Ask anyone in today’s fast-paced, stress-filled life whether they’ve experienced exhaustion, burnout, fatigue, or anxiety, in addition to several physiological or psychosomatic symptoms, and you will probably hear a unanimous YES! From chronic conditions like digestive concerns or migraines to emotional issues like mood swings, did you know that all solutions lie in the roots? Well, well- in case, you are wondering, we are essaying our classic wellness pun out here, folks!
From exploring the cause of the condition from the inside out to even resorting to natural ingredients such as therapeutic herbs and more, several alternative medicine modalities such as the age-old, traditional Ayurveda and its subset Aromatherapy are gaining momentum. With more patrons focussing on their overall well-being, adopting a holistic lifestyle to harmonize one’s mind, body and spirit seems like the way to go!
Often interrelated to achieve maximum potency, let’s understand the basics before we move on!
What is Ayurveda?
Did you know?
- A few research studies have testified that the Ayurvedic herb, Ashwagandha is useful for treating anxiety disorders.
- This 5000-year-old practice is also efficacious in pain management and treatment of chronic ailments.
- Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric helps slow down the progression of osteoarthritis, whilst improving cartilage function.
Aren’t these facts simply fascinating? Well, there are more! A holistic cure for most of our ailments, here is a little low-down on this ancient system of medicine.
A natural modality of medicine, Ayurveda, originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Rooted in the Sanskrit concepts of ‘Ayur’ meaning life, and ‘Veda’ meaning science or knowledge, Ayurveda eponymously refers to the knowledge of life. Just like any system of holistic living, this philosophy is based on the idea that an imbalance or stress in a person leads to several diseases, and certain lifestyle mediations and natural therapies can help restore harmony in one’s mind, body, spirit, and external environment.
Breaking down this practice, Ayurveda comprises the primary viewpoints of universal connectedness, which are as follows: the constitution of the body (Prakriti), and life forces (doshas). Starting with an internal purification process, the goals of such therapy align to approach the condition from the inside out. Special herbs and plants, including essential and herbal oils and certain spices, organic diet, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation make up important aspects of this traditional form of medical care.
While modern medicine has progressed manifold, presently, Ayurveda is still looked upon for its high efficacy, especially in India. Moreover, it can also be used as a complementary therapy, in adjunct to conventional care.
How does aromatherapy constitute a part of the Ayurvedic practice?
Did you know?
- Essential oils like lavender, rose or orange effectively reduce stress and anxiety, whilst promoting relaxation.
- A recent study attributed 10 types of plant essential oils to help relieve migraine symptoms.
- Numerous findings have suggested that topical application of antimicrobial oils like tea-tree can help prevent acne and pimples.
Having originated over 4,000 years ago, the practice of using aromatic essential oils extracted from natural plant and herb extracts is used as a valuable component in the comprehensive system of Ayurveda. Considered both an art and science, this essential oil therapy can help alleviate a variety of physical and emotional conditions, if used appropriately and under the guidance of an expert.
In Ayurveda, essential oils that are extracted from plants are considered the ‘life force,’ ‘soul,’ or ‘Prana.’ As a result of the body's response to the oil as well as the relationship between the two, one's Tejas (innate brightness) might be strengthened. The enticing fragrances that improve the oils' quality and enhance our immunity are referred to as "Ojas," which in turn awaken our minds, bodies, and senses. Seamlessly integrated into this holistic branch of alternative medicine, here’s how essential oils elevate Ayurveda, making it an important tool for the same
- Understanding the Doshas
Known as ‘scented’ or ‘fragrant’ oils in aromatherapy, essential oils are distilled from plants, which have their own distinct combination of 5 elements, namely, space, air, fire, water, and earth. According to one’s bodily constitution or doshas that correspond with the dominance of either of the five natural elements listed above, oils with certain ingredients are prescribed to balance the same. This concept spearheads and forms the foundation of the entire Ayurvedic school of thought. Deep-diving into this terminology, the following is a breakdown of these concepts along with the essential oils that can be used either topically or aromatically to bring about harmony and promote overall wellness and relaxation. They are as follows:
FUNCTION AND RECOMMENDED ESSENTIAL OIL BASIS THE ELEMENT
Filled with air, this dosha is related to the movement and flexibility within the body, which manifests in the form of muscle movement, breathing, rhythmic beating of the heart, and blinking. Imbalance in this constitution leads to fear and anxiety.
Restorative Aromatic Blends: Relaxing and calming oils such as clove, cinnamon, lavender, Roman chamomile, geranium, sandalwood, and frankincense.
Composed of fire and water, this dosha equates with the body’s metabolism and regulates digestion and body temperature. Balance in this constitution is correlated with intelligence, focus, and emotional regulation, whilst imbalance leads to anger.
Restorative Aromatic Blends: Soothing, stress-alleviating and anti-inflammatory oils like rose, fennel, sandalwood, ylang ylang, lemon, peppermint, and frankincense.
Infused in the elements of earth and water, this dosha influences the movement and hydration of the various body parts like moisturizing the skin, maintaining the health of the immune system, and oiling the joints. An imbalance in the same may give rise to mood disorders, skin conditions, and chronic pains.
Restorative Aromatic Blends: Anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting potent oils like rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, spearmint, basil, and frankincense.
- Mind-Body Connection: Recognizing the interconnectedness of the mind and body, Ayurveda employs aromatherapy to balance the mind and emotions by stimulating the sense of smell, thereby arousing, and impacting the nervous system, and the emotional epicenter of the brain- the amygdala. Having been transmitted through the olfactory nerves, certain aromas as mentioned above relax the mind, decrease stress, and foster emotional well-being.
- Modes of Usage: The most used Ayurvedic technique, an aromatherapy massage is said to be highly effective in promoting deep relaxation. The combined benefits of physical touch through massage also referred to as ‘Abhyanga,’ and the therapeutic qualities of essential oils prescribed according to one’s dosha as listed above boost muscle tone, lymph, and blood circulation.
Apart from topical application, you can also inhale the essential oils by using ambient diffusers, steam therapy, or modern-day wellness candles. Often used for purification and cleansing rituals, using a few drops of your favorite essential blends permeates your living space with healing fragrances, therefore creating a positive environment, and uplifting one’s mood and emotions.
- Method of Usage: Due to the high potency of raw aromatherapy oils, it is always recommended to dilute it in a superior-quality vegetable carrier oil before applying it to the skin to avoid side effects. From an Ayurvedic viewpoint, however, the raw essential oil when extracted is regarded as the ‘Agni’ or fire of the plant. Basis its keystone rule of ‘likes increases likes,’ when used in its raw form, its high potency increases the fire element, ‘Agnibhuta’ that damages tissues, systems, or functions, thereby disrupting one’s metabolism. It is perhaps for this reason that essential oils are not ingested.
Working towards eradicating imbalances in the body that are known to be the root cause of all ailments, there are numerous aromatherapy oils that are successfully used under the realm of Ayurveda. Apart from the individual’s dosha, health needs, and therapeutic goals, a practitioner also must pay heed to environmental factors such as the season and climate at the time of treatment.
Now, now! Isn’t Ayurveda rightly known as the ‘Mother of All Healing’? Fostering you to revitalize your spirit, and heal your body, we have some “essential” news to share with you. Read on to know more!
AROMAVEDA: A HOLISTIC MARRIAGE FOR A RELAXED TOMORROW
Beckoning you to an unparalleled oasis of tranquillity, we at Secret Alchemist are constantly striving to enable you to champion self-care. Delving into the powers of Mother Earth, and amalgamating the therapeutic efficiency of the myriad herbs and botanicals, whilst especially harnessing the advantages of its valuable component, essential oils as explained in detail above, our skilled experts have managed to redefine your wellness haven by introducing our take on all-natural, holistic well-being, i.e., the metamorphic concept of AromaVeda. Sounds enticing, isn’t it?
With a plea to bid adieu to popping pills for short-term gain, we are here to guarantee your wholesome longevity, and inherent strength by inculcating healthier habits. Immersing yourself in serene bliss, our therapeutic blends help awaken your senses, heal your body, and bring about balance to your state of mind, all whilst taking your personal needs and body type into consideration. Enjoying a bouquet of aromas, giving you a transcendental healing experience, it is time to relax, recharge, and revitalize your inner fervor by encountering and executing this replenishing phenomenon of AromaVeda- the quintessential all-encompassing Ayurvedic fixes to modern ailments!
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