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Drive away recession blues with Ayurveda & Yoga - Part 2

The way Yoga and Ayurveda operate, however, is basically so different from modern medicine that it calls for quite an adjustment of the western mind. For instance, we are all aware of the importance of the immune system in Stress Management. The immune system protects our metabolism against attacks from bacteria, viruses and cancer cells that continuously try to attack and prey on our system. Further, high levels of stress are a factor that lowers the strength of the immune system. This leaves us vulnerable to physical, emotional and psychological pathology.

A multifaceted system that includes elements of herbal medicine, diet modification, oil therapies, massage,physical postures, relaxation and meditation. Yoga, and Ayurveda provide a holistic and integrated approach to the Stress Management. They educate people to take care of their own welfare and take charge of their health by developing personal awareness. This is done both through lifestyle modification and a system of therapies, aimed at restoring physical, mental and spiritual harmony. The practice of Ayurveda in combination with certain Yogic therapies has been noted in to be extremely valuable in treating certain stress induced ailments and conditions like hypertension, bronchial asthma, anxiety, and depression, neurosis, gastrointestinal disorders, headache, and insomnia.

Diet treatment :
Since stress reduces the body's immunity, nutritious diet is very beneficial in counteracting this depletion. Following the right diet for dealing with stress is also very important. In Ayurvedic terms reduce 'rajasic' and 'tamasic' foods and add 'sattvic' diet.

Avoid coffee and all other caffeinated beverages, because in high doses caffeinated substances produce jitteriness, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia. As far as possible, try to avoid carbonated and alcoholic drinks as well. High-protein animal foods should also be minimized as these increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which are associated with higher levels of anxiety and stress. Eat lots of fresh green vegetables, fruits and fruit juices. Avoid white flour and sugar products, and all frozen, preserved and leftover food. Include whole grain cereals - they promote the production of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which induces a greater sense of well-being.

Herbal treatment :
Herbs known as adaptogens are beneficial in alleviating stress. Traditionally, Ayurveda recommends the root of winter cherry or ashwagandha, brahmi (gotu kola), jatamansi (muskweed), shakhpushpi, and Vacha among other herbs, to reduce stress and fix the imbalance in the vata dosha.These special Ayurvedic herbs are called medhya herbs in traditional Ayurvedic texts, and are known to not only individually nurture certain areas of the brain (mind) sensitive to stress effects, but also to nurture coordination among them.

Ashwagandha or winter cherry is proven anti-stress herb. It regulates the chemical-imbalance in the brain. It enhances the mind's overall ability to fight stress, because it helps overall mental functioning.
Jatamansi (muskroot) and greater galangal are additional herbs that clear the channels. These keep our mind and body free of toxins and blockages.
Brahmi helps to awaken the crown chakra and balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Chandan-Calms down the stress by suppressing Pitta dosha.
Yashtimadhu improves cognitive functions of the brain.
'Vacha' (Acorus calamus) is widely claimed as restorative ,nervine tonic. it improves grasping power, memory, intellect and speech,and correct aberrations of emotions, mood and personality of an individual
'Shankhapushpi'(Convolvulus pluricaulis) strengthens the brain, brightens the memory and intellect. It is indicated in the treatment of loss of memory and associated mental disorders like insanity and epilepsy.
'Prasham'(Formulation by -Ayurveda Rasashala) contains Brahmi, Vacha, Ashwagandha,Khurasani Ova etc. and is very useful in relief from stress and irritability.

Yoga treatment :
The addition of Yoga adds a physical aspect to the practice of Ayurveda. While yoga in the U.S. is thought to be a merely a program of exercise, in the Indian tradition, it is an entire philosophy. Therapeutic yoga incorporates poses (asanas), breathing ("pranayama") and meditation techniques to improve quality of life and manage symptoms of various diseases, chronic conditions and illnesses - including asthma, back pain, fibromyalgia, depression and cancer.

Yoga is all about balancing your mind with your body, your thoughts with your actions and creating harmony. Once this balance is achieved there is no place for stress at all. Yoga is a way of life that teaches you to bring about this balance so you feel more calm and relaxed and this helps to eliminate stress. Yoga asanas or poses are a workout for your mind just as they are for your body and they help to release the endorphins that are responsible for that happy feeling you get after your workout. This is what eliminates stress. Yoga is an excellent system that helps to stretch not just your body but you’re your mind. When you practice yoga asana it puts different levels of pressure on the various muscles and organs in your body in a very systematic and controlled manner. This has several benefits for your body as it is like an internal massage and at the same time it helps to tone and sculpt your physique. So it provides internal and external benefits at the same time. Pranayama or the breathing exercises affect your nervous system directly and this causes the parasympathetic nervous system to take over from the sympathetic nervous system that brings about a relaxation response from it and you feel relaxed, calm and peaceful.


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    Read what others have to say:- Dalbir from UK writes-The article clearly sets outs the term stress which is all to commonly used in the modern world, especially when connected with chronic diseases. Why isn't Tulsi in your list of adaptogens, Dr Singh has found it to be a great adaptogenic herb found in his monograph, 'Tulsi, The Mother Medicine of Nature'. After all Tulsi is the most cherished healing herbs of India and no doubt research confirms its long standing traditional use.