Irritable bowel syndrome is a group of digestive disorders that causes abdominal pain, gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea. It generally develops over the course of years, so there is no quick-fix treatment for it. The only way to improve your condition is to manage it long term. Looking at the condition from an Ayurvedic angle is definitely helpful. According to Ayurveda, illnesses are caused when your doshas, the three energies – vata, pita, and kapha – that govern the physiological functions of the body, are not in balance. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are associated with an imbalance of vata (the dosha which is associated with air). Vata is mainly present in the colon and its imbalance causes constipation and gas.
The characteristics of vata are similar to that of wind: cold, dry, and irregular. So when your vata is in excess, it manifests as dryness of eyes, skin, mouth, or intestinal tract. Vata imbalance also causes irregular digestive patterns and energy levels. Through Ayurvedic therapy, vata is rebalanced, which means coldness and irregularities are minimized and warmth and routine are maximized. This can be achieved by consuming proper foods, drinks, and herbs, by exercising, and by massaging the affected areas. Here are some of the ways you can rebalance your vata.
1. Maintain A Routine
The wind is characterized as being irregular and chaotic, so maintaining a proper routine is crucial when it comes to balancing your vata. Set up a schedule for sleeping, waking, exercising, relaxing, and eating, and try and stick to it as much as possible. Incorporate fixed timings for exercising, performing yoga, and massages into your schedule. Drink plenty of fluids such as fruit juices, vegetable juices, and hot water with lemon and honey throughout the day.
2. Reduce Your Stress
People with vata imbalance tend to be disorganized and get confused and anxious quite easily. Slowing down and unwinding will benefit such people to a great extent. Set time aside to practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation. You can also practice a relaxation technique called systemic relaxation, which focuses on different parts of your body from your head to your toes. It helps you consciously relax each part of your body one at a time. Relaxing before meals makes your body more receptive to the nourishment you provide it.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise improves your digestion and bowel movement, relieving you from constipation. People with vata imbalance will benefit from performing exercises that strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. You can also perform exercises that help strengthen your joints as people with vata imbalance are prone to weak joints. If you are not a physically active person, you can start by just walking. As you get stronger, you can start doing some form of aerobic exercises.
4. Massage With Warm Oil
In order to balance your vata, especially during the cold winter months, you can get warm-oil massages. The oil will give you warmth and will nourish your system. It will also ease the tension from your mind and body, helping you relax.
5. Eat Well
People with vata imbalance should stay away from dry foods, dairy, and carbonated drinks. Instead, you should eat warm, cooked, nutritious, and slightly oily foods. The food you eat should be slightly salty and sweet. Sweet foods nourish your body and salt helps your body retain moisture. You should also include herbs in your foods, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, bay leaf, clove, fenugreek. You can take other powerful herbs like punarvana, ashwagandha, and shitavari too but consult an Ayurvedic expert before you do so.
When you take the Ayurvedic approach to treat irritable bowel syndrome, you should not expect to get better overnight. You should be patient as it’s not like taking a capsule for your illnesses. It is a long-term treatment and a long-lasting one too.