Did you poo today???
The ayurveda approach to optimal health is maintaining a healthy digestive system, which includes a daily bowel movement. One is said to be constipated if a bowel movement does not occur within 36 hours. The natural process of elimination is necessary to move toxins and waste materials out of the body and is a “TIME RELATED” ISSUE.
Time runs out when constipation sets in, allowing toxins to take up residence within our body/mind, causing stress to the systems and an increased vulnerability to dis-ease. And it will manifest where our weakness lies, in mental, emotional or physical areas of our Being. The message here is to not ignore these weaknesses but listen and learn from them. By intimately knowing and understanding our weaknesses, we begin to recognize the first signals of imbalance and can make the appropriate changes to reinstate that balance. In this way, the weakness becomes an open doorway to a more harmonious, productive and pain free life.
Poor digestion and constipation are weaknesses that raise bright red flags in ayurveda. The longer poorly digested foods, waste materials and toxins sit in the colon, naturally more water is pulled out and constipation will intensify. The effect will back up into the small intestine, disturbing digestion and absorption, causing any number of digestive issues. If digestion is stalled nutrient uptake is stalled, which compromises cell production. Healthy cells are the building blocks for optimal cell division and function. Starved cells make for weakened building blocks and the structure quickly becomes wobbly and susceptible to a myriad of imbalances.
Some of the wobble affects can be seen over night, some within a few years and some not until the aging process moves us out of the high functioning, metabolic (pitta) state of our middle years to a more sedentary, catabolic state in our elder years. For women, symptoms will worsen around the menopausal time. For men, although there is not quite so pronounced a life change, the timing is the same due to a increase in vata (air and ether). With aging, there is a natural shift to more dryness and constipation. Aging also increases the rate of apoptosis in the body, resulting in an elevated die off rate of cells. The replacement cells must acquire all the necessary nutrition to replicate efficiently and thus build a strong, alert, vibrant form.
The bottom line: We do not want to build an abundance of toxic, starved or mutated cells as the result of constipation.
Digestion is most certainly a Canadian cultural issue.
The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF) launched a scientific project to define the incidence, prevalence, mortality and economic impact of digestive disorders across Canada. Detailed information on 19 digestive disorders was compiled through systematic reviews, government documents and Internet sites. This information was published as ‘Establishing Digestive Health as a Priority for Canadians, The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation National Digestive Disorders Prevalence and Impact Study Report’, and released to the press and government in late 2009 (www.CDHF.ca). The CDHF Public Impact Series presents a full compilation of the available statistics for the impact of digestive disorders in Canada and they are astounding.
The list of clinically proven digestive issues coined by the medical system is getting longer as time passes. Crohns, IBS, GERD, acid indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, malabsorption, ulcers. These are real issues for real people and can be very debilitating to quality of life. So many suffer from one or more of these issues as a chronic state that it taxes our medical system and makes our drugstores and health food stores very wealthy.
If you have a longstanding digestive issue and have yet to find satisfactory solutions, see a well practiced ayurveda practitioner, as digestion is the root of all dis-ease according to this system. The education you will receive will be the starting point of a path to greater self knowledge and amazingly inspired health and wellness.
This practitioner will educate you on your natural, holistic options such as best lifestyle practices, a personal seasonal diet, perhaps a yoga program or spiritual practice. They may recommend specific herbs or traditional treatments. All this without harm from unnatural substances or activities.
This time tested system is more than 4000 years old and still entirely relevant in its scope and practice of sustaining optimal health, as it is based in the laws of nature as observed by science and nature has not changed much over the past 4000 years, although science certainly has.
Wishing you vibrant wellness.