Recently, Celine Dion – the popular singer revealed that she has been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome.
For many, the name of the disease has been unheard of and there were many articles written following the reveal, giving information about the condition.
What is Stiff Person Syndrome from an Ayurvedic point of view? Let’s find out in this blog.
What is Stiff Person Syndrome?
Stiff Person Syndrome, SPS in short, is a progressive neurological condition like Parkinsonism.
It comes with the following symptoms:
- Stiff muscles in the arms, legs and torso
- Increased sensitivity to external stimuli, like touch, noise, cold temperatures, etc.
- Frequent painful muscle spasms
As the disease progresses, the patient experiences the following:
- Difficulty in walking
- Frequent falls
- Abnormal posture
- Muscle spasms, including facial muscles
- Depression and anxiety
- Inability to perform daily activities
SPS as per Ayurveda
SPS is primarily due to unaddressed Vata imbalance for long periods. It also leads to undernourishment of all the 7 tissue systems (Dhatus) including blood, bone, muscle, bone marrow, etc. owing to low digestive fire (Agni) and Ama (toxin accumulation).
SPS is a rare disease. In my entire practice, I have seen only 2 patients with SPS and strangely, for both patients, there was a history of emotional trauma in the past.
The first patient was my BAMS final exam case study and hence, I could not do much follow-up.
The second patient was on my 6-month program, now taking only review consultations every month. The treatment has been going on for over 2 years with medicines, diet for Vata imbalance and body treatments to bring back the strength of muscles.¬† Though the condition may take more time to cure, currently the patient is only on mild medications and can walk, do daily activities and has a good quality of life. She is 71 and even does swimming!
I have seen the history of deep emotional trauma in patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia too.
Trauma need not be grief or divorce or losing someone or abuse, it can also be being denied of something they ought to have, but couldn’t have it.