Our altering lifestyle such as watching television continuously, using social sites, working on lappies till 1 or 2 in morning plays a great role in disturbing our sleep.
  5. Biological clock swap: In early morning you can easily observe birds tweeting, cocks cockadoodledoo, blooming of flowers, humming of bumble bee which denotes a natural biological clock. In the same way our natural biological clock release chemicals or neurotransmitters from our brain inside our body for providing freshness and calmness to us. But due to disturbance in circadian cycle, it disturbs sleep and an imbalance is created in neurotransmitters which causes complications like high blood pressure, obesity, stress, diabetes and many other ailments.
  6. Light effects: Sunset and sunrise has different effects on our body and one of them is in the form of sleepiness. It means this process is usually affected by light because whenever we try to sleep in a bright light normally we are unable to, when there is darkness then normal process of feeling sleepiness starts. With the effect of darkness some neurohumors are released in our body which has sedative effects on brain as a result our body gets relaxed correspondingly excitatory activities are decreased. This proves that bright light causes sleeplessness so avoid lightening during sleep.

Ayurvedic concepts on anidra

Ahar, nidra and brahmacharya are three upasthambhas i.e three sub pillars on which building of ayurveda stands. This shows the importance of nidra in humans livelihood. Acharya Sushrut said that nidra is maya of lord vishnu and according to Acharya Charka nidra is ratri swabhava prabhva (रात्रिस्वभाव प्रभाव:). Nidra is mainly correlated with kapha and is believed that the base or the root cause of nidra is kapha. For example a person is of kapha prakriti signifying that the percentage of kapha is more in that particular person, mainly responsible for his more slumber and oppositely if there is decreases in the percentage of kapha (vata increases) somnolency is decreased. The root cause of sleeplessness is vata, activities like excessive exercises, over thinking, stress increase vata and becomes a prominent reason of anidra.

Precautions: The first step is we have to turn back and start towards our nature by doing activities as follows: As it is rightly said-

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”

  1. So go to bed right on time.
  2. Hold back yourself from soft drinks and alcohol.
  3. Stop consecutive watching of televisions, mobiles.
  4. Continuous working on desktops should be ceased.
  5. Avoid spicy foods at night that surely proves to be hurdles in sleep.
  6. Various mental, physical and psychosomatic disorders also proves to be a source of anidra.
  7. Avast taking tea and coffee (caffeine rings) as they have excitatory substances which reduces our sleep.
  8. In old age joints pain, benign prostatic hyperplasia (bph), a habit of frequent nocturnal urination becomes basis of sleeplessness.
  9. Late night dinner increase vata i.e. takes time to digest and hence cause irritation in stomach as a result hampers our sleep.
  10. Working against the law of strength e.g excessive exercises also increases the vata and restlessness hence becomes the seed of slumber.

Treatment of insomnia by natural ways

When a person suffers from insomnia he experiences that his life is going through the hell fire. He starts taking night caps and soporifics which are successively habit forming moreover turns them into serious drug-crazed maniacs. Here are some natural ways that brings a ray of hope as well as helps everyone to break insomnia incarceration.

  1. Ayurvedic remedies

    Ayurveda is a traditionally rich educational system which emphasize on health both physical and mental. If there is any issue with health then our loved ones also suffers along with us. So be positive, love yourself and try the remedies given below that makes you and your dear ones happy.

    Herbs: There are various herbs in ayurveda that induce sleep and are Medha vardhak (मेधा वर्धक) i.e act as brain tonics as they provide nutrition to neurons and check their stimulation. Ayurvedic drugs are cost effective, easily available in markets with lacking side effects but one must take them after consultation of ayurvedacharya. They are as follows -

    • Brahmi (ब्राह्मी)
    • Shankhpushpi (शंखपुष्पी)
    • Jatamansi (जटामांसी)
    • Vacha (वचा)

    These are the most effective herbs for anidra. If we use ashwagandha (अश्वगंधा) with these herbs, potency of these drugs get enhanced. The most convenient thing about these drugs is that they can be used for longer durations without causing any side effect and habit.

    Ahar (आहार): People who take milk at night also go through sound sleep because milk is kapha karaka (increase kapha) and it should be taken at least one hour before going to bed.

    Vihar (विहार): After having dinner go for a light walk so that the undigested food and milk travels to the duodenum and is partially digested which is very important to have a sound sleep otherwise it will increase vata and causes irritation in our stomach.

  2. Practicing pre and post stage of slumber

    The great potential of our mind surely brings miracles for example trusting is a very powerful brain feature that helps you to recover much faster than one's expectations. So start practicing pre and post stages of slumber therapy with belief to swiftly gain positive results in case of insomnia.

    • Pre stage yawning: Yawning is an involuntary action which we all do. There are some theories that endeavour to expound why people yawn.
    • Physiological theory: According to this theory to refresh our brain our body induce yawning in order to draw in more oxygen or to remove accretion of carbon dioxide.
    • Brain cooling theory: A more recent brain cooling theory explains that when our brain gets tired, exhausted or becomes warmer then there is enhancement in act of yawning. So it’s a natural way that our body performs to cool and calm down our brain and hence induces sleep.
    • Post stage snoring: As we all know that while sleeping most of us make a snorting or grunting sound baptized as snoring which is a common phenomenon however if we practice snoring intentionally, it helps to annihilate insomnia and coax sleep.
  3. Marma chikitsa (मर्म चिकित्सा)

    Marma chikitsa as a strong backbone of ayurveda. Basically marma chikitsa is the the therapy which deals with marma points present naturally in our body and heals the body from the instinctive force within. So don’t crush your inner power and utilize it to treat sleeplessness.

    • Tal Hridaya marma (तल हृदय) : Tal means palmar aspect of hand and hridya means center so essentially the marma present at the center of the palm is termed as tala hridaya marma. Now start touching the palmar aspect of your hand by folding all the fingers, except middle one unfold all other. The point where pulp of finger touches the hand is called as Tal hridaya marma. Stimulate this marma 20 times by applying pressure on it, this will surely help you to get rid of insomnia.
    • Sthapani marma (स्थापनी मर्म) : The maram present at sthapani i.e the space between the eyebrows where agya chakra or third eye exists is designated as sthapni marma. Now join your palms and fix fingers of right hand in the web of left hand by keeping both the thumbs straight to make a fist and apply pressure on sthapni marma with the base of first metacarpal bone (root of thumbs) which relaxes you.
    • Apanga marma (अपांग मर्म) : Place your index fingers on the root of eyebrows so that you can easily discover the midpoint of bridge of nose and start massaging the pathway of brows till you reach their outer corners or depressed part of the temples which are just of the size of pulp of index fingers, this specific point is apanga marma. Press it 15-18 times to obtain its positive effects.
    • Seemant marma (सीमन्त मर्म) : Seemant marma is present on the skull and is mainly correlated with different sutures such as coronal suture, sagittal suture and lambdoid suture.
      1. Place horizontally four fingers of your hand above the bridge of the nose so that it should meet the base of the hairline apply moderate pressure on on it. This particular point is seemant marma on coronal suture.
      2. Place hypothenar area of right hand at the root of nose and stretch your fingers upwards in the partition of hairline, the point where middle finger reach is seemant marma on sagittal suture.
      3. Situate the base of your both hands at the nape of your neck and the place where your fingers reached is lambdoid suture. Now press this point gently to abolish your headache.

These methods are absolutely applicable in our present century and proves to be very beneficial for everyone. Especially marma chikitsa i.e stimulating marma points pop outs your hidden power to give promising results to cure insomnia.

Marma therapy is an easy - effortless - effective therapy. So check this out…....!!!!!!!

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Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi

MS (Shayla Tantra) | Professor and Head of the Department (Gurukul Kangari State Ayurvedic College, Haridwar)

Haridwar, Gurukul Kangri

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