In today’s world, everyone seems to be in hurry and has no time for living a HEALTHY LIFE. Life should be healthy in physical, mental & spiritual aspects. Ayurveda, “The science of life” emphasizes on measures to enhance and maintain the quality of life. This science stresses upon maintaining heath and preventing ailments, rather than curing the ailments. Ancient ayurvedist Sushruta gave an impeccable and accurate definition of HEALTH as follows:
Samadosha, samagnischa,Samadhatumalkriyah !
Prasannatmendriyamanah,Swastha iti abhidhiyate !!
It means, an individual, who is in a state of equilibrium of body’s Doshas (humors), Agni (digestive fire), Dhatus (tissues), Malakriya (Physiological functions of excretions etc.) and whose Aatma (soul), Indriya (senses) and Mana (Mind) are happy, is considered as a Healthy individual. It is difficult to find even a single person fitting in this definition in today’s age.
All big changes start with a single small step, and such small step towards a healthy life style is to eat healthy and with full mindfulness. Acharya Charka described it as “tanmana bhojana”, having food with full concentration.
What we think while eating, positive or negative, how thankful we are for the food we eat, impact our psychology and affects our digestion. The first phase of digestion, the cephalic phase (medical term) begins when we see, smell and think about food. This phase executes only when we are relaxed and paying attention to what we eat. On the other hand, stress interferes with digestion.
A study conducted on treatment of obesity and overweight individuals found mindful eating as complementary treatment. Mindful eating was found to help in enhancing effectiveness of treatment of both above conditions than just with the help of medicines.
Another important aspect is, eating food before the digestion of our previous meal. When you overeat, stomach expands to contain the food and hence puts pressure on other organs making you feel overfilled, bloated abdomen, sluggish or tired. Stomach produces hydrochloric acid to breakdown food, which is thrown back to food pipe causing heartburn. Also, our body tries to metabolize extra calories leading to feeling temporarily hot or even dizzy.
This is a very simple step towards health. We can take care of others around us only when we feel healthy. We will discuss more steps towards being healthy in next articles.
Dr. Sudhir Singh