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Posted on 12-01-2016
AYURVEDA FOR YOU
by Shwetha J Reddy
Our Physical body is ‘the Media’ to achieve anything in life. To achieve any success we need sound body and mind. There are so many options to keep our body fit and fine, still lot of complaints on health and illness. In fact, we shift the blame on busy life style, work and family. Medical science is discovering new diseases and older one are getting stronger and stronger. Good immunity and naturally maintained body is the only solutions for the above. Accordingly, Ayurveda is designed to help people live long, healthy, and well-balanced lives. The term Ayurveda is taken from the Sanskrit words ‘ayu’s, meaning life or lifespan, and ‘veda’, meaning knowledge. It has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years and has recently become popular in Western cultures.
The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper drinking, diet, and lifestyle, as well as herbal remedies and therapeutic procedures.
How does it work?
According to Ayurveda, just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a distinct pattern of energy -a specific combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Ayurvedic practitioners also believe there are three basic energy types called doshas, present in every person.
Vata: The Vata dosha is made up of the elements ether and air. The qualities of ether and air are cold, light, dry, unstable, and mobile. When our physical body is made up of mostly ether and air (Vata) it looks like this:
Personality and Physical characters of Vata: Long and thin bones or very short, curly hair or course hair that’s dark in color, Long, oval shaped face, dry skin, Small and thin lips, gray teeth, Hard to gain weight if they do gain weight, it is usually around the stomach area, Less appetites, Fast talker that jumps from subject to subject, General coldness in the body, Early wrinkles, Artist or highly creative individual, Likes to be the center of attention, Loves travel, Prefers warm and moist climates
How does it increase in our body:
When Vata goes out of balance in the body meaning that the ether and air qualities within the body are high than you see:
Effects: Insomnia, Dry skin, Worry, anxiety and fear, Constipation Scattered mind Forgetfulness, Hair falls, Painful joints
Tremors or uncontrollable shaking, Cold hands and feet, Loss of appetite etc. Long term illness related to high Vata includes neurologic disorders. You can avoid any or all of the above out of balance conditions using Ayurveda. Ayurveda uses qualities that are opposite to the qualities of the elements. For example, ether and air have the qualities of cold, light, dry and mobile. Ayurveda treats someone with too much of these qualities using heat, heavy, moist and stable therapies. Ayurveda uses only natural ways of balancing the body. Once harmony is within the body you will continue to be on good health. Simply through adjusting diet and lifestyle you can take care of most Vata conditions.
PITTA: The Pitta Dosha is made up of fire and water. The qualities of Pitta are hot, light, dry, unstable and mobile. When our physical body is made up mostly of fire and water (Pitta) it will have following characters:
Personality & Physical characteristics of pitta: Medium sized bones, medium thickness skin, Angular face, Medium size lips, Straight hair of blond or red in color, yellowing teeth Easy to gain weight and easy to lose, more appetite, very direct with their talk and answers, Red flushed face Generally hot in body temperature Workaholic, Addictive personality, Tends to criticize others, Competitive, Thrill seeker, May be an over achiever and perfectionist,
Prefers cool, moist climates. They are extremist in what they do and love to get a thrill.
Causes for pitta vitiation in the body:
Eating spicy foods, Spending too much time in the sun, Alcohol
Salt or salty food, When Pitta goes out of balance in the body, meaning the fire and water qualities are too high than we see:
Effects of Pitta imbalance: Anger, Irritability, Overly critical
Flushed face (hot headed), High blood pressure, Heart disease Diarrhea, Heart attack, Irritable bowel syndrome, Infection Mucous of yellow or green, Skin rashes, Red eyes.
Long-term illness related to Pitta include stroke and heart problems. Ayurveda treats Pitta through qualities of cold, heavy, moist and stable that is the opposites of Pitta. Ayurveda will use foods and lifestyle to bring in these qualities to balance the body.
KAPHA: Kapha is made up of water and earth and is the most stable of the three Doshas.The qualities of Kapha are cold, heavy and stable.
Personality and Physical characters of Kapha: Round face, Big Round eyes, Thick wavy hair, full lips, Thick skin, Short thick bones or long, thick bones, Very hairy body, Short square hands with short fingers, Easy to gain weight and hard to lose, A very loving heart
Quick to laugh, Quick to cry, Takes a long time to make decisions
Once decision is made will not change it, Stubborn, Committed to family and close friends Doesn’t like to venture too far from home
When Kapha goes out of balance in the body, meaning that water and earth elements are too much, it shows signs of:
Effects of Kapha imbalance: Depression, Obesity, Congestion in the body, Diabetes type 2, Strong desire for sweet taste etc.
Ayurveda treats Kapha by using opposite qualities that are dry, warm, light and unstable. Therapies may include a dry herb massage and eating more dry foods that are light.
What should I expect from an Ayurvedic treatment?
Ayurvedic treatment focuses on rebalancing the doshas. On your first visit, the practitioner will take a detailed medical history, check your pulse, feel your abdomen, examine your tongue, eyes, nails, and skin, and listen to the tone of your voice. The practitioner will also ask you questions about your general health, paying special attention to your lifestyle, diet, habits, and surroundings. The practitioner will then recommend ways to restore your natural dosha balance, Practitioners draw more than 20 types of treatment. The most commonly prescribed include:
Herbal medicines -- prescribing herbs to restore dosha balance.
Abhyanga -- rubbing the skin with herbal oil to increase blood circulation and draw toxins out of the body through the skin.
Pancha karma -- cleansing the body to purify it and reduce cholesterol. Practitioners use methods that cause sweat, bowel movements, and even vomit to cleanse the body of toxins.
Rasayana -- using mantras (repeated words or phrases) during meditation combined with certain herbs for rejuvenation.
Yoga -- combining pranayama, movement, and meditation.
What is Ayurveda good for?
Ayurveda is designed for both healthy individual to maintain their health and also to cure illness. Ayurvedic herbal remedies combining with yoga may reduce pain and disability in people with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Are there any risks?
Ayurvedic herbs may interact with medications. Like all herbs, so speak with your physician and take under qualified ayurvedic practitioners only.
In addition, heavy metals such as lead and mercury have contaminated some Ayurvedic herb supplements. Ask your health care provider about choosing quality supplements for you and your family. World health organization approved Ayurveda as whole health system and United states accepts it as a Alternative and complimentary health care system.
Shwetha J Reddy, B.A.M.S., F.C.A.P., M.S P’cology , UK.
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