Lived Experiences of Stroke Survivors Undergoing Ayurvedic Rehabilitation Therapy in India

Priya Baby, PhD; Rakesh V R, MSc N; Hemant Kumar Gupta, MBBS, DMH;
Raghavendra Naik, MD, PhD, BAMS


Background • The traditional medical system of Ayurveda is widely practiced in India. Using the treatment principles of Panchakarma, Ayurveda offers rehabilitation therapy for patients with stroke. Although Ayurvedic rehabilitation is popular and has proven benefits, the experiences of stroke survivors undergoing Ayurvedic rehabilitation have not yet been documented in the literature.
Purpose • To explore the experience of stroke survivors during rehabilitation in an inpatient Ayurvedic facility.
Methods • A qualitative approach with a phenomenological method was used for the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 6 patients who were post-stroke and receiving inpatient rehabilitation therapy in an Ayurvedic facility in India. Thematic analyses of the verbatim transcripts were done using Lindseth & Norberg’s phenomenological methodology.
Results • The main themes that emerged were “aspiring for self-efficacy,” “hopefulness” and “treatment acceptance,” with subthemes such as “self-reliance,” resilience,” “finding meaning in life,” “optimism,” “spirituality,” “therapeutic mileu” and “perceived social support.”
Conclusion • The study indicates that stroke survivors undergoing Ayurvedic rehabilitation therapy look forward to improved self-reliance and experience enhanced feelings of hope. The treatment modalities used for rehabilitation are acceptable to patients. Essentially, rehabilitation in an Ayurvedic facility provides a holistic uplift in the well-being stroke survivors. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2020;34(4):10-16.)

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