Ask Dr. Davis

Mental Stress

Question

I'm a second year student in Chiropractic Medical School and spend 6 to 8 hours a day studying. I can see how this mental strain would aggravate my Vata. But why would I suffer from frequent colds and flu which seem more like a Kapha imbalance?
~ J.T. of Illinois

Answer

You need to balance 2 doshas at the same time — Vata and Kapha.

The Vata imbalance dries and aggravates the Kapha. The result is Kapha symptoms such as excess mucus and congestion.

The mental stress aggravates Prana Vata (mental activity) which upsets Vyana Vata (circulation).

The Vyana imbalance has a drying effect. Shleshaka Kapha (lubrication and moisture balance) works overtime trying to counteract the dryness with excess mucus.

Vyana Vata is like the wind. A little bit stokes the digestive fire, but a big wind blows the fire out. Then, digestive impurities (Ama) accumulate.

The Ama interacts with your Vyana and Shleshaka. The result is a phlegm-like toxin called Shleshma. It's difficult for the body to eliminate and is a fertile breeding ground for viruses such as the flu.

The frequency of the colds and flu is due to perpetuating this entire process over time which weakens the immune system.

Dietary and lifestyle tips to balance both Vata and Kapha

  • Don't stay up late to study. Go to bed by 10pm, then wake up early to study.
  • Do not sleep much past dawn or during the day. It increases Kapha.
  • Spice your food with turmeric, ginger and garlic cooked in ghee (clarified butter).
  • Follow a light Vata diet. That means less heavy, oily foods that increase Kapha.
  • Take clove, licorice and Vata Tea.
  • Take Mind Plus to strengthen and balance the mind. Plus, Worry Free tablets help calm the mind quickly.
  • Drink plenty of warm water.
  • Maintain regular meal times. Don't overeat.
  • Walk after lunch and dinner to aid digestion. Keep exercise moderate.
  • Keep warm during the cold winter weather. Wear a hat outdoors.

Please note: This ayurvedic information is education. It does not replace medical advice or treatments.

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