According to Ayurveda, the human body is composed of five elements—space, air, fire, water and earth. Although all these elements are present in our bodies at all times, every individual has certain elements that are more dominant than others. The three doshas—vata, pitta and kapha—form the principles of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda says that every person has all the three doshas, but usually one dominates. The proportions in which each dosha is present determines one’s personality and other behavioral traits and can also determine the body’s resistance to a particular disease.
Kapha is derived from the elements of water and earth. It is the energy that contributes to providing strength and lubrication in the body.
- A person with a dominant kapha has a thick, broad and well-developed frame. They have long limbs with a pleasant, deep and resonant voice.
- The skin is usually thick and oily. The hair is lustrous, plentiful, thick and wavy.
- People with a dominant kapha are calm and have a considerate, patient personality. They are loyal, forgiving and understanding. They aren’t quick learners, but have a good memory.
- They excel at logical reasoning, but take time to arrive at conclusions. They enjoy long hours of sleep.
What Happens When You Have An Imbalance Of Kapha
- Aggravated Kapha
An increase in kapha can cause congestion, swelling, weight gain, lethargy, depression and breathing difficulties. To decrease kapha, one needs to reduce the intake of dairy products and cold food, avoid sweets and engage in physical activity.
- Depleted Kapha
A decrease in kapha results in palpitations, lack of cushioning between joints and dizziness. To increase kapha, engage in physical activity such as running or swimming, avoid emotional eating (such as eating sweets when you’re feeling low) and avoid overeating.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Kapha Imbalance
The nature of treatment for a particular individual is best decided by an Ayurvedic practitioner. Most individuals are a combination of three doshas and none are usually of one type alone. Also, during one’s lifetime, a specific dosha could be predominant and the other two will be suppressed.
Every individual’s prakriti (body composition) is complex and requires detailed assessment by a practitioner. The Ayurvedic practitioner will ask questions regarding the individual’s lifestyle and examine them clinically in order to determine their predominant dosha. Once the dosha is identified, treating the person’s illness becomes easier.
1) Garshana (Dry Massage)
A traditional Ayurvedic dry massage devoid of oil or herbs, garshana stimulates the skin and the lymphatic system and improves the blood circulation by removing blocked kapha. By using raw silk gloves, a soft sponge or a dry brush, dead skin is brushed away by gentle hand movements. This massage helps in boosting immunity and revitalizes the skin.
2) Jalaneti (Nasal Cleansing)
Jalaneti requires sucking in warm salt water through one nostril while blocking the other with the finger. It removes excessive accumulation of kapha and is beneficial in treating migraines, epilepsy, temper tantrums, hysteria, and depression.
3) Heating Pads
Kapha body types are generally sensitive to cold and damp conditions and benefit from heat. Using a heating pad under the back or a sunlamp can increase warmth in the body and reduce excessive kapha.
4) Regular Exercise
Since excessive kapha buildup results from stagnation, exercise can prove useful in removing accumulated toxins and reducing kapha dosha. Cycling, swimming, running, competitive sports and aerobics are some good ways to get your body moving.
Ayurvedic Centers In The United States Can Be Found In
1. Carlsbad, California
The Chopra Center for Wellbeing
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. New York City
4. Sedona, Arizona
Authentic Ayurveda Holistic Health Center & Spa
5. Asheville, North Carolina
Blue Lotus Ayurveda: Natural Health & Rejuvenation
Want to know which dosha you belong to? Click here to find out.
Also, to read more about the vata dosha click here and about the pitta dosha click here.
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