Rehabilitation is a treatment or treatments designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease toas normal a condition as possible.
The purpose of rehabilitation is to restore some or all of the patient's physical, sensory, and mental capabilities that werelost due to injury, illness, or disease. Rehabilitation includes assisting the patient to compensate for deficits that cannotbe reversed medically. It is prescribed after many types of injury, illness, or disease, including amputations, arthritis,cancer, cardiac disease, neurological problems, orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke, and traumatic braininjuries. The Institute of Medicine has estimated that as many as 14% of all Americans may be disabled at any giventime.
Rehabilitation should be carried out only by qualified therapists. Exercises and other physical interventions must takeinto account the patient's deficit. An example of a deficit is the loss of a limb.
A proper and adequate rehabilitation program can reverse many disabling conditions or can help patients cope withdeficits that cannot be reversed by medical care. Rehabilitation addresses the patient's physical, psychological, andenvironmental needs. It is achieved by restoring the patient's physical functions and/or modifying the patient's physicaland social environment. The main types of rehabilitation are physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
Each rehabilitation program is tailored to the individual patient's needs and can include one or more types of therapy. Thepatient's physician usually coordinates the efforts of the rehabilitation team, which can include physical, occupational,speech, or other therapists; nurses; engineers; physiatrists (physical medicine); psychologists; orthotists (makesdevices such as braces to straighten out curved or poorly shaped bones); prosthetists (a therapist who makes artificiallimbs or protheses); and vocational counselors. Family members are often actively involved in the patient's rehabilitationprogram.
Physical therapy helps the patient restore the use of muscles, bones, and the nervous system through the use of heat,cold, massage, whirlpool baths, ultrasound, exercise, and other techniques. It seeks to relieve pain, improve strengthand mobility, and train the patient to perform important everyday tasks. Physical therapy may be prescribed torehabilitate a patient after amputations, arthritis, burns, cancer, cardiac disease, cervical and lumbar dysfunction,neurological problems, orthopedic injuries, pulmonary disease, spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, andother injuries/illnesses. The duration of the physical therapy program varies depending on the injury/illness being treatedand the patient's response to therapy.
Exercise is the most widely used and best known type of physical therapy. Depending on the patient's condition,exercises may be performed by the patient alone or with the therapist's help, or with the therapist moving the patient'slimbs. Exercise equipment for physical therapy could include an exercise table or mat, a stationary bicycle, walking aids,a wheelchair, practice stairs, parallel bars, and pulleys and weights. Heat treatment, applied with hot-water compresses, infrared lamps, short-wave radiation, high frequency electricalcurrent, ultrasound, paraffin wax, or warm baths, is used to stimulate the patient's circulation, relax muscles, and relievepain. Cold treatment is applied with ice packs or cold-water soaking. Soaking in a whirlpool can ease muscle spasm painand help strengthen movements. Massage aids circulation, helps the patient relax, relieves pain and muscle spasms,and reduces swelling. Very low strength electrical currents applied through the skin stimulate muscles and make themcontract, helping paralyzed or weakened muscles respond again.
Occupational therapy helps the patient regain the ability to do normal everyday tasks. This may be achieved by restoringold skills or teaching the patient new skills to adjust to disabilities through adaptive equipment, orthotics, andmodification of the patient's home environment. Occupational therapy may be prescribed to rehabilitate a patient afteramputation, arthritis, cancer, cardiac disease, head injuries, neurological injuries, orthopedic injuries, pulmonarydisease, spinal cord disease, stroke, and other injuries/illnesses. The duration of the occupational therapy programvaries depending on the injury/illness being treated and the patient's response to therapy.
Occupational therapy includes learning how to use devices to assist in walking (artificial limbs, canes, crutches,walkers), getting around without walking (wheelchairs or motorized scooters), or moving from one spot to another(boards, lifts, and bars). The therapist will visit the patient's home and analyze what the patient can and cannot do.Suggestions on modifications to the home, such as rearranging furniture or adding a wheelchair ramp, will be made.Health aids to bathing and grooming could also be recommended.
Speech therapy helps the patient correct speech disorders or restore speech. Speech therapy may be prescribed torehabilitate a patient after a brain injury, cancer, neuromuscular diseases, stroke, and other injuries/illnesses. Theduration of the speech therapy program varies depending on the injury/illness being treated and the patient's response totherapy.
Performed by a speech pathologist, speech therapy involves regular meetings with the therapist in an individual or groupsetting and home exercises. To strengthen muscles, the patient might be asked to say words, smile, close his mouth, orstick out his tongue. Picture cards may be used to help the patient remember everyday objects and increase hisvocabulary. The patient might use picture boards of everyday activities or objects to communicate with others.Workbooks might be used to help the patient recall the names of objects and practice reading, writing, and listening.Computer programs are available to help sharpen speech, reading, recall, and listening skills.
Inhalation therapists, audiologists, and registered dietitians are other types of therapists. Inhalation therapists help thepatient learn to use respirators and other breathing aids to restore or support breathing. Audiologists help diagnose thepatient's hearing loss and recommend solutions. Dietitians provide dietary advice to help the patient recover from oravoid specific problems or diseases.
Rehabilitation services are provided in a variety of settings including clinical and office practices, hospitals, skilled-carenursing homes, sports medicine clinics, and some health maintenance organizations. Some therapists make homevisits. Advice on choosing the appropriate type of therapy and therapist is provided by the patient's medical team.
A Naturopathy is a health practitioner who applies natural therapies. Her/his spectrum comprises far more than fasting, nutrition, water, and exercise; it includes approved natural healing practices such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Herbal Medicine, as well as the use of modern methods like Bio-Resonance, Ozone-Therapy, and Colon Hydrotherapy. At a time when modern technology, environmental pollution, poor diet, and stress play a significant role in the degradation of health, a Naturopath’s ability to apply natural methods of healing is of considerable importance. Frequently, a Naturopath is the last resort in a patient’s long search for health. Providing personalised care to each patient, the naturopath sees humankind as a holistic unity of body, mind, and spirit.
A Naturopath usually practices in a freelance environment, with the option to work in hospitals, spas, research, health care, administration, management in the retail industry, or in the media. One can find a Naturopath in a nutritional and family consultancy, as well as in a Beauty Clinic. Specialisation in infertility, skin problems, sports, children, or geriatrics is possible. The growing acceptance of Naturopathy world-wide, and greater movement and communication within the European Union offers a wealth of opportunities for future professional and personal development.
The benefits of incorporating Naturopathic Medicine into your lifestyle are many and are far-reaching. When you begin to pay closer attention to what you eat, how you live and how your body reacts to the world around you under the care of a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), you will learn means of alleviating many of the day-to-day issues we all face, such as how to:
Naturopathy draws upon a variety of modalities, combined to fit the needs of the individual patient. None of these modalities is unique to naturopathic medicine.
Any one of the following modalities can become an area of specialization for a naturopath. Naturopathic colleges offer advanced training in a number of them, leading to specialized degrees. Practitioners may also specialize in a specific problem area, such as pediatrics, family medicine, or allergies.
Clinical nutrition. Therapeutic use of nutrition and diet is the cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. Naturopaths may make dietary recommendations and suggest nutritional supplements, including herbs, vitamins, and minerals. They may order laboratory tests to determine a patient's nutritional status and to monitor changes in his or her condition.
Physical medicine. Naturopaths often use hydrotherapy; exercise; massage; naturopathic manipulation techniques, which are somewhat similar to chiropractic; immobilization, by using braces and splints; ultrasound, diathermy, or heat therapy; electrical stimulation; and light therapy.
Homeopathy. Homeopathy, discussed in detail in another chapter, is a frequent area of specialization among naturopathic practitioners, and is a healing system that stimulates the body's own natural force.
Botanical medicine. Naturopathic physicians are trained herbalists who believe that using whole plants is generally more effective and less harmful than using either isolated chemical substances derived from plants or drugs that are synthesized from plants. Medicinal herbs, when properly used (either alone or in combination), address the underlying problem that caused the patient's symptoms, and are used in a way that minimizes undesirable side effects.
Natural childbirth. Studies of naturopathic obstetrical care have demonstrated that naturopaths achieve much lower complication rates during and after childbirth than conventional care.
Traditional Chinese medicine. A common area of specialization among naturopaths is traditional Chinese medicine, which includes the use of Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
Counseling and psychotherapy. Naturopaths are trained in counseling, psychotherapy, behavioral medicine, hypnosis, stress management, and biofeedback, and use these techniques, in part, to motivate patients to comply with lifestyle changes.
Minor surgery. Naturopaths are trained to perform a variety of minor surgical techniques (which are done in the office under local anesthesia), such as superficial wound repair, removal of foreign masses, sclerosing therapy for spider and varicose veins, minor hemorrhoid surgery, circumcision, and the setting of fractures.
An initial appointment with a naturopathic physician takes about an hour, though patients may fill out a questionnaire ahead of time. The naturopath takes a complete medical history and evaluates the patient's lifestyle. Diagnostic procedures may include a physical examination, conventional blood and urine tests, and tests that are not used in conventional medicine, such as the urine indican test (to determine the degree of intestinal putrefaction, a cause of toxemia), or the Heidelberg test (to measure stomach acidity). Using all of this information, the naturopath arrives at a functional and constitutional assessment, as well as a conventional disease diagnosis.
Treatment is individualized, generally using a combination of therapies. A significant amount of time is spent on lifestyle counseling, and recommendations are made on diet, exercise, and stress management. Follow-up visits typically average about half an hour. Naturopaths monitor the progress of their patients through their own observations, the patient's reports, and laboratory tests.
Naturopathic practitioners can prescribe certain classes of drugs in some states, but they do not generally have prescribing privileges. In the state of Washington, naturopaths are allowed to prescribe antibiotics, thyroid medication, progesterone, and selected other drugs.
Naturopaths treat a variety of disorders, but the most common complaints they treat are allergies, fatigue, colds, headaches, digestive problems, middle ear infections, menstrual problems, chronic pain, upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, and hormonal imbalances (including menopausal problems). They also often work with allopaths in treating thyroid problems, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Naturopaths also offer natural obstetric care, and their prenatal and postnatal care employs noninvasive, drugless treatment.
A naturopath's treatment may reflect his or her specialty, such as traditional Chinese medicine or homeopathy. In addition, some naturopaths try to cure illnesses by aggressively stimulating general health; this is called the "vitalistic" approach. Most naturopaths, however, seek to remedy the specific biochemical factors that are causing an illness, using particular herbal medicines and other interventions that are especially tailored to the illness.
Because naturopathy focuses relatively more on the whole person than the treatment of isolated disease entities, practitioners tend to employ highly developed counseling and communication techniques. At Bastyr University, students study counseling almost as much as nutrition. Patients generally benefit greatly from these communication skills.
Naturopathy is particularly strong in the areas of preventive medicine, treatment of acute illness, and in chronic and degenerative diseases that may not have responded to other forms of treatment.
However, naturopathic practice does have its limitations. Naturopaths acknowledge that conventional medicine excels in the treatment of acute trauma, childbirth emergencies, treating broken bones, performing corrective surgery, and treating acute, life-threatening illnesses. Nevertheless, naturopaths can provide excellent supportive treatment for all these conditions.
Naturopathic methods have also been used successfully in the treatment of cancer. Thousands of patients have reported astonishing recoveries from cancer using naturopathic methods, such as fasting, therapeutic diet, hydrotherapy, herbal formulas, and other health-building techniques that stimulate immunity. However, naturopaths are often reluctant to publicize such successes because in many states only allopaths are allowed to treat cancer. Even so, naturopaths may work collaboratively with oncologists, especially to ameliorate side effects from cancer treatment.
Collaborating with conventional doctors is, in fact, one of the most valuable services that naturopaths provide. Their solid grounding in biomedical sciences prepares naturopaths to recognize dangerous conditions that require conventional medical intervention. Also, naturopaths often help patients to recognize the potential dangers of some of the popular forms of self-treatment, such as the use of powerful herbs.
Naturopaths are certainly sufficiently trained to work alongside conventional doctors. Naturopaths and allopathic physicians receive similar training in anatomy, cell biology, physiology, pathology, neurosciences, clinical and physical diagnosis, histology, genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology, laboratory diagnosis, pharmacognosy, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Two of the most prominent naturopathic schools, the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University, require more hours of training in these subjects than many allopathic medical schools. In addition, naturopathic students also receive training in botanical medicine, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, and naturopathic manipulative therapies, none of which is taught by conventional medical schools. Naturopathic schools also require significantly more training than medical schools in nutrition and in psychological counseling.
Alva’s College of Physiotherapy is approved by Government of Karnataka, Affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, and Recognized by the Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP)
If you think honesty, commitment and punctuality are fancy words in dictionary and public speeches, then the chances are that you have not yet visited Alva’s College of Physiotherapy where passion blends with the pinnacle of perfection. Physiotherapy is the science of treatment based on modern medicine which brought about a paradigm shift in treatment principle from largely drug based chemical approach to correction of movement mechanics. This institution will help you to rediscover the true essence of physiotherapy education with prime emphasis on individual grooming and strong character molding under meticulous care. We do not train individuals to make a mere living with their profession but inspire them to enjoy their work which is the kernel for extra-ordinary brilliance. This has been the core ethos and the guiding force since its humble inception in the year 1995.
Personalized assistance in academic and clinical posting
Alva’s physiotherapy center (Estd.1995) consists of full-fledged functional specialty departments catering physiotherapy care in various disciplines. There are 9 departments in the center involved in rendering physiotherapeutic care in wide range of conditions. Annually more than 15,000 out patients benefit from the affordable care provided here. This gives excellent opportunity for budding therapists to hone their clinical acumen by ‘hands on’ exposure under guidance of experienced faculty. Unlike in most teaching departments in India where teaching therapists are not involved in setting treatment plan in clinics, here teaching therapists are directly involved in clinical education, assisting smooth transition of students from theoretical concepts to practical application. This also helps in constant up-gradation of the clinics at par with international standards to accommodate the latest trends in physiotherapy. Wide range of clinical exposure with a well equipped research laboratory makes it one of the most conducive places for post graduate and doctoral research works. Apart from this the students are also posted in Alva’s Health center hospital (300 bedded) and other specialty hospitals for inpatient exposure.
Physiotherapy, a highly developed discipline in the developed nations of the world, is yet to get its due importance in India. The demand for physiotherapists is expected to be exponential in the coming years mainly due to the growth of health infrastructure as envisioned in the government of India’s 11th five year plan and the privatization of medical care in India. The growth in sports infrastructure in the country also suggests a greater demand for physiotherapists, in dealing with sports injuries and its prevention. Physiotherapy is kind of a super specialization in the medicine profession and services of a physiotherapist are required by people of all levels in the society.
Alva’s Education Foundation (AEF) had recognized the need for such professionals way back in 1995 and hence established Alva’s College of Physiotherapy (ACP) as one of the founding colleges of AEF. ACP offers both bachelor (BPT) and master (MPT) degrees in physiotherapy. ACP also has a provision of pursuing a doctoral program (Ph.D) in physiotherapy.
Alva’s College of Physiotherapy and research centre has been a centre of excellence for the past 18 years, since its inception in the year 1995. Though physiotherapy is considered to be a very young field of science that evolved during the world wars in the beginning of the twentieth century, it has become a very integral part of modern medicine.
For decades, physiotherapy practice has been the subject of criticism for its lack of a research base. Despite an overall positive attitude towards evidence-based practice, most physiotherapists utilized treatment techniques with little scientific support. Our college has orchestrated a shift towards the use of research and scientific evidence to guide practice decisions.
Being a research institute, we offer a lot of opportunities for our staff and students to carry out their research studies. Our staff and students are involved in research studies perennially. Our college has a lab with all the latest research equipments for conducting research in all the fields of physiotherapy (sports, ortho, cardio, neuro, paediatrics, CBR, OBG, etc).
Another important feature of clinical practice is evidence based practice. It is the explicit use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients and is a concept of growing importance for physiotherapy. We stress on the importance of reviewing research studies, journals and articles on the particular condition that is being treated and hence make sure that the prognosis of the treatment is always good. Our students don’t stop there. Guided by the experienced faculty, they are actively involved in research studies. Hence, they create their own evidence base for treatments.
Ayurveda, ancient yet timeless, gives you the means of attaining and maintaining your own optimal health and well-being. The benefits of Ayurvedic medicine have been proven over centuries of use, and its methodologies are as applicable today in the West as they were thousands of years ago in India.
Ayurveda is the traditional healing modality of the Vedic culture from India. It is said to be 2000 to 5000 years old, meaning it has stood the test of time. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”. In accordance with this definition, Ayurvedic medicine views health as much more than the absence of disease. The wise seers and sages of the time, intuitively understanding the physiology and workings of the mind-body-spirit long before the advents of modern medicine, explained the basic principles of Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic medicine was originally an oral tradition, taught and passed directly from teacher to apprentice, who would learn and work side by side. The oldest written codification of Ayurvedic principles is found in the Rig Veda. The fundamentals are then laid out in several major treatises, including the texts from Charaka, Sushruta, and Vaghbhat. There are also numerous other smaller works, written over time to explain the various branches of Ayurveda, which include disciplines such as general medicine, pediatrics, surgery, toxicology, fertility, and rejuvenation. The beauty in the way these have been explained is that they rely on basic principles which can be applied practically in any day and age.
Ayurveda has thus been passed down through the centuries as a complete healing system, evolving to meet the needs of the time, and yet remaining committed to its core principles. Various cultures have drawn upon the ideas of Ayurvedic medicine, and it continues to thrive in both the East and the West. In India, an Ayurvedic physician must undergo at least a 5 year post-graduate degree program (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) to become qualified. In the West, Ayurveda is recognized as a Complementary and Alternative Health System by the National Institutes of Health, and is blossoming in various educational institutions.
While Ayurvedic principles can be used to explain the complexity of not only health, but also the world around us, there are several simple basics that become the building blocks for everything else:
Once you put on the lens of Ayurveda and see things in terms of vata, pitta, kapha, and combinations thereof, the whole world comes alive in a new way. Look at the world around you! The doshas take form in endlessly interesting ways.
Composed of air and space, vata is dry, light, cold, rough, subtle/pervasive, mobile, and clear. As such, vata regulates the principle of movement. Any bodily motion—chewing, swallowing, nerve impulses, breathing, muscle movements, thinking, peristalsis, bowel movements, urination, menstruation—requires balanced vata. When vata is out of balance, any number of these movements may be deleteriously affected.
Pitta brings forth the qualities of fire and water. It is sharp, penetrating, hot, light, liquid, mobile, and oily. Pitta’s domain is the principal of transformation. Just as fire transforms anything it touches, pitta is in play any time the body converts or processes something. So pitta oversees digestion, metabolism, temperature maintenance, sensory perception, and comprehension. Imbalanced pitta can lead to sharpness and inflammation in these areas in particular.
Kapha, composed of earth and water, is heavy, cold, dull, oily, smooth, dense, soft, static, liquid, cloudy, hard, and gross (in the sense of dense or thick). As kapha governs stability and structure, it forms the substance of the human body, from the skeleton to various organs to the fatty molecules (lipids) that support the body. An excess of kapha leads to an overabundance of density, heaviness, and excess in the body.
The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is the knowledge that health is not a “one size fits all” proposition. One must understand the unique nature of each person and situation, taking into account the individual, the season, the geography, and so on.
Each person has an Ayurvedic constitution that is specific to him or her, and movement away from that constitution creates health imbalances; if such imbalances are not addressed, Ayurveda says that illness may develop. So, the early signs of imbalance serve as a wakeup call to make gentle and natural shifts in behavior to return to balance—such as adjusting diet, modifying daily activities and taking herbal remedies for a time.
Determining your prakriti—your fundamental balanced constitution—requires an assessment of your most natural state. Consider your physical structure as well as mental and emotional tendencies. Remember to think of what is most natural to you, rather than what you’re like when you are stressed or ill. Ayurveda says you can understand your basic nature and tendencies by understanding your balanced state.
Dosha imbalances (your vikruti, or current condition) can manifest in various stages, from a general feeling of “something is not right” all the way to diagnosed illnesses with serious complications. To address this, Ayurveda presents a vast toolbox of treatment modalities to choose from; but whatever the treatment, the goal is to reestablish your natural balance of vata, pitta, and kapha.
Ayurveda offers a number of ways to balance doshas and find your well-being. The key is to find balance with a wholistic approach—addressing mind, body, and spirit. Ayurvedic remedies draw on a number of modalities:
Our website also offers tips from Dr. Claudia Welch on balancing vata, pitta, and kapha. To learn more about an individualized approach for you, consider visiting an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area.