Demystify Ayurveda: Rheumatoid Diseases – oppression of emotions, a Vata caused illness

In Ayurveda, immunity is vyadhikshamatva in Sanskrit, meaning “forgiveness of disease.” The essence of motherly love is forgiveness.

With the increased measures taking place in Hong Kong these days, I’ve decided to use this down time to study Seth’s Materials by Jane Roberts after my first encounter to Seth’s Materials series 8 years ago. I bought the last Seth’s book called “The Way Toward Health.” To my surprise, Jane Roberts, the medium and author, died from severe Arthritis in her mid 50s in 1984. Another trigger to write about this specific topic is that I’ve consulted many people who currently suffer from various Rheumatoid symptoms. I am suddenly surrounded myself with different severity of rheumatoid diseases and clients that I have gone much deeper than ever on this typical Vata aggravated illness.

In Chinese, Rheumatoid is written as “Wind + Wetness” (written as 風濕 in Traditional Chinese characters), which is alike Ayurveda that also addresses Rheumatoid diseases to Vata caused diseases. When we look at the quality of Vata, which is the combination of Ether & Air, cold, pain, irregular, mobile, dry and cracking manifest themselves in rheumatoid diseases.

Rheumatoid disease like rheumatic fever, rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis are auto-immune conditions. The Ama (toxins) in the body is tightly wedged into you that some of your own tissues are destroyed by immune reactions. A typical result is that synovial fluid gets clogged and becomes harder to lead to immobility of the body and affect the body functions. The pains are around the joints, like fingers, toes, knees, and ankles that may last few hours to longer to impair the body movements. And rheumatoid arthritis can affect the heart and eventually kill. It has to be treated immediately.

Physiologically, Rheumatoid is called “Ama-Vata” in Sanskrit, which when Vata circulates Ama all throughout the body via Vyana Vayu. (Ama means half-digested food wastes or toxins) The most important initiating cause seems to be improper diet, which creates Ama. Other causes will be overwork exhaustion, excessive exercise, frequent sex, intense worry and strong emotions such as grief. Any Vata aggravated attitudes and lifestyle will worsen the conditions and eventually Kapha imbalances will kick in if initial cause is not uprooted. The sticky, opaque and dense Ama can be found in joints of every sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis. This is different from osteoarthritis, which is due to aging process. In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial fluid fails to lubricate the joints and clots. Synovial fluid is one of the body’s reservoir of Kapha force. Kapha has a similar caramel characteristic as Ama, which is accumulated in the joints and immobile them.

Vata = Ether + Wind

Psychologically, Rheumatoid is manifested from improper digestion of life experiences. Oppression of strong emotions of griefs, sadness, fears and insecurities and use over-work exhaustion as an escape to “empty the mind” will lead to illness. The avoidance of any strong emotions will lead to physical illness as our cells don’t work with oppression but expansion. And another interesting sign is no desire for food as the emotions will decrease the appetite and the sufferers end up improperly consume food at irregular hours, or eating without appetite, all these behaviours lead to more Ama in the body. Another explanation of psychosis arthritis is that taking a sick leave from work is more widely accepted to the public when the body is down with Rheumatoid diseases than mental disease. It’s a way of coping mechanism in the body to immobilise and condition the extremities without totally disrupting its balance of the mind.

Questions to ask yourself: What is it we are making ourselves unable to move freely? What is it outside that is threatening our identity and security?

There are still many ways to explain how the Rheumatoid disease come about and how to treat accordingly to different medical systems. In Ayurveda, the initial phases before the fluids clogged and impairing the movement ability, Vata is the primary causation to treat. In any Ayurveda consultation, I ask my clients to be 100% honest with themselves if they wish to uproot their causation. It is definitely not easy for Rheumatoid sufferers to face and deal with past hurts as that’s one of the reason that initiates the diseases. The psychological check-in questions I will normally ask, if they are ready, whether if they are escaping a certain role to play in the society or any oppressed strong emotions due to separations (real or potential). The auto-immune system is your war against yourself, there is no intruders from outside. If we can recognise this and start asking the right questions, the healing will begin.

Therefore treating Vata and maybe a combination of Kapha are the common practice according to the severity of the diseases. Ayurveda is working best side by side with modern medicines as you should never replace your acute medical treatment with Ayurveda. Rheumatoid diseases can vary from minor to severe. You should always find an experienced practitioner to understand your imbalances to change your lifestyle and attitudes. My teacher always said if the clients are not doing their homework, please ask them not to come back. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so set your expectation when it comes to treat your diseases as it’s a life-long habit not just present.

Please note that my point of view can vary from other Ayurveda practitioner depending on what their specialities are. If you like my sharing, feel free to re-share (quote the source) and subscribe my blog post. Stay healthy and safe.

Thanks for reading!

ayurveda covid-19 demystifyayurveda digestion guthealth kapha love meditaiton pitta retreat rheumatioid self-love vata vatayogahk yoga

How to use Ayurveda during COVID-19?

I have practiced Ayurveda since 2016 after my 200-hour Ayurveda Yoga Therapist training with ThaiVedic in Bali, Indonesia. I started it as my personal routine and it has worked very well for me after experimenting different healing modalities. Ayurveda is a new life style that preserves the longevity of life. It has helped me grow mentally and physically to where I want to be. I have benefited so much with my new Ayurveda life style and I noticed myself being less sick, less fatigues, more grounded and more resilient. I was working a 9-6 corporate hectic job and teaching Yoga simultaneously for 3 years and my Ayurveda habit supported me with the energy and strengths I needed to manage many tasks on my plate. And I am reaching my 40s now but never feeling so young, rejuvenated, and centered.

How to survive COVID-19 with Ayurveda? I prefer to replace the word “survive” with “thrive” and “out-grow.” Every crisis is an opportunity of personal growth. We do not grow when we stay in our comfort zones. If we observe and pay careful attentions to COVID-19, the virus itself is able to co-exist in human body peacefully without causing disturbances nor doing harms. Yes, we are seeing a lot of deaths but we are also seeing a lot of people infected without showing any symptoms. This perfectly explained that virus is part of nature and we are also part of nature. If we are all part of nature, then we can be one. Ayurveda’s core value is to bring harmony between us to Nature, Mother Earth. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” Ayurveda teaches us to embody a life style to create true peace with the Nature. All healings come from Nature, including us. All healings come from within, from us.

In Ayurveda’s term, AHAMKARA means Mother Nature aka Immune System Governor. AHAMKARA originates from Spirits, Mind and Sense Organs, enabling us to express, to feel and to experience the worldly events. When AHAMKARA is imbalanced, damaged and collapsed, they manifest in diseases. Good spiritual health is the pre-requisite for good physical and mental health; therefore, we must cultivate spiritual health first to develop a good immune system to defend COVID-19.

Let’s take a closer look at COVID-19 itself based on Ayurveda. Virus is Pitta dominated according to its physiological symptoms such as temperatures, heat, sweat, eye sights, inflammation and mental imbalances such as agitations, aggression, resentments and impatiences towards the politics, government policies and unplanned events. Also the COVID-19 is creating a lot of Vata imbalances such as dry cough, pneumonia, respiratory sickness, fears, uncertainty about future, sleeping problems, anxiety, depressions, frustrations and loss of weight, loss of hair and body liquid, dry skins, slower bowl movement..,etc. Thus, I have created a simple and easy-to-adapt routine for modern people who are currently working from home, staying at home and under quarantine to treat mainly Vata and Pitta.

COVID-19 Ayurveda 14 Day Simple Routine to Treat Pitta & Vata Imbalances:

(The best time to wake up for Ayurveda is before sunrise at 4-5AM but if you cannot try below)

6-7 AM Wake up, gentle tongue scrap (with brass scrapper or a small tea spoon), oil purging 5 mins (best with coconut or flex seed, or any vegetable oils like olive), brush teeth and wash your face

7 AM Drink warm water with lemon or turmeric/ ginger tea (fresh or tea bags) to help warm up your digestive fires

7-8 AM Morning Exercise (Keep it moderate up to 1 hour, do not over exhaust, build sufficient energy and chi for the day but not to crush yourself!)

i) Practice simple breathing exercise (Calming Breaths: Inhale from both nostrils x 6, hold x 3 and exhale x6 for 5 rounds with eyes closed), Set 1 positive intention for the day, say a prayer to yourself and anyone

ii) Start with easy stretch and circular movements, Tai Chi, Yoga Sun Salutation

iii) Include 1-2 strengthening exercise: prank, push ups, balancing pose, inversions

iiii) End your exercise with long hold stretches, twist and supine poses to cool down

Practice a short sitting meditation up to 15 mins by closing your eyes. You can listen to Pitta meditation I created here

8:15 AM Shower and spray some natural aromatic scent to cheer yourself

8:30 AM Light breakfast – include cooked grains (muslins, granolas), soft fruit, juice and warm tea, main consumption on easy-to-digest food for morning

9AM Work, check your to-do list, prioritize your tasks

10-12PM Pitta time – a good time to go out, have meetings, sales visits and complete difficult long due tasks

12PM Biggest meal of the day, Pitta – less spices, less oils, less deep fried food, less processed food, and less overly seasoned food

2-4PM Vata time – a good time to be creative, brain storming, writing proposals, creating new things and projects, create to-do list for next day

5PM Prepare dinner

6PM (the best time to have dinner for Ayurveda is 5pm) Dinner

Keep it light and fresh, with lots of green and fruit, less raw food (Vata)

8PM Kapha time: cultivate love and family time, nurture yourself with a nice bath, slow music, aroma therapy and self massage

9PM Yoga Nidra Meditation (Deep Relaxation) or Yin Yoga, Sitting Meditation before getting ready to sleep

Before 10PM Bed time

To treat excessive Pitta: try to plan less and less far ahead, because we are now living in an extremely unpredictable world with COVID-19. We only frustrate ourselves if we cannot keep our promises to ourselves when we cannot control. To learn when to let go of control and understand it’s okay not to have a big goal right now. To develop patiences in this difficult time for Pitta people is the best asset for future.

To treat excessive Vata: to mediate more, to create a routine (new or old) and commit to the routine for 21 days to make it a habit to stay centered. To develop and deep dive into a new skill to help maintain focus and train your mind.

Take a lot of water, wash your hands, lubricate your body with oils (coconut oils) and keep your simple exercise at home. Join a virtual community if you need that friendly push! Ask your friends/ colleagues to attend online Yoga, Fitness and Meditation classes. Create a self-healing tool to strengthen your AHAMKARA aka immune system. Take your power back. Honour your body. Love yourself. Start today!

“Living equally for yourself, another and the world. Without preference based on past attachment or future desires, we choose because in that moment, it is the most balanced and ideal action to serve all 3 aspects of our true self,”Purpose of Being-Alive. And this equates to the principle of Karma Yoga, we don’t cease to work because we should work continuously without attaching to the outcomes. The each action (Karma) we choose should base on 1/3 the benefit of me, 1/3 the benefit of all living things and 1/3 the benefit of process of action itself. “Health is a direction not the destination,” by Ayurveda.

Sending you love and peace.

A-shanti, shanti, shantihi…