Sunethri Protocol for Autism (SuPrA)
We have a speciality wing for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) which focuses on research-based medical intervention. We have developed an effective and safe treatment protocol to help the special kids. Evaluation the kids under this protocol is done using the ATEC of Autism Research Institute.
How SuPrA evolved?
SuPrA – reasoning from an Ayurvedic perspective
It was in the year 2002. A girl of 8 years of age was brought to our clinic with a diagnosed profile of Autism Spectrum Disorder. She was our first patient with ASD. This disease as such is not described in our classical literature (quite natural, No!!). so we started burning our heads on this new problem. While planning an effective strategy, we realized that the entire range of symptoms had to be evaluated using basic principles of ayurvedic system. We also recognized that the health of the digestive tract can play a crucial role in alleviating many of the symptoms associated with ASD, especially in dealing with toxins. There were number of studied published in this regard (and still new papers are getting published). Therefore, we focused at first on studying the digestive fire – Agni- of children with established diagnosis of ASD. Agni is the element responsible for keeping toxins away, both by denying extrinsic toxins entry into the system and by detoxifying internalized toxins. With repeated observations we came to a conclusion that in these kids a weakened Agni is unable to perform these functions optimally.
Once toxins, extrinsic or intrinsic, are in the system due to improper functioning of Agni, all the fine channels and pathways inside (we call it Srotas in ayurveda) are affected due to functional clogging. These channels are described in classical texts as of various types and functions. They facilitate the biological events like carrying nutrients, evacuationg the wastes and fine-tuning the activities of mind (manas). According to the level and intensity of affliction, clogging of the channels results in derangement of various physiological mechanisms. In a gross sense, the elementary substances of the body (dhathus) which are the vital tissues for existence, performance and procreation, are perturbed and the internal environment of the individual gets ‘polluted’. This polluted internal environment disrupts the natural way of the body responding to the external environment. This is more pronounced when the pathways facilitating the activities of mind are involved in the toxic chain. According to Ayurvedic biology mind is the vehicle commuting between the sensory organs (jnanendriyas), organs of action (karmendriyas) and the cognitive centre (budhi) carrying messages and impulses among them, and at times, creating intermediary self-driven actions. So any disruption of the channels of mind leads to the distortion of sensory perception and motor responses at all levels of operation. Another important observation was that Ojus, which is the most critical element in the in-house detoxification mechanism, fails to perform optimally. This initiates another cascade of events resulting in poor immunity, recurrent infections, phobias, hallucinations, cravings and so on. These behavioral differences make the affected individual a stranger in society.
SuPrA was developed keeping all these aspects in mind. A malfunctioning Agni (causing faulty channels and pathways), ‘polluted’ dhathus, and disruptions in the Ojus-mind-cognition networking are all to be attended to. We were well-convinced of the fact that it is futile to treat a child with ASD in the same lines of a child with mental retardation. On the base end, Agni is the element which has a decisive say in all these mechanisms. Ayurvedic seers like Charaka have observed that when Agni is working properly the other elements have opportunities for spontaneous self-correction in the event of any disruption. An optimally operating Agni can annul toxins, especially the extrinsic ones, at their source, ensure the proper operation of channels, facilitate proper nutrition of the dhathus, sharpen the skills of mind to coordinate with indriyas and atma, and ensure proper formation and maintenance of Ojus. On the high end, proper operation of Ojus can defuse intrinsic toxins in their sites of origin and operation, enhance the control of mind over body, help to accomplish higher mental functions more effectively, modulate the immune responses, and characterize the individual in her/his social and environmental circumstances. The intermediary stages of the entire process, which include changes taking place at the dhathu level, are not well understood step-by-step, but the outcome is evident clinically. Obviously all these processes are controlled by the three doshas, either separately or in combination, and in an individual-specific manner. This explanation indicates the need for a customized approach towards each patient. The entire chain of events has been explained in a general way here, but the background of each patient’s doshik condition must be appreciated as well and personalized treatment should be designed. The link between Agni, Srotas, Dhathus and Ojus is represented schematically in the figure.