Lifestyle disease is an umbrella term given to all the diseases which arise because of unhealthy lifestyle. The most common Lifestyle diseases include Hypertension, Diabetes, Arthritis, Obesity, Insomnia etc. which are the major cause of mortality in today’s world. Not only are these lifestyle diseases thwarting, but these are also interfering with natural comfort of wellbeing. Lifestyle disorders were more common in western world but the scenario has changed dramatically.
Developing countries like India is predicted to have most number of Lifestyle related patients in the next 10 years in the entire world.
Why Are Lifestyle Diseases on the Rise?
If we consider why lifestyle diseases are increasing manifold across the world, the most accurate thought would be that we lead a hectic lifestyle. Also wrong eating habits, craving for unhealthy food and irregular sleep pattern are the major reasons for these conditions. Stress and lack of physical exercise further aggravates such condition.
When it comes to Lifestyle diseases, there is a certain need to look at Human body with a different approach. This is where the ancient Ayurvedic system has a major role to offer. Ayurveda believes that the lifestyle diseases are not restricted to particular organ or organ system and this is what makes it challenging for the modern medical system, as it understands human body structurally e.g. Cells-Tissues-Organ-Organ System.
Ayurvedic Understanding of Lifestyle Diseases
Ayurveda understands the functioning of human body as a whole and any disease is understood to be due to imbalance of Tridoshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha or can be understood as Movement, Transformation and Growth/Support respectively.
Ayurveda therapy validates the physical, psychological and spiritual wellness of an individual. It provides a well-organized system of traditional health care, both in preventive as well as curative spheres – and this has won it wide acclaim. Undeniably, the science of Ayurveda is age-old and time-tested. Since time immemorial this system of medicine has been in use and has proved to be result-oriented and correct. The same drugs and formulations that had been used for hundreds of years are still in use and there have been few or no replacements at all.
Ayurveda offers various methods to manage lifestyle disorders by following Dincharya, Ratricharya, Ritucharya, Panchakarma or with help of Rasayanas. All the regimens are followed to achieve the homeostasis and not just counter the specific symptom. That is why it outscores the conventional medicines when it comes to tackle a multi-dimensional disorder like Lifestyle disease.
Yoga for Lifestyle Diseases
Yoga which is rightly considered as sister concern of Ayurveda has an important role in developing harmony between mind and body. Understanding how the body feels and undertaking the right breathing techniques are important tool to fight stress and anxiety to lead a better quality of life.
The Dilemma with Lifestyle Diseases
Multi-dimensional diseases like the Lifestyle diseases and disorders are generally complex to cure and relieve; and the conventional medical system with its structural approach is still struggling to keep the check as one disease condition leads to another.
There is a definite need of an alternate approach to understand the psycho–somatic impact on the human body and emerging lifestyle diseases. And the hope to treat Lifestyle diseases definitely brightens with the broader approach of Ayurveda and Yoga.
Heal with Ayurveda and Yoga
As Ayurveda focuses on preventive healthcare, it strongly suggests that once the disease factors are identified they are to be avoided. This is followed by Panchakarma or Bio-purification along with external therapies, diet and lifestyle modifications and taking to herbal medicines to balance the Tridoshas.
Taking to detoxification by Panchakarma. Ayurvedic treatments relieves many common and lifestyle diseases like obesity, Stress, insomnia, migraine, sinusitis, anaemia, anxiety/depression, cholesterol disorders, hypertension, sciatica, diabetes, paralysis, Osteo arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, neck and back pain.
Our body, mind and spirit are intricately interrelated and constantly influence one another. Good health and freedom from disease is the greatest achievement, a blessing indeed and modern medicine, yoga as well as Ayurveda aim at it. Yoga and Ayurveda complement each other and are bound to come together.
Mention in Ancient Text
- According to Ayurveda test [Charak Samhita, Su, 11:35], the three pillars of healthy and long life are: Aahara(proper diet), Vihara (proper lifestyle) and Brahmacharya (controlled sexuality).
- Undigested, junk food and accumulated wastes are mostly toxic to the body as they produce changes in blood, lymph and other body fluids resulting in imbalance of elements [Charak Samhita, Su, 9: 4,5].
- For prevention of diseases and promotion of health, strength and longevity, Ayurveda recommends purification of body at least once a year by Panchakarma during spring or rainy season [Ashtanga Hridaya, Su, 13:30].
- The purification techniques improve the digestion hence restoring the inner balance and homoeostasis of the body. Ayurveda effectively eradicate the diseases by purification, fasting and readily available herbs (Rasayanas).
- The scientific – spiritual discipline of yoga is an effective and time-tested method for improving our health as well as prevention and management of diseases. Practice of asanas and pranayams results in overall improvement in physical fitness and cardio-respiratory functions. A study has reported that yoga training helps in development of resistance against stress [ Udupa and Singh. JAMA, 220:1365, 1972]
- The therapeutic discipline of Yoga stresses on the uniting of all the powers of the body, mind and spirit as an approach to living a balanced life. An interesting work have demonstrated that subjects trained in yoga can achieve a state of deep psychosomatic relaxation associated with highly significant decrease in oxygen consumption within five minutes of practising Savitri Pranayam (a slow, rhythmic and deep breathing) and shavasan [Madanmohan et al. The Yoga review, 3:25,1983].
- Several studies have shown that yoga has great potential to improve our emotional, physiological functions, psychosomatic health and overall performance of the body.