By Dr K T Vinod Krishnan.
Ayurveda follows purificiation methods to reposition imbalanced doshas or body constitutions with internal medicines. Panchakarma Therapy involves purification procedures that recondition our body to synchronies with nature to maintain health.
Vamana, Virechana, Thailavasthy, Kashayavasthy and Nasya are the panchakarmas practiced in Ayurvedic treatments for total body purification. But Acharya Susrutha, has combined Thailavasthy and Kashayavasthy into one therapy, which is called Raktha moksha. Even though different opinions are there about procedures of panchakarmas each of these are commonly practiced by the physicians of India across the country for the purpose of the patients’ relief.
If the impure blood leads to different diseases, it is better to remove that portion of blood from the body is the principle behind raktha moksha therapy. Blood circulate all over the body and carries food and oxygen – prana to various parts and waste and carbon monoxide to back for elimination. If the circulation is blocked somewhere, Prana is blocked and disease starts. So rectification of the block and removal of the blood from that area is very important. By this method of treatment the patient gets very speedy recovery from the disease. Blood routine tests, bleeding time, clotting time etc should be done before raktha moksha. Care should be taken in hemophilic patients to avoid complications due to non- clotting.
There are mainly 4 types of bloodletting methods mentioned in the classical texts. Jalooka (leech therapy), Prachanam (pricking with needles or with surgical blades), Siravedham (cutting the veins), Alabu (using vacuum suction method). Leech therapy is applicable in children, women, old people and cowards. There are poisonous leeches and non poisonous leeches. In this treatment, only non-poisonous leeches are used. Maximum sucking capacity of a leech is 60 to 100ml blood. In chronic wounds, diabetic wounds, eye lid eruption, piles, varicose veins etc. leeches are suitable for bloodletting. In some cases more than two leeches are used for bloodletting.
In Prachana procedure, the needled area is cleaned with triphala kashayam and a knot is made with cotton with five fingers above it tightly. Wait for some time to increase venous pressure of that area. Then start pricking from lower rim to upper rim in circular manner. Blood starts oozing from the wounds. After removing sufficient amount of blood remove the knot, clean the area and apply medicines in that area.
The most important procedure in bloodletting is Siravedham. After cleaning the area, tie a knot 5cm above the area. Make a tap with a surgical blade placing longitudinally on the protruded vein. Immediately the blood pumps from the vein. Take the maximum amount of blood needed to get relief for the patient until it stops bleeding. Clean that area and apply the medicine.
Make a prick in the prescribed area, put the sucking pump and remove the air from it. Automatically due to the atmospherical pressure the blood from the body enters into the vacuum pump. After it stops bleeding apply the medicine.
Rakthamoksha is highly effective in Rheumatoid arthritis, hyper tension, hyperthyroidism, headache, skin diseases, chronic wounds etc.
AS Blogger Dr K T Vinod Krishnan is Chief Physician of Amiya Ayurveda Nursing Home and Research Center in Kerala; and Managing Director of Devayana Ayurveda Medicines.