What causes epilepsy seizures?

The victims of this brain disorder have recurring seizures, which occur when a cluster of neurons in the brain send out wrong signals and disturbs the normal neuronal activity, resulting in violent muscle spasms. The affected person may even lose consciousness. The enhanced neuronal activity typical of epilepsy happens due to some abnormality in brain wiring that actually results in an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters. An important neurotransmitter that plays a role in epilepsy is Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). Although most seizures do not cause brain damage, but repeated uncontrolled seizures may cause brain damage. Clearly, this disorder has a stigma attached to it that it is the cause of embarrassment and frustration for its victims.

The cause of epilepsy may be brain injury and abnormal brain development. Specific genes may have a role in the occurrence of epilepsy. For example, several types of epilepsy have been linked to defective genes that express ion channel proteins, which are the ‘gates’ that control the flow of ions in and out of cells and thus regulate neuron signaling. Interestingly, many people with epilepsy have normal or above-average intelligence. Certain tests and brain scans such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT scan) are common diagnostic tests for epilepsy. Once detected, the occurrence of seizures can be controlled with modern medicines and surgical techniques.

Can Epilepsy Be Cured By Use Of Yoga Techniques?

Ancient practitioners of Ayurveda and Astrology believed that Epilepsy was caused by spirits who entered the bodies of humans to torment them. They would then prescribe puja’s and rituals to cure the person from the disease.

This has however been proved to be non-scientific and has today no basis in science. Some Yoga Techniques have been studied and found to be beneficial to those who suffer from epilepsy. A patient of epilepsy is recommended to practice the following:

1. Pranayama – Practicing Brahmari Pranayam with your eyes closed can provide instant results and relief. Pranayama combined with chanting of ancient hymns and sacred texts can alleviate some of the symptoms of epilipsy.

2. Asanas – Sarvangasana, Uttana-Padasana and Vipreetkarni are know to provide relief. This has been studied by yoga researchers at SVYASA and NIMHANS.

3. Kriyas – Some Kriya’s such as Neti Kriya and Kunjal can be combined with Paranayama and Asana’s to get expediated results.

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