Symptoms of Neurasthenia:
Neurasthenia has many and varied symptoms. Some of these symptoms are weakness of the mental faculties, coldness of the hands and feet, sleeplessness, digestive disturbances, sexual disorders, an apprehension of sexual impotence in the male, painful menstruation in the female, restlessness, fear and muscular weakness and a host of symptoms accompanying general nervousness.
Causes of Neurasthenia:
The main causes of neurasthenia are mental exertion, over-work and sexual excesses. Other causes of this disease include use of tobacco, sedentary habits, neurotic temperament and various chronic diseases. Neurasthenia is caused by faulty diet and the faulty lifestyle as well. The present-day dietary consisting of refined, tinned, processed and preserved foods, all have adverse effects upon the health of the system in general and upon the serves in particular. The lack of the nutrients in such foods causes nerve starvation and nervous disorders like neurasthenia. The present day high-pressure standards and artificial ways of living also contribute greatly to this disease.
Treatment of Neurasthenia by Nature Cure:
In the beginning of the treatment, the patient should adopt an exclusive diet of fresh fruits for about five days. During this period, he should take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple, pear, peach, grapes and papaya at four-hourly intervals. While on the all-fruit diet, a warm-water enema should be administered daily to cleanse the bowels. Thereafter, the patient may spend further five to ten days on fruit and milk diet. The patient should begin with one litre of milk, the first day and increases by 250 ml. daily upto two litres or more a day. The milk should be fresh and unboiled, but may be slightly warmed, if desired. It should be sipped very slowly.
After the fruit and milk diet, the patient may gradually adopt a well balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, with emphasis on fresh fruits, raw vegetables and fruit and vegetable juices. This diet should be supplemented with vegetable oil, honey and milk, preferably in soured form like curd and buttermilk. Further periods on the all-fruit diet followed by the fruit and milk diet may be necessary in some cases, depending on the progress being made. The patient should avoid all highly flavored dishes, cakes, pastries, heavy puddings, pies and similar rich foods which over-tax digestion. He should also avoid white bread, sugar, refined cereals, condiments, tea, coffee and alcohol. He should drink liberal quantities of water. Smoking, if habitual, should be given up completely.
Mental exertion, sexual excess, worries and anxiety must be avoided. All steps should be taken to increase vitality and the nervous energy. These include the morning dry friction and sponge, as well as neutral immersion bath daily for one hour before retiring. A hot epsom salt bath will also be beneficial and should be taken by the patient once or twice every week. This bath is prepared by dissolving one kg. of commercial epsom-salt in an ordinary bath of hot water. The patient should remain immersed in the bath from 10-20 minutes. No soap should be used with the epsom-salt bath, as this interferes with its beneficial effects.
Exercises: A regime of general health-building measures should be followed to improve the nervous and muscular systems. Adequate rest is of utmost importance for those who have been overworked nervously and physically and for those who need a rapid gain of fat and blood. Muscular exercises and diversion are important factors for those who are mentally tired. Fresh air, physical and breathing exercises and yogasanas should all form part of the treatment. The patient should take adequate rest and relax both mentally and physically.