Symptoms: When undigested food or accumulated and vitiated stool starts building up pressure, or the offensive internal gas caused by them puts a severe strain on the intestine, the intestine gets dislodged from its normal position, open a hold in the abdominal wall, and protrudes through it. This condition is called “hernia”.
If the dislodged intestine comes out through an opening left in the canal to the scrotum, it is called “inguinal hernia”. When it pushes out through the hole in the canal of nerve fibres and the muscular network controlling the legs, it is called a “femoral hernia”. Occasionally it pushes out through the navel opening of children, and this is called an “umbilical hernia”. As long as it is possible to push the protruded intestine back inside or to pull it back into position temporarily through suction, this condition, through painful, does not become fatal. But if the protruded intestine becomes hard like a rope and obstructs then normal functioning of the lower anatomy, then the disease can be said to have reached the critical stage. When the protruded intestine becomes trapped in the opening, causing severe suffering to the patient, then it is called a “strangulated hernia”.
Causes: Food enters the stomach and there gets partially digested. It then passes into the duodenum (upper intestine) for complete digestion. Too much non-vegetarian and fatty food aggravates the acidity of the blood. As a result, different hormone-secreting glands become weak, and the partially-digested food starts decaying inside the body, creating a foul and poisonous gas which, in turn, puts pressure and strain on the stool-filled intestine and forces its dislodgement. Therefore failure of the liver to digest all the food properly is the main cause of hernia.
Treatment: Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Ashvinii Mudrá, Mayúrásana, Padahastásana, Ud́d́ayana Mudrá and Ágneyii Mudrá or Ágneyii Práńáyáma.
Evening – Ud́d́ayana Mudrá, Sarváuṋgásana, Ashvinii Mudrá and Ágneyii Mudrá or Ágneyii Práńáyáma.
Diet: Because hernia originates from intemperate food habits, special care should be taken about food – especially regarding non-vegetarian food and all types of food which may cause constipation.
Hernia patients must never completely fill the stomach, in order to prevent pressure on the stomach. It is also desirable to take a small quantity of food a greater number of times, rather than to eat a large amount at one time. Drinking a small amount of water or lemon-water many times a day is also advisable. A hernia patient should also remember to maintain a slight but continuous feeling of hunger. Hernia patients should get out of the habit of straining while defecating.
Dos and don’ts: For hernia patients, bending forward to lift heavy articles, jumping about excessively, over-eating out of greed and indulging in sex are all very harmful.