Dr. Anooj T Chakrapani about Ayurveda
Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It was developed more than 3000 years ago in India. The term Ayu means life and Veda is Science of knowledge. It is the science that teaches us to have a long and healthy life.
According to Ayurveda health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health through appropriate food habits and daily regimens and thus fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.
Everything in the universe dead or alive is connected. If your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe, you have good health. When something disrupts this balance, you get sick. Among the things that can upset this balance are genetic or birth defects, external factors like injuries, climate and seasonal change, age, and your emotions.
Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements (Pancha Mahabhootha) found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).
Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas Which becomes their body constitution known as prakrithi. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. Your chances of getting sick and the health issues you develop are linked to the balance of your doshas.
This is the most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, like how cells divide. It also controls your mind, breathing, circulation of blood, heart function, and ability to get rid of waste out of your body etc,
Things that can disrupt it include eating again too soon after a meal, fear, grief and staying up too late.
If vata dosha is your main life force, you’re more likely to develop conditions like anxiety asthma heart problems skin diseases, and arthritis.
This energy controls your digestion, metabolism (how well you break down foods), and certain hormones that are linked to your appetite.
Things that can disrupt it are eating sour or spicy foods and spending too much time in the sun.
If it’s your main life force, you’re more likely to develop conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and infections.
This life force controls muscle growth, body strength and stability, weight and your immune system.
You can disrupt it by sleeping during the day, eating too many sweet foods, and eating or drinking things that contain too much salt or water.
If it’s your main life energy, you may develop asthma and other breathing disorders, cancer, diabetes, nausea after eating, and obesity.
So the main aim for a healthy life is to keep all the three doshas in balance by following the Daily regimens (Dinacharya), Seasonal Regimens (Ritucharya),
And clean the body of the toxic materials at least once in every season by procedures known as Panchakarma (The 5 cleaning procedures) which includes Vamana (Vomiting), Virechana (Purgation), Vasthi (Enema), Nasya (Nasal Medication) and Rakthamoksha (Blood Letting).
The Daily Regimens to follow are
Getting up early in the morning: As the proverb “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man health wealthy and wise”. The ideal time to wake up according to Ayurveda is 4.30 am called the ‘brahma muhurtha’ and begin the daily routine. It was calculated according to the sunrise and sunset in India which usually occurs around 6 am and 6.30 pm respectively.
After brushing the teeth one of the important regimen to be added in the routine is Abhyanga or oil massage .It is to be practiced daily especially in the head, ears and under the feet. Applying oil daily reduces tiredness, graying of hair, reduces vatadoshas, Good for the eyes, Imparts strength, regulates sleep and rejuvenates the skin.
After Abhyanga the body is to massaged in the opposite direction as that of the hair follicles with herbal powders, it is known as Udwarthana. Udwarthana Pacify Kapha dosha and reduces the fat, bring stability to the body and sparkles the skin.
Vyayama or Exercise
The daily exercise is to be done with half the strength of a person. It helps to maintain a good physical appearance and imparts a strong body.
The Seasonal Regimens
The Regimens of the seasons are calibrated according to the increase or decrease of Doshas in relation to climate. Since in Russia there are only four major seasons and the temperatures are usually low. We shall have an elaboration of the Hemantha Ritucharya or The Sesonal regimens of Winter season.
Winter or Shishira is said to be a strong season, requiring one to build immunity and drive away lethargy in order to stay active and pain-free. This season commonly gives rise to a number of ailments, including sinusitis, asthma, fever, joint pain, depression, Headaches, dry skin and dermatitis.
According to Ayurveda, one should preferably consume salty, sweet, and sour tastes during winters, avoiding bitter, astringent, hot, and spicy tastes.
People with diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiac ailments should not consume sweets during winters, while those suffering from blood pressure, kidney ailments, and odema can use them sparingly.
Exercise at a time when the sun is mild, as mornings might be too cold.
Drink boiled and cooled water to avoid infections and other digestion-related ailments in the winter months.
Wear warm clothes that cover all of your body, so as to avoid joint pain as well as constrictions of joints and nerves.
Bathing in mild sunlight every day is recommended.
Taking a steam bath every day works wonders during the winter months.
Consuming foods like black gram, cereals, Buck wheat, green gram, horse gram, bottle gourd, snake gourd, white pumpkin, yam, mint leaves, sesame, cinnamon, garlic, onions, ginger, radish, carrot, turmeric, grapes, bananas, papaya, coconuts, figs, almonds, cashewnuts, dried black grapes, dates, walnuts, pistachios, apricot, milk, butter, buttermilk, and ghee are advisable during winters.
For non-vegetarians, chicken, goat meat, fish, eggs, crabs, and prawns are some foods recommended for consumption during winters.
Winters are the best season to detoxify the body. Ayurveda recommends Virechana or purgation in this season.
Ayurvedic Diagnosis and Treatments
The Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment takes into consideration of the whole body and each and every factor of an individual than mere treatment of symptoms as that of conventional medical system. It takes into account the Constitution of a person (Prakrithi), The position of the life forces (Doshas), The type of imbalance that have occurred in the body on the various pathways/ channels of the body (Srotas) which can be known by the pulse (Nadi) of an individual. The medicines which are purely herbal remain customized for each patient. The medicine along with the dietary restrictions and cleaning procedures ensures a healthy recovery from various ailments without any side effects.
Ayurveda as a whole is a lifestyle as well as a healing system for becoming a stronger and healthier individual who wish to have a joyous and prosperous long life without the trouble of any diseases.