The ABC’s of Health Series….
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know-
Dis-ease manifests itself because of disturbance on any one of the levels: Thoughts, emotions or energy within us. The physical body is responding to the imbalance and warning of the need to return to the state of equilibrium or homeostasis.
When illness or disease is indicated, the body is communicating to us that our way of thinking (although unconscious) is out of harmony with what is beneficial to our being. Our body communicates through symptoms. Sometimes message is in symptom itself…. sometimes in the effect or in change we have to make due to physical issues. The physical body does not create illness because the physical body can do nothing by itself. What maintains its life is our soul, our inner self. If you believe that illnesses, accidents and disorders are a result of only the physical self, you are dissociating yourself from your mental, emotional and energy bodies.
My endeavor is to help you understand the possible metaphysical causes as well as some suggestions to combat a “dis-ease”.
Eating is not just about absorbing nutrition for our physical body. It is also about swallowing and assimilating our experiences. Digestion is about absorbing everything that is happening to us along with our feelings and eliminating that which we do not want. Our digestive system can be a good mirror of our emotional state. When we feel safe and happy, our digestion tends to be reasonably maintenance free. If we are experiencing conflicts, stress, or emotional turmoil, that often shows up in indigestion. Indigestion is without doubt caused by the “wrong” foods, but also just as much by worry and stress. Feelings of “worry” and “fear” are held in our stomach. When we can’t “stomach” what is happening in our life, when the reality is too scary, bitter or sour to digest, or is proving too much to bear, indigestion and heartburn could be the result.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, acid reflux is usually considered an imbalance of the Pitta dosha in the stomach. Pitta dosha represents heat, or the fire element, therefore anything that increases fire element in the body or mind has the potential to cause reflux.
Some easy tips on managing acidity or heart burn:
Here are a few herbal remedies that may help relieve acidity:
Taking 1 tsp of fennel seeds after meals may reduce the risk of acidity. Fennel seeds help in digestion and in regulating acid production in the stomach. You can either chew fennel seeds with a pinch of sugar or take it with lukewarm water.
Roasted cumin seeds taken with lukewarm water may help relieve acidity and its symptoms, such as heartburn, nausea, bloating, etc.
It’s normal to experience acidity after overeating or consuming deep-fried food. Chewing a few stalks of clove after your meals can keep stomach acid secretion in check and improve the symptoms of acidity.
The cooling sensation of mint leaves can help you find temporary relief from heartburn and acid reflux. Mint Leaves also support digestion and control bad breath.
Buttermilk may help neutralize acidity and soothe the burning sensation. For better results, add black pepper powder and coriander.
Drink cold milk without sugar to pacify the burning sensation in your digestive tract. Cold milk is not only soothing to drink but may also neutralize excess stomach acid to give you temporary relief.
Baking soda is alkaline and acts as an excellent acid neutralizer. Take only half a teaspoon of baking powder with water to curb acidity.
A yogic Mudra for acidity:
Mudras increase the flow of Prana or the bioenergy of the body. Practice the “Pushan Mudra” for acidity & to aid in effective digestion
Pushan Mudra is made up of two different gestures: Apana Vayu Mudra in the right hand and Prana Vayu Mudra in the left hand. Follow these steps to practice Pushan Mudra:
Right Hand: Apana Vayu Mudra
- Touch the tips of your index finger, middle finger and thumb together.
- Extend the other fingers outward, palm facing up.
Left Hand: Prana Vayu Mudra
- Touch the tips of your middle finger, ring finger and thumb together.
- Extend the other fingers outward, palm facing up.
This mudra can be practiced for 5-minute periods throughout the day, whilst in a sitting posture. The benefits of Pushan Mudra are increased if practiced during meditation, whilst focusing on the breath.
Pushan Mudra stimulates the Svadisthana chakra (sacral chakra), helping to remove any energetic blockages whilst providing relaxation for the physical body. According to Ayurveda, the five fingers represent the five elements, and so this mudra helps to bring balance by stimulating all five. (Source Yogapedia)
Pranayama for acidity:
In yoga, sitkari pranayama can be used to regulate the body temperature and it is particularly useful in hot weather. Because of its cooling effect, sitkari pranayama is believed to benefit the nervous system and endocrine glands. It offers the following additional benefits:
Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Gently press your lower and upper teeth together, separating your lips as much as comfortable. Inhale slowly through the gaps in the teeth and focus on hissing sound of breath. Close the mouth and gently exhale through the nose. Repeat the pranayama for at least twenty breaths. Sitkari pranayama is also recommended as a treatment for a pitta dosha imbalance. The pitta dosha regulates metabolism, energy production and digestion. (Source Yogapedia)
According to Deb Shapiro, a helpful question to ask when you are experiencing acid reflux is, “What issues or feelings are you swallowing that are bitter, sour or upsetting?” Bringing an awareness to this question might help to unravel the issues!
Hope this was helpful in understanding some aspects of acidity/acid reflux…