Yoga Therapy for Hemorrhoids Yoga Therapy (PILES)

Sep 9th, 2017
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Stressful life style and lack of exercise can lead to hemorrhoids. Yoga is beneficial to either treat or prevent hemorrhoids. It can both alleviate the discomfort or help prevent it from forming.

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swellings that develop from the lining of the anus and lower rectum.

Hemorrhoids are described as masses or clumps (“cushions”) of tissue within the anal canal that contain blood vessels and the surrounding, supporting tissue made up of muscle and elastic fibers.

Many people think hemorrhoids (piles) are abnormal. They are however present in everyone. It is only when the hemorrhoidal cushions enlarge or swell that hemorrhoids can cause problems and be considered abnormal or a disease.

The haemorrhoidal are located in the lowest area of the rectum and the anus. Sometimes they swell so that the vein walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing bowel movements.

Anatomy of the Anus and Hemorrhoid

The anal canal is the terminal part of the large intestine. It is approximately 2.5 to 4 cm long, extending from theanorectal junction (division between the rectum and the anal canal) to the anus. It is directed downwards and backwards. It is surrounded by inner involuntary and outer voluntary sphincters muscles, which keep the lumen closed.

The arteries supplying blood to the anal canal descend into the canal from the rectum above and form a rich network of arteries that communicate with each other around the anal canal.

Due to its rich network of arteries, hemorrhoidal blood vessels have a ready supply of arterial blood.

This is why bleeding from hemorrhoids is bright red (arterial blood) rather than dark red (venous blood), and that is why bleeding from hemorrhoids can occasionally be severe.

The blood vessels that supply the hemorrhoidal vessels pass through the supporting tissue of the hemorrhoidalcushions. If the hemorrhoid originates at the top (rectal side) of the anal canal, it is referred as an internal hemorrhoid. If it originates at the lower end of the anal canal near the anus, it is referred as an external hemorrhoid.

Internal haemorrhoids lie far enough inside the rectum that one can neither see nor feel them. They don’t usually hurt because there are few pain sensing nerves in the rectum. Bleeding may be the only sign that they are present. External haemorrhoids lie within the anus and are often uncomfortable. If an external haemorrhoid prolapses to the outside (usually in the course of passing a stool), one can see and feel it. Blood clots sometimes form within prolapsed external haemorrhoids, causing an extremely painful condition called a thrombosis. If an externalhaemorrhoid becomes thrombosed, it can look rather frightening, turning purple or blue, and could possibly bleed.

Symptoms

Some people may not even realise that they have hemorrhoids as they do not experience symptoms. The following are some typical symptoms:

– Painless bleeding after passing a stool (the blood will be bright red)
– Pain or discomfort
– Itching or irritation in the anal region
– Swelling around the anus
– Leakage of feces

Causes

The main cause of hemorrhoids (piles) are excess pressure on the blood vessels in and around the anus. If one is constipated and strains while trying to pass stools, the action can put pressure on blood vessels in the back passage, making them inflamed and swollen, thereby causing bleeding.

Main causes include:

– Straining during bowel movements
– Chronic diarrhea or constipation
– Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
– Obesity – Pregnancy
– Low fibre diet

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is of great help to prevent and control hemorrhoids from getting worse. Practice of shatkriya or yogic cleansing technique keeps the body purified, and prevent digestive and intestinal problems. In the condition of hemorrhoids, one may experience constipation or difficultly in passing stool. Basti kriya aid smooth peristalsis movement for quick elimination.

In addition, ashwini mudra in various seated and inverted postures strengthen and prevent the enlargement or swelling of hemorrhoids. Inverted postures like viparita karani, sarvangasana and sirsasana are great reliefs from the irritation and pain from the hemorrhoids.

Basti Kriya (Colon Cleansing)
Basti is one of the most important shatkriya, the yogic cleansing technique. The main purpose of basti is to clean the lower abdomen, especially the colon. This technique is practised in the morning on an empty stomach only. There are two types of basti, jalabasti and sushka or sthala basti.

Yoga Therapy

Jala Basti (Water Enema)

Traditionally, this is done over either a bucket or a basin of water with a bamboo or lotus stem to suck the water into the rectum. A plastic container is suspended over 3 feet over the person along with plastic tubing or a catheter to perform enema.

It is important to use clean water which is neither too hot nor too cold. It better with lukewarm water (regular) or oil (therapeutic), depending upon the purpose. Make sure the catheter is sterilised before and after use. Person with severe hemorrhoid must consult a doctor.

1.After filling the container with the appropriate fluid, let air expel from the tube. Lubricate the tip of the nozzle with ghee or oil.
2.Either lie down, bend the knees and elevate the buttocks; or stand with knees bent in Utkatasana (Chair Pose).
3.Slowly insert the nozzle tip into the rectum, allowing all the fluid to enter and release carefully. Perform uddiyana bandha and madhyama nauli to suck in the fluid.
4.If possible, do vama and dakshina nauli along with mula banddha. Most will find it difficult to do this. It is therefore advisable to lie down for about a 3-5 mintues. As there is pressure on the lower intestines, remaining water or air will be released and expelled in the toilet.
5.Wait for at least an hour before having food

Sushka basti (Dry Basti)

This is usually done while lying down on the back, in inverted pose like viparita karani or sirsasana.

As the knees are brought down to the chest, push the sphincter muscles out and in a few times, so air is sucked into the bowel. As ashwini mudra is performed. It becomes easier. One needs to master jala basti before performing sushka basti.

Basti kriya is highly beneficial in cleansing and detoxifying the body. Basti increases colonic peristalsis, producing rapid elimination of the feces. It generates energy but also removes heat from the system.

Ashwini Mudra (Horse Gesture)

Ashwini means hourse and mudra, gesture. This mudra is generally practised in viparita karani, sirsasana, padmasana etc. It is a rhythmic contraction of anal sphincter muscles.

1.Perform a comfortable posture either seated or in an inverted posture.
2.Inhale, contract the anal sphincter muscles inwards for about 2-3 second am then release them
3.Relax and repay again for about 3-5 minutes.

The practice of ashwini mudra to get rid of constipation, deals with diseases of rectum and haemorrhoids.

Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)

Lie down on the back with legs stretched out and arms on the side.
Exhale, fold the legs at the knees, bringing the knees close to the abdomen. The thighs should rest on the abdomen.
Hold the shins with the hands, breathing evenly.
Perform ashwini mudra in this pose 3-5 times for about 2-3 rounds

This is the basic and easier way for beginners to practise.This relieves gas trouble, constipation and pain due to hemorrhoids.

Baddha Konasana in Sarvangasana (Bound Angle pose in Shoulder Stand

Get into sarvangasana and straighten the legs up.
Exhale, bend the knees to the sides.
Bring the heels close to perineum, with the feet pressing evenly and the toes pointing up.
Spread the thighs outwards to keep the knees in line with the hips.
With the hands supported, keep the trunk up and lift the hip up.
Stay for 1-5 minutes, breathing evenly and perform ashwini mudra.

This relieves pain due to hemorrhoids. It Reduces pressure in the intestinal tract controls hemorrhoids.

Baddha Konasana in Sirsasana (Bound angle in Headstand)

Get into sirsasana with legs stretched up straight.
Exhale, bend the knees to the sides.
Bring the heels close to perineum, with the feet pressing evenly and the toes pointing up.
Spread the thighs outwards to keep the knees in line with the hips.
Stay for 1-5 minutes, breathing evenly and perform ashwini mudra.

This stretches the trunk up and raises the hips. It keeps the coccyx and the back of the pelvis tucked in. It also relaxes the abdomen; and reduces the swelling due to hemorrhoids.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Sit in dandasana with legs straight.
Bend the knee to the sides and draw the heels closer to the pubis.
Join the soles, pressing them together.
Interlock the fingers around the toes and bring the heels closer to the groin.
Press the feet together, open the thighs outwards and keep the knees level with the hips.
Press the seat and the thighs firmly down.
Pull the abdomen, waist and the chest upwards.
This opens the groin.
Perform sshwini mudra.
Stay for about a 1-2 minutes and breathe evenly.

This strengthens the bladder and is invaluable for menstrual problems and hemorrhoids in pregnancy.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Sit upright on the heels, with knees level facing forward.
Sit on the centre of the feet.
If possible, keep the feet a little apart and sit on the inner edges of the heels.
To avoid straining the knees, place either a block or a blanket under the buttocks.
This makes the legs comfortable and keeps the back straight.
Stay for about a minute. If the legs are comfortable, the pose can extend to about 5 -10 minutes.
Perform ashwini mudra in this pose 3-5 times for about 2-3 rounds.

This is wonderful for refreshing and relaxing the legs when they are tired. It may be used for sitting in meditation. This asana helps in digestive issues like constipation. It also strengthens the muscles of the legs and the back

Balsana (Child’s Pose)

Sit in Vajrasana.
Raise the arms upwards with palms facing each other.
Lift the trunk up by stretching the arms up.
Lengthen the spine and bend forward with spalm forward on the mat.
Extend the arms, waist and the chest forward. Rest the forehead on the mat.
Perform ashwini mudra in this pose 3-5 times for about 2-3 rounds.

This relives constipation and gas trouble. It eases the pain due to hemorrhoids.

Conclusion

Yoga can often relieve mild pain, swelling and inflammation of hemorrhoids. Regular practice of kriya, asana and pranayama can reduce pressure on veins, which can occur with long periods of standing or sitting.
Avoid straining and holding the breath when trying to pass stool, as it would create greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum. Try not to sit for too long in the toilet.
Drinking lots of water to help keep the stool soft. Eat fruits, vegetables and food which contain fibre. This helps in reliving constipation and aid easy elimination.

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