ayurvedicTo complement the Research Reports in the December 2014 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: Cerebral palsy patients who received ayurvedic therapies showed improvements in mental status, fine and gross motor functions, and daily life activities.

Ayurvedic management was found to provide improvement in cerebral palsy patients’ mental status, fine and gross motor functions, and daily life activities.

The study, “Exploratory Study on the Ayurvedic Therapeutic Management of Cerebral Palsy in Children at a Tertiary Care Hospital of Karnataka, India,” involved 123 cerebral palsy patients, aged 2 to 10 years old.

The study’s authors said, “Cerebral palsy is the leading cause of childhood disability affecting cognitive function and developments in approximately 1.5 to 3 cases per 1,000 live births.” Physical therapy is used for cerebral palsy management to facilitate motor development and enhance independence in motor skills.

Patients with uncontrolled seizures or systemic diseases, such as renal or cardiac disorders, were excluded. Patients were randomly divided into study and control groups, and of the 123 original patients, 100 remained for the 24-month period, leaving 60 study group participants and 40 control group participants. 

For eight days, all participants received total body massage with processed sesame oil, which was followed by fomentation. Then an enema was administered according to each group type.

The study group received an enema once daily, every morning, on an empty stomach. Each day, participants also received one gram of Baladi Yoga powder orally, divided into two doses with ghee and honey, before they ate food. This took place for 60 consecutive days.

The control group received enemas with saline water, once in the morning every day, on an empty stomach. These participants received a daily one-gram dosage of wheat powder divided into two doses for 60 consecutive days.

In order to facilitate drug absorption and bypass first-pass metabolism, the enema was administered to participants on an empty stomach.

Outcome measures included mental status, fine and gross motor functions, and daily life activities. Body massage and Baladi Yoga powder were found to offer mild improvement in 93.44 percent of study group participants. Because of the control group’s placebo treatment, findings revealed the beneficial effects were a result of the medication received by the study group.

According to the study’s authors, “Studies worldwide have revealed that risk factors like pre-existing diseases in mothers during delivery, birth asphyxia, gestational age and low birth weight are associated with cerebral palsy in children.” The causes of cerebral palsy in this study’s participants are attributed to consanguinity, childbirth complications and early childbirth occurrences.

The study’s authors explained that cerebral palsy is a disease of the nervous system, so rejuvenation therapy increases sensory and motor organ strength, removes toxins from the body and promotes intellect and memory. “In this study, the role of ayurvedic management has shown some hope for improving the quality of life among cerebral palsy patients,” said the study’s authors.

Authors: U. Shailaja, Prasanna N. Rao, Parikshit Debnath and Anjan Adhikari

Sources: Department of Kaumarabhritya, SDM College of Ayurveda and Hospital, Hassan, Karnataka, India; Department of Shalyatantra, SDM College of Ayurveda and Hospital, Hassan, Karnataka, India; Department of Swasthavritta, SDM College of Ayurveda and Hospital, Hassan, Karnataka, India; and Department of Pharmacology, R. G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Originally published in 2014 in Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 4, No. 1.

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