According to Ayurveda, the holistic health science from India, the body & mind are governed by three energies or doshas : Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person is born with an innate constitution consisting of a unique balance of the three doshas.
Ayurveda lends insight into the drug-free management of chronic conditions.
Stress, environmental conditions, poor eating habits, lack of sleep and other factors can upset the balance of the doshas and lead to health issues. If the signs and symptoms of a doshic imbalance (usually one dosha is aggravated and increases in quantity) go unchecked, a full-blown disease state can develop.
Fibromyalgia is a prime example of excess Vata.
Vata dosha is the manifestation of air and wind in the body so it is naturally responsible for movement. If it weren’t for Vata, your bodily fluids wouldn’t circulate, your intestines wouldn’t undulate and help you pass stool (and gas!), and your brain couldn’t communicate with the rest of your body. The list goes on, but I think you get the point.
A hectic, stressful lifestyle is one of the prime aggravators of Vata.
Some of the symptoms of Vata imbalance include:
- Anxiety, nervousness, fear
- Restlessness, hyperactivity, tremors, tingling
- Spaciness, confusion
- Gas, bloating and constipation
- Poor circulation (cold hands & feet)
- Dry skin, chapped lips
- Muscle aches & fatigue
- Light sleep
- Stiffness (ie. stiff neck, pelvic girdle pain)
- Generalized pain
Hmm… Sounds like all the symptoms of fibromyalgia that I’ve experienced.
Strategies that help to quell Vata dosha and ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- Follow a regular routine : get up and go to bed at the same time each day
- Avoid ice cold foods and drinks (and raw foods if you live in a cold environment)
- Try to eat your meals at set times (and don’t go too long between eating, so snack as necessary)
- Enjoy lots of healthy fats : butter, ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, olive oil, avocado
- Cook with warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper
- Dress in layers of warm clothing (especially on cold & windy days)
- Listen to pleasant music and use aromatherapy or scented candles to soothe the senses
- Engage in regular gentle exercise : ie. hatha yoga, tai chi, leisurely walk in nature, swimming
- Massage your body with sesame oil. Click here for more info…
- Enjoy warm baths, hot showers and steams
Don’t try to adopt all these strategies at once! Try one or two to start and then gradually add additional habits. The last thing you want to do is stress yourself out because you put too much on your plate.
Always strive for progress, not perfection. And have fun.