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 kaphaform 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.

Vata is often called the ‘king of doshas’ as it is the energy associated with movement and governs the body’s greater life force. People with a strong vata dosha are usually hyperactive. Vata is derived from the elements of space (ether) and air.

  • Vata dosha controls important body processes such as cell division, breathing, the pumping of the heart and the mind.
  • People with a strong vata dosha are physically very tall or very short; non-muscular; have thin and bony limbs; and walk with short, fast steps.
  • They are enthusiastic, creative, generous, joyful and desire freedom.

What Happens When You Have An Imbalance Of Vata

  • Aggravated Vata
    An increase in vata can cause stiffness of joints, low back and spinal pain, sciatica, nervousness and constipation. Since vata controls the mind, an imbalance in this dosha can make people anxious, over-analytical and fearful. Sixty percent of all ailments are due to an increase in vata. A vata imbalance can make a person intolerant to cold temperatures, eat little food and drink less water. Excessive body activity can also increase vata. Meditation and massages can help relieve vata imbalance.
  • Depleted Vata
    Since speech is a vata activity, a person with low vata tires quickly after speaking for a while. It could also cause a decrease in sensation. To balance it, avoid eating on the run, refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes and avoid going to bed late at night.

How To Treat Your Vata 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. There are a number of Ayurveda centers across the country where you can get treatment.

1. Sveda (Sweating Therapy)
This Ayurvedic treatment involves inducing an individual to sweat (like in a sauna) by increasing the person’s core body temperature. Vata is influenced by cold and induced-sweating promotes heat in the body that helps to restore vata. It also removes toxins from the body through the sweat.

2. Abhyanga (Oil Massage)
One of the main symptoms of vata dosha imbalance is pain. Abhyanga, or oil massage, done with special medicinal oils laden with herbs, can help mitigate the pain and promote the movement of vata.

3. Seka (Pouring Of Herbal Decoctions On The Affected Area)
Herbal oils and decoctions (obtained after boiling herbs, stems, roots, bark and rhizomes) are applied to the body to stimulate blood circulation and relieve pain caused by excessive vata dosha.

4. Snigdha Usna Basti (Herbal Enema)
The large intestine has the greatest concentration of vata. An enema consisting of a herbal solution directly reaches the intestine and relieves gastric distress.

5. Mrudu Samshodhana (Mild Panchakarma)
A detox process that aims at removing toxins from the body, it involves the use of panchakarma techniques to balance vata. The treatment is moderated as an intense panchakarma session could increase vata.

Ayurvedic Centers In The United States Can Be Found In

1. Carlsbad, California
The Chopra Center for Wellbeing

2. Chicago, Illinois
Santhigram Wellness

3. New York City
Rudra Ayurveda

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 kapha dosha click here and about the pitta dosha click here.

Image Source: Shutterstock

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more stories on Complementary and Alternative Medicine here.

Read More:
Which “Dosha” Are You? (& Why You Could Be Suffering From That Health Condition)
7 Must-Try Ayurvedic Massages (& Their Incredible Health Benefits)
Ayurveda Massage And A Regular Massage — What Is The Difference?
The 5 Therapeutic Treatments Of Panchakarma & How They Can Help You
Abundant Uses Of Ayurvedic Herbs For Mind & Body
Energizing Massage With Aromatherapy Oils
Shiro Basti Treatment For Pacifying Vata

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.