Guest blog post from Dr. Trupti Gokani, MD, Neurologist and Director of Zira Mind and Body Center, in Glenview, Illinois. She recently appeared on the Dr. Oz show to discuss the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine and how your doshas can predict and solve your biggest health complaints. Plus, home treatments to restore your balance.
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the most ancient systems of healing, originating over 5,000 years ago. This system of healing is focused on getting your physical and emotional body connected back with itself. How is that done? It’s through knowing your unique, individual, mind-body type.
We are all made up of five elements: air, space, fire, earth and water. Of these five elements:
Air and space create the Vata Dosha
Fire and water create the Pitta Dosha
Earth and water create the Kapha Dosha
When we live in harmony with our doshas, we are symptom-free. If we push our doshas out of balance, symptoms begin to occur. The reality is you can be imbalanced in one state for awhile, then switch over to another state depending on the foods you eat, the exercises you do, the stress you are under, or even due to the season of the year! The key is know get to know your IDEAL state and stay in balance with that.
Exercise and Dosha Types
Vata Dosha types, what we called the “Air” types as mentioned on the Dr. Oz show, with the air and space elements, tend to be the “movers and goers”. Exercise for them needs to be calm and restorative. Pitta Dosha types, what we called “Fire” types, as discussed on Dr. Oz, tend to be “intense and driven”. These types would benefit from more relaxed and calming exercises. Kapha types, the “Earth” types, tend to be “grounded and calm”. These types need to move more and should do more active exercise that gets them moving.
Hormones and Dosha Types
When these doshas get out of balance, we may use herbals to balance each state. We have very specific recommendations for each doshic state. In addition, hormones can be utilized if the system is imbalanced knowing that the herbals may take time to harmonize the body. Herbals generally need 2-3 months of daily use to have their full effects. Adding progesterone, testosterone, DHEA or other hormones can be very beneficial to help with acute symptoms which when lifestyles changes, dietary changes and the body restores its doshic balance again.
Food and Dosha Types
Nutrients are also very important. We highly recommend magnesium as many of our patients are depleted in this key nutrient. When the body is imbalanced due to living off of its natural doshic state, we tend to overstress our digestive system, our adrenals (thus depleting our hormones) and liver. This leads to nutrient depletion and the need for nutrients to reset the body while all the good, beneficial lifestyle, exercise and dietary changes are made.
All in all, using Ayurveda and understanding your dosha can be a key tool to help you assess your needs for herbals, hormones and nutrients. In addition, knowing your state can also help you choose the right type of exercise or yoga program, diet and daily routine so you can live a life that is optimal and happy!
Photo Credit: Dr. Oz Show