Healing can be a complex process because there is more to it than just the physical body and the mind. In Ayurveda, life is often described as the combination of Indriyas (the senses), Sarira (the body), Sattva (the mind) and Atman (the soul)1. The way we live and what we consume either balances or unbalances some or all of the aforementioned parts of us – thus, the method of treatment in Ayurveda changes according to what is imbalanced or what is showing signs of disease.
Healing Manasika Rogas, emotional and mental disorders, is known as psychotherapy in conventional medicine. Mental disorders like depression, anxiety, insomnia, phobias, manias and schizophrenia can be included under the term Manasika Roga. This is because when emotions cross the line into the realm of the extreme they can exacerbate existing mental problems.
So when you have a client that comes to you with their own mental/emotional health issues or those of their child or someone they take care of, the first thing to do is a thorough examination of your patient’s Manas Prakriti - basically their personality and character. Next is studying the emotional in’s and out’s of your client, called Manasika Bhavas. This is where questioning how they feel about their family, friends, job, past, present, future and lifestyle is important. Ask them how they respond to fear, anger and embarrassment. What do they consider their biggest accomplishments and their worst failures, and why? What are their regrets? You can also have them keep a daily journal, jotting down how they felt during the day so you can gauge the rise and fall of their emotions. Are they extreme or almost nonexistent? These examinations and questions are essential to correctly recommending practices and Ayurvedic medicines that will have a strong healing effect. Your Samkalpa (spiritual guidance and balanced advice) will be used to help your clients return a state of balance!
Charaka (of the Charaka Samhita) classified healing in Ayurveda into three separate categories: Daivavyapasrya, Yukti Vyapasrya and Sattvavajaya1. We will go into each one in more detail below.
Dhriti, patience, will be necessary for both you and your client as you move through the healing process. The Charaka Samhita says that patience is what helps to control the mind and keep your client from reflecting on negativity1 as much as humanly possible!
Herbal Recommendations for Emotional and Mental Health
Contributing Editor: Dr. JV Hebbar
The purpose of this article is to provide information about Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health problems please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or e-mail us and we will provide you with our affiliated practitioners. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.
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