Live in a Natural Way – A time proven approach accepted globally
Ayurved is an ancient science of life. It is the science which not only deals with the curative aspect of diseases but gives more importance to preventive aspects. “Prevention is better than cure”. There is a close relationship between the lifestyle of an individual and the state of health and disease. Lifestyle refers to someone’s way of living or we can say the dietary (Ahara) and behavioral (Vihara) choices of an individual that he/she usually practices in their daily routine of life. In a broad sense, the state of positive health implies the notion of “perfect functioning” of the body and mind. Acharya Sushruta defined a healthy person as – He, in whom, the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), Agni (digestive power), the seven Dhatus (Tissues), Malas (Waste products) and their activities are normal, his soul, sense organs and mind are calm/clear, is called Swastha (Healthy person).
Acharya Sushruta, while defining a healthy person includes both physical and mental dimensions of health, stating that health is multidimensional. We can conceptualize health biologically as a state in which every cell and every organ is functioning at optimum capacity and in perfect harmony with the rest of the body. The science of Ayurveda has 2 objectives-“swasthasya swaasthyarakshnam aaturasya vikaara prashamnam” – i.e. to maintain the positive health in the individuals who are healthy and to treat the persons who are suffering from the disease. For fulfillment of the first objective (to maintain positive health in healthy individuals), Ayurveda has mentioned some lifestyle strategies: 1.) Dincharya (Daily regimen) 2.) Ritucharya (Seasonal regimen) 3.) Sadvritta (Good moral conducts) Ashtang Yoga (Eightfold yoga path first described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras) All these strategies are preventive rather than curative and dincharya (Daily regimen) is one of these preventive principles of ayurved. These daily regimens if followed regularly have beneficial physiological effects on our body and our mind.
VARIOUS DINCHARYA MODALITIES AND THEIR BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON BODY AND MIND:- Ayurved describes some daily regimen modalities for maintenance of positive health required for the achievement of a long, healthy active life, achieving satisfactory enjoyment of life and attainment of self realization.
1.) Brahmamuhurta jagrana : It is advisable to wake up during Brahma muhurta (early in the morning i.e. 90 minutes before sunrise. Nascent oxygen in the atmosphere in the early morning easily and readily mixes up with hemoglobin
· To form oxy-hemoglobin this nourishes the remote tissues rapidly. Exposure to bright light in early morning causes the release of serotonin (Neurotransmitter – biochemically derived from tryptophan) which contributes to feelings of well being and happiness and keeps the person active and alert. In the early morning, there is minimal pollution (noise, water, air) which enhances the concentration.
· Today’s modern lifestyle results in the development of many faulty habits like late night sleeping and waking up late in the morning. Late night sleeping or chronic sleep loss causes the elevation of cortisol which in turn is responsible for rise in B.P (secondary hypertension) and is likely to promote the development of insulin resistance, a risk factor for obesity and diabetes.
2.) Ushna Jalpana : 1-2 glasses of water kept for whole night should be taken before sunrise. Not drinking enough water in a day is also a triggering factor for renal stones, hemorrhoids and constipation
3.) Shauchvidhi : Every person should eliminate the natural urges (feces and urine) daily. Defecation at proper time clears the rectum, increases digestive power and prevents various manifestations like constipation, foul smelling flatus.
4.) Achamana / Mukha – Netra Prakshalana (Washing of face and eyes): To prevent eye diseases.
5.)Dantadhavana (Tooth brushing) : It is directed to clean the teeth in the morning and after taking meals. It stimulates taste perception and increases the salivation.
· Saliva contains salivary amylase (Ptyalin) which plays a role in breaking down food particles – entrapped within dental crevices, thus protecting teeth from bacterial decay. Saliva contains lysozyme and secretory IgA which act as antimicrobial agents. In ayurvedic texts, it is mentioned to clean the teeth by chewing twigs of certain medicinal plants which makes the gums stronger and is also a good exercise of facial muscles.
6.) Jihva –nirlekhana (tongue cleaning): Tongue should be cleaned by a long flexible strip of metal or plant material. According to acupressure theory, tongue has many more acupressure points which initiate the proper functioning of vital organs like liver, kidney, bladder, stomach, intestine.
7.) Anjana (application of collyrium in eyes): In today’s time, excessive work on computer results in dry eye or computer vision syndrome. When Anjana dravyas are applied, it causes irritation to eyelids and conjunctiva and enhances the circulation. Many researchers predict that high frequency emerging from cell phones increases the stress level and may also cause vision problems.
8.) Nasya (oily nasal drops): Sticky nature of the Nasya dravyas (Anu taila, katu taila) avoids the entry of dust particles into the nasal tract. The olfactory nerve endings are seen on a cribriform plate of ethmoid bone, Nasya dravyas triggers the nerve endings and sends the message to the CNS and initiates the normal physiological functions of the body.
9.) Sneha gandusha dharana (Retaining oil in mouth): The sukhoshna (lukewarm) gandusha and kavala dravyas are used which improves the circulation of oral cavity. Gargling procedure of kavala poses the massaging effect over the oral mucosa and even strengthens the muscles of cheek, face and jaw bones.
10.) Dhumpana (medicated fume inhalation): When the dhumpana dravyas are lightened with fire, it releases the smoke, soot and even CO2. Carbon atoms in CO2 have the tendency to stimulate the respiratory center present in the brain stem which may trigger the normal physiological function of the respiratory system. Disinfectant action of the dhumpana dravyas like haridra, guggulu and vacha cleanses the respiratory tract, oral cavity and pharynx.
11.) Tambula bhakshana (chewing betel leaves): stimulates the taste bud Increases salivation (Ptyalin enzyme), scraps the deposited matter.
12.) Abhyanga (oil massage): A person should do oil massage daily. Massage enhances the overall blood circulation and transport the potency of drugs to desired part. Massage triggers the acupressure point which induces the release of endorphins which shows analgesic effect.
13.) Vyayama (Physical Exercise): Physical Exercise increases the carbohydrate metabolism (Glycolysis) and causes lipolysis of accumulated adipose tissue (Gluconeogenesis) thereby causing abolishment of extra fat. It increases O2 supply to remote tissues. The perspiration takes out the accumulated toxins from the body.
14.) Chankramana: It is a variety of exercise which does not cause any kind of trouble to the body. It clears the channels of the body and increases the perceptive power of organs.
15.) Snana (Bath): Daily bath improves enthusiasm, strength, appetite and removes sweat and other impurities from the body.
16.) Sandhyopasana / Mangalakritya (Worship of Divine): One should remember God and do Bhagwadsamarana daily. One should do self – analysis of daily activities.
The rapid modernization has changed the lifestyle and behavioral patterns of people which is responsible for occurrence of lifestyle disorders like cervical and lumbar problems, cancer, and appendicitis on a large scale in the population. The incidence of these lifestyle diseases in the past decades, has reached alarming proportions with increasing westernization of lifestyle. The management of these lifestyle disorders demands modification in faulty dietary and behavioral habits of a person. According to the science of ayurveda, stress should be laid upon health promotion rather than management of disease. Ayurveda provides better solution in the form of following proper Dincharya regimen described in Ayurvedic texts which promotes positive health of the individuals by maintaining normal physiological functions of the body and keeps the person healthy forever by slowing down the irreversible changes occurring in the body with the advancement of time(age).
With the advancement of time, a lot of changes have taken place inevitably in the social and religious customs and behavior and also in the mode of lifestyle of people. The dincharya regimen if followed properly helps to attain physical, mental and spiritual well being of an individual.