Thousands of years ago, Ayurveda recognized the importance of disease prevention. Instead of approaching health only to treat diseases, it encourages us to understand our body functions and alignment with nature. It enlightens us on how to incorporate lifestyle habits that are natural and cyclical.
The true cause of disease
Ayurveda teaches us that disease in the mind and body are caused by either one or two factors:
- Deficiency: lack of nutrients or vital energy
- Toxicity: presence of pathogens, blockages or other energies which weaken the system, either from the environment or developed through improper digestion
Toxicity is known as Ama according to the ancient Vedic texts. Ama is naturally burned and eliminated by the body through healthy digestive and detoxifying processes of the organs. If this digestive force, known as Agni is too weak, Ama will persist. Imbalances resulting form Ama are easy to detect.
The 10 signs of Ama are:
- Blocked channels
- Loss of strength
- Lack of appetite
- Accumulation of waste
- Excessive salivation
Removing Ama: the Ayurvedic approach to cleansing
Both of the disease-causing factors are addressed in the Ayurvedic cleansing approach. Cleanses are very popular those days, so it is important to clarify that Ayurvedically, a cleanse is not performed to achieve one desired goal, e.g. loose some weight. It is a comprehensive, all-systems approach designed to restore total mind-body-spirit balance. This is possible through supporting the human system’s natural mechanism of digestion, metabolism and detoxification. The results are safer, more effective and longer lasting.
Seasonal factors are considered in cleansing because the quality of the elements in the atmosphere, and their impact on the mind-body system determine the “optimal time” to cleanse. It is more effective and safer to cleanse in the transitional seasons of spring and fall, and not ideal to cleanse in summer or winter.
Spring is the best time to cleanse for addressing buildup of Ama. Ama will have accumulated the most during the winter season, and addressing this accumulation once spring thaw hits will help prevent imbalances and disease complications. In the fall, a cleanse is best performed in combination with a long rejuvenation phase, to strengthen the system for the harsh winter season.e”: