As we age it is common to find that we are not as limber as we once were. Elbows and knees become prone to soreness and other problems. According to Ayurveda, this reflects the natural increase in Vata dosha in the later stage of life. As Vata increases, Vata disorders can make the joints drier and stiffer. If we have a build up of ama (toxins that result from poor digestion) in the body, the combination of Vata and ama can lead to condition such as arthritis, stiffness and pain.
Daily Oil Massage
To counteract the increasing accumulation of Vata in the body, Ayurveda recommends daily sesame oil massage. Before you bathe in the morning, massage the joints with warm sesame oil using a circular motion. Follow this by applying three to five minutes of moist heat to the joints.
Sesame oil is inherently heating and is the most penetrating of all the oils. If you have sensitive skin or are Pitta in nature, it may be that a more cooling oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, is better for you. Try the sesame oil on a small patch of skin first, to see if you have any reaction.
In addition to daily oil massage, regular stretching of the joints through yoga helps keep the joints limber. Avoid straining when you exercise.
If you have significant join problems, be sure to get medical attention. Joint problems commonly reflect a build up of “ama” in the system. Ama is a sticky substance that results from poor digestion. Essentially, it is a form of un-metabolized waste that cannot be utilized by the body. Over time, ama tends to accumulate throughout the body and block the channels circulation, causing a variety of conditions and often leading to chronic disorders. Ayurveda considers ama to be the main underlying cause of many health issues.
The first stage in eliminating ama is to address what is causing ama to build up in the first place. Common causes are:
Eating food that is not fresh and organic,
Eating too many raw foods
Eating before the previous meal is digested
Eating large meals in the evening
Eating without full attention on one’s meal
Not sitting down to a relaxed meal
A lack of exercise
Consulation with an Ayurvedic Expert
Specific recommendations regarding herbs, topical preparations, diet and seasonal and daily routines can be given by an Ayurvedic expert who is experienced in Ayurveda Pulse Assessment.
The traditional purification and detoxification therapies of Ayurveda, known as Panchakarma, is designed to loosen ama, toxins, and excess Vata, Pitta, and Kapha from the deep tissues, moving them to the digestive tract, and from there, eliminating them from the body.
More more information on consultations and on Panchakarma programs, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website: