Sunday, March 21, 2021

Not All Wounds Are Visible; Brain Injury Awareness

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month! There are more than 5.3 million children and adults in the United States who are living with a permanent brain injury-related disability. That is 1 in every 60 people, making it a leading cause of death and disability in the US. Traumatic brain injuries are more common than we think, so bringing public awareness and consciousness can help make a real change in these individuals lives. 

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, our communities are provided an important opportunity to bring attention to the prevention of brain injury and to promote different strategies that can improve the quality of life for people living with brain injuries and their families. In the #MoreThanMyBrainInjury campaign this March, their main goals are to have everyone join in: increasing understanding of brain injury as a chronic condition, reducing the stigma associated with having a brain injury, showcasing the diversity of injury and the demographics of the community, and improving care and support for individuals with brain injury. 

The definition of a brain injury is a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Brain injuries most commonly happen from a sport’s injury or car accidents. Symptoms, such as blurry vision, confusion, trouble thinking or remembering, sleeping problems, slurred speech, and difficulty concentrating, can be seen immediately or more delayed in the individual. There are two types of brain injuries: traumatic or non-traumatic, both being very serious and deadly. 

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury:  
Car and Motorcycle Accidents
Sports Injuries
Abusive Head Trauma
Gunshot Wounds
Workplace Injuries 

Causes of Non-Traumatic Brain Injury:
Infectious Disease (Meningitis, Encephalitis)
Electric Shock
Toxic Exposure
Metabolic Disorders
Neurotoxic Poisoning (Carbon Monoxide, Lead Exposure)
Lack of Oxygen (Drowning, Choking, Hypoxic/Anoxic Injury)
Drug Overdose

In the case titled, “Effective Ayurvedic management of Diffuse Axonal Injury following severe Head injury,” the researcher used an Ayurvedic line of treatment for their patient’s brain injury. The study’s main goal was to demonstrate that Ayurveda is capable of playing an important role in the recovery of complicated cases such as a traumatic brain injury, called ‘Shirobhighat’

The patient, a 28-year-old male, suffered a severe brain injury in a road traffic accident where his motorcycle slipped off the road. His first symptoms included loss of consciousness and vomiting, early signs of a brain injury. The patient was diagnosed with Diffuse axonal injury (DAI). DAI is a very common form of traumatic brain injury. This injury occurs due to sudden trauma to the head by acceleration/deceleration/rotation causing brain damage. As a result, there is diffuse damage to the brain cells that causes severe problems physically, mentally, or emotionally. The male’s treatment consisted of Ayurvedic drugs and panchakarma, including Yogbasti (enema therapy), Majjabasti (therapeutic oil applications), Nasya (nose/sinus therapy), Pinda Swedana (therapeutic bolas), Snehana (abhyanga oil massage), and Shirodhara. The combined effect of all the therapies improved the function of the brain and brought the patient to a state of consciousness, preventing convulsions, improving memory, and quieting his mind. 

In this case and others, Shirodhara was shown to be highly useful. This treatment improves vacha/speech, stabilizes the mind and gives strength to dhee/intelligence, dhriti/brings knowledge into action and smriti/enhances awareness. Shirodhara is a very beneficial part of Ayurveda and helped this man to restore his mental health. 

It was a result of the Ayurvedic line of treatment that the patient made a full recovery without any disability, which was not the expected result of his traumatic injury. 

For those who would like to learn more, check out the case study below, or register for our Vishesh/Shirodhara Modality. The next module is June 5 & 6, with early bird through May 5, 2021.
We offer all the modalities listed above. Take 1 module or take them all and get certified as an Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork Specialist.

If you know someone who could benefit from this treatment, please share.   

Together, we can advance awareness, research, treatment, and education and help improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury.


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