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With the lockdown economy creating unforeseen challenges, people are under a lot of stress because of loss of income and livelihood. Career woes and business troubles have forced us all to put a hold our life goals. Even for the well-heeled, being in closed confines and in isolation for prolonged periods add to the psychological challenges and erodes happiness.
Over time, stress can turn chronic and with factors such as age and existing medical history, it starts reducing immunity and can quickly turn into a health concern, especially during virals seasons or epidemics.
So how does mental health impact your immunity? Let’s take a look from the lens of Ayurveda.
Everything you put into your mouth, immediately triggers a neurologica response that tells your saliva glands to secrete digestive juices. This chain continues down the digestive tract and it is very crucial for the food to be broken down into beneficial Rasa Dhaatu (essence of food). Rasa eventually converts into lymphocytes and antibodies that protect your body against foreign pathogens.
So, when your mind is stressed and engaged elsewhere, you end up eating mindlessly. The secretion of digestive juices never happen, and instead of the food turning into beneficial antibodies end up becoming harmful ama (toxins). Ama is considered the root cause of many diseases. So, by dealing with your stress you not only redress the issue of your body piling up toxins, but you also make it possible for your immune system to become stronger.
d lifestyle choices, despite knowing that those are bad for our health is what this word means. It’s a crime we commit on ourselves and our intellect.Pragyaparadh is a beautiful Ayurvedic word that does not have an equivalent in modern medicine. In essence it means crime committed against intellect. Simple mistakes that we end up making with our diets an
For example, our intellect tells us not to smoke, or drink alcohol. It tells us not gorge on fast foods or beverages – but we end up doing it anyway and that ends up having immediate repercussions in the form of a disease, or in the long-term as weakened immunity. A stressed mind makes it very difficult to think through these import decisions, hence mental wellbeing is key to making healthy choices that impact your immunity.
Ayurveda mentions of three different forms immunity, viz: Ojokshaya (immunodeficiency), Ojovisramsa (autoimmunity) and Ojovyapat (hypersensitivity). It is derived from three different aspects which are: Sahaja (inherent constitutional), Kajala (seasonal affects) and Yuktikrita (acquired).
It is important to note that while Sahaja is derived from the parents, Yuktikrita is within the patient and it can be managed by taking care of three contributing factors, which are: Ahara (food), Nidra (sound sleep) and Brahmacharya (control over desires). These contributing factors can be managed only when your mind is devoid of stress and anxiety. This is where good mental health is important to ensure good immunity.
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