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Rheumatism versus Ama
Rheumatism is a non specific term applied to the diseases affecting joints and connective tissues. It involves inflammation in the concerned body part. Modern health sciences are not sure about the causative factor for rheumatism. Once you do not know the causative factor for an event it is very hard to prevent that to happen. As we need to prevent the causative factors and work opposite to these. There are several theories proposed to explain rheumatism but hardly any of these can explain it properly. Some think it a result of infection, while others propose it to be resultant of genetic proneness; some even think it a resultant of kidney problems and so on…..
It is becoming almost a trend in modern health science that whenever they cannot find an exact etiological factor for any disease they will blame the genes. But truly saying there is nothing like this in rheumatism.
In Ayurveda we can find an elaborated description of condition similar to rheumatism and we can also find the treatment for same. When we know the causes of diseases only then we can think or plan for treatment.
As per Ayurveda, it is a condition of disturbed metabolism. When metabolism is disturbed it will be very hard to process the available resources for body requirements. Our metabolism is mainly governed by the fire factor residing in the body. The main site for the fire factor – the Pitta Dosha; is our digestive system. So impaired digestive system is the grossest form of disturbed metabolism. Ayurveda is of the opinion that the digestion process is always ongoing process in the body as it is not simply breaking down the complex food structures in simpler ones. The same digestion process is happening on tissue and cellular level.
The digestion of tissue and cellular level is supported by the fire factor residing in the digestive system. Once you are having disturbed digestive system there will be no doubt disturbance in the digestion on cellular level also. This disturbance in the digestion on cellular level results in rheumatism.
When you are not digesting the food stuffs properly; instead of converting in the body nourishing sap it will result in formation of undigested waste. This undigested waste is termed as "Ama" in Ayurveda. Literally Ama means undigested. Similar Ama is produced on cellular level also. This Ama is sticky and sedentary in nature and where ever it finds favorable conditions it gets deposited there.
Because of Ama in body first of all the nutrition to different body parts is impaired and secondly the presence of Ama will hinder the normal functioning of all the systems of body.
As Ama is sedentary in nature it will cause same characteristic in the body as a result the fellow will feel fatigue, loss of energy, malaise and stiffness in the body. Like Kapha Ama is also aggravated by cold; so you can understand why you may feel that stiffness has worsened in morning. The cold nature of the Ama is also opposite to the digestive fire in the body as a result there will be loss of appetite also.
This Ama find favorable conditions in joints and the connective tissue as these are the places of Kapha dominance in the body and similarity of Ama with Kapha makes these sites the favorable sites for deposition.
As per Ayurveda our immunity is also the functions of the Kapha Dosha. So here also we can understand why the immune system is specially affected in rheumatism. The Kapha sites like joints, connective tissues will be easily affected by the immune system. The disturbed immune system will take wrong decisions and it will affect the integrity of the concerned structure.
So in nut shell we find that rheumatism is a condition of Ama. Not only this, when rheumatism is treated as per the line of treatment of Ama; we have very good results.