An Ayurvedic perspective on OBESITY
Obesity is a medical condition involving excessive body fat. It increases the risk of severe health problems like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis etc. Though, it is not a serious problem in itself, yet it certainly could hamper quality of your life.
Obesity is turning into a major global health problem. A recent American survey shows that obesity has already become an epidemic in North America. More than one-third of the U.S. adult population is overweight!
Ayurvedic approach towards Obesity
Our ancient healing system, Ayurveda, provides a totally different holistic approach to life. The Ayurveda concentrates on the basic cause for any imbalance. It tries to fix the root cause, instead of focusing only on symptoms and overlooking their roots.
Ayurvedic experts believe that there are seven basic tissue elements (dhaatus) that assist our body in its functioning. Meda (Body Fat) is one of those Dhaatus. An excess of meda dhatu (fatty tissues) is the main reason behind obesity.
TOP CAUSES FOR OBESITY IN ADULTS
A habit of consuming excessive amount of food is the primary cause of obesity. Over a period of time, excess amount of carbohydrates and fats get accumulated in the body causing obesity or bulkiness. Unnecessary consumption of heavy-to-digest, sugary and fatty food items start suppressing the ‘stop eating’ hormone. According to a study published in a Journal of the American Society of Nutritional Sciences, people who eat high calorie foods, bakery items, fried junk foods and cold drinks etc. tend to gain weight faster than those who eat light easily digestible food.
Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle:
Physical exercise on regular basis is the best natural way of allowing your body to burn extra calories. Adapting a sedentary lifestyle without physical activities can negatively impact your overall health. If your job involves long sitting hours, it may increase your chances of weight gain. Your body may become bulky and you may become prone to diseases like diabetes, heart disease etc.
Heredity and other medical conditions:
Several scientific research points towards a strong relationship between obesity and genetics. Sometime our genetics play an important role in deciding how our body will store fat. If a person is obese, in spite of regular workouts and healthy eating, he may have inherited the obesity gene.
AYURVEDIC APPROACH TO WEIGHT LOSS
As per Ayurveda, we should consume “living” food like fruits, green vegetables and grains that have been grown naturally. These whole-foods provide a more vitalising and reviving effect on our body and mind. On the other hand, we should consumption of overcooked processed, frozen and micro-waved food. These kinds of food contribute towards the accumulation of harmful substances (ama) in our body, which may cause various health conditions like obesity, arthritis etc.
The concept of 12-hour fast:
Ayurvedic experts believe a lot of energy is directed toward the digestive process at night time and our digestive fire goes down during night time. Therefore, they suggest strict fasting between dinner and breakfast. Fasting allows intense and more effective mental, emotional, and cellular cleansing. Thus, one should eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning and lunch meal at around 12. Also, one should make sure to have a very light dinner.
Importance of yoga and exercise in weight-loss:
Modern society is becoming more and more inactive, and desk bound. Our sedentary lifestyle has made us the slave of gadgets and machines which is causing a huge lifestyle imbalance. From an Ayurvedic viewpoint, daily physical exercise offers numerous health benefits. Physical activities facilitate prana to reach every tissue. Exercise supports blood flow and also helps in the removal of harmful toxins. It clears all the circulatory channels and improves our lung capacity. Apart from destroying excess fat, regular exercise offers better stamina and immunity against diseases caused by obesity. Hence, physical activity plays a huge role in obesity management.
Obesity management through asanas and therapies:
Simple yoga asanas, ayurvedic massage therapies along with few lifestyle changes can help your body slim down naturally.
Ayurvedic practitioners suggest various dietary changes and anti-obesity herbs to pacify the imbalances in our body. Vata and kapha imbalance is the main cause of obesity in adults. Plenty of natural remedies have been described in ‘Charak sanhita’. These herbs, when taken in right quantities, may help in reducing excess fat and improving metabolism.
Apart from these lifestyle changes, Ayurveda also suggest specific types of body massage, with ayurvedic oils, for obesity and related ailments.
Udwarthanam is an ancient massage therapy in which massage is performed with herbal medicated powder. It facilitates the removal of toxins from body which in turn helps in fat reduction. Udwardhanam treatment is extremely beneficial in the treatment of obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and skin problems. For better digestion and metabolic activities, some ayurvedic supplements can also be taken after consulting an ayurvedic practitioner.
Benefits of massage with ayurvedic slimming and anti-cellulite oil – Body massage with ayurvedic slimming oils is one of the most natural and popular way of removing excess fat. Panchakarma treatments such as vasti and vamanam are also beneficial for weight management. It is advised to take these specific weight reduction therapies from a highly experienced and well qualified massage therapist.
Body massage with ayurvedic slimming oil offers remarkable improvement in overall physical and mental health. The whole process of weight management with slimming oil is actually very pleasing and uplifting. Through massage, you can achieve your weight loss goal without starvation or intense work-out. For getting extra benefits from ayurvedic slimming treatments, one should follow slimming diet along with some herbal medications.
Herbal anti-cellulite oil or slimming oil includes warm and detoxifying properties of fat-reducing herbs. These herbs help you in weight reduction. Most of the ayurvedic anti-cellulite oils are enriched with antioxidant properties of herbs like Haridra, Trikatu, Peepal and Ashwagandha etc. These herbs along with organic essential oil help remove fat and excess water while toning and tightening the skin.
Slimming massage with warm oil is performed all over body with gentle firm strokes. Effective herbal ingredients work in synergy to trigger the slimming process. They also offer extreme satisfaction and relaxation to your body and mind. Anti-cellulite oil instantly starts working on restoring suppleness of your skin. Whereas vigorous massage strokes improve blood circulation, removes toxins and reduces excess fluid.
Aromatherapy for weight-loss:
Aromatherapy massage can also help you reduce your belly fat up to a great extent. A 2007 Korean research proved that there is a clear link between high cortisol levels (stress level) and abdominal weight gain, even in otherwise slim people.
Therefore, it is important to reduce cortisol levels in order to prevent abdominal weight gain. Aromatherapy massage solves both the purposes. Frequent massage with slimming oils help reduce cortisol levels, thus boosting the weight reduction process. Various kinds of essential oils such as sweet fennel, juniper berry, rosemary, sage, and citrus essential oils are used in aromatherapy for fat reduction and excess fluid retention.
Obesity can be managed with few changes in lifestyle and eating habits. It is a challenge but not a hurdle that cannot be overcome. So, fight it out with smaller, doable changes.
Good Luck to all our readers!!