Ayurvedic Treatments For Better Mental Health

  • 02 May 2019

According to Ayurvedic texts, humans are classified according to their Dosha: Vata, Pita, and Kapha.

Ayurveda also speaks about the body (Sarira), the mind (Manas), the physical/psychological senses (Indriya) and the soul (Atma). It aims to promote overall health by creating a balance between all the components.

Manas has three different traits (Gunas). The first (Sattva) is associated with positive traits such as self-control, wisdom, spiritual awareness, patience, and happiness. The second (Rajas) covers negative traits like anger, greed, and violence. The third (Tamas), is associated with qualities such as lethargy, depressive symptoms, and selfishness.

Mental illness is thought to happen when an imbalance occurs between these three Gunas; and is also related to a person's Dosha and lifestyle.

Treatment involves a holistic combination of diet and lifestyle changes. Yoga, massage, aromatherapy and spiritual counselling which includes mantras, meditation and fasting may be used.

There is an Ayurvedic technique known as Sattvavajaya that is used to improve mental health.

Sattvavajaya involves helping the patient to calm and restructure the mind while replacing negative thoughts with positive ones – a similar treatment in the West called Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

From the Ayurvedic perspective, mental illness is connected to one's own body and the three Doshas. Western psychiatry practice has been up to now criticised for separating the body from the mind.

New research are showing that the body and brain are in fact closely linked as described by Ayurvedic practitioners.

Photo source: Nu Ayurveda clinic

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