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Ayurvedic treatment for stress

A little stress may not be so bad, but chronic stress can have adverse effects physically, mentally and emotionally. It can leave you feeling irritable, overwhelmed or anxious and even shoot down your self-esteem.  Constant stress can also cause physical symptoms like fatigue, headache, muscle pain and sleeping problems.

According to Ayurveda, an excess of ‘rajas’ lies at the root of stress. Rajas are one of the three gunas or qualities that are universal in nature. It stands for passion and activity. (The other two gunas are “sattva,” which indicates goodness or purity, and “tamas” which stands for inertia.). Excessive rajas result in craving, attachment, and desire which in turn lead to stress.

Ayurveda identifies three doshas which are present in varying degrees in an individual’s constitution – Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Therefore the treatment prescribed by Ayurveda for stress management are tailored to your individual constitution.

Panchakarma therapy is a treatment meant to clear vitiated dosha and detoxify your mind and body. Before undertaking the detoxifying therapies, pre-purification therapies are generally suggested to prepare the individual for detox. These treatments not only in relieving stress but also in maintaining and enhancing your mental and physical health.

Pre-purification Therapies

Some of the Following Therapies are used in Ayurveda to prepare you for detoxifying therapies :

  • Snehapana: This is an oleation therapy which involves taking medicated ghee on empty stomach.
  • Tailadhara: The therapy involves continuously pouring a stream of warm medicated oil on the body as well as massage with the medicated oil. It is meant to induce active perspiration.
  • Lepanam: This involves the application of a paste of medicinal herbs on the whole body or certain parts.
  • Shirodhara: This is a practice where warm medicated oil is gently poured in a continuous stream on the forehead. It is thought to work mainly on the mental shealth. The mental shealth is the place where the mind holds on to past impressions and where imbalanced desires and habits are formed.
  • Ksheera Dhara: During this therapy, medicated milk is rhythmically poured over the individual’s forehead or body. Medicated herbs are used to infuse the milk with medicinal properties.

Panchakarma Treatments
Virechana, Vasti, and Nasya are commonly adopted for managing stress.

  • Nasyam: This therapy involves pouring medicated oil into the nostrils. It is thought to open up channels, enabling the herbal extracts to work directly on your central nervous system.
  • Virechana: During this therapy, evacuation of the bowels is initiated through herbs. This helps eliminate toxic wastes.
  • Vasti: Vasti is enema therapy which is designed to cleanse your colon. Medicines are introduced into the body through the anal route for evacuating accumulated metabolic wastes and toxins.
  • Yoga: Yoga is a holistic system of mind-body practices which can help you deal with stress. Yoga helps to keep both your body and mind healthy and alleviate stress.

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