How does Ayurveda view some of the most common ailments? And what can it offer to treat them? Dr. Mathew, our in-house Ayurvedic practitioner at The Circle Holistic Health Clinic, looks at four areas of health from this perspective.
Ayurveda for Osteoarthritis
Arthritis in Ayurveda is known as Sandhi Vata, (the manifestation of Vata Dosha, or dryness and a degenerative tendency in the joints). Sometimes, it can also associate with the Pitta Dosha (Fire element, where symptoms may include an inflammatory aspect).
The condition is not considered to be a localized issue of any joint, but a manifestation of a general imbalance over an area of weak energy, or a history of injury or over-use. The treatment of arthritis will include a Dosha-balancing diet, gentle supportive and restorative Yoga practice, herbal oils for external application together with Dosha Balancing, bone-joint nourishing and anti-inflammatory herbs.
Ayurveda for Auto-Immune Conditions
The concept of immunity, according to Ayurveda, involves three factors of physiology: Ama (toxicity), Agni (the digestive capacity) and Dosha (the balance of bio-energy).
Ama is the metabolic waste that chronically resides within our tissues. It gives rise to a situation that prevents the body from properly distinguishing its own tissues from foreign bodies, causing an attack from the body’s own immune system.
The solution for this issue is Deepana and Ama Pachana (improving digestive fire and cleansing metabolic waste). The treatment plan will include digestive teas and massages, using herbal powders to mobilize the Ama in the system, followed by cleansing procedures, e.g. Panchakarma.
Depending on the various possible ways that symptoms manifest, there will be appropriate herbal oils and herbs recommended for internal and external use.
Ayurveda for Respiratory conditions
The lungs and upper respiratory tract in Ayurveda are considered to be the seat of Kapha (the mucous tendency). Respiratory issues are considered to be an imbalance of Kapha, causing hypersecretion of mucous or a blockage of the respiratory channels.
The management in Ayurveda is through a combination of a Kapha-balancing diet – which reduces the intake of all mucous promoting food – and the use of nasal cleansing procedures, namely Nasya and Jalneti.
There are also mucolytic herbs, such as Pippali (Piper Longum) and warming tea combinations – including ginger, cinnamon and honey – that are recommended based on the chronicity and symptoms.
The addition of breathing exercises also helps to improve vital capacity and help strengthen the respiratory apparatus
Ayurveda for Digestive Issues: Constipation Acid-reflux Disorder
The digestive system is the body’s key function and Ayurveda finds almost all chronic lifestyle issues to be rooted in a digestive imbalance. Constipation can most commonly manifest as dryness or Vata nature inside the body.
Acid reflux is considered to be a symptom of excessive acid production in the stomach and is usually also associated with excessive unmanaged stress, leading to a Pitta imbalance.
Both of these, if managed using superficial remedies, could progress into more severe conditions such as haemorrhoids, gastric ulcers or some other chronic gastric inflammatory or irritability issues.
Ayurveda suggests a cooling and balancing diet plan, devoid of acidic and fermented food. Or, sometimes, a warm, cooked, nourishing diet plan based on the actual cause.
There will also be a focus on strengthening and balancing the metabolic centre (the liver) and helping it to cleanse the whole system properly.
The important aspect of managing stress and mental balance is achieved through a combination of breathing and meditative practices.
Let Ayurveda transform your Mind, Body & Soul
Curious about how Ayurvedic mental health treatment can rebalance your own mind, body and soul? This ancient holistic approach is now available in Brighton & Hove.
We have an Ayurvedic Detox Workshop on Saturday 25th April and we offer one-to-one appointments with Dr Shijoe Mathew at The Circle Holistic Health Clinic including consultations and massage treatments.