Yoga For Management of Anal Disorders
‘Anal disorders’ is a collective term for all disorders of the anus; where the waste leaves our body from. Discomfort in and around the anus is common, but it doesn’t mean that it is normal. Pain and itching could worsen over time and be a sign of other, more serious conditions.
The anal opening consists of many layers of skin and muscles that perform special functions of contraction and relaxation while, before and after movement of the bowels. Hence the anus is easily susceptible to trauma, from factors both internal and external to the body.
Disorders of The Anal And Perianal Region
The disorders originating in the anus or from the junction of the anus with the rectum can also cause discomfort in the superficial region around the anus, called the perianal region. Common disorders are:
- Anal Itching : Itching can occur due to prolonged sitting on a rough surface, dryness, or irritants coming from the diet. It could also be a symptom of other disorders since all disorders start by itching and swelling.
- Anal Fissure : A tear in the skin surrounding the anus that is not only painful but also worsens over time and may accumulate microbial growth.
- Abscess and Fistula : A hollow space trapped between the muscles around the rectum and the anus, gets infected and filled with pus. This condition is called anal fistula and is often recurrent.
- Anal Warts : Caused by a viral infection, anal warts are not only painful but also highly contagious. They should be removed or treated as soon as they are discovered.
- Hemorrhoids/ Piles : The most common disorder which can even go unnoticed or ignored until it worsens to an extremely painful stage that requires surgery; hemorrhoids or piles is the name for swollen and inflamed nerves and blood vessels in the anal region.
There is some connection between all anal disorders, which is mixed symptoms. Some of many of the following symptoms may be felt by an individual suffering from a disease of the anus:
- Redness : If redness is observed as a primary symptom
- Swelling : Swelling definitely means that the anus needs some rest; and pressure should be lifted off it. It can signal that hemorrhoids are developing.
- Burning sensation : It may also point towards improper digestion and absorption.
- Soreness : Pain which is local; can signal towards many disorders.
- Sharp pain : Sharp pain which feels like stool is hard; but it actually means that blood vessels have stiffened.
- Bleeding : This sign should not be ignored; as it may even be coming from deeper inside the intestines.
- Lumps / Acne : It signals towards anal warts or abscesses that are yet to pop up or develop fully.
- Painful Defecation : It primarily originates from straining while moving bowels.
CausesFollowing are the causes which should be considered:-
- IBS : an inflammatory disorder where diarrhea and constipation can occur simultaneously.
- Pregnancy : excess pressure on the anus and pushing during labour.
- Straining during defecation.
- Nutritional Deficiency: lack of fiber.
DiagnosisPhysical exam, Scans & Imaging can be used to detect severity and decide most appropriate treatment.
Yoga For Anal Disorders
A therapeutic healing programme can bring unexpected benefits for people with anal disorders. These exercises are great for beginning at any stage of any disorder; and are restorative as well as preventive. The practices that have the word ‘kriya’ in their name should not be done without supervision.
It is an excellent practice to lift the pressure off of the anus. It can greatly relieve primary symptoms. It promotes healing of fistula, fissures and hemorrhoids.
- Kneel on the floor or the mat/ carpet or even your bed.
- Keep the knees together.
- Bring the tips of the feet close and keep the heels slightly apart.
- Place the buttocks on the soles of the feet with the heels forming a bowl like cavity for the hips.
- Place your palms on the knees.
- Your back and head should be straight yet relaxed.
- Avoid using great force to straighten the back.
- Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
- Breathe normally. Practice for as long as comfortable. This exercise is famous as the only one that can be done immediately after meals.
This pose relieves all tension built up in the hemorrhoids. It is specially recommended for anal fistula and warts.
- Sit in Padmasana.
- Relax the whole body.
- Slowly, lie backwards, supporting the body with your arms and elbows.
- Now curve the upper half of the spine backwards with an inhalation.
- Hold the toes. The elbows stay on the mat.
- The top of the head should ideally touch the mat perpendicularly.
- This is the final position.
- Resume normal breathing in the final position, and stay for a minute.
- Remember not to strain any part of the body.
- After some time, release the toes. Then relax the head, and then relieve the Padmasana.
Easy Preparatory Practice For Matsyasana :
- Lie on your back.
- The arms should rest on the sides.
- This is the initial position.
- Keeping the legs straight, lift the chest and shoulders up from the mat.
- Inhale while doing so.
- The top of the head should be resting on the mat.
- If need be, use the palms to push the floor a little.
- This is the final position.
- Resume normal breathing.
- Stay in the final position for 7-10 seconds.
- This is one repetition.
- Practice 3 repetitions.
This shall ease all anal disorders since it is one of its kinds where the anus lies at the highest level in the whole body. It can be performed on a mat/ carpet/ grass.
- Place both hands on the opposite shoulders.
- Lie on the stomach.
- Raise the head and gaze in the front. This is the initial position.
- The elbows will remain fixed during the practice.
- Raise the waist and the buttocks, so that the whole body is supported by the knees and elbows only.
- You can place the chest and the chin on the ground.
- This pose is similar to a transit position in Surya Namaskara.
This practice shall improve all disorders by restricting blood flow and healing bleeding piles.
- Lie on your back.
- The arms should be resting on both sides of the body.
- Exhale fully.
- Raise both the legs without bending them at the knees.
- Support the buttocks and the back with your hands. The elbows should be resting on the mat.
- Align the feet, the knees, the pelvis and the chest in a straight line perpendicular to the earth.
- This is the final position. Resume normal breathing in the final position.
- Practice three repetitions.
- Care should be taken not to strain the neck.
This practice shall require special set up and guidance, but is extremely beneficial for people whose anal disorders are severely painful.
In ancient times, the practice used to be performed in a flowing river, but nowadays tubs can be used. This practice should essentially be learnt at a yogic treatment center and not just learnt.
Moola Shodhana Kriya
A soft root of a medicinal plant is used to insert into the anus and clean it. Modern suppositories are a form of the ancient Moola Shodhana kriya. This practice should also be done in expert supervision.
- Consume a balanced diet.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t keep sitting at hard surfaces, change poses if it is necessary for you to sit.
- Do not ignore initial symptoms of anal disorders.
ConclusionAnal disorders are preventable to a great degree by practicing hygiene and correcting one’s posture especially while working in a sitting for a long duration. The symptoms can be eased by various tips mentioned here in addition to following the yoga routine. It is recommended that these yoga practices be included in one’s lifestyle even if previous anal disorders are successfully treated. These are generally safe for everyone; however, people with multiple conditions should begin any routine under guidance and practice under supervision of an expert.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile