Integrated & functional medicine is a holistic medicine practice based on identifying the true cause of neurological disorder to prevent disease progression. Using a systems-based and patient-focused approach, an integrated functional medicine practitioner will take the time to deep dive into your unique health situation. We spend time listening to our patient’s story, consider interactions of genes, environment, toxins, thoughts, and lifestyle, which may influence chronic and complex conditions. Treating Neurological disorder treatment using integrative functional medicine is an ideal option for many neurological conditions!

Functional neurological disorder treatment is patient-focused, system-based, and strives to find the true cause of dysfunction within the body. Rather than covering up symptoms, your integrated functional medicine doctor will perform extensive health assessments and diagnostic testing to find imbalances within the body that are contributing to neurological dysfunction. 

Using a systems-based approach, we conduct an in-depth patient interview to gain information about the health history, neurological conditions, lifestyle, diet, and living environment. We may use highly-specific blood, urine or stool screening to gain more data about your internal body health. Using this information, we work with individual to create a personalized treatment plan. The goal of this plan is to remove the source of dysfunction and imbalance within the body that is contributing to neurological disorders. With a strong commitment to the patient’s personal plan, it is common for patients to experience many health benefits from functional medicine treatment. Various drug therapies, nutritional therapies, diet correction, Ayurveda therapies, manipulation therapies of Naturopathy, etc. are combined scientifically for a positive outcomes of treatment, which includes:

  • Decreased severity and prevalence of neurological symptoms
  • Correction of imbalances within the body
  • Improved general health
  • Increased energy and ability to participate in daily activities
  • Improved quality of life
  • Relieve from chronic pain
  • Reduced medications

A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of consciousness. There are many recognized neurological disorders, some relatively common, but many rare. They may be assessed by neurological examination, and studied and treated within the specialities of neurology and clinical neuropsychology.

There are more than 600 different neurological diseases – each with very different symptoms and affected areas and for many of them treatment options are extremely limited. The large number of existing neurological conditions shows the vast nature of our nervous system and can make treatment options for each condition quite different from other neurological diseases. The severity of neurological conditions can range from mild to severely debilitating, and many neurological disorders are not currently curable.

Approximately 6.2 million people worldwide die because of stroke each year; over 80% of deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. More than 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide. It is estimated that there are globally 35.6 million people with dementia with 7.7 million new cases every year - Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. The prevalence of migraine is more than 10% worldwide.

Neurological conditions occur when there is dysfunction of the neurological system. Our nervous system is an incredibly complex and intricate system made up of our brain, spine, and peripheral nerves throughout the body. Dysfunction can come in many different forms – from pain, altered sensation, and impaired mobility. Examples of neurological disorders include migraine headaches, Chronic pain or migraines, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, Chronic neuropathic pain, etc.

The cause of many neurological disorders is unknown. Some common causes for neurological conditions include genetic abnormalities, traumatic injuries, degeneration of the nervous system over time, and exposure to environmental toxins. It is estimated that over 275 million people are diagnosed with neurological conditions worldwide – and the prevalence of these conditions is increasing every year.

Nervous system is a very complex system, and being a sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body's basic functions and activities. Our whole body is controlled by nervous system. Starting from the digestion up to endocrine function, everything is depending upon the complex neurophysiology. It is made up of two major divisions, including the central nervous system (consisting of the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (consisting of all other neural elements).

The nervous system is like a network that controls, regulates, and maintains communication within the body. It controls all activities like learning, thought, and memory. A nervous system is a group of nerves and cells that are known as neurons that sends signals between different parts of the body. We can say that it works as an electric wire. It is composed of many organs mainly nerves, brain, spinal cords, and ganglia. Together they handle the activities of the nervous system. Ganglia are the cluster of neurons and nerves are connected with one another and with the central nervous system.

The main three activities of the nervous system are sensory, motor, and integrative. There are many sensory receptors that are present inside and outside of the body which only monitors the changes known as stimuli. They detect light, odor, motion, sound, and temperature from the external environment, and from the internal environment, they detect pH, concentration in carbon dioxide, pressure variation, and the level of electrolytes. This sensory input is converted into electrical signals which are known as nerve impulses. The nerve impulse is then transmitted to the brain. In the brain, all the signals are brought together in order to produce sensations, thoughts, etc. Decisions are made with this activity and this process is called integration. Now after this, the nervous system responds by transmitting all the signals to muscles for the contraction. Glands and muscles are called effectors because they respond according to the nervous system. This is called a motor function.

Parts of the Nervous System: It has two main parts

  • The central nervous system – that is made up of the spinal cord and brain.
  • Peripheral nervous system – made up of nerves and its branches extended to all parts of the body.

How does nervous system function?

  • The transmission of signals between the internal body parts and the brain is due to the nervous system. So, the nervous system has the ability to control activities such as see, think, move, breathe, etc.
  • The neuron is the basic unit of our nervous system. Our brain contains billions of neurons. A neuron has a cell body that consists of a nucleus, cell body, axons, and dendrites. Axons are known as nerves. Neurons can communicate to long distances with the help of Axons and dendrites.
  • At the end of the Axon, the electrical signal thus converted into a chemical signal. Then the chemical released by the axon with chemical messengers is known as neurotransmitters into the synapse.
  • The neurotransmitters then pass the signal to dendrite through synapse and again convert the chemical signals into electrical signals.
  • The nervous system has also non-neuron cells known as glia. It also helps the nervous system to perform its functions properly. It protects the neurons and trims out the dead neurons.

What happens when the nervous system gets disturb?

Our nervous system is full of protections. The brain is guarded by the skull and the shield of small bones protects our spinal cord. After all these protections, there are many factors that damage our nervous systems like infections, injuries, stroke, and issues with blood vessels. Many neurons in the central nervous system cannot repair themselves because of some illness they may damage or die. So, in this situation, the nervous system loses some abilities. There are also various problems that suddenly attack the nervous system.

Symptoms

Symptoms depend upon which part of the nervous system is attacked. As we know there are three types of nerves in our body.

Symptoms when motor nerve is damaged

  • Inability to sense heart attacks, chest pain
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Constipation

Symptoms when sensory nerve is damaged

  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Twitching
  • Muscle atrophy

When sensory nerve is damaged, it produces the following symptoms

  • Sensitivity
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Problem with positional awareness

The other signs and symptoms of the nervous system disorder include

  • Disturbed blood supply
  • Loss of memory
  • Organ system failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Loss of vision
  • Lack of coordination
  • Pain in back
  • Weakness

Conventional Treatment approach

Common treatments for neurological conditions are based on the specific condition and symptoms a person is experiencing. Medications are often used to help with symptoms – such as pain medications for migraine headaches and neurotransmitter altering medications to slow the progression of neurodegeneration diseases. While these medications can help in the short term, they do not cure the real cause of dysfunction, and it is common for the body to develop a tolerance for the medications. Extensive physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and cognitive and behavioral training can prevent muscle, sensory, and memory loss after a neurological injury, but these treatments are expensive and not always accessible to everyone.

Ayurveda the ancient holistic science of India is treating neurological diseases from its origin – over 5000 years. Neurological problem in Ayurveda is described mainly in the context of Vatavyadhi (means disease of Vata). Vata is a combination of air and ether. In Ayurveda, the vital energy Vata is directly responsible for the nervous system for the transmission of the cerebral signals to the organs, for the senses, feelings and thoughts.  It is set at birth with the other two energies – Pitta and kapha, as each one of them is responsible for specific processes in the organism. All three energies are set in a specific ratio and they maintain a certain balance between them. If one of the energies goes out of balance, then the functions of certain organs get disturbed and the organism develops illnesses. In the case with Vata these are neurological diseases. There are over 600 known neurological disorders and conditions that affect the human nervous system and for many of them treatment options are extremely limited.

Advancement of Ayurvedic Clinical Research shows that so many incurable neurological problems can be successfully treated by Ayurvedic medicines and Panchakarma therapies. Various types of non-invasive Ayurvedic treatments for neurological disorders aims to rectify this Vata imbalance and bring the Vata dosha in harmony with pitta and kapha dosha so as to eliminate every type of disease in an individual.

There are large spectrum of disorders concerned with neurological system, musculoskeletal system, reticulo-endothelial system, which further pervades to all other systems in the body. The treatment protocols will depend on how and which part of the nervous system is affected – the central or peripheral, or there are combined disorders. Neurological diseases are disorders that may occur at any place in this chain. The cerebrum, for example, may become inflamed at the outer layer (meningitis), or may cause inflammation of the brain matter itself (encephalitis). Many other diseases associated with the cerebrum are atherosclerosis, depression, phobia, epilepsy, autism, personality disorders and so on. The most common inflammations of the peripheral part of the nervous system are radiculitis and plexitis, which may be in the cervical, chest or waist area, as the pain block the movement of the hands or legs. One nerve may be affected (neuritis), or few nerves may be affected (polyneuritis).

As mentioned earlier, Vata is responsible for all movements in the body, so without that energy the other two doshas can’t flow in the organism. So the Ayurveda specialist has to determine what are the imbalances and the extent of the deviations of the Doshas, in order to be able to prescribe a treatment and so on – a way to restore their natural proportions that are unique for everyone. Vata is associated with the wind and space, respectively with lightness, dryness and coldness. Like everything else these also can be balanced with its opposite things. Therefore, to calm down Vata the foods should be heavier, oily, fluid and warm, freshly prepared and the flavours are salty, sweet. Hence various food favouring balancing these tridoshas will be recommended, along with what should be avoided, to an extent what vegetables and fruits should be eaten, what should not be eaten will be clearly defined.

Along with the Ayurvedic nutritional regimen, a cleansing of the toxins that are accumulated in the body also should be performed as an essential part of the restoration of the natural state and optimal function of the organs. Externally it is done with pouring of oils to warm up the body, massages, herbal rubbing, as well as herbal sauna. Oils oppose the dryness (most beneficial being hemp, flax, sesame, oil, ghee and others). The internal cleansing is performed with laxatives and cleansers. The treatment also includes meditation as well as yoga – selected asanas and exercises.



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