Stress Management By Ayurveda
Stress is physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. Tension is mental or emotional strain, suspense, anxiety, or excitement. Anxiety is a reaction to a real or imagined threat, a general feeling of uneasiness or dread. Stress can be brought about by a traumatic accident, death or emergency situation.Stress can also be side effect of a serious illness or disease.There is also stress associated with daily life, the workplace and family responsibilities
Scientists know that many types of stress can activate the body’s endocrine system, which in turn can cause changes in the immune system
Stress in General
Can’t cope, can’t concentrate, feel hopeless, helpless, depressed and tired
Often irritable and angry, can’t control your temper
Eat too much or too little, eat erratically
Have trouble in sleeping, don’t get enough sleep, or sleep too much and still feel tired
Smoking in excess, more than normal intake of alcohol, caffeine or drugs
Have frequent headaches, backaches and stomach aches
Cut back on exercises
Family tensions run higher than usual. You and your spouse fight more often
Not interested in sex
Get cough and colds and allergies
Ayurvedic View of Stress
According to Ayurveda stress affects the agni or the internal metabolic fire which in turn affects digestion and metabolism, so the circulatory rasa dhatu(plasma), raktha (blood), mamsa (muscle tissue), medas (fat and adipose tissue), asti (bone and cartilage), majja (marrow and nervous tissue); sukra (reproductive fluids) will be affected. Above all the ojas or body’s entire defense mechanism will be affected.
Hidden stress affects agni (digestive fire), dosa., dhatu, ojas, produce degeneration, depletion and accelerates aging process. This produces cellular damage and produces wide range of diseases either chronic or acute.
Vata is the dosa which react very much to the stress which in turn vitiate other factors. There is a close relationship between respiratory rate and restlessness
To reduce stress one should follow diet & daily regimens mentioned in ayurveda books, which are as follows-
Dina carya (Daily regimen)
· Get up at brahma muhurta (3 am to 6 am)
· Attend to your calls of nature (urination, defecation)
· Clean the teeth with twigs and occasional gum massage with herbal tooth powders
· Clean the tongue with the scrapper to remove mucus to enhance taste
· Do gargling with cold water and splash the eyes with the same
· Do nasya with anu tailafollowed by gargling with warm water and inhalation of smoke.
· Daily usage of nasya will give strength to the shoulder muscles, prevent sinusitis, spondylosis, produces clarity of senses, hair growth and good voice.
· Do oil massage to mitigate vata, to promote strength, sleep, growth, etc..
· Do regular exercises as per your personality
· Do prayers and meditation
· Have regulations over sex and sleep
· Pay attention to calls of nature before eating
· Bath or at least wash your hands, face and feet before you eat
· Sit in an isolated clean area
· Face the direction of the sun
· Pray and thank nature for providing you food
· Approach each items with reverence and love and chew them well.
· Feed others
· Concentrate and eat with confidence. Avoid seeing T.V, conversation during eating
· Consider eating as a yajna (sacrifice) you are offering havis to the internal fire who is Bhagavan (God)
· Utilize rice, wheat, barley, tender radish, grapes, green gram, jaggery, ghee, milk, honey, pomegranate, triphala daily
· Half of the stomach should be filled with solid food
· One quarter by liquids and the other quarter should be kept vacant for air
· Avoid curd at night
· See that all the six tastes are present in the menu.
· Foods which are preserved from the previous day should not be taken except curd ,ghee, honey, butter milk
· Eat sweet, oily food first; sour, spicy in the middle and bitter, astringent at the last
· The food should be warm
· Eat always accustomed food (in relation to body, age, season, dosaand diseases)
Activities after meals
· Take tambulam (betel leaves) , walk about hundred steps and lie on the left side
· Avoid driving, swimming and exertion immediately after meals.
· Application of oil on head and body parts is one of the daily routine in Indian culture.
· Processed sesame seed oil is used generally for Vataand Kapha
· Coconut oil is good for Pitta
· For Vata people it is advised every day, for Pittaalternative days, for Kapha people once in a week
· Oil bath is avoided in cases of indigestion, cough, cold, diarrhoea, fever, menstrual cycle, conjunctivitis, post emesis therapy, purgation and infectious diseases etc.
· Application of oil on the head, ears and feet is necessary.
· Warm water bath after fifteen to thirty minutes is advised.
· Avoid cold water bath, ice creams, curd, sex, day sleep, alcohol, exposure to sun and exertion during the day of massage
Benefits of oil bath
It controls Vata, promotes strength and sleep, overcomes fatigue, provides growth, prevents old age, mitigates pain, promotes hair growth and vision.
Qualities of Rasayana
· Improves appetite, digestion and assimilation; enhances serum proteins, fat and carbohydrate metabolism
· Improves muscular tone and retards the changes in the skin that develop with age, promotes regeneration of epidermal cells
· Assures normal sleep
· Reestablishes regular bowel habits
· Relieves vague aches and pains
· Promotes healthy vigour and a sense of well being
Special Treatment for Management of Stress
If the guidelines adopted by the person fails he should consult an ayurvedic doctor and he does treatment like shirodhara (pouring medicated oil in a continuous stream over the scalp of a person), shirovasti(allowing the oil to stand on the scalp of a person by fixing a cap), nasya(nasal application of medicines are done) special medicines like manasamitram, brahmi, asvagandha, vaca, sankapuspi, jadamamsi are highly effective in these conditions.