Mental or Emotional Instability
When the doshas are balanced, we experience good health, vitality, ease, strength, flexibility, and emotional well-being. When the doshas fall out of balance, we experience energy loss, discomfort, pain, mental or emotional instability, and, ultimately, disease. Ayurvedic ways to restore balance include breathing exercises, rubbing the skin with herbalized oil, meditation, yoga, mantras,
massage, and herbs. These modalities are energetic ways to balance the chakras. The system links the body’s chakras, or energy centers associated with organs of the body, with
primal forces, such as prana (breath of life), agni (spirit of light or fire), and soma (manifestation of harmony). Each and every cell has a chakra, but like the doshas, one or more often can be found to be more dominant than some of the others. When the life force withdraws, the physical body dies; if the life force becomes blocked or compromised, illness or disease is the likely result. Two ways in which the life force enters the body are through breath and through the chakra system.
Breath sustains all life, and when we breathe we take in life-force energy and move the energy to the entire body via the respiratory and circulatory system. The chakra system is another way in which that energy force enters the body. Chakra means “ wheels of life,” and these invisible “ wheels” pull in this vital life force. Our physical bodies contain seven major chakras between the base of the spine and the top of the head as well as many minor chakras (see Figure 2.1). Each chakra is associated with a major gland or organ and plays an important role in our emotional well- being. As we become older or ill, these chakras may slow down or become blocked, reducing the amount of life force taken into the body, which compromises health and vitality. Our life force also may become depleted due to prolonged stress, poor health habits, or unexpressed emotions (Gilberti, 2004).
Vitalistic In China a system similar to Ayurveda was developed. The vitalistic system can be defined as the concept that bodily functions are due to a vital principle or “ life force” that is distinct from physical forces explainable by the laws of chemistry and physics and is not detectable by scientific instrumentation. The system is built on the belief that an imbalance in vital energies causes disease.
FIGURE 2.1 Chakra system.
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