Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic medical systems, saved me from the perimenopause dragon.
Perimenopause means “around menopause.” For me, it occurred in my early to mid-30s, and I felt fat, frumpy, and moody. I was in constant pain so I couldn’t sleep and was always tired. My energy was at an all-time low; I had wild sugar and salt cravings and I even experienced some hot flashes here and there.
My doctor employed the usual western medicine practices, including giving me various hormones. My natural ones were already out of whack, so whatever they gave me only made me feel worse.
I finally went to a doctor who practiced both Western and Ayurvedic medicine. This doctor immediately took me off medication and explained how the mind and body work together to keep people well, guiding me through balanced, healthy lifestyle habits, including physical activity, stress management, self-care, meditation, and food.
Within weeks she had me feeling much better.
What is Ayurveda?
Aristotle knew what he was talking about when he said, “The soul suffers when the body is diseased or traumatized, while the body suffers when the soul is ailing.”
Ayurveda believes that everything is energy and that the body is made up of seven chakras; which can be thought of as wheels of energy. Each chakra is associated with a body organ (or system), as well as any emotional states; explains Dr. Valencia Porter, MD, staff physician at The Chopra Center and author of Resilient Health.
“When you look at a symptom from a chakra-point-of-view, you can understand the illness more fully,” she said. “For example, the first chakra, called the root chakra, is associated with grounding. When people experience traumatic life events, such as a divorce, financial loss, or even a big move, they suddenly feel that their world is upside down, lose grounding, and can become stressed, anxious, and insecure.”
She continued: “That negativity impacts the healing process and can contribute to sleep deprivation, digestive problems, heart palpitations, and more.”
Here, she relayed the story of a woman with a chronic stiff neck. For almost two years, no doctor could figure out the cause.
The neck is part of the throat chakra that guides communication and expression. When she went to Dr. Porter, further questioning revealed that something caused her to no longer feel that her words were heard. The event made her feel insignificant and minimized, and that’s when the stiff neck started. “Once she understood that, the negative energy was released and the stiff neck disappeared,” said Dr. Porter.
According to Ayurveda, each one of us is made up of the same elements we see in nature: water, air, fire, earth, and space; the airway above the clouds.
There are three Doshas, and it is your Dosha that makes up your energy. Doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each one has certain qualities that affect how your body functions.
When we live in harmony with nature, we remain in balance and enjoy optimal health, but when our Doshas are out of balance, we become stressed, moody, lethargic, and prone to illness.
Here Are 9 Benefits of Ayurveda:
In practicing Ayurveda, you will:
Ayurveda advocates paying attention to YOUR 24-hour internal body clock; an important tool to reboot your circadian rhythms naturally. That means getting out into daylight as soon as you get up, so your body gets the signal to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Raise the shades and, if possible, spend about 10 minutes outside upon waking.
Have Better Digestion
When you eat for your Dosha, you’ll stimulate your digestive enzymes which, in turn, will eliminate toxins. That will give you an increased feeling of energy. No more lethargy!
Melatonin is produced in the gut, and that’s where most toxins accumulate. This hormone doesn’t just promote sleep, but also repairs and cleans the cells.
Think of it as taking out the trash!
Melatonin looks for free radicals, those substances responsible for aging and disease then destroys them by increasing the production of antioxidants. Toxins can inhibit melatonin, so you want to get rid of them.
Have Better Focus
Because you’ll be eliminating toxins, you’ll also reduce brain fog. You can also say buh-bye to those mid-afternoon cravings for sugary, high-fat snacks, and coffee, which is your body’s way of trying to overcome that slump but will only cause your energy level to crash within an hour or two.
Experience Increased Energy
By reducing those unhealthy cravings, your blood sugar levels will stabilize, and you won’t experience those ups and downs and crashes that cause sleepiness.
Ayurveda keeps one in balance. As a result, you’ll have better coping mechanisms, less anxiety, and experience an overall feeling of well-being.
Have Better Skin
Who doesn’t want that? Balance, diet, and exercise keep you glowing. Stay young looking! Again, it’s that balance!
Think More Positively
Eliminating negative self-talk helps you manage stress better, makes your stronger, and improves the immune system. There have also been numerous studies that happy brains just work better.
Ayurveda emphasizes disease prevention. Staying grounded and in balance, together with knowledge of the seasons and heightened awareness of your body, will keep you well.
Do you know of any benefits of Ayurveda that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below!