We all know that feeling when the summer fades into autumn. The humid, hot august atmosphere wains into a cold, dry, blustery, pumpkin spiced season of reds & orange hues. Although we may hold onto the summer, and grieve for the lazy, hazy days, we cannot deny the beauty all around at this crisp and special time of year. And whilst it’s totally divine & gorgeous to look at, it can really play havoc with the body…
Ayurveda one of the most ancient of healing systems. It’s wisdom can be traced back to prehistoric times & underpins much of modern medicine in the east and west. Throughout the test of time, Ayurveda still stands strong, especially in India. Even though Ayurveda is considered folk medicine, the daily practices & wisdom of Ayurveda prove to this day that we can heal many things before they become diseases or illness, if only we learn the tools of experiencing imbalances in the body before they get too much.
By no means am I saying Western medicine is rubbish, in fact, I think it’s wonderful for acute treatments and treatment of symptoms. But in my journey, there were many of my health conditions that could not be explained by Western medicine. I was bounced around from Doctor to Doctor, blood test to blood test with no avail. Stuck in the system, feeling like a number, tired every day and quite frankly having horrendous periods, bloated all the time and feeling nowhere near to my best self.
Ayurveda opened all the doors for me, personally. In this type of wellness, it is believed that no one illness is the same. For example, Rhinovirus for one person is not the same as for another. Ayurveda is an experiencing medicine. What that means is all negative symptoms are imbalances and are assigned qualities known as gunas such as dry, cold, hot, light, heavy, dull, sharp etc. This means that unaddressed imbalances can accumulate and accumulate until they become an illness or a disease.
Rhinovirus, known as the common cold, is an opportunistic virus which will take advantage of an imbalanced, weakened body and then present symptoms of a cold. And whilst some may experience a common cold as just that, cold, heavy and dull (heavy head, shivers, fatigue), others may experience a cold as light, hot, oily and sharp (fevers, mucus, bad digestion, dizziness).
So, in Ayurveda, what it takes for one person to heal from a cold virus, may not be the same as for another. It gets easier if you know what your dosha (body type) is or indeed what your imbalances are. I’m going to go in hard and deep on the Ayurveda blogs, so don’t worry, you can learn more about this. Otherwise, head over to joyfulbelly.com and try their dosha quiz.
In Autumn, it’s common to get the cold because our imbalances can be amplified by the change in climate. In addition, in Autumn, the sudden cool weather can cause the heat & toxins to rise up in the body causing a mucus issue in the lungs or respiratory system somewhere. Either way, not all colds are created equally, so take some steps to work out how to shift yours faster than you can say ojas.
Got a cold? Follow these steps:
- Write down all the symptoms you are feeling
- Next, with each symptom, examine the feeling, emotion or belief attached to it. For example, Mucus in my nose feels blocked, stuck, congested, heavy, cold.
- Notice the patterns between all the symptoms. For example, you may notice a lot of coldness (chills), heaviness (mucus, headaches), oiliness (loose stools, mucus) . Or you may notice a lot of dryness (chesty cough, constipation), hotness (fever) and lightness (dizziness)
- Bring the opposite qualities into your daily routine.
For example: Cold & Dry imbalance? Drink Warming, Wet fluids such as chai tea, turmeric tea. Oil the body with warming body oils such as sesame oil with a hint of cinnamon to avoid losing moisture through the skin. Head into a steam room. Go into a sauna. Wear a sweater and scarf. Use a humidifier in the house. Avoid Raw Foods.
Hot & Oily imbalance? Try cooling foods such as overnight soaked oats. Avoid overstimulating spices and stick to turmeric, coriander & cumin. Leave a window open at night. Try cooling body oils such as coconut oil with peppermint. Avoid any dairy.
This is a really brief and simple guide to little bits and bobs you can do to understand what you may need to feel more in balance and avoid getting those winter nasties.
Remember, because Ayurveda rarely uses any drugs, you can try out foods or little lifestyle changes and then notice how they make you feel.
Each body is unique and special in its constitution, so getting to be more body aware is absolutely key to feeling more balanced and well. What works for one person, does not necessarily work for another.
Let me know your favourite autumnal treats and daily practices!!!
As always, comment, like & share!