Ayurveda for Stress Management – Luxury Retreat in Rishikesh
Ayurveda, a Unique Way for Stress Management at Veda5 Wellness, Rishikesh (Himalayas), India
Dr. Ravi Joshi
B.Sc. & M.D. in Ayurveda
Senior Ayurvedic Consultant and Panchakarma Specialist
Veda5 Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat,
ABSTRACT: Ayurveda, an ancient Indian art of healing, is traditionally practiced through focus on the patient rather than disease. Research has proven that many popular diseases can be directly linked to stress, like asthma, diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer. An estimated 80% of all modern diseases originate from stress, making it the singular and most common influencer to a wide range of diseases. The concept of stress is commonly perceived as ‘problems of the mind’ and thus determines Ayurveda as the best form of treatment. The aim of Ayurveda as a medical science is to maintain the health of a person on the physical and mental planes. Through the basic concept of balance, using traditional techniques supported by organic herbal medicines, the combined sister sciences of Ayurveda & Yoga guide the mind gently towards balance with the body. Introducing a proper diet, lifestyle adjustments and meditation also play an important role in achieving effective stress relief.
Key words: Ayurveda, Stress, Health, Yoga
Stress has become an inevitable and most unwanted companion of civilization. It is the basic element of various human diseases and mental illness. The term ‘stress’ refers to the sum of all physical, mental, and emotional strain on a person, synonymous with terms like anxiety, tension, etc.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major depressive disorders (MDD) will account for the second major illness in the world by the year 2020. Feelings of stress are the result of interactions between a person and their environment, which are perceived as straining or exceeding their adaptive capacities, thereby threatening their wellbeing. Stress can arise out of any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or anxious. However too much exposure to stress, or a strong response to stress is harmful. It can lead you to general ill-health and also to more specific physical or psychological illness like infections, heart diseases, emotional trauma and depression, etc. The element of perception indicates that responses to stress reflect differences in personality, as well as differences in physical strength or health.
CAUSES – THE AYURVEDIC PERSPCTIVE
Common External Causes
- A major life change
- Relationship difficulties
- Financial problems
- Professional over-exertion
- Children or any other family issues
Common Internal Causes
- Inability to accept uncertainty
- Negative self-criticism
- Unrealistic expectations
SYMPTIONS OF STRESS
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor Judgement
- Anxious demeanor
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Anxiety and agitation
- Loneliness and isolation
- Other mental and health problems
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Chest Pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds or flu
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Ill-temperament or being generally irate
- Unconscious dependence on alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax
Charaka was one of the principal contributors to Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India. He is known for authoring the medical treatise, the Charaka Samhita. According to Ayurveda, Acharya Charaka described eight essential psychological factors that are negatively affected in various ways, in all psychiatric disorders (Manasa Roga). The Psychopathological condition is a function of these factors, which are Mana (mind), Buddhi (Memory), Smriti (Past experience), Sajna Jnana (Orientation and responsiveness), Bhakti (devotion), Shila (habits), Chestha (Psychomotor activity) and Achara (conduct). Compared to other major Ayurvedic text like Susrutha Samhita and Atang Hrudayam, Acharya Charaka emphasizes the view of ‘like’ as a self-aware field of pure consciousness and natural intelligence, where the knower and the known are one. Ayurveda is very effective for stress management by treating the body and calming the soul, to encourage and achieve composure of the mind.
Signs of mental health as per Ayurveda
- Good memory
- Awereness of one’s responsibilities
- Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene
- Cleverness and discrimination
- Sharp intellectual functioning
TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT OF STRESS THROUGH AYURVEDA
The Panch Karma Measures
- Vamana – Induced therapeutic vomiting
- Virechana – Purgation though therapeutic laxative, providing symptomatic relief of mental illness
- Vasti – Medicated enema therapy
- Nasya – Nasal Medication
- Shirodhara – Medicated herbal oils, milk, Butter milk are poured on the forehead. It reduce anxity, depression and mental stress and Rejuvenates the central nervous system
- Shirovasti – Keeping herbal medicated oil in a cap fitted on head
Ayurvedic Medicines for stress
According to Ayurveda, herbs with a stabilizing effect on the mind are classified as “Medhya Rasayana”. These herbs promote the intellect and deeply nourish the neurological tissues. They are nervine tonics that act as specific molecular nutrient for the brain, promoting better mental health that leads to the alleviation of behavioral disorders. The Medhya Rasayanas enhance biological nourishment of the brain, resulting in tranquility of mind, concentration and improved memory. Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Sankh Pushpi have a secondary mild sedative effect to cultivate and maintain composure, otherwise felt as calm, a sense of peace and mental relaxation.
Ayurveda firmly believes that stress combined with the pollution and unhealthy eating cause ill health to manifest in many ways. Stress management hence is paramount to good health both physically and mentally.
According to Ayurveda we can greatly reduce and manage stress through a combination of Panch Karma therapies, practice of Medhya Rasayanas (medicines) and guided herbal remedies.
Therefore stress management involves treating the impact of the body on the mind and vice versa as well, by practicing a good daily routine activity (Dinacharya), nutrition and diet.
Mind, Body & Soul
Veda5’s Ayurvedic treatments are supplemented with nourishing Ayurvedic food using fruits, vegetables and herbs as available from Veda5’s organic farm and highly-beneficial Yoga and Meditation sessions from experts.
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