Body care

Ayurveda and Sports Medicine

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Ayurvedic Medicine

 

How can Ayurveda—a medical system that’s more than 5,000 years old—contribute anything of value to sports medicine, a discipline that didn’t emerge as a medical specialty until the late twentieth century? 

As it turns out, Ayurveda’s holistic approach to musculoskeletal imbalances serves as an excellent complement to conventional sports medicine, for both rehabilitation, and, perhaps even more important, prevention of sports injuries. Like the Ayurvedic healers of old, today’s sports medicine professionals recognize that sports injuries and athletic performance involve not just bones and muscles but, rather, the whole person. Their increasing reliance on the services of dietitians, psychologists, trainers, and body workers to complement or minimize surgical, pharmaceutical, and other conventional medical interventions reflects what Ayurvedic practitioners have always known: Many diverse factors—from the patient’s genetic endowment and state of training and nutrition to his her age, mental stability, environmental stresses, and economic circumstances—determine how successfully that patient recovers from an athletic injury. Ayurveda offers comprehensive and detailed studies of these factors and provides specific advice on how to optimize wellness in each area.

Ayurveda was ahead of its time particularly in looking beyond the body to the all-important role of the individual’s psyche in the preventing and healing of injuries and in increasing physical prowess. Its focus on relieving stress and developing concentration taps into the proven power of the mind to overcome physical limitations. Ayurveda also offers specific management protocols for persons debilitated by disease that can be effectively applied to those who are recuperating from sports injuries.

As more and more people adopt fitness regimes, cases of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries are becoming increasingly widespread. Ayurveda offers a number of gentle yet powerful remedies that can be used as either primary or supportive therapies for orthopedic problems. Among them is marma point therapy, an approach similar to Chinese acupuncture that activates  various pressure points called marmas to heal imbalances and support strength. Ayurvedic experts have also developed many herbal formulations that can hasten recuperation after a surgery, optimize rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, and help boost performance levels.

These formulations were widely used by ancient warriors to enhance their physical prowess, speed recovery from injuries, and sustain their energy during long, arduous battles. Their Sanskrit names—Mahakashaya Brimhaneeya Dasaimani(“muscle builder”), Jeevaneeya Dasaimani (Vitalizer),Balakara Dasaimani(“promotes strength”), and Sramahara Dasaimani(promotes cheer)—speak for their therapeutic properties. These formulas, which are thought to achieve their effects by stimulating beneficial enzymes and balancing hormones, represent a safe, natural alternative to steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.  

Even though good diet cannot guarantee success, poor diet can certainly undermine training. Ayurvedic practitioners consider eight factors when formulating diets for clients who want to strengthen muscles and build stamina. These include the client’s genetic makeup, the nature of the foods to include, and the proper way to process and combine them, the right quantity to consume, and the best time and place to eat them to advance a particular client’s performance goals.

This deep knowledge of restorative and rejuvenative nutritional regimes, together with their sophisticated understanding of the mind-body relationship, suggests that Ayurvedic practitioners can go a long way toward helping orthopedists and other sports medicine professionals develop a more natural, effective, and individualized approach to maximizing not only the fitness and vigor of the people they treat, but also their satisfaction with the provider’s services. 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. 

Ayurvedic Bath, Sacred and Healing.

Bathing has occupied a special place in the cultural landscapes of many civilizations throughout history. In ancient Greece, water itself was regarded as a gift of health from the gods. The ruins of lavish public baths in the farthest reaches of the Roman world testify to the importance of bathing in the health regimes and social life of the empire’s citizens. More than 150 years after the bathtub of Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, was crafted, it’s reputed to retain the scent of the musk oil–infused bathwater that soothed her mind and pampered her skin.

In India, bathing has always been accorded the status of a sacred, healing ritual. Ancient Ayurvedic texts speak of therapeutic baths with rose petals, honey, milk, and turmeric, preceded by a luxurious full-body massage with warm oils and followed by skin treatments with rich herbal pastes and fragrant floral waters. These Ayurvedic baths were designed to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit.

Ayurveda views bathing as a form of holistic therapy. A daily bath, especially in the morning is an important part of an Ayurvedic daily routine. It adds a profoundly healing dimension to your day and your life. Ayurvedic medical texts report many benefits from the healing bath. The simple act of taking a bath provides a full complement of mind-body rewards without any effort on your part:

  • Relaxes tense muscles 

  •  Opens clogged pores 

  • Moisturizes tissues 

  • Banishes bad moods 

  • Calms the mind and balances the emotions 

  • Removes sweat, dirt, and environmental toxins from the skin 

  •  Enhances physical energy levels and improves metal clarity

To transform an ordinary bath into a healing Ayurvedic self-care ritual follow these tips:

  • Prepare your bath with traditional Ayurvedic herbs.*

  • Do not bathe in a hurry, take your time.

  • Practice deep breathing while soaking in your bath.

  • Try to relax, so that both mind and body benefit.

  • Use gentle natural gentle aromatherapy products, not harsh synthetic fragrances, which add to the toxic burden on your body.

  • Make sure your bathwater is pure and clean.

  • After you towel off, spritz your body with rose water and apply warm dosha-specific oils.

*Herbal Bath Recipe

3 tablespoons of green gram powder
½ tablespoon of turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon of ginger powder
2 tablespoon of rose petals
1 tablespoon of raw organic honey
½ cup of almond milk or 1 tablespoon of almond oil
5–7 drops of rose, lavender, or geranium pure essential oil

As you’re drawing a warm bath, add ingredients to the water in the order listed. Swish your hand in the water to blend after each addition. Enjoy!  

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.