Feeling anxious, or depressed? Fight it out with Ayurveda

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Too much mental stress due to failure or disappointments leads to depression or anxiety, says Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar, Director and Principal Consultant of Ayush Ayurveda, Singapore, Little India branch. We will experience stress when we feel threatened and this is normal too. But, if you feel that you are in danger (real or imaginary), the body immediately goes into defense mode and this is the stress response. But, anything which exceeds a limit disrupts the normal routine. Similarly, excess stress leads to depression and anxiety, explains the doctor of Ayurveda.

Body’s reaction to stress

Elaborating on the condition, Dr. Ajith Kumar says that when you are affected by excess stress, the nervous system releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into the body. When this stress clings to you for long, high levels of cortisol accumulate in the body and cause sugar imbalance, elevated blood pressure, muscle stiffness, and increased heart rate. The Ayurvedic physician says that the result is pain, low immunity, sleep problems, and other health issues.

From the point of view of Ayurveda, depression is caused due to Kapha imbalance which spoils Vata and this vitiates pitta resulting in interference in the normal functioning of the nervous system, says Dr. Ajith Kumar.

In our center, Ayush Singapore, the person suffering from this disorder is first given counseling, then proper diet and lifestyle changes are suggested, explains Dr. Ajith Kumar. “We begin the treatment only after all these measures are observed by the patient. Practicing Yoga and Pranayama go hand in hand with Ayurveda therapies,” adds the Ayurvedic physician.

Ayurvedic Treatments

Indian medicine or Ayurveda not only deals with tissues and blood in the body but also effectively treats mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Ayush Singapore, offers several natural remedies to fight stress, anxiety, and depression, says Dr. Ajith Kumar. Throwing light on the treatment, the doctor quips that the medicines help in relieving sleep deprivation, remedial stomach-related issues, and also improve mood.

Ayurveda also stresses maintaining a well-balanced diet and routine. This will also help to balance doshas because the type of issue that you might develop depends on the dosha that is imbalanced in the body, adds the doctor of Ayurveda.  Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar discusses the various Ayurvedic therapies to combat anxiety and depression.

Abhyangam

This is a therapy done to increase blood circulation and thereby remove metabolic wastes and toxins from the body. The doctor explains that the entire body will be massaged with medicated herbal oils to stimulate vital pressure points. This will help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The massage is done in seven different positions. The action treats any emotional imbalance by balancing the doshas. It is effective to treat Insomnia, Paralysis, Arthritis, and Spondylosis, says Dr. Ajith Kumar of Ayush Singapore.

Padabhyangam

This too is another kind of massage where the nerve endings in the foot are stimulated to balance the doshas and calm the nerves to relieve stress, explains Dr. Ajith Kumar. “When the feet are massaged with precise movements, it improves blood circulation in the lower limbs and invigorates the tired feet. Nervousness, anxiety, depression, muscle cramps, and insomnia are some of the issues that can be addressed with Padabhyangam,” adds the Ayurvedic physician.

Nasyam

As the name of the treatment indicates, the nose is involved in the treatment. Medicated oils, drugs, or any medicine is administered only through the nose, says Dr. Ajith Kumar. “Nasyam, which is said to be part of the Panchakarma therapy, stimulates vital centers of the brain to overcome stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia,” says the doctor. We at Ayush Singapore give this relaxing therapy by steaming the face, forehead, ears, and neck. Dr. Ajith elucidates that it is after this, the herbal oils, powders and juices are sent through the nose. The medicines are immediately absorbed into the body. It helps to improve blood circulation and relaxes the body. The treatment ends with gargling lukewarm water and inhaling medicated smoke. “As it simultaneously treats the nose, ears and threats, it helps to release blocked energy channels. Mainly, it boosts immunity and also improves vision,” assures the doctor.

Pizhichil

Pizhichil is synonymous with the word Ayurveda. Everyone knows that in this treatment, warm medicated oils are gently poured and massaged all over the body. Of course, it gives a great sense of relief to the patient. Dr.V. C. Ajith Kumar of Ayush Singapore says that by gently massaging the entire body in a synchronised manner, rejuvenates the body and boosts functioning of the nervous system. Sometimes, a piece of cloth is dipped in the massage oil and then used to rub all over the body for over an hour. “Pizhichil reduces Vata dosha, It also addresses muscular aches, rheumatic problems, insomnia, and improves skin tone by promoting the blood circulation,” explains Dr. Ajith Kumar.

Kizhi

Therapy of Kizhi uses powders, rice and even sand packed in small cloth bags, which look like mini sacks. These small sacks are warmed and pounded all over the body or in on specific parts to relieve oxidative stress, explains the doctor. The Kizhi massage which gives out dry heat treats aggravated Vata and Vatakapha conditions. It is effective to treat depression, anxiety, muscular cramps, swelling, obesity, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, and spondylitis, assures the doctor of Ayurveda at Ayush Singapore.

Shirodhara

This is a healing massage where medicated oils are continuously poured on the forehead for a specific time (30 or 60 minutes). Throwing light on the procedure, Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar. “Just before beginning the procedure, the patient’s head is massaged well. If needed, this massage is also carried out during the procedure.  Physicians also use buttermilk, decoctions, or even water instead of oil. This kind of pouring of liquids on the head is said to soothe the hypothalamus of the brain and induce sleep, explains the Ayurvedic physician.

Shirodhara boosts the immune system and improves the blood circulation around the head and face to effectively treat Hypertension, Insomnia, Depression, and Jet Lag, explains Dr. Ajith Kumar.

Apart from the above-mentioned factors, gender, age, occupation, education, and healthcare conditions determine your anxiety and stress status. High-stress occupations and advanced age too cause these conditions. It is up to us to take care of ourselves and keep a calm and relaxing mind, quips Dr. Ajith Kumar, Ayush Singapore.

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