A particular problem which as yet is unrecognised by allopathy, homeopathy and other sciences of healing is the navel which 'moves'. Just as a misalignment may occur within the spinal cord, so a misalignment of the navel and stomach muscles (rectus abdominus) may also occur. The displacement is caused by similar activity i.e. picking up heavy objects, a sudden twisting or bending movement, sexual activity. After the navel has shifted once, it is a problem which occurs frequently thereafter unless yogic precautionary practices are started.
In most cases the navel will take a move in either an upward or downward direction, sometimes a sideways movement is also noticeable. The displacement is directly connected with the navel, nerves, stomach muscles and movement of prana, and will affect each of these in some manner. The misalignment may be detected by using string to measure the distance from the large toe of both feet to the navel centre. If there is a difference in the length of these two measurements it indicates a removal from the norm. The original position can also be detected in some people by feeling for a pulse in the area. If the pulse and navel are together, the position is correct. Where pulse is to be found, in the case of a misaligned navel, it indicates the correct position. However, when measuring the position with string, care should be taken to ensure that the body is correctly aligned. In man, the measurement can be taken from the nipples of the chest to the navel.
The problem is said to occur more in women and may produce unaccountable menstrual pain and excessive or scanty bleeding. The ailments caused by this particular trouble usually involve only the abdominal area. As it also affects the movement of prana and apana, symptoms will vary according to the direction of movement. For instance, if the navel has moved up, there is good chance of constipation, vomiting or feeling of nausea. If the movement is down then diarrhoea will exist. Whichever way it moves, there is always pain in the abdominal area which may extend into the back, buttocks, thighs and calves.
Treatments of allopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy are normally ineffective as this ailment remains unrecognised and therefore un-diagnosable. Many 'mystery' troubles of the abdominal region are attributable to this navel shift.
One man suffering from constipation and stomach pain for five years had travelled half of India for a cure, had 90 X-rays and nearly every treatment he could find, but with no relief from any.
Correct yogic treatment will eliminate this trouble within a short period, sometimes 3 to 4 days. The previously mentioned sufferer had tried yogic practices but was incorrectly advised. The pain in his abdomen spread to his back and further limited his physical movement and stiffened his walking. After 6 days of correct yogic treatment his cure was complete.
No forward bending asanas can be practised excepting shashankasana and marjariasana in some cases. The asanas should be mainly those which give equal backward stretch to the rectus abdominus muscles. Asanas such as bhujangasana, matsyasana, kandharasana, supta vajrasana, chakrasana, dhanurasana, makarasana, naukasana, matsyakridasana, will give relief. Shankhaprakshalana asanas can also be effective.
After cure, practice of these asanas should continue so that stomach and back muscles strengthen and prevent further recurrence.
Some other methods of treatment are massage to the abdomen by one who knows the trouble, otherwise again further damage will result. Another massage technique is applied to different areas of the legs, corresponding to acupuncture points. When this method is used, a piece of string is tied around the big toe 'to keep things in place'. Another method involves a herbal pack placed on the stomach. These latter methods are local Indian methods usually found in the villages. They provide good treatment but fail to prevent recurrence. They may be used successfully in conjunction with asanas.