Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Anxiety
Of course it is normal to be worried in response to specific situations like an important exam, relationship issues or unemployment. But when worrying becomes your constant state most of the day, when you always expect the worst to happen to you and this state continues for a long period of time so much that your mind feels drained and prevents you from going about your normal life and work, it is time to consider if you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Difficulty in making decisions, restlessness, episodes of panic attack, inability to handle uncertainty and physical problems like excessive sweating, sleep disturbances, irritability and chronic indigestion are some common signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for anxiety is highly effective and has the potential to cure the disease completely.
How does ayurveda explain anxiety disorder?
Ayurveda says there are three doshas governing our body (vata, pitta and kapha) and three gunas governing our mind (sattva, rajas and tamas). When these energies are at balance both in body and mind, we remain well and happy. However, due to genetic factors (family history), brain chemistry imbalance or a history of traumatic and stressful experiences ( like chronic illness, domestic violence, being abused or bullied in childhood etc) these bodily and mental doshas may go out of balance - at the physical level, vata and pitta doshas aggravate and at the psychic level, rajas and tamas overpower sattva. This imbalance of energies at the physical and psychic levels vitiates the channels of mind, leading to anxiety disorder.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY
What is the approach adopted in the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala?
Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala adopts a gentle, systematic approach and aims to cure the disease completely by achieving three treatment goals:
(a) Identify if there is any lasting effect of past trauma on the mind and address it through psychotherapy
(b) Pacify aggravated doshas and restore the healthy balance of the three doshas in the body using internal medicines and panchakarma therapies
(c) Strengthen sattva and restore the balance of three gunas of the mind with internal medicines and therapies like shirodhara and sirovasthi
What are the medicines and therapies used in the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala?
Medicines, panchakarma therapies, psychotherapy and yoga form the four pillars of ayurvedic treatment for anxiety. Internal medicines usually used are time-tested drugs that cross the blood-brain barrier and have corrective and healing effects on the brain to relieve anxiety, correct sleep problems, restore correct thinking patterns etc. Apart from these, rasayana medicines with rejuvenative properties on body and mind are also used. These medicines simultaneously bring about physical and mental improvement by restoring the balance in body and mind, thereby relieving symptoms like anxiousness, palpitation, sleep problems etc. Panchakarma cleansing therapies like nasya and virechana preceded by different forms of oleation and fomentation therapies like shirodhara, shirovasti, abhyanga etc. are part of treatment. Many of these therapies have a direct effect on the brain in balancing the stress hormones and preventing panic attacks. The cooling property of the medicines and therapies used and its soothing effect help reduce the symptoms in anxiety like excessive sweating, nervousness, anger and irritability.
Why is psychotherapy used in the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety?
Psychotherapy is used in ayurvedic treatment for anxiety to enable you to recognise your anxious thoughts and re-examine them, so that you can begin to frame your thoughts in a more realistic and constructive way when you are faced with stressful situations in life.
What is the role of yoga and meditation in the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety?
Yoga and meditation training form another important part of ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala. Specific yoga and meditation techniques that have a very powerful effect in reviving and sustaining the sattvic or creative state of mind are used as part of treatment. The regulated breathing techniques involved in pranayama and yogasanas enable free flow of prana (life force), thus enhancing clarity of thoughts and erasing the darkness created by rajas and tamas.
What is the duration required for ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for anxiety?
Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala has two parts - the inpatient part and the follow up part. The inpatient part of the treatment is to be done at an ayurveda hospital in Kerala. It usually takes 20 to 30 days to complete one course of inpatient treatment. The exact number of days required vary based on the history and severity of your condition. At the time of your discharge from the ayurvedic centre in Kerala, you will be prescribed some medicines to be taken at home for a few months. This is to be continued exactly as prescribed for the said time.
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety?
The earlier you seek ayurvedic treatment, the better will be the outcome and lesser will be the days of hospitalisation required. But even cases which are diagnosed late and have severe symptoms can be effectively managed with ayurvedic treatment. In cases where the symptoms are not severe and have started only recently, one course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala might be sufficient to manage the disease. But some chronic cases may need 1 or 2 follow up treatment sessions for sustained benefits.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
Kerala ayurvedic treatment for anxiety gives immense importance to diet and lifestyle because it plays a major role in causing,alleviating and preventing conditions like anxiety disorder and in determining the overall state of your body and mind.
What is the diet recommended in the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety?
A sattvic diet - that is, a diet that keeps sattva energy strong and keeps the rajas and tamas doshas under control - is what ayurveda suggests for those who are prone to anxiety. Foods that are bitter, spicy and hot like pickles, sour like fermented breads and excess amount of coffee are considered rajasic. Processed, canned, frozen and deep fried items are considered tamasic food items. Strictly avoid these two categories and instead make fresh, easily digestible and mildly flavoured food your habit. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbs like lettuce, spinach, parsley etc., low fat milk, a moderate amount of ghee, substituting refined sugar with natural alternatives like honey, maple syrup etc. and use of spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cumin etc will do you good.
What is the lifestyle recommended in the ayurvedic treatment for anxiety?
Lifestyle modification is essentially important in managing anxiety related problems. Only a calm and peaceful mind can think and respond to situations in a balanced way. Exercise regularly, breathe fresh air when you go for your daily walk, practise yoga, pranayama and meditation daily and do not suppress natural urges like bladder and bowel movements. Engage in activities that keep you away from stressful thoughts and find time to be with people who have a positive effect on you.
Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala is rooted in the belief that anxiety being a condition that affects the mind, the person needs gentle care in addition to pharmacological therapies. Anxiety disorders can be cured completely with ayurvedic treatment in a majority of cases with timely intervention and systematic treatment methods. The ayurvedic therapeutic approach combining psychotherapy, pharmacological therapy, diet, lifestyle modifications, yoga and meditation helps in balancing the stress hormones and doshas, thereby controlling disproportionate worries as well as negative thoughts and emotions. In addition, ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala offers a complete rejuvenation of body and mind and makes a normal life possible with its holistic approach.
Are lifelong ayurvedic medications necessary after anxiety treatment in Kerala?
No. You may have to take your medicines for about 3 to 4 months or more after discharge. These medicines will not cause drug dependence and can be safely withdrawn gradually under the physician’s guidance.
After completing ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in Kerala, can I completely stop the medications that I have been taking?
One of the important goals of ayurvedic treatment for anxiety is to help you break the dependence on anxiolytic drugs. In chronic cases, where it is not advisable to withdraw it all of a sudden, the dose is tapered and gradually stopped completely.
Are repeat courses of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala necessary for the treatment of anxiety disorder?
This is completely the decision of your treating physician based on on your condition and the progress you made with the first course of treatment.