The health of joints and bones is of critical importance, for the proper functioning of our bodies. Ayurveda, the ancient science of holistic healing, promotes the balancing of Tridoshas for achieving optimum health and wellbeing. According to Ayurveda, the balance of Vata (one of the Tridosha) is critical for the health of joints and bones.
How can Vata imbalance affect bones and joints?
The Vata imbalance originates from the digestive tract, the Vata provoking lifestyle and diet causes an increase of Vata levels in the Colon. This results in bloating, gases, irregular appetite, constipation, and dryness of skin, nail, and hair. The creation of Ama (toxins) in the GI tract takes place due to the influence of excess Vata on Agni (metabolic fire).
The excess Vata enters the circulation of blood through the absorption from the colon, and gets deposited in joints and bones. The Ama, that's created due to the Vata imbalance, due to its affinity to Shleshaka Kapha, affects the cushioning of joints. The presence of Vata and Ama in the bones and joints is the cause of dryness in joints because it damages the cushioning, and results in the deterioration of bones and joints. The damaging effects of Vata on the bones and joints can be identified by following symptoms
- The excess Vata in joints causes cracking and popping during the movements of limbs. It also results in dryness of joints
- Joints feel cold upon touching
- Presence of tender points that are painful during movements.
Correcting the Vata imbalance
The correction of Vata imbalance is a two prolonged process that involves
- Clearing the accumulated Vata and Ama from the joints and bones, and its reversal to the colon for subsequent elimination.
- Tending to the metabolic fire at the joints and bones and in the digestive tract, to prevent the creation of excess Vata and the resulting Ama.
The correction of Vata imbalance is achieved by the following actions:
- Addressing the diet
- Massaging the joints
- Inclusion of Vata pacifying activities
- Using Vata pacifying herbs
A Vata pacifying diet is critical for correcting the Vata imbalance since the imbalance originates from the digestive tract. The following factors need to be considered to achieve the Vata balance
- Inclusion of nourishing and oily food
- Using the spices that kindle Agni such as saffron, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, fennel, garlic,
- Promoting the salty, sweet, and sour tastes, and avoiding astringent, pungent, and bitter tastes.
- The inclusion of higher quantities of organic oils like sesame oil, olive oil, and ghee.
- Consuming at least 60 to 80 ounces of hot or warm liquids like herbal teas and water.
- Avoiding cold drinks and cold foods, and any type of food that aggravate Vata.
Massaging the joints with oils helps in countering the rough and dry influence of Vata on joints. Massaging the joints with oils that are made from Castor or Ashwagandha or similar herbs, and soaking the joint in hot water or applying hot water bag, helps in healing the joints.
Vata pacifying lifestyle, activities and herbs
Restoring the Vata balance requires the presence of consistency and routine in life. An addition of any of the activities like exercising, meditation, yoga, and pranayama will benefit greatly in pacifying Vata, and in restoring the balance of Vata.
Also, use of herbs like Guduchi, Guggulu, Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Licorice, that pacify Vata. These herbs provide a plethora of benefits such as detoxifying the body, clearing the excess Ama, strengthening and lubricating the joints, etc.
Restoring the Vata balance is critical to prevent induced joint related problems, mostly resulting from wear and tear of joints and bones. Taking steps to restore the Vata balance helps in the maintenance of overall health.
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