THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The debut run of Sports Ayurveda at Commonwealth Games 2010 was certainly a hit. The service of the Sports Ayurveda team is much sought after at the National Games too. For proof, check out the rush at their pavilion in the Games Village.
This is the first time that Sports Ayurveda services are being utilised in National Games. After the Commonwealth Games, the only other national sports event that the team has offered its services to is the school games. The team has been sending two doctors to national school sports meets.
A team of around 40 doctors and an equal number of masseurs are at various National Games venues across the state. Though their primary focus is to support the Kerala contingent, they are usually busy attending to participants from other states. (At the Games Village they have been officially entrusted with supporting all teams.)
Sports Ayurveda is a project which was started five years ago under the Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) Department. The project has research programmes focused on improving sports performance and attending to sports injuries.
Sports Ayurveda seems like a new concept. But Dr Seema R Nair, an ISM doctor who works on deputation with the Sports Ayurveda project, says that the ancient books on Ayurveda talk about ‘Sanghabala Pravarta Vyadhi’.
Though there are internal medicines which provide quick relief to the participants, the team has been strictly advised to stick to external applications. That offers quite a challenge for the doctors as quick relief is paramount during competitions. They cannot offer internal medicines as the Anti-doping Squad fears that there could be unknown ingredients in the age-old medicines.
This year, a total of Rs 3 crore was allotted to the project. Half of it is being used in the construction of a super-speciality government hospital in Thrissur, and the rest in medicines.
There is one thing that the Sports Medicine team is struggling with – paucity of staff. Sports Ayurveda project coordinator Dr B K Ajithkumar says, “Being just a project, the government has not allotted any permanent vacancies in the project. All staff, barring a handful of doctors and masseurs employed on contract basis, are on deputation from the ISM. If there were more staff, we could be more useful here.”
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