Holistic approaches to chronic illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), fibromyalgia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and Lyme Disease are based on the principle of treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms of the illness. These conditions can be complex and have a range of symptoms, and a holistic approach may involve a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual support.

One of the healing modalities we use in the Wholistic Clinic is Ayurveda. Let’s explore how Ayurveda can help with chronic conditions.

How Ayurveda Can Help With Chronic Illness

Woman Cooking With Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda views health and illness as a balance between the mind, body, and spirit, and aims to restore balance in order to promote health and prevent disease. Ayurveda can be helpful in managing chronic illnesses like CFS/ME by addressing the root cause of the illness rather than just the observable symptoms.

According to Ayurveda, CFS/ME is caused by an imbalance in the body’s doshas, or energetic qualities.

For those who are skeptical, the doshas are metaphorical energies that represent the functions of movement (such as tissue building), transformation (metabolism and digestion), and tissue building in the body.

Specifically, CFS/ME is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the Vata dosha, which governs movement and communication in the body. Ayurvedic treatments for CFS/ME aim to restore balance to the Vata dosha in order to promote healing.

A main component of Ayurvedic treatment for CFS/ME is diet and nutrition. Ayurveda views food as medicine and recommends a diet that is tailored to an individual’s dosha profile.

Consuming a plethora of unprocessed and natural food items like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein, can assist the body's inherent healing mechanisms, making this an overall beneficial diet. But Ayurveda takes this a step further. Each dosha has different dietary recommendations, which is where personalization comes into play. For example, Vata is aggravated by cold, dry, and light qualities, so diverse foods such as popcorn or popsicles can make Vata worse.

Ayurveda also recommends the use of herbal remedies to manage CFS/ME symptoms. Ashwagandha, classified as an adaptogen, is frequently employed to alleviate stress and encourage tranquility. Licorice root and ginger are other beneficial herbs that can enhance the immune system and diminish inflammation.

Incorporating lifestyle changes is a crucial element of Ayurveda’s approach to managing symptoms of CFS/ME. Along with dietary modifications and herbs, regular (and mindful) exercise like yoga, qigong, and walking can enhance blood flow, alleviate stress, and induce relaxation. Additionally, Ayurveda advocates the practice of tailored meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques to lessen stress and aid in the healing process.

For help with chronic illness, contact one of our holistic practitioners.