Lifestyle disorders are on the rise, becoming a major health risk. These disorders are linked with lack of physical activity, unhealthy food choices, and consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, and smoking. Obesity is a major resultant of such lifestyle changes. Obesity or Sthaulya is one such disease that not only causes physical disorder to the person but also leaves a negative effect on his mental health. World Health Organisation has declared obesity as a global epidemic with 2.8 million deaths each year as per the reports of 2020. Ayurveda, the ‘Science of Life’ has emphasized on the dangers of Sthaulya, its prevention and treatment since time immemorial.
What is Obesity?
Obesity simply means having excess fat in the body. It is a multifactorial disease that triggers many other diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia. It is also a key factor in many types of cancers. The root of this malicious disease is the sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits.
Factors that cause Obesity according to Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, there are about four factors that cause Sthaulya or Obesity.
The first is called Kapha pradhanaja which is caused due to inefficient Kapha dosha, a life force that is responsible in controlling body strength, immunity, muscle growth, weight and stability.
The second is Meda-dhatu pradoshaja, a fatty tissue that is damaged. The third is called Bahu dosha avastha which is a multi-factorial condition and fourth is Santarpanjannya vyadhi or a disease triggered by a dysfunction in anabolism or excess nutrition. Lack of physical activities alongside the intake of difficult to digest, cold, greasy and sweet foods (Guru, Sheeta, Snigda and Madhuradi Kaphavardhaka respectively) cause deficiency of nutrition to the dhatus that support the basic functioning and structure of the body while increasing the medas or fatty tissues. Decreasing lifespan, bad odour, excessive hunger and perspiration, reduction in strength are all consequences of disproportionate medas.
Ayurvedic strategies that help manage Obesity or Sthaulya Roga
According to Ayurvedic principles, Obesity can be managed with the following procedures
Nidan Parivarjan is prevention of disorder causing factors in nourishment and lifestyle. It also includes prevention in further aggravating the disease.
- Balancing Kapha and Dosha: Foods containing saturated fatty acids should be avoided. Highly nutritious foods such as kulthi or horsegram, yav or barley, moong or green gram and buttermilk should be included in your diet. These super foods improve digestive strength without adding calories.
- Purification: Detoxifying treatments such as Basti and Virechan help in the internal purification of the body which helps balance metabolic rate.
- Body Massage: Udwartana is a deep body massage treatment in which powdered herbs and oils such as arjuna and nagarmotha are used to eliminate toxins through the skin and reduce cellulite from the body.
- Herbs: Herbs like triphala, guduchi, gugul, shilajit, shunthi, vidanga and honey are used to decrease excess meda, reduce cholesterol and hypertension, purify the blood and kill worms.
Apartarpana Chikitsa is used to drain excess fat stored in the body and emaciate bulky people. It is also related to Langhana or fasting. This is an ideal method in treating obesity.
Panchkarma treatment is a five-fold procedure that improves digestion, regularizes metabolic rate, eliminates diseases from the root, improves sensory functions, removes toxins from the body and improves overall health. Some of the Panchkarma treatments used are:
- Vamana or Emesis treatment: This treatment involves flushing out toxins from the body by means of vomiting.
- Virechana or Purgative treatment: This treatment involves removing toxins through purgation.
- Naysa or Nasal medication: Ayurvedic powders or liquids are administered through the nose.
Yoga or Pranayam
Pranayam or Yoga can help reduce excess fat from the body. There are two exercises that are good for Obesity.
- Kapalabhati or skull cleansing breath: This is a type of pranayam that involves regular inhalation and forceful exhalation. This is useful in burning belly fat.
- Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing: This helps generate heat in the body thereby burning excess fat.
These strategies are extremely important in treating obesity. Although it is almost unknown in our culture, yet it is the key to have a healthy weight reduction program. We at Total Ayurveda Care provide Ayurvedic treatments for Obesity tailored specifically according to your body requirements that can help you lose weight healthily and keep other health disorders at bay. Apart from weight loss, we also monitor your progress and help you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. To get a customized Ayurvedic treatment for Obesity and other health disorders contact our expert online Ayurvedic doctors at Total Ayurveda Care.
Food habits to incorporate
- Fix your meal timings and avoid eating at other times.
- Maintain a time difference of 3 hours in between each meal.
- Incorporate meals with low fat content, fibre rich foods, green salads, and fruit bowls.
- Reduce the intake of high processed foods, sugary drinks, dairy products such as butter and cheese, sweets, and fried items such as fries, burgers, chips etc.
Other useful habits
- Maintain a proper sleep balance. A 7-8 hour sleep is considered ideal.
- Try to quit unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption and drugs.
- Fasting periodically is always a good way to maintain optimum health.
- Drink at least 2 litres of water every day and avoid drinking cold water.
Adopting a healthy eating plan, simple lifestyle and a regular exercise schedule can keep disorders like Obesity at bay. Ayurveda is a natural and healthier way to fight obesity along with other lifestyle disorders. It also helps eliminate the disease from its roots rather than treating the symptoms alone. An Ayurvedic way of life stresses on balanced living. If you try to incorporate the practice of Ayurveda in your lifestyle, you will surely reap its benefits.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is presented for the sole purpose of education on Ayurveda and neither the details in this blog nor the products are intended to diagnose, cure, prevent. Treat, or mitigate any condition. If you have a medical condition, please consult a doctor or health professional. Total Ayurveda Care strongly recommends that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet through which your health will be benefited.