Secret to healthy living is listening to one's body, mind: Ayurvedic expert

Dr Thasneem Nizar
'We can conquer everyday health issues with the virtues of Ayurveda' says Dr Thasneem Nizar

Even youngsters in their twenties are now seen dealing with constant back pain, strained shoulders, sprained neck and spinal disorders. But this pandemic has brought about a huge change in understanding the way we live and that a lot has been contributed to our mental and physical ill-health by our lifestyle.

Modern science has helped humankind conquer several diseases, but a lot of physical issues are cured with the help of traditional medicines, like Ayurveda.


Ayurveda in Sanskrit means the science of life. Originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, this science encourages the maintenance of one's health through close attention to mental health, diet and lifestyle.

'Vaidyasala' at Estuary Sarovar Portico, Poovar is one such place promoting and incorporating the goodness of Ayurveda in one's life.

Explaining more about this, Dr Thasneem Nizar, chief consultant doctor at Estuary Sarovar Portico, Poovar speaks to Onmanorama on the aspects of mental and physical wellbeing in times of pandemic.

"Rather than promoting the treatment centre, we are focussing on propagating an Ayurvedic culture among people who visit us. We provide not just the treatment that people would undergo but a wide-range of disciplines that includes diet, health regimen, yoga, meditation and so on. We bring together different elements that contribute to one's way of living. While most people come here with lifestyle ailments, some visit us to know more about Ayurveda, yoga and so on," says Thasneem.

Treatments pertaining to one's health needs to be assessed with the help of 'Prakriti or the nature of a person. Every human body is unique. Understanding the nature of one's body and how it works for them will help deal with the 'doshas' or illnesses the person suffers. Hence, the treatment needs to be tailor-made for each person.

Most of the youth these days have shoulder pain and back ache. This is due to the present work culture. Prior to the pandemic, this was lower. Now that the work-from-home culture has set in, people are not moving from their seats. Unexplained anxiety and fear have also contributed to the existing lifestyle issues.

"How do we live, what is our habit, what do we take in, what mental state we are in and so on all contribute towards the physical and mental issues we face, says Thansneem.

Incorporating hypnotherapy and psychology

Health is not merely the absence of disease. One's mental, emotional and spiritual health is as important as physical health for one's overall well-being.

Apart from traditional Ayurveda, the psychological well-being of the person should also be considered. Many of the discomforts and the diseases that we have are not just physical as these days all of us are stressed out. So, therapy of mind is as important as treating one's bodily ill-health.

Hypnotherapy is a unique method used by Thasneem as a treatment regimen. Guided hypnosis, is a form of psychotherapy that uses relaxation, extreme concentration, and intense attention to achieve a heightened state of consciousness or mindfulness.

The importance of proper diet

In Ayurveda, there is an important aspect called 'trayopastambha' or the three main pillars of life. They are 'ahara', which is the food that we eat, 'nidra', the amount of quality rest that one's body and mind receive and 'bramhacharya', the sexual discipline of a person. These 3 aspects hold an individual together.

"Diet plays an important role in one's well-being. It doesn't mean that you need to stop eating your favourite food. Diet differs from person to person. But we need to understand that what goes inside is reflected outside. The quality and quantity of food along with how it is prepared is important" says Thasneem.

"Aaharam mahaushadham is what we believe in. The food that we eat is the greatest medicine. If you don't take food as medicine, you will have to take medicine as food," she adds.

Digestive issues are increasing among people these days, not because of the types of food one consumes, but due to its quality and in many cases, digestive issues are related to stress.

"How many of us eat only when we are hungry? We tend to eat at definite intervals. That is how we have set ourselves. We don't have to eat on time, in fact, we need to eat ony when we are hungry. Our body will demand the next meal only when our digestion is complete. But regardless of this, we keep on taking food even when the last meal we took has not digested yet. In short, we need to listen to our body and mind for a sound health," concludes Thasneem.

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