Peptic ulcer called now a days as Acid Peptic Disease (APD) is defined as inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach due to acid peptic digestion. In other words, there is a fight going on in the lining of the stomach against the irritation by H.pylori germs. The characteristic symptom of peptic ulcer is a burning type of pain in the upper abdomen that comes on in an empty stomach.
What causes Peptic Ulcer?
A strong family history of ulcer is found in most persons with ulcer. This family tendency fixes the target organ at the physical level(Annamaya koùa) to manifest the internal imbalance that started in mind(Manomaya and the Práïáyáma Koùa).
All the other causes mentioned in the list are the triggers. They cause an imbalance either by decreasing the protectors or increasing the aggressors. H.Pylori, is a bacterium, which lives on the surface of normal stomach as a harmless opportunist. When the defences of the stomach lining are poor they start penetrating and enjoy the meal from the deeper layers of the stomach.
Sthiti: Prone Posture
l Bend the knees and hold the ankles by the palms.
l As you inhale, raise the head and the.chest upwards.Pull the legs outwards and backwards so that the spine is arched back like a bow.
l Stabilize (rest) on the abdomen.
l Do not bend the elbows.
l Look up.
l Keep the toes together.
l Rock the whole body forward and backward rhythmically 5 to 10 times.
How do emotions increase gastritis?
When you get emotionally excited, you trigger off intense activity in the limbic area of the brain. From here you send the information down to hypothalamus which is the controller of the stress orchestra. From here the excitation passes down the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic (Vagus nerve) stimulates production of hydrochloric acid through release of a local harmone(Gastrin), from the lower end of the stomach (pylorus). The vagus nerve also directly stimulates the acid producing oxyntic cells of the stomach lining. The excitement proceeding down the sympathetic channel narrows down the blood vessels in the lining of the stomach. This results in decreased production of both the quantity and quality of mucus. Due to this decreased blood flow the capacity to repair and restore the damaged lining cells also is slowed down. In addition when you are stressed, it is well known that your immune system becomes less capable of handling the germs around. This inability of the fighter soldier cells (white blood cells) in the lining of the stomach to kill the germs (H. pylori), allows the germs to take the upper hand and penetrate the lining and enjoy their meal from deeper layers of the stomach! Can you see how each one of the ‘Protectors’ is weakened due to the long standing uncontrolled emotions (Stress)? All these happened basically because of your life style of unquenching thirst for more and more of money or name or fame or position. This can further lead to aggressive behavior, drinking, smoking etc., Thus, stressfully demanding situations leading to long standing emotional upsurges cause an imbalance between aggressors and protectors resulting in aggressors taking the upper hand and damage the stomach lining.
HALÁSANA – Páùcimatánásana Swing
Sthiti: Supine Posture
l Inhale and raise both the legs rapidly by pressing down on the arms.
l Exhale and roll the legs over the head keeping the legs straight and touch the toes to the ground like in Halásana.
l Then inhale and exhale to roll the body rapidly back to starting position.
l Now quickly inhale to sit up.
l Exhale and bend forward into Paschimatánásana keeping the knees perfectly straight. Try to touch the forehead to the knees.
l Rock back and forth alternately into Halásana and Paschimatánásana in this manner 10 to 15 times.
l Start slowly and gradually increase the speed.
l The practice should be performed with flowing movements.
l Allow the breathing to be smooth, rhythmic and natural.
Do not bend the knees at any stage of the practice.
Did yogis understand this concept and mechanism of psychosomatic ailments?
You may have noticed that the first thing that an Ayurveda yoga physician would like to correct when you have any chronic illness is the digestive system. He does it by cleansing, balancing and correcting the imbalances. This is because of the knowledge handed down by the ancient yogis who did experiments with their own inner bodily mechanisms through deep meditation and saw that the digestive system is the first target where the stress manifests. The yogis have given us vivid descriptions of how the psychological upsurges result in psychosomatic ailments. This understanding is of practical use for every sufferer of digestive problems, to correct oneself and return to normal health.
l Bend the left leg underneath the right leg so that the heel of the left leg is touching the right buttock.
l Bring the right leg over the top of the bent left leg so that the right heel touches the left buttock.
l Adjust the right knee so that it is above the left knee.
l Place the left arm behind the back and the right arm over the right shoulder.
l The back of the left hand should lie in contact with the spine while the right palm rests against the spine.
l Try to clasp the fingers of both hands behind the back.
l Bring the raised elbow behind the head so that the head presses against the inside of the raised arm.
l Hold the head, neck and spine erect.
l Close the eyes.
l Stay in this position for one minute.
l Unclasp the hands, straighten the legs and repeat with the left knee uppermost and the left arm over the left shoulder.
Mr. S presented himself to us with repeated episodes of peptic ulcer, which was flaring up almost once or twice a year, for 8-10 years. The problem began with pain in the abdomen, acidity, gas, and belching, lasting a few weeks initially and controlled each time by allopathic medication. But, the problem recurred year after year. The year when the ulcer did not trouble him, he would have bowel problem with a lot of flatus, abdominal cramps and a feeling of incomplete emptying of bowel. Colonoscopy would reveal no abnormality and treatment would give him relief.
How does yoga understand this? All these physical complaints are at the Annamaya Koùa. Looking at the life style of Mr.S, it was very clear that these periods of bowel upsets were always due to tension both in his business and family.
He said, “Doctor, I know that I am a very sensitive person; I have high ambitions; I am a hard worker (almost a workaholic) and I get irritated if my employees do not come up to my expectations. Being sentimental, when I have emotional conflicts with my wife, parents etc., and because I do not want to hurt them, I keep all my feelings to myself. Of course the business is so demanding that my timings for food and sleep also become erratic. My system has learnt to somehow cope up with all these and be very successful and productive. But there are periods when these situations get beyond my capacity to cope. Then I end up with problems either in the stomach or the bowel which further deteriorates the quality of my life; I get into a viscious cycle, ending up taking medicines for weeks”.
Uddèyána Bandha and Agnisára
l Stand with the legs 2 to 3 feet apart, bend forwards slightly from the waist and place the palms on the thighs with the arms straight.
l Make yourself quite comfortable in this position.
Stage I: Uddèyána Bandha
l Exhale completely through the
mouth by vigorously contracting the abdominal muscles.
l Simultaneously press the hands against the thighs, tighten the arms, shoulders, neck muscles and lift up the ribs.
l As a result of this, the diaphragm automatically rises up, producing a concave depression of the abdomen. The abdominal wall gets sucked in as if to press the spine.
l Hold this condition as long as comfortable.
l Then inhaling slowly release the abdominal muscles and return to the upright position.
l Rest for a while and then go for the next round.
l Repeat 5 rounds.
Stage II: Agnisára
l In the position of Uddiyána Bandha, move the abdominal wall in and out vigorously like a pump as many times as you can (while holding the breath in exhalation).
l This movement of the abdominal wall is done through mock inhalations & exhalations i.e., it seems as if one is inhaling and exhaling whereas it is not so.
l Then stop the movement of the abdominal wall, release the bandha and while inhaling come up to Táãásana and relax.
l Repeat a few times.