Various digestive juices are secreted for the diges tion of the food we consume. As a result of this the food is digested due to the chemical reaction of these juices with the food. Acid is the major element in the lis t of these juices. The juices are secreted from glands in the walls of the stomach as well as spread throughout the stomach and have several functions. In a healthy bo dy, these acids are produced after meals and in the required quantity. This is the nat ural state occurring for the digestion of food and the acids are therefore not proving tro ublesome to the body. They maintain the natural balance and it is only when th e balance is spoiled that issues arise.
These acids can be produced even when there is no n eed and also they can be produced in excess. At such times they remain in th e stomach and in turn will begin to ruin the delicate layers of the stomach. Consequent ly, the inner layer of the stomach becomes weak and fragile and the acids touch the en ds of the inner nerve fibers. The acids also affect the inner cells resulting in burn ing sensation in the stomach. This can further result in symptoms such as a burning sensat ion in the throat, vomiting, headache, and excess and frequent hunger, as well a s mental stress. Other glands in the stomach secrete a mucus-like fluid responsible for diluting stomach acids. A lesser amount of production of this fluid will increase th e acidity demonstrating the above symptoms.
The disease of acidity is a result of an increase i n the quantity of acids released into the stomach. Today’s lifestyle of is again one of the major causes for this rise in acidity production. Mental stress creates an imbala nce in the function of endocrine glands thus producing excess acids. The other reaso n is a diet rich in proteins, peanuts, excess salt, extreme cold substances and n on-vegetarian food. Acidity can increase due to the diet void of minerals.
Production of acids is the beginning of the digesti on process. The process is related to the taste buds and salivary glands. Dige stion begins when these glands are stimulated and the greater the amount of stimulatio n, the greater the production of acids. The elements in the diet are incapable of ut ilizing all of this acid. The taste buds and salivary glands get very excited at the sight, smell and taste of very sweet, spicy or chilly made substances. If these substances are weak points for the person, the glands will get excited even at the thought of them . This increases acidity but without consumption it cannot be utilized. Smoking and alco hol also contribute to a rise in acidity.
Frustrations caused by a sense of hopelessness, lac k of self worth, inadequacy, unrealized expectations or unfulfilled dreams can o ften lead to an increase in consumption of delicious food, alcohol or smoking. These may provide a temporary feeling of relief from stress however the stomach g ets over stimulated, increasing the acids and contributing to acidic trouble. The psych ologists’ quote that “If in babyhood the feeding by mother has been insufficient, the pe rson gets frustrated because of a feeling of insecurity developed in the latter age h abituating him into addictions like over-eating, smoking, drinking, intake of tobacco w hich satisfy the mouth fostering acidity.” This opinion is deserving of considerable thought.
The temporary trouble of acidity is exactly that an d generally comes to an end after a brief period of time. When frequency of thi s trouble increases, the patient will suffer continuously and the disease of acidity aris es. At this stage, treatment becomes necessary and common medicines such as aluminum hyd roxide, calcium carbonate, etc. are given to make the acids in the stomach ina ctive. The reactions of these 89 chemicals with the stomach cause the acid to be ina ctive thus temporary alleviating the trouble for the patient. The disease of acidity is a continuous one and the tablets as such provide only temporary relief. In turn, the tr ouble will persist and the patient will continue to suffer.
Additionally, the need for the tablets will increas e and the patient will have to suffer from their adverse effects. Moreover with al l of these efforts to subside the acidity, the disease will remain as it was. The pat ient suffering from this acidity problem is advised to eat more frequently so the ac id can then be utilized for digestion of that food thus reducing his discomfort. This wil l assist in temporary relief but once again does not cure the problem. There is still an over production of acids and the patient runs the risk of over indulging by eating m ore. That means eating frequently is a temporary remedial measure.
Intake of alkaline substances is another means used to settle down acidity, and often an increased regular intake of milk is sugges ted. The effect like those previously mentioned is short term. The pattern indicates that the above three measures do have their value but they do not cure the disease. The i deal remedy would be for the body to be able to produce an appropriate quantity of ac id, thus bringing the disease under control. Once more, using yogic therapy to help red uce mental tensions would be a meaningful way to relieve the disease.
It is evident from the above discussion that even t hough production of acidity is a physiological process the causes of this imbal ance lie in the mental disposition of the individual. Regulation of mental constitution i s the ideal remedy and it can be achieved through Yoga. Patanjali defines Yoga as th e inhibition of modification of mind (Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhah).
There are certain yogic processes that would be mor e effective.
First Week - Yoga Sopan (Complete Course) and Yoga Nidra.
Second Week - (Continue revision of the course contents stated above). Vaman (every other day), practice of asanas of Laghu Shankha Pra kshalana and at the end of the week perform Laghu Shankha Prakshalana. After compl eting the preceding, continue with a habitual practice.
Amla jam/ rub the Sootshekhar tablet in milk to tr ansform to powder.
Make one-eighth decoction of the mixture of dry gi nger, Gulvel powder (Tinospora Cordifolia) and Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus).
Sleep on the left side for 10-15 minutes after mea ls.
Do not drink water during meals. Instead drink wat er one and a half hours after meals.
Have meals twice a day but on fixed timings, prefer ably before 12 noon and 7 pm. During meals be mindful of what you are eating and take your time as hurried meals will aggravate the condition. Enjoy the food you eat and do not have negative feelings towards it. The food must be satisfying to your senses. While having meals breathing must take place through the right nostril . Make every effort to keep negative emotions like anger, fear, worry and anxiety out of the mind and instead focus on keeping the mind serene. To facilitate this, perfor m Shavasana for fifteen minutes and pacify the mind before eating.
Fasting (Niraahar) - The production of acids increases due to the food we take. Fasting will affect the production of acids and wil l bring it to the natural condition. Five to ten days of fasting is suggested as per the condition of the disease in the patient. Only lukewarm water may be taken during fa sting. It is very necessary to experiment this with expert guidance. It will defin itely create a permanent effect on the production of the acids.
Juice Diet (Rasaahar) - Juice diet is also beneficial for this disease. A juice diet can work as another option keeping in mind that it woul d increase the duration from the prescribed length for fasting. Juices of vegetables like carrot, cabbage, cucumber, and gourd prove useful. Even coconut water is helpful. Soup made of gourd and rice-gruel of unhusked rice can be taken as supportive food. W hile experimenting on a juice diet the above juices must be taken at different times a nd they must be freshly made. Any other diet is not permissible. Fifteen to twenty da ys on juice diet will be necessary. Afterwards a more regular diet may be followed prog ressively.
Acidity arises due to traveling and wakefulness, he nce both these must be controlled especially during the course of treatmen t. Rest is useful in case of higher intensity of the disease. Sleep before midnight is more helpful rather than after midnight. Acidity increases because of exposure to the sun so it would be best to avoid it whenever possible. Otherwise, take precaut ions to protect yourself from the 91 sun’s intense heat.
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