Immunoneurology and Ayurveda
By: Keya B.
Over the past few years, Mental well-being has been a severe subject around the world. Especially during this pandemic, life’s pace has changed suddenly, and there has been so much loss of loved ones worldwide. According to Ayurveda, psychological distress directly suppresses immunity, elevating the risks of recovery from the infections. So, the question here is: How can we build a state of a positive mindset and boost immunity? Well, Ayurveda has it all covered.
Vyadhi-Kshamatva in Ayurveda describes a balanced immune system and its connection with the digestive health and nervous system. Kshamatva means the capacity of the body to fight against infections and get rid of the toxins. Ayurveda highly focuses on the holistic relation between mind and body. By following simple rules of the Ayurvedic lifestyle, one can prevent the root cause of the occurrence. Stress and negative thinking disrupt the balance between the immune system and the digestive health and nervous system as it elevates cortisol levels (Stress Hormone) in the body. The higher cortisol level elevates blood pressure, depression, and anxiety and causes serious memory loss issues.
Ayurveda recommends Yoga-Meditation, Sattvik (Pure) diet, Massage, and balanced dincharya (routine) to avoid such occurrence. So, let us dive into a little depth to understand these practices:
Yoga is highly effective in calming down the nervous system and focuses on maintaining harmony between mind, soul, and body. Regular yoga and mind-full breathing can help boost awareness, improvise mental stability, and build strong will-power. Even smart fitness devices like Apple Watch, Spire, WellBe, etc., endorses the regular reminders of practicing mindful breathing a few times a day – Which Ayurveda has been teaching since the ancient era. Practicing yoga elevates neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine, and Tryptophan, also known as the happy neurotransmitters.
Sattvik diet emphasizes eating the right food at the right time. Ayurveda recommends including seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, sprouts, pulses, whole grain, dried nuts, seeds, or any milk products cooked adequately in the daily meal. Mindful eating promotes consciousness and awareness. Sattvik diet also explains the power of herbs like Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri), Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Triphala – Emblica Officinale, Shankhpushpi (Evolvus Alsinoides), Mandukparni (Centella Asiatica), and Vacha (Acorus Calamus) that improves brain functions.
Abhyanga – Oil Massage
According to Ayurveda, oil massage – Abhyanga elevates production levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin promotes the production of melatonin that boosts healthy sleep. Healthy sleep also promotes mental and physical health by controlling the production of cortisol in the adrenal glands. Ayurveda recommends head and body massage to make it a daily self-care ritual.
Dincharya promotes establishing a healthy routine that balances three doshas Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Some of the recommended dincharya are:
- Waking up early by 6 A.M. balances Vata dosha and promotes clarity
- Regular yoga and exercise boosts oxygen level, reduces body fat and soothes the nervous system
- Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner promptly promotes digestive fire and improves metabolism
- Relaxation with some music or night time meditation before sleep is essential – it calms the nerves and elevates sound sleep
- Abhyanga – Oil massage in your scalp before sleep calms the brain functions, and Sleeping early by 10 P.M. balances pitta