• Dr.Jeevan.E.P

Ayurveda – The Healing Touch! Part 2

“The seperation from my husband brought on so many changes in my life. In a way, the break did me a lot of good. On the other hand, loneliness and a sort of depression took hold of my daily life”. Sabine Simon stopped here, overwhelmed by her sad memories. I proferred a sympathetic tissue and she accepted it gratefully, dabbing her nose and eyes.

Her eyes were red but they did not glisten with any unshed tears. There was barely any moisture. I saw that the water element in her body had dehydrated, leaving behind an increase in the fire and air elements. I missed the unctuous, loving quality of “Sneha” - unctuous love – in her whole behaviour. I saw disatisfaction mingled with frustration.

I had no more questions. I already had made my diagnosis: an imbalance of the elements both in her mental and physical functions.

“Ms. Simon” I began gently, “Lets both see what this age-old medical system called “Ayurveda” can do for you”.

“Time is God.....” Everything need proper time. “Leave the task for time to accomplish. You yourself should now wake up and act in the present”

“I am now going to explain to you how Ayurveda sees your disease and I am going to interpret Ayurvedic basic philosphy and how it will deal with your personal case.

To get you back on your feet, we have to rid the word “Disease” of its prefix “Dis” and then what do we have there? We have “Ease”! When there is pain in the body and in the mind, it is difficult to be in a situation of “ease”. So we go ahead and correct the malfunctions of our mind and body and not only just correct the “structure.

Ayurveda explains this with a beautiful approach to disease and health. But for you, Ms. Simon, to understand, we have to begin at the beginning.

The Ayurvedic principle is based on the five elements. They are ether, air, fire, water and firmament, or say, earth. Everything that exists consists of these five elements in varying degrees. They are also symbolically used as qualities. You and I as humans, the flowering garden and the dog outside, this office here, the traffic on the road, the whole universe – all that ever was, that is and will ever be, is born out of the five basic ingredients that make up this universe. There can not be more and there is no less of the basic materials or building blocks, so to speak. So speak the ancient scriptures.

These five elements have a basic state of harmony and balance. This is what we humans call “health” or “ease” . When the five elements are in a state of imbalance, we come into a state of “dis-ease”. So, balance means health and imbalance means no-health. In your case, we have a case where your mind and body harbour imbalance in the elements of fire and air. We have a state of great disturbance in the mind and body here. I come to this conclusion by observing what you say, the description of your symptoms, how you say it and by observing many other seemingly insignificant factors such as the way you walk, talk, gesticulate, how you are dressed, the times at which your symptoms show up, in what sequence they have come into your life and last but by no means least, how you have lived your past life”.

Ms. Simon shuffled her feet uncomfortably. Doubtlessly, she appeared alarmed to have been transparent in the eyes of an ayurvedic doctor and that she had been caught off guard.

“Did your friend explain the functions of the body as termed in Ayurveda? We have Vata, Pitta and Kappha. In Sanskrit, we call them “Dhoshas”. This means a function which can very easily turn into a malfunction. The equilibrium of these three dhoshas means a state of health.

“Vata” is the movement of force. “Pitta” is the heat generated by our movements. “Kappha” is the structure where the movement and the heat is generated. Everything which is, in this universe is categorized into these three “dhoshas”. All living and non-living beings, even diseases are categorized as a Vata, Pitta or Kappha disease.

When we come back to your case, the Vata / air and the Pitta / fire dhoshas are “vitiated” or aggravated in your system. They are in a state of unhealthy increase.

Vata or Air-related diseases will produce pain. They will mainly be skeletal, bone or joint diseases. Arthritis, cervical spondilosis, migraine, interstinal colic, lumbago, sciatic neuritis, chronic constipation, insomnia and insanity are some of the examples for Vata diseases. The type of person prone to these kind of Vata diseases will have an erratic personality, he will be lean, he will be talkative and gesture a lot”.

Sabine Simon looked amazed. “But what about the diseases I have? How do they seek me out as their victim?”

I was glad to answer her question: “When you talk about your joint pains, your sleeplessness, your exhaustion, depression, fear complex, constipation and your tinnitus in the ears, you emphasize what I had already begun to diagnose. They explain the quantity of Vata which is increased in your mind and body. The corresponding sense organs of Vata are the skin and ears. There too, you have symptoms like dryness and coldness which are the main properties of Vata! Tinnitus clearly shows the involvement of the hearing faculty in the Vata dhosha.”

“... And the pain during menstruation? And the constipation?” Sabine interjected bewildered. “Do you mean to say, they too are pieces in the puzzle?”

I nodded with emphasis. “When we look at the main house of Vata, or “site” we can call it, which is the region below the naval, especially the uterus, the colon lumbar, the sacrum and also the lower limbs. Now just think of all your complaints!

Ms. Simon, see the reaction and the accumulation of Vata! See its blocked downward movement which has already shown in your body as menstrual problems for instance. And the formation of gas as flatulence. Even the myoma which is a Kappha problem – even that myoma is established in the “house” of Vata!

Sabine Simon ́s eyes were now as large as saucers as she saw her past and present reflecting mirrorlike in front of her while I explained the continuity of the symptoms during her whole life.

“Even your gestures, your forgetfulness with your medical documents and your tablets (Ms.Simon blushed richly at this point) your nervousness, your affinity for food like cold salads, and bread suggest strongly that the disease is well established in you.

Living beings all have two types of intelligence. One is our health intelligence, which is the natural urge followed by the body to keep healthful balance, also called in Ayurveda the healing “GOD” known as Dhanwanthari.

The creation of healthy tissue or the Generative force as called in my country, India, is“Brahma”.

The pattern of Organising, the maintainance of health and the warmth of the body are from this second force: “Vishnu”.

The Destroying of bad tissue, the process of elimination from the body, the gradual drying up of body and mind are performed by the third force called “Shiva”.

I feel that the deities Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are like Kappha, Pitta and Vata. The Generator of life, the Organisor and the Destroyer – taking the first letters of each word, we find GOD. The sum of this would be Dhanwanthari – the healing power of the intelligence within.

However, when we are in a state of “Dis-ease”, it is the intelligence of the disease that calls the shots. In its urge to survive, it will generate toxins and organize the toxins in such a manner that will destroy the body.

Let me ask you a question, Ms. Simon: why is it that you are so fond of foods that increase your Vata disease? Cold and dry foodstuffs! It suggests that the Vata disease with its active intelligence wishes to increase its hold on you and causes the craving! If you would take the opposite of that which you long for – for instance, warm foods and unctuous, or in other words foods with a wholesomely oily or creamy consistency (no! I do not mean “greasy”!) or say even a liquid diet, which would contain more of the water element, aggravated unhealthy Vata would subside and swing towards the healthy balanced Vata state, which is condusive to your health. Kappha, the unctuous, lubricating and soothing element would have a chance to regenerate and increase in your mental and physical state.

Ayurveda says that to balance dry, cold Vata, we need “Sneha”. We need this oleating, lubricating medium. “Sneha” is also is known as the quality “love”. Actually, it really means, that you need to be loved or to give yourself the love you need to be in a state of joyful balance!”

The patient looked crestfallen. It was obvious again that there was a marked absence of Sneha and its healing, balancing qualities in her life.

I continued. “When we analyse the second dhosha in our body called “Pitta” or the fire element, you can easily imagine that the diseases will have an inflammatory nature. We ́ll be talking about .... “ I stopped and gave the crestfallen lady a chance to distract herself. “You tell me Ms.Simon!” I encouraged her.

“Well... I guess fever?” She said shyly. “And what about skin problems like, maybe, eczema?” I beamed at her. “That’s exactly it – you ́re getting the hang of it! Lets talk fever, eczema, ulcers, psoriasis, gastritis and mainly all diseases of the blood. Pitta is in charge of the blood”

Now Pitta also has corresponding sense organs where “he” will “reside”. Those organs will be the eyes, the stomach and the small interstine.

A Pitta personality will be short-tempered, easily prone to diseases of the stomach and of the blood. And at this point, I am getting back to you, Ms. Simon. While you were describing your past life and symptoms, I discerned a certain “fire” in your eye; parallel to that I also sensed a frustration which you seem to have developed during the past years. Now these observations make me think that your second powerful dhosha out of the three dhoshas, which are inherent in all of us, as being Pitta or the fire energy.

We now come to “Agni”, which is the word for the digestive fire in the body. In your case, it seems to have decreased remarkably. Agni or the digestive potential has wandered off, displaced and neglected, out of its correct site in the stomach into some other corner of the body. The result is gas formation and thereby flatulance. And also lack of appetite, malabsorbtion even though you are eating. The ability to act shows that “agni” is low in his own “house” but simultaneously a bad Pitta is in the body. As you see, each dhosha has a good constructive important side to it and a negative disease-bringing side to it where it will harm the body. Eat your favourite spicy indian food, Ms. Simon – this is going to cause havoc in your body and in your mind by drying them out further!”.

Ms. Simon sighed deeply, mentally saying a sorrowful goodbye to “Taj Mahal”, her frequent haunt.

As a feeble comfort, I poured her more water. “Kappha creates more organic types of diseases like obescity or diabetes, respiratory problems for instance. Those type of people are generally more sturdy in build, they are more tranquil-natured. All very positive but they tend to put on weight quickly, even if they eat what we would call “moderately”. The corresponding organ for Kappha is the tongue. I cant say that you have any increase in the kappha element. Actually, your thin and angular figure, your instability and dryness show that a very small amount of good kappha or the water and earth elements are prevelant. This is not good for your personal balance. There is a lack here.

So, Ms. Simon: in your case, our aim should be to reduce Vata and Pitta elements and increase healthy Kappha.

Ms. Simon leaned forward eagerly. “How do we do this now; Dr. Jeevan? Eat more cream and oil? Find a nice boyfriend?”

I laughed and warned her “I said “healthy kappha!” – this does not mean stuffing yourself with oils, creams and fats and winking at strange men on the other side of the road! Let’s have a look at the birth, the process of disease and its progress as stated in Ayurveda first, shall we? It is important that you know why you are doing what you shall be doing! The logic must be made clear to you.

We are coming to a unique feature in ayurveda now. You will not find this feature in any other system of medicine. We are going to talk about the “Dhattus” or roughly translated “tissue systems”.

The Queen of Vata Problems looked blank. “Is there more to come? I thought we could get down to the prescription now...”

Nadi Pareeksha

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