“Doctor, I am fed up having so many medicines Do you have anything that will enable me to avoid medicines I don’t want any medicines, I am ready to follow any other healing method!”
These are the frequently asked questions by my clients these days. Can a doctor work without medicines? Definitely yes and that’s where the science of Ayurveda comes into the picture! Ayurveda teaches us how not to fall sick and how nature becomes medicine. It also shows you how to remain younger and live a life full of energy.
I am writing this article on an auspicious day of Holi Purnima which marks the beginning of Vasanta Ritu (springtime in the Indian continent). Nature becomes very powerful. The Sun which Hindus pray to as God shows its benevolence and disperses its healthy rays for the good production of crops. This is exactly what Ayurveda is all about; it talks about Ritucharya (seasonal rituals), the changing season, and what you should be eating according to the season to stay healthy. Certain healthy disciplines need to be integrated into your daily routine to help you live healthy automatically.
There are comprehensive ways mentioned in Ayurveda to follow the rules of healthy living.
- Get the right diagnosis by Nadi Pariksha
- Take up seasonal detox programs that are known as Panchakarma
- Pranayama practice.
- Get counseled
- Understanding of the diet & lifestyle based on your constitution and season.
1. Nadi Pariksha:
Establishing an accurate diagnosis is the very first step. Ayurvedic diagnosis starts with a Nadi Pariksha. It’s a full-proof system of identifying the cause of your ailment. By getting the information of the primary cause of your ailment, healing is fast, accurate, and effective. It’s not the right practice to refer to pathological reports to heal you while Ayurvedic medicines are being prescribed.
Any form of healing should only begin by identifying the primary cause or the origin of your ailment. What is important to know is WHAT TO HEAL and where to start from. Without this crucial step being taken, medication will create more harm than good. Any medication that makes you feel comfortable as a result of findings in a pathological report only impresses in you a comfort level by silencing your suffering momentarily. This is a very dangerous way of addressing your ailment. The feel-good factor by medicating your symptoms is only cheating your mind. You will soon realize to your dismay that the ailment has spread its tentacles and you are taking more medicines now with the initial ailment still being active.
A faulty diagnosis can make the healing process go astray. Identifying the right cause is the first step to understanding what to heal.
A seasonal detox is highly recommended in Ayurveda to strengthen the immune system and bring rejuvenating effects. There are specific therapies recommended for specific seasons. For Eg, Vamana therapy for Vasant Ritu, Basti therapy for Varsha Ritu, Virechana therapy for Sharad Ritu. Ayurveda is probably the only medical science that has thought about the concept of detoxification in such a scientific manner.
A. Vamanam:- This is therapeutically induced vomiting.
Benefits of Vamanam:-
- It clears the excess mucous accumulation in the oesophagus and upper digestive tract.
- It clears the accumulated toxins in the stomach thereby helping in better metabolic activity.
- It relieves the accumulated stress, stored in the form of emotions in the heart and the glands in the region of the throat.
- It activates hunger, enhances diaphragmatic movement, leading to proper digestion.
B. Virechanam:- It is a therapeutically induced purgation.
Benefits of Virechanam:-
- Release abdominal distension and evacuate accumulated gases
- Balances the tridosha ( three humors – vpk )
- Activates the function of ApanaVaayu
- Keeps the person grounded and restores mental and emotional balance. (The abdomen is a site for psychosomatic expressions connected with fear, anxiety, restlessness, and in specific cases, agitation too. When Virechanam is introduced it removes these blockages from the channels and re-directs the energy- ApanaVaayu in the right direction. So a person feels calm, composed and finds himself in a peaceful, stable mental disposition.)
- Releases all undigested matter from the large intestine thereby rejuvenating the colon.
- It improves water metabolism
C. Matra Basti:- This procedure is a medicated oil enema that is administered through the anal route to rejuvenate and strengthen this channel.
Benefits of Matra Basti:-
- It helps to maintain the health and longevity of the deeper tissues by effectively eliminating the excess toxins from the body.
- It helps improve the digestive fire or Agni and helps in the digestion of toxins that form as a result of an ineffective digestion process.
- It rejuvenates the skin which is the direct result of rasa and rakta dhatu. Rasa dhatu is the outcome of consuming food where acids, alkali and food are mixed in harmony where food is consumed in a pleasant state of mind. Rasa is useful to nourish every tissue of the body.
- It helps in maintaining the water metabolism by nourishing the walls of the large intestine.
D. Niruham or Kashaya Basti:- It is a process where medicated decoction enema is administered into the large intestine.
Benefits of Matra Basti:-
- The medicated decoction balances the Vaayu, thereby improving the life of tissues in the body. It activates the life force which originates at the pelvic diaphragm and enhances the overall energy in the body.
- When Vaayu is toned, it also helps in toning the nerve impulses thereby relaxing the nerves and muscles
- It induces a deep state of relaxation.
- It eliminates constipation.
Breath is an unlimited source of prana while other sources of Prana like food, water and sunlight are available in limited form. Every living organism gets Prana Shakti or strength of life force through breathing. Breath is the most vital process of the body. It influences the activity of every cell and it is profoundly linked with the performance of the brain.
Many people breathe incorrectly or have shallow breathing, especially when they are going through emotional disturbances. This deprives the body of oxygen and prana which in turn starts deteriorating health. The person feels exhausted for no reason. Correct breathing habits bring back the lost energy, strengthens the muscles of respiratory organs, thereby enhancing their vital capacity. Research has also proven that slow and systematic breathing pattern improve the quality of life, especially an ideal breathing rate keeps the heart stronger and well-nourished.
Benefits of Pranayama:-
- Regulation of breath – this helps in bringing more fuel to burning oxygen and glucose, which in turn produce more energy for every physiological activity taking place in the body.
- Quietens the mind and controls the flow of thoughts – thoughts are the outcome of running the mind. The mind receives the information via sense organs and processes it to produce thoughts. Pranayama helps the mind to control its unnecessary chatter and achieve the state of absolute balance.
A Vaidya who can counsel you effectively about your ailment is the one leading you on the right path to healing. A Vaidya will, with care and concern, explain to you the cause of your ailment condition. You need to know what made you sick. You need to also participate consciously for your benefit. Sickness did not manifest from the outside. Therefore, simply writing a prescription is not a solution. Most sicknesses originate at a subtle level, as a result of a restless and unhappy mind, a weak mind. Any emotional weakness can leave a lasting impact on the metabolic activity of the body and lead to various sicknesses.
5. Understanding of the diet and lifestyle changes based on the Constitution.
Getting your diet and lifestyle modified by a Vaidya (based on the readings in Nadi Pariksha) can have multiple benefits.
- it can improve your physical & mental energy levels
- It can improve the immunity
- It restores the acid-alkali balance of the gut.
- You can gain control over your cravings and emotional eating.
- It can have a rejuvenating & strengthening effect.
Blaming your work or social life will not help beyond a point. Lifestyle disorders contribute in a big way to making your body sick. Sooner or later, you will be forced to follow a proper lifestyle desperately with stringent Dos’ and Don’s and you will not enjoy living that way.
Bring a balance between your work and social life. And balance both of them with the way you would love to live life every day.
A meritorious alumna of the prestigious RA Poddar Ayurvedic College with profound spiritual understanding. She is trained in Nadi vidya by a strict guru-shishya lineage and has clinical experience with more than 15 years. An excellent orator who has been invited to various national and international platforms that empower audiences with the knowledge of Āyurveda. Dr. Rushalli Nair is the first-ever lady Vaidya who has been invited to Swaminarayan temple to offer her services to Sadhvis and devotees.