Five Ayurvedic medicine principles to lift your health
Ayurveda translates to ‘life’ and ‘science or knowledge’, and is an ancient form of medicine originating from India. Ayurveda is a complex practice in which there are many different recommendations depending on which body type (also known as dosha) Yet, there are a few principles which we can all benefit from regardless of our body type.
Using warm sesame or apricot oil for a pre bed massage sounds indulgent, but it is actually a really great way to help your lymph system circulate and drain. The lymphatic system is responsible for transporting waste out of the body and distributing immune cells throughout the body. This system doesn't have its own pump to move the fluid, instead the fluid is moved by natural muscle movement and massage. To help drain the lymph system, massage from the end of the limbs back towards the body.
Keep your tongue clean
Digestion starts in the mouth, so it is understandable that food residue is left behind, which is why we brush our teeth. However, ayurvedic medicine suggests this isn't enough, and the tongue should also be cleaned. A tongue scraper is a metal device used to scrape the surface of the tongue, removing bacteria and food particles to help keep the breath fresh and teeth healthy.
Dry brushing is a fantastic way to promote circulation and exfoliate the skin. Using a body brush, brush in circular motions all over the body. The skin is the body's largest detox organ, so it makes sense to keep blood pumping to the area and to make sure dead skin isn't blocking the pores. You might like to dry brush and follow it up with an oil massage.
Drink warm water
According to ayurvedic medicine, cold water shuts down your digestive fire, meaning that you won't be able to digest your food as well. Instead of drinking ice cold water try to drink room temperature or warm water.
Meditation is an important part of many medical modalities and has been proven to have positive effects on concentration, happiness, stress levels and weight loss. One study from The University of California showed that 30 minutes of meditation daily can help you to lose weight. This effect is likely to be caused by a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, which also signals to the body to store fat. Meditation might be something you could add to your routine if you would like to reduce your weight or stress levels.
Words on Wellness by Jessica Gilijam-Brown
New Zealand based Holistic Nutritionist (BSc) @wellnessbyjessica