Plantar fasciitis, or what is called Vata Kantaka in Ayurveda, is a condition characterised by pain in the heels of the feet. The pain is unbearable when one brings their feet down onto the floor for the first time in the morning or while keeping their feet down after a long duration of sitting. The pain is described as being like walking on broken glass. This pain results from an inflammation or stretching of the plantar fascia, which is a ligament in the feet connecting the heel to the toes. Pain is more pronounced in the morning since the fascia tightens while you sleep.
AGNIKARMA — is a treatment in which heat is applied to a particular part of the body to reduce inflammation and the underlying pain. Agnikarma is carried out with a special instrument made of 5 metals (copper, iron, zinc, silver and lead, and also contains gold sometimes, thus it is named Pancha dhatu shalaka). This instrument is heated and then stroked gently on the heel. After a few strokes, aloe vera is applied to cool the heated area. Heat thus applied is strong enough to reduce inflammation, but does not cause any burns. A single session takes some 20-30 minutes; after the treatment the patient should be fine and free from discomfort.
Agnikarma has miraculous healing effects in Plantar Fasciitis and Calcaneal spur. In the former, the pain is reduced significantly from the very first sitting, and in few sittings the patient is completely cured. However, the Calcaneal spur requires more sittings, depending upon the size of the spur. Along with the treatment, taking herbal medicines are advised. Certain changes in diet and lifestyle are also advised, such as cutting back on walking and reducing salt intake for the duration of treatment. The best advantage of Agnikarma is that the recurrence of the problem is very rare after this treatment, where as the relapse is very common after other conventional treatments.
Dr Shipra from Sri Sri Ayurveda, Al Khuwair, mentions that in Ayurveda, Agnikarma has been used for centuries to cure patients of Plantar Fasciitis and Calcaneal spur. Many Vaidyas (Ayurveda doctors) are still using it in India, and this is what prompted her to learn and offer Agnikarma in the Sri Sri Ayurveda clinic in Muscat, as there were many people coming with complaints of heel pain, for which no other treatments were found to be successful enough. Many patients have been treated with Agnikarma and she hopes to relieve many others of this debilitating pain in the future.
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