Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.
The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.
Let’s face it: the modern world is stressful.
With the majority of adults reporting experiencing stress, stress can become the elephant in the room that is our daily lives, controlling our behind-the-scenes thoughts and making everything feel that little bit harder.
And with chronic stress even reducing human lifespans, it’s clear we need a change.
But what if we could find a traditional solution to a modern problem? I’m here to tell you we can!
As well as maintaining a healthy gut, EFT tapping, and regular meditation, Ayurveda can help us to live a healthier life, both physically and mentally. And the less stressed we are, the more we can enjoy our daily lives. Sounds good, right?
We’ve already explored Ayurvedic weight loss foods, but today’s post turns its attention to how age-old Ayurvedic medicines can help us manage stress. Let’s get into it.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. The term comes from the Sanskrit words ayur, meaning life, and Veda, meaning science or knowledge.
Not to be viewed as an alternative to modern medicine for acute disease but rather as an accompaniment and form of lifestyle medicine that can promote wellness, Ayurveda centres around the idea of balance.
If it sounds a little hippie-ish, well, it kinda is. It’s what hippies have based their Ayurvedic treatment ideas on. However, the truth is practitioners have been implementing Ayurvedic techniques for centuries with impressive results.
Long before daisy chains and psychedelics.
Followers of Ayurveda believe that illness and poor health occur due to imbalance in a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Lifestyle interventions, herbs, and natural therapies are recommended to rebalance those imbalances.
This traditional system of medicine promotes a holistic approach to health, which considers lifestyle changes and medication when it comes to improving health outcomes.
Holistic just means you’re looking at the body as a whole and how it interacts rather than zoning in and treating one issue at a time.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, tips from one of the oldest systems of healthcare on the planet can help. Here are some Ayurvedic treatments to help you avoid the negative health outcomes of stress.
Ayurvedic Techniques for Stress Management
Ayurveda is all about balance. Read on to discover how you can use the practices of this ancient system to improve your physical and mental health.
Balance your dosha
Ayurveda is centred around the idea of a dosha. There are three doshas that a person can tend towards, and these substances or states are more or less present in your body at certain times of your life.
Think of them as a series of light dimmers. If the light of one dosha is too bright, you’ll have to dim the switch and brighten up the other doshas instead.
Most of us tend more strongly towards one dosha throughout our lives, so we need to balance this out to find equilibrium in our health. You can take an online quiz to determine which dosha best describes you.
Balancing your dosha leads to mental health benefits as well as physical ones, such as less stress and a better ability to take on the world, even on more difficult days!
Those with the vata dosha should prioritise sweet, sour, and salty foods – the three S’s. The food should be warm and comforting – think stews, avocados, butter, and eggs.
Ginger and turmeric are popular herbs to balance out those who have high levels of vata. Add garlic to foods and sip on herbal tea with Brahmi leaves for maximum results.
Those with the pitta dosha are fiery and prone to hot flushes, so prioritising cold food and drink is the best place to start. For the most part, pitta is reduced by avoiding excessive heat.
Spicy food can also be a trigger, so keep that to a minimum.
Recommended foods for the pitta dosha include oats, melon, rice, grapes, legumes, and leafy greens.
Those with the kapha dosha should streamline their eating habits – sticking to a few meals daily and avoiding regular snacks throughout the day.
Light food is better than dense food for those who tend towards Kapha, with abundant fresh fruit and vegetables being great for this dosha. Specific foods that help balance kapha include berries, black beans, lemon and lime, and pumpkin seeds.
While these rules don’t need to be followed word for word, they can certainly help you reach a better equilibrium in your health.
Plus, figuring out your dosha and adjusting accordingly can help with more than just stress – it’s great for all-round health.
Take Ayurvedic herbs and supplements
Ayurvedic is mainly an alternative medicine, so rather than recommending things like painkillers and antibiotics, this ancient system relies on herbs and supplements.
It doesn’t have to be hard, either.
Next time you’re snuggled up on the couch watching Netflix or enjoying a lunch break for work, simply add a herbal tea into the mix or rub a herbal oil on your feet. If you’re feeling stressed, here are some natural Ayurvedic treatments to feel better.
This well-known herb is a must-have in your fight against stress. Brahmi supposedly lowers the levels of stress hormones and can help improve concentration, putting a pep in your step for the day ahead.
One of the most common culprits of stress is poor sleep. And if you’re not sleeping well, lying in bed hoping you’ll fall asleep can be even more stress-inducing. The good news is this herb promotes restorative sleep and helps to reduce insomnia, reducing your overall feelings of stress and anxiety.
If you use this herb in tea, it promotes calming effects on the body, which can help you recover from stress. In oil form, bhringraj can be massaged into the scalp for not only a pleasant massage therapy experience but also an overwhelming sense of calm. Plus, it supports hair growth. Win-win!
This Ayurvedic medicine oil should be used for foot massages to relieve stress. It’s especially great for bringing a dose of vata to pitta doshas as well as promoting deep sleep.
Said to be one of the best herbs for healing mental health, this Ayurvedic medicine should be your go-to when you find your mind running with overwhelming thoughts.
Known for its anti-stress and anti-fatigue qualities, Jatamasi has therapeutic effects on the mind and can provide users with a sense of stability.
The Ayurvedic Practice of Yoga
Both inside and outside of Ayurveda, yoga is acknowledged as one of the best types of exercise for reducing stress.
Not only is it low-impact and accessible to all body types and fitness levels, but it also promotes a mind-body connection that can boost your levels of calm and contentment. It’s also a lot more accessible and unique than, say, available herbal remedies.
This mind-body-spirit connection is perfect for balance, which Ayurveda wants to address. Thanks to yoga poses and flows, you can release blockages in your body through muscle knots and tension.
The studies back this up, too. Doing yoga three times a week lowers stress and even boosts short-term memory.
Here are some yoga poses and moves in particular that Ayurveda recommends for treating feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Child’s pose. Kneel and sit on your knees. Move forward and rest your forehead on the ground before you, keeping your position on your knees but stretching your arms out in front of you. Practise deep breathing in this position until you feel relaxed.
- Hero pose. Begin on all fours, then bring your knees closer together and put your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Pressing the top of your feet down, slowly lower your hips back until you’re sitting on the mat between your heels. Ground your sitting bones and maintain good posture, all while practising breathwork.
- Tree pose. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips and raise your right foot onto your left thigh or shin. Your knees should be facing the side. Once you’re balanced, bring your hands to a prayer pose before your heart.
- Standing forward, bend. This simple pose is perfect for grounding and doesn’t require a high fitness level. Begin standing with your knees loose and fold your torso over your legs. If you can, touch your feet or the floor; if you can’t, simply let your legs dangle. Practise deep breathing in this position.
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine – Massage Therapy Discover the Benefits and How to Get Started
If you’re looking for something else besides food, ayurvedic herbs, and other ayurvedic medicine, it might be time to try massage. Ayurvedic practitioners have used massage techniques for healing and Ayurvedic treatment for centuries.
Known as Abhyanga, this is an ancient technique that balances the body, mind, and spirit by addressing each individual’s unique constitution.
Not only does it help to soothe and relax the body, but it also possesses a wealth of benefits. In this section, we’ll uncover the benefits of Abhyanga and guide you on how to embark on your journey to a healthier and more balanced life.
Benefits of Traditional Ayurvedic Massage
- Physical relaxation: By stimulating the lymphatic system, improving circulation, and relieving muscle tension, Ayurvedic massage helps reduce physical fatigue and promotes relaxation.
- Mental tranquillity: Through the release of endorphins, the massage helps balance emotions, reduce anxiety, and enhance mental alertness.
- Improved sleep: Ayurvedic massage helps balance the sleep cycle, generating restorative and restful nights contributing to overall wellness.
- Detoxification: Through immune-boosting strokes and herbal-infused oils, Ayurvedic massage supports the body’s natural detoxification process and helps eliminate toxins.
- Skin nourishment: Herbal oils penetrate the skin, providing nutrients and hydration, revealing a radiant and healthy complexion.
How to Get Started with Abhyanga
- Consult a professional: Before starting your Ayurvedic massage journey, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or therapist who can guide you based on your unique constitution (dosha). They will recommend the most suitable herbal oil blends and can offer further advice on performing Abhyanga.
- Choose the right oil: Selecting the appropriate herbal oil for your dosha is vital. For instance, sesame oil is suitable for Vata types, while coconut oil is optimal for Pitta types, and sunflower or almond oil is best suited for Kapha types.
- Prepare your space: Set up a comfortable, warm, and quiet environment for your Ayurvedic massage. If possible, use a dedicated space free from distractions. Light candles or use soft lighting to create a relaxing atmosphere.
- Warm the oil: Gently heat the oil in a glass or stainless steel container by placing it in a bowl of warm water. The oil should be comfortably warm to effectively penetrate the skin.
- Begin massaging: Start massaging your body, beginning at the extremities and working towards your heart with gentle, rhythmic strokes. Use long strokes for the limbs and circular strokes for the joints. The scalp, ears, and soles of the feet are highly receptive areas, so pay close attention to them.
- Be mindful: While performing Abhyanga, focus on your breath and practice mindfulness. This will heighten the rejuvenating effects of the massage, allowing the mind and body to achieve harmony.
- Rest: After the massage, the oil will be absorbed by your skin for approximately 10-15 minutes before taking a warm bath or shower. The warm water will open your pores, allowing the herbal oils to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Consistency is Key
To truly unlock the benefits of traditional Ayurvedic therapy, consistency is essential.
This applies to all ayurvedic therapies, but massive in particular, as it’s a process that gets better over time. You need to work on your muscles and physical body. It’s never just one-and-done after seeing an Ayurvedic doctor once.
Incorporating Abhyanga into your daily routine is recommended, as it will help maintain balance and well-being over the long term. Abhyanga need not be time-consuming, with 10-20 minutes spent daily resulting in profound physical and mental transformations.
By embracing a traditional Ayurveda treatment like massage, you’re on the path to a more balanced and healthier life, effectively combating the stressors of today’s fast-paced world and promoting overall wellness.
Ayurveda for Stress: Does It Work?
If you’re interested in taking a more holistic approach to health and reaching for lifestyle changes before the medicine cabinet, Ayurveda is a great place to start. It might be a little unconventional, but hey, it’s been working for 3,000 years, which in itself is a pretty good review!
So the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with a work deadline or worrying about finances, try to control your internal environment even when you can’t control your external one.
Reach for some ayurvedic herbal medicines and watch your symptoms disappear.