My journey of living with a chronic neurological condition like epilepsy has been a challenging one, to say the least. Diagnosed in my early adolescence, I was put on anti-epileptic drugs right away, which I continued to take for the next 18 years or so. I was told that I will have to take these anti-convulsion drugs for the rest of my life.
It was a difficult phase, not only because of the unpredictability of the seizure episodes, but also because of the social stigma that surrounds epilepsy, even though it is a non-communicable condition. This, naturally, compounds the negative experience not only of the person suffering from the condition but their families too.
According to WHO, epilepsy is one of the world’s oldest recognised medical conditions, with written records of it dating back to roughly 4000 BCE. In ancient times, epilepsy was believed to be caused by magic or by supernatural entities like possessions by demons or gods, and those who had it were either feared or isolated, since the knowledge of the central nervous system was all a mystery. Read The History of Epilepsy: From Ancient Mystery to Modern Misconception
My struggle with epilepsy
Epilepsy, which affects an estimated 50 million people around the world, intrinsically challenges the entire neurological, psychological and mental equilibrium of the body. Being an epilepsy patient, I was used to sudden seizures, headaches, loss of consciousness, and anxiety.
I faced many hardships during my journey with epilepsy; I used to have a limited concentration which disrupted my lifestyle and retarded my career prospects. But I didn’t give up because I always had faith that I would find a way to heal myself. As I grew up, I began researching ways to restore myself inside-out. I knew that medicines can only cure the symptoms of a condition, but to heal from within, it takes patience and discipline.
Here I must mention that the support of my parents was instrumental throughout my fight with epilepsy and the misconceptions related to it. My parents faced great hurdles but they went on supporting their neurologically-affected son in all possible ways. Even though they hail from rural areas, they never allowed society’s prejudices against epilepsy affect me negatively. People’s fallacies about the condition did not dissuade them from doing their best for me. Had it not been their open-mindedness and progressive attitude, it might have been next to impossible for me to conquer the disease. Their unconditional love and ceaseless support kept me protected from the social stigma and false beliefs about epilepsy and helped keep my hopes for a good life alive.
Discovering the power of Ayurveda and yoga
Around 2013, while looking for a more natural way of healing myself and my lifestyle, I stumbled upon the age-old practice of meditation, which led me to tap into the power of Yoga and Ayurveda. These newfound approaches energised me and began to reshape my psyche. I would say that yoga changed the course of my life.
I began following a healthy lifestyle which included right diet, proper sleeping habits, natural remedies and detoxifying therapies. Different yoga Asanas like Vajrasana, Malasana and meditation, along with a balanced Ayurvedic regimen helped calm my nerves and improved the quality of my life.
I began to understand that a healthy way of living is not only just about avoiding or controlling disease symptoms but rather to bring about a physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Practising yoga and meditation and following the Ayurveda lifestyle helped me cultivate perseverance and discipline.
Why Ayurveda and yoga work
Let me explain a bit more about why I believe Ayurveda and yoga worked for me. The Ayurvedic way of life involves numerous activities that have been shown to improve a person’s mental and physical wellbeing via traditional Indian methods. In today’s world, the millennial style of life and metropolitan culture promote unhealthy living, either directly or indirectly, by romanticising harmful habits such as staying up late, smoking, drinking and eating a wide variety of processed foods. To counter this harmful influence, the combination of Ayurveda and Yoga offers you behavioural modification that promote physical vitality and mental peace.
At first it may seem like following the Ayurvedic lifestyle is not everyone’s cup of tea. But trust me, adhering to the Ayurvedic ways isn’t all that big a deal. It involves cultivating simple habits such as going for a brisk walk every day, eating freshly prepared food, drinking plenty of water, taking enough vitamins, and setting aside some time for yourself. When all this is combined with yoga which involves pranayama, bodily extension, and mindfulness, the body and spirit are strengthened, and you are brought into harmony with your current predicament.
Ayurveda beyond epilepsy
Coming back to my journey, around 2016, I began to experience extensive hair loss. I tried every single product in the market but nothing seemed to help. Losing my hair began denting my self-esteem and for a while I started losing hope again. Then I pulled myself back and decided to find a remedy for hair loss just as I had done for epilepsy.
Once again it was Ayurveda that came to my rescue. I reached out to my friend who is an Ayurvedic doctor, and together we developed a natural product for hair loss in line with all the principles of Ayurveda.
When people ask me, what is the source of my zeal that helped me overcome such a chronic condition, I respond that I believe in the old truism: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Life is often difficult. We all face trials—relationship sorrows, financial woes or health issues—but regardless of your specific challenge, you can overcome it if you decide to do whatever it takes.
For someone who lost several years of his youth to an ailment, I can say that every cloud has a silver lining. In my case, my medical condition impelled me to find a way to heal myself from a seemingly incurable condition like epilepsy and also find a way to reverse hair loss with the help of Ayurveda and yoga. What’s more, what I have found will benefit others as much as it has helped me. The axiom that all life is interconnected and entwined is true after all.
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