Sleep problems, anxiety, feeling cold, fatigued? Here is an Ayurvedic solution.
As we transition into the fall and winter seasons, the prevalence of Vata energy becomes more pronounced. But why is this? It's because Vata dosha shares qualities with late fall and winter seasons: coldness, dryness, increased spaciousness as trees shed their leaves, reduced sunlight, and warmth. As you may know, Vata is comprised of the elements of air (wind) and space, both of which are inherently cold, light, and dry. The air element is mobile, and among the five Ayurvedic elements, it is the only one capable of displacing other elements and doshas from their natural locations.
How does this relate to your health and emotions?
The colder weather often leaves us feeling chilly and easily fatigued, while emotions like worry and anxiety may intensify, and sleep problems might become more frequent. These effects can be attributed to the heightened influence of Vata energy on our bodies and minds.
One effective Ayurvedic method to counterbalance these effects and reintroduce the Fire, Water, and Earth elements is through Ayurvedic Body Treatments. The classic trio of Abhyanga, Shirodhara, and Swedana stands out as an excellent approach to reduce Vata energy. Allow me to elaborate on how this approach works.
Abhyanga transcends the typical concept of a massage; it is a comprehensive treatment that encompasses the application of heated herbal oils (crafted by cooking specific herbs with oils) on the body. This technique employs unique methods that work on energetic channels. The warmth of the oils permeates deep into the body's tissues, providing moisture and delivering the curative properties of the herbs into the deepest layers.
The selection of herbal oils is highly personalized, contingent on an individual's unique condition. For those experiencing a Vata imbalance, herbs like Jatamansi, Ashwagandha, and Bala prove to be particularly effective. Oils are instrumental in introducing Earth and Water elements to the body, making them a key remedy for Vata imbalances in Ayurveda. Furthermore, it is well-known that the gentle, gliding touch on the skin activates the parasympathetic nervous system, effectively disengaging the central nervous system. This elucidates why Abhyanga is renowned for its profound relaxation of both the body and mind.
Shirodhara, on the other hand, involves the gentle, uninterrupted pouring of warm oil onto the forehead, leading to deep relaxation. This practice is designed to penetrate the depths of the nervous system and consciousness, instigating a harmonious equilibrium across physical, mental, and emotional realms. The therapeutic effect is achieved by using a lavish herbalized oil blend comprising tridoshic herbs such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Bhringaraj, Skullcap, and Brahmi/Gotu Kola, all within a base of organic sesame and sunflower oils. Shirodhara proves to be immensely beneficial for individuals grappling with elevated Vata in their minds, characterized by common symptoms like disrupted sleep, anxiety, excessive worry, and overwhelming stress.
Traditional Ayurvedic texts suggest that Swedana (steam therapy) should be performed after Abhyanga with the client lying down comfortably, with the head and neck exposed, rather than in the tent. This prevents overheating and allows for thorough detoxification and absorption. The herbal steam treatment will leave you feeling clear, rejuvenated and deeply moisturized. Medicinal herbs such as lavender, chamomile, rose, ashwagandha, or peppermint will be chosen in accordance with your needs and will help to balance the body's energies, expel toxins, relax the muscles, increase circulation, and nurture the senses. This is how the fire element is brought to the body, which is essential for cold Vata season.
If you're experiencing Vata imbalances in your body and mind, consider indulging in Bliss Therapy, the time-honored trio of three essential Ayurvedic treatments: Abhyanga, Shirodhara, and Swedana.