Atypical Facial Pain (ATFP) is a syndrome encompassing a wide group of facial pain problems. Facial pain, often described as burning, aching or cramping, occurs on one side of the face, often in the region of the trigeminal nerve and can extend into the upper neck or back of the scalp. Although rarely as severe as trigeminal neuralgia, facial pain is continuous for ATFP patients. Recent studies propose that ATFP is an early form of trigeminal neuralgia. Indeed, some patients have components of both ATFP and TN symptoms.
ATFP has many possible causes. In some cases, infections of the sinuses or teeth appear to be involved. Some studies postulate a low-grade infectious and inflammatory process occurring over a long period can result in nerve damage with swelling and be the triggering factor for ATFP pain. Some believe that vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve in the same area that is postulated to lead to trigeminal neuralgia is a cause of ATFP although studies have shown that microvascular decompression rarely leads to pain relief in ATFP patients.
It’s not unusual for ATFP patients to have undergone numerous dental procedures, seen multiple doctors and undergone many medical tests before being diagnosed ATFP. A diagnosis of ATFP is usually a process of elimination. Yogic and oriental and systems of medicine diagnosis this condition as a prana level imbalance which has not yet resulted in any structural damage. The imbalance created by fast and erratic lifestyle leads to excessive flow of prana in the Nadis (meridians) that supply prana to this side of the face.
Treatment of ATFP can be difficult and perplexing for both doctor and patient. Medication is usually the first course of treatment. Surgical procedures such as microvascular decompression generally are not successful with ATFP patients. Pranayama or Acupressure or Acupuncture or Pranic healing along with lifestyle change with healthy habits has cured severed persons with ATPA.
Integrated Approach of yoga therapy for ATPA includes Kriya, yesterday I met a 45 year busy executive involves in several service organization traveling round the country. He developed a shooting pain in right half of face which spread from middle of the cheek right up to the head and down the mandible. This constant pain was so nagging that he needed tablets frequently. When the medicines did not give him lasting relief he decided to try meditation and went on doing “OM” meditation for one hour daily in the morning after his puja. Also he included daily Jalaneti and he now requires one or two tablets per month, that too only in the month of feb/ march when the weather changes from winter to summer in Bangalore. He requested me to tell every person with TN or ATFP that Jalaneti is a very effective technique along with right nostril breathing 27 rounds followed by Nadisuddhi for 9 rounds 4 times a day. He says practicing Jalaneti during the pain followed by OM meditation give him an immediate relief. He came to the centre only to deepen his knowledge of yoga and grow in spiritual depth.
The set of practices for ATPA include IAYT
- Simple vegetarian diet use, less of raw vegetables to avoid excessive chewing movement on days when you have much pain. Instead use more of raw veg juices such as glass of cannot juice or white pumpkin juice (1/4 glass).
- Follow the tenets of Yama and Niyama. Pick up any one of these intensely as your life’s tenet such as “never will I lie under whatever circumstance” or “Never will I hurt any one through my words or deed” etc.,
- Daily Jala Neti
- Asanas – Ardha Kati Cakrasana, PadaHastasana, Trikonasana, Vakrasana/ Ardhamatsyendrasana, Ustrasana, Bhujangasana, Salabhasana
- Uni-nostril breathing – Chandra Anuloma Viloma or Surya Anuloma Viloma on the side of the pain followed by Nadisuddhi 4 times/ day.
- Om meditation
- Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
Virancha or Viranchi is one of the names of Brahma, the Supreme Being, the first deity of the Hindu Trinity, to whom is entrusted the work of creating the world.
1. Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front.
2. Bend the right knee and place the right foot at the root of the left thigh in half Padmasana.
3. Bend the left knee, bring the foot near the trunk and grasp the left ankle with both hands. Exhale, pull the left thigh up and back, bend the trunk a little forward and place left leg on the back of the neck. The outer side of the left leg just above the ankle will touch the back of the neck.
4. Raise the head and neck up, keep the back erect and let go of the left ankle.
5. Now raise the left arm up vertically, bend it at the elbow and take it behind the back of the neck over the left leg across the neck. Lower the right arm, bend it at the elbow and raise the right forearm up behind the back till the right hand is level with and between the shoulder-blades. Clasp the hands behind the back between the shoulders.
6. stay in this pose from 10 to 20 seconds with normal breathing. Unclasp the hands, lower the left leg, straighten the right one and return to position one.
7. Repeat the pose on the other side for the same length of time, reading left for right and vice versa.
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