We decode three popular therapies that have been known to help bring back good health and promote a sense of well-being naturally. By Team T+L
Literally the ‘science of life’, Ayurveda came into being as an oral tradition and was later recorded in the Vedas. It is a holistic therapeutic system that works towards helping you achieve physical, mental, and emotional balance. Ayurveda is based on the principle that the entire universe is composed of five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and space—collectively known as panchamahaboothas. These elements create humours or doshas—vata, pitha, and kapha—in our body, and our lifestyles lead to imbalances in these doshas. It is the aim of Ayurveda to correct these imbalances with a variety of therapies, herbal medication, diet modifications, and yoga. Ayurveda practitioner Dr Arun Aravind says, “According to the Indian physician Sushruta, a person is considered healthy when his physiology is balanced, his digestion and metabolism are functioning well, his tissues and excretion functions are normal, and his mind and senses are in a constant state of profound happiness. Hence, Ayurveda is becoming increasingly relevant to our contemporary needs.”
Dr Shobha R. Itnal tells us that the advantage of opting for Ayurveda is that besides curing a plethora of diseases, it can also be used as preventive therapy. “In English medicine, there is always the danger of side effects, the targets of which healthy organs can become. However, Ayurveda is a fairly targeted form of treatment,” she says.
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According to the British Naturopathic Association, ‘Naturopathy is a system of treatment, which recognises the existence of the vital curative force within the body’. The drugless system of healing stresses on the importance of the maintenance of health, disease prevention, and patient education. This form of therapy was first used by the Hippocratic School of Medicine in 400 BCE.
Dr Krishna Maurya tells us that Naturopathy works against the accumulation of toxins in the body. The system works on six fundamental principles: the healing powers of nature, do no harm, treat the cause and not only the symptoms, treat the person as a whole, education, and prevention. In Naturopathy, there is a mixed approach using the orthodox and traditional systems, which includes treatments that bring about a balance in the body with the help of herbs and natural elements such as air, water, and heat. The build-up of toxins can be caused by improper diet, sleep deprivation, or a hectic lifestyle—situations in which the optimum balance required by the body is not being maintained. The main reason for the imbalance comes from an overworked and tired nervous system, and irregular nerve supply. He says, “We tackle issues like these by using natural methods, so that your body can get back to functioning at its optimum standard.”
Media planner Aditi Mishra found Naturopathy to be a great alternative to medicine for her kids. She says, “I switched from modern medicine to the basics after I had my children. Earlier, my idea of treatment was based on quick recovery since I was working and didn’t have much time. However, as far as my children are concerned, I wanted to keep chemicals at bay, as far as possible. That’s when I found Naturopathy to be a perfect fit.”
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A method of relieving pain, Reflexology works on the pressure points on the hands, feet, and ears. The method involves applying pressure on specific points that are connected to the nervous system, and target specific organs and glands. The practice can be used to complement other treatments addressing anxiety, asthma, cancer, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, etc. Its origins, though disputed, can be traced back to Egypt, China, India, and the US.
Dr Ansar C. A from Kerala says that understanding Reflexology is fairly simple. The key points to keep in mind are the ‘reflex points’ that are located on the soles of the feet. These points coincide with each organ and system in the body, and are linked to these organs via energy channels, zones, or meridians. Each internal organ in our body is wired to our feet through nerve endings. In alternative medicine, particularly in Reflexology, we can diagnose and correct numerous aliments such as back pain, Parkinson’s disease, prostate problems, wounds, stress or anxiety, high blood pressure, circulation issues, migraines, and brain-related problems. He says, “Illness or imbalance is a result of blocked energy channels. Reflexology aims to remove these blocks, allowing the energy to flow freely again. We have successfully used Reflexology to cure several patients.”
Blogger Priyadarshini Saha believes that reflexology helps relax the body. She says, “In this age of stressful and hectic lifestyles, a couple of hours at a good spa and foot Reflexology are a blessing. I come out feeling absolutely relaxed.”