Keep calm

Ayurveda explores the relationship between the mind, body and soul. It has a holistic approach towards mental health issues and depression, says Geeta Ramesh

Ayurvedic Treatment

There have been endless debates around mental health and depression. But time and again, we have to be reminded that mental illnesses are a thing and how important it is to start normalising it. Did you know that this psychological disorder is so common that nearly 10 per cent of the population is suffering from a depressive disorder. World Health Organisation (WHO) expects depression to be the  is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

It is a deep, broad, complex subject and a serious medical condition which needs to be supervised by a professional. It is not only a psychological disorder but also a physical distress. Mental disorder is characterised by sadness, loss of interest, pleasure, feeling of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep and poor concentration. Physical distress is mostly due to physical disability and higher mortality. It affects everyone differently, so each person is treated differently too. It is seen that women are more affected by depression than men. The fear of stigma and lack of support for people with mental disorders have known to be the biggest reasons for not being able to avail the right treatment.

Well, Ayurveda seems to have a cure. It helps to bring your body back in balance. So it is very important to find the cause of the disease. According to it, good health is a balance of physical and psychological well-being. It has always had a holistic approach towards this disorder just like another disease we suffer from. The holistic approach is in regard with the treatment of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, so Ayurveda explores the relationship between the mind, body, soul and their working.

Our body is made up of three types of Doshàs — VataPitta and Kapha. The imbalance of these causes mental and emotional disturbances. Thus, it is important to balance these doshas and energise them for which we have to follow the Ayurvedic norms like Dincharya (daily routines) and Ritucharya (seasonal health routines).

One has to follow a healthy and pure sattvic diet which suits your body type. The food that we consume should have all the six taste in them such as sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, salty and pungent.

Various Ayurvedic therapies are recommended under a doctor’s supervision at our centre such as Shirodhara with Thialam or Thakrdhara, Thalapothitical Thalam, Pichu, Abhyangam, Nasyam and many others. Ayurvedic medicines like Manasmitra gulika, Brahmi, Ashwagandha are good promoters of mental and emotional health.

People need to strictly follow some of the basic regimes in life. Following a proper daily routine is essential in Ayurveda for the body and mind. It can help keep a positive attitude, happiness and relaxation. It starts with waking up early in the morning and saying a prayer before leaving the bed. Once out of the bed, one needs to clean the face, mouth and eyes by splashing some cold water and rinsing your mouth. Another important aspect is to blink your eyes seven times and then rotating it in all directions.

Next step should be Nasya (administration of herbs by the route of nasal cavity). This should be performed before having a bath or even your daily exercises on an empty stomach. One should lie down with the head tilted back and then put five drops of Nasya in each nostril and ears. Another step would be to apply oil to the head and body.

 Performing any exercise or pranayam helps in aligning one’s body, mind and soul. It is very important for people suffering from anxiety, depression or any other mental health issues since it calms the nerves and other parts of the body. Exercise, of course, also controls weight, improves the flow of blood in the body as well as loosens stiff joints.

Once the exercise is completed, one should perform meditation for at least thirty minutes. Finally, a heavy and fibrous breakfast with some healthy drink makes for a perfect morning routine. The breakfast should be between 10:30 to 11:30 am so that there is ample time for the body to digest and prepare for the next meal.

 This sets the tone and energy for the entire day and keeps the individual in a happier disposition. Classical Ayurveda has the goal of alleviating all diseases, including mental, psychological and emotional sufferings.

(The writer is the Joint Managing Director, Kairali Ayurvedic Group.)

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