Abhyanga - The Art Of Touch And Healing! The world around you is constantly changing. Science, technology, places, seasons, human emotions, relationships - everything seems to take a course of deviation with time, showing change is inevitable. But there is something that even the greatest and most sophisticated technology could not replace - the soothing power of human touch. A delicate touch carries quite an amount of warmth and emotions that can heal both the body and mind. Ayurveda is the first to acknowledge the amazing power of human touch in healing, thousands of years back and put into use in the finest manner. A subtle artful technique where you can appreciate every inch of your body for how it is, Abhyanga or oil massage in Ayurveda remains one of the most sought after techniques adopted by healers all over the world. The history of massage technique must be as old as the human race. But its importance in healing and the science behind it is more skilfully explained and performed in Ayurvedic science than any other. That is why it is recommended to be done everyday as a part of your daily healthy routine in Ayurveda. Doing a self massage daily can invigorate your mind & body, enabling you to face the toughest of challenges life throws at you. But, it is also important to understand how to do it traditionally and scientifically as mentioned by the ancient sages, to gain the exact benefits. Who can do Abhyanga? Ayurveda considers upto 16 years as Baalya or paediatric age. They are considered as having less satwa bala due to their delicate growing age and thus many therapies are specifically contraindicated for them. But Abhyanga is an exception - it can be done right from birth and is considered ideal for the symmetrical physical development of the baby. Being the most dependent beings, babies and kids always need assistance while doing massage and it should be done in a gentle comfortable manner. A healthy adult may do Abhyanga everyday before taking a bath. This self-massage is quite different from the kind of massage done by a masseur and has its own advantages. You know your body best and have full freedom to decide the kind of pressure and time you want to spend, pampering your body. You can be at the comfort of your home, at your convenience and look forward to a productive self love
Post Covid Rejuvenation and Recovery: The Ayurveda Way Dealing with a less known type of disease and that too a pandemic is indeed difficult. It is a truth that Covid -19 has affected human lives in a clumsy, uncomfortable way. But the good news is, the majority can recover pretty quickly without any complications if proper care and attention are given right from the beginning. Testing negative for Covid-19 is not the end of the recovery phase. It marks the beginning of a post-covid rejuvenation period when the body and the mind heal gradually and get back to normalcy. Epidemics and pandemics are explained in Ayurveda as “Janapadodwamsa”. A large population, irrespective of their Bala (strength), diet, behavior, and psychological state, is affected by the same disease, at the same time, which may destroy the community, is called ‘Janapadodhwamsa’. Covid-19 pandemic fits this category and has already affected a huge part of the population worldwide. The Covid-19 virus affects people differently. It could be asymptomatic or more often present with varied symptoms ranging from mild to moderate and severe. Often people complain of persistent fatigue, respiratory distress, body pain, loss of taste, smell, and poor appetite for weeks after the infection. The occurrence of allied medical conditions like skin diseases is also not uncommon these days. Irrespective of the strength with which the virus affected your body, a holistic natural, and systematic approach is essential to regain the lost strength and immunity. Covid-19 due to the peculiarity of the symptoms often involves all the three doshas with specific Kapha dosha aggravation. Most common symptoms such as fever, loss of taste, loss of appetite, extreme lethargy, and upper respiratory discomfort point to the diminution of the first formed dhatu after digestion - Rasa dhatu. Rasa dhatu kshaya (diminution) along with the aggravation of Kapha can further affect the Agni (biological fire) and impact the entire metabolism of the body. The presence of Ama (toxic outcome of improper digestion) accumulated in the body due to the ongoing disease process can significantly influence the general body’s immunity and strength. Ayurveda always approaches in a preventive, curative, and rehabilitative approach in any kind of illness*. In covid-19 as well, a systematic outlook to restore the lost strength and immunity by balancing the doshas and stabilizing the dhatu formation is what Ayurveda adopts. A diet involving Ayurveda herbs and spices and various lifestyle modalities that gradually improve the strength and
Though Yoga literally means "yoke", "unify", it is also a developed system of philosophy, as well as a practical method to realise the ultimate truth originated in ancient India and codified mainly by Patanjali. Let us look at what makes Yoga different from other systems of thought, so we can understand its metaphysical, ontological, psychological and practical view of life. Historically this may have developed well before Christ and developed side by side other systems of thought in ancient India, but we can clearly see the correlation of Yoga with the Sankhya system. In spite of the connection with the Sankhya doctrines, Yoga differs from it on matters of psychology, ethics etc. and brought a scientific approach to disciplinary practices with rigour and great clarity.
Depression : It's More Than ‘Just A Bad Day’ William Styron, in his memoir Darkness visible, has vividly explained about his tryst with depression, comparing the pain and agony of mental health as that of a heart attack. He defines depression as the ‘grey drizzle of unrelenting horror’. Depression is no longer a dark, terrible secret which you need to hide from the world. More and more people are now ready to break their silence about this perennial plague of the human mind which had been concealed by cultural baggage all these years. The earliest understanding of depression was a spiritual condition caused by demonic possession. It was Hippocrates who described it as a disease named ‘melancholia’, but he included all kinds of quiet insanity under this term. This concept was repeatedly moulded and reconceived, to give rise to our current understanding of depression. What is Depression? Depression is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms with a persistent feeling of sadness, pessimism, guilt, or hopelessness that can last for weeks, months, or years. According to WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. It comes in various forms, but as it is intangible and imperceptible, it is a lot difficult to diagnose, empathise, and understand the situation. It is important to understand the difference between clinical depression and feeling sad. Almost everyone feels blue from time to time; failing an examination, an illness, losing a loved one, or even an argument can make you sad. This is completely normal and as the situation changes, we learn to cope with our emotions and return to normalcy. Clinical depression on the other hand is a debilitating medical condition that continues for at least two or more weeks consecutively, significantly affecting physical, emotional, social wellbeing and interfering with the ability to work. Sometimes it may also be accompanied by anxiety, as both of them stem from the same vulnerability. Because of its complexity, understanding depression has been elusive, yet even in the most severe cases, depression is highly treatable. Causes Neuroscientists still don’t have the real answer as to what exactly causes depression. It is a result of a complex interaction of genetic, biological, and psychological factors that may be caused by faulty mood regulation by the brain and triggered by a negative experience or a stressful condition. We all have to encounter stressful events at some point in life, and we all feel sad, but not
Stress In Women COVID-19 has spread panic throughout the world. We don’t have any idea, how much will we be impacted and when is this pandemic going to end. The uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the situation make it even more challenging and overwhelming. As we stare into the fear of contracting the disease, unemployment, dwindling economy, starvation, and alcoholism, another public health crisis is gearing up in the background silently, which could be more fatal than coronavirus. The social and economic meltdown will create an atmosphere of uncertainty and panic, which could become the perfect breeding ground for stress, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviours, morbidity, and suicide. Everyone is having a hard time coping with this unprecedented situation. But the surprising fact is that there is a stark gender gap in how this unhappiness is distributed. Women are having a harder time than their male counterparts, juggling their career and family life. What is stress? Stress is a natural reaction of the body to any immediate threat or difficult situation. Stress response was honed as a homeostatic tool in our ancestors to make them more attentive towards a predator or impending danger. But nowadays, our challenges are emotional and psychological threats rather than physical ones, like a looming deadline or workplace competition. This may prove positive in some cases, by motivating us or sharpening our senses, but prolonged stress can have negative effects like increased heart rate, fluctuating blood pressure, rise in muscle tension, increased susceptibility to develop anxiety and depression which can deeply impact our health, mood, performance, and wellbeing. Effects of stress on women While stress can cause physical and psychological symptoms in both men and women alike, the intensity and reaction to stress has a strong relation to gender. Unlike men who have a “fight or flight reaction” to stress, with emotions ranging from rage, recklessness, and anger, women have a “tend and befriend” appxroach which is more apt for negotiating. The exact mechanism of this is not known, but the difference in brain and hormone levels is a possible cause of these exclusive reactions in women. The stress hormones produced in men are cortisol and adrenaline, whilst in women, in addition to these two, oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding, is secreted. This causes women to seek social support and try to reason out why they are feeling stressed, while men tend to withdraw socially and exhibit signs of rage and anger. But why
Stress In Children Children and adolescents might feel stressed and anxious owing to fear surrounding COVID-19 and isolation due to social distancing. Parents need to devise methods tailored and customised according to a child’s age and needs to help them overcome this stressful situation. The COVID-19 situation and ensuing social distancing are gravely affecting children and adolescents as they are forced to stay at home, away from school and friends. Parents are worried about how to manage and nurture the needs of growing kids and how much the current situation is going to affect them, as they are living in almost a hostage like situation, locked in their homes. Early years of life are significant and providing a stable and nurturing environment is essential as the brain is undergoing rapid development. The social isolation and lack of interaction with their peers in their formative years can lead to a multitude of social and behavioural adversities in children. In order to be safe and keep others safe, we are practicing social distancing, but this means that kids are losing out on very important relationships in their life: their friends and teachers who can help them cope with the stress of this crisis. Stress disrupts aspects of brain development that regulate emotional and cognitive processes and promote normal social relationships. Adolescents on the other hand are in a crucial developmental stage where they are highly vulnerable to many psychological dysfunctions. What Is Stress? Stress is a normal reaction to a difficult situation or a physical danger. The human body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, speeding up blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolism. This helps in preparing a person to act quickly under a critical condition. However, when stress continues for a longer period of time, it can produce long term physical and psychological impairment, and this becomes increasingly concerning in case of kids and teens as they are in the formative years and these negative emotions might sow the seeds of future mental disorders like anxiety and depression in them. Stress In Kids Kids may not fully comprehend the economic and health impact that COVID-19 is going to have, but they notice that their parents are stressed and get worried themselves. Toddlers and preschoolers cannot express their feelings clearly, but instead exhibit physical symptoms of stress, like abdominal pain, tantrums, and bedwetting. Reactions like this which are different than the kid’s typical conduct indicate