The Changing Seasons
By Richard A. Masla, Ayurvedic Practitioner Ayurvedic Practitioner
Are you one of those people who suddenly come down with a cold and cough when winter changes to spring? I will share some information from the ancient teachings of the Ayurveda that will help you to support and nurture yourself during seasonal changes and other times when the body may become stressed. The Ayurveda says that most diseases are born during the changing of the seasons. Although very subtle, the earth's energies are shifting in the early spring as the sun makes it way up the northern hemisphere. The sun's warmth begins heating the air and the earth. The cool and damp nature of the winter season has past. The winter is influenced by the kapha dosha, one of the 3 biological forces of nature or doshas, according to the Science of Ayurveda. The three doshas are kapha, pitta and vata or in a simplified understanding, kapha is the biological combination of water and earth, pitta is fire and water and vata is air and ether. The 3 doshas govern all biological and psychological processes of our body, mind and consciousness. They also govern the actions of the material world including the seasons, times of day and different geographical environments. In the spring, the element of pitta or the biological heat element becomes more prominent in our environment. The human body is a microcosm of the external world. During the winter season the body, in creating homeostasis, tries to insulate itself from the cold by adding extra kapha. The nature of kapha is cold, moist and heavy. Two principles involved in all Ayurvedic applications: LIKES INCREASE LIKES | OPPOSITES BALANCE Therefore a special cleansing and purification is recommended during the change of the seasons. This purification is called Pancha Karma. Pancha Karma will remove excess kapha in the spring, excess pitta in early fall and excess vata in late fall. The process of Pancha Karma has been practiced for thousands of years by followers of the Ayurveda. Pancha Karma involves simple yet effective treatments. The objective is to remove excess toxins and balance the doshas. The process starts with a synchronized 2-person warm herbal oil massage called Abhyanga. This massage specifically stimulates the immune system and detoxifies the system. Then you receive an aromatherapy steam bath called Sweda, to support the cleansing of the lymphatic system and to reduce stress on the liver. This is followed by a Royal Spa treatment called Shirodhara. As warm herbal oil flows onto your forehead and 6th chakra energy center, your mind, body and soul awaken to inner peace and harmony. These are just some of the treatments that are part of Pancha Karma. These treatments I have found to be most effective to reduce stress, detoxify the tissues of the body and to find regained inner strength and balance.