The importance of compliance
Why is compliance so important in Ayurveda?
Natural food supplements often seem to have a less direct effect than regular medicines. Sometimes they seem to have no effect at first, or even for a longer period of time. So how does that work? And why is it important to continue the therapy? In this blog you can read why faithfully taking your Ayurvedic supplements and following nutrition and other advice according to the guidelines of your specialist is important for preventing disease and restoring balance in your health.
Prevention and cure
Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old traditional Indian medicine, is the basis of contemporary medicine. Yet there is an important difference between Ayurveda and Western medicine:
- Ayurveda focuses on preventing disease and maintaining health for a long and happy life.
- Western medicine focuses on solving acute disorders and fighting disease symptoms.
This difference in focus is also reflected in the way regular medicines, ayurvedic supplements and also nutrition are used. Regular medicines are usually designed to have an immediate effect. Because in our society most conditions are treated according to the ideas of modern medicine, we have become accustomed to noticing a change immediately after taking a medicine.
Are you compliant?
Therapy compliance means that you take the recommended Ayurvedic dietary supplements as intended. By the way, compliance is also important with modern medicines. Therapy compliance means that you are taking the right amount of the supplement or medicine at the right time and in the prescribed manner. You also eat according to the nutritional advice you have received. Non-compliance with therapy means that you do not follow these instructions or do not follow them correctly. For example, you may decide not to take the supplements or stop taking them after a while. Or you take the wrong dose, take a tablet at the wrong time or skip a dose, or take them with the wrong food or drink. The disadvantage of this may be that you will not experience the effect of the supplements, as your Ayurvedic specialist intended.
Disease according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda says that you are made of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Disease is caused by an imbalance in those elements and is also treated from there. An important part of the Ayurvedic supplements is also used to prevent disease by balancing the energy of the five elements according to your birth constitution, or personal combination of the doshas. According to Ayurveda, a lifestyle and nutrition that suits you also determine a good health.
Bring yourself back into balance
In making the diagnosis, the Ayurvedic specialist has determined how the doshas in your body and mind are out of balance and how they can regain balance with the help of nutrition, lifestyle and nutritional supplements and medicinal oils. These can have an effect on specific symptoms in your body and mind. You may experience this effect quickly, but sometimes only after a while. Being therapy compliant is so much easier if you understand how your body works and what happens when the balance in your dosha's is disturbed. On the one hand this has to do with the stage of the disease, but especially with the tissue layer or tissue layers in which the imbalance occurs.
Out of balance: six stages of disease
If your doshas get out of balance, you can get sick. Such an imbalance can occur, for example, because the wheather effects you, you suffer from temporary or longer stress, or because you eat food or lead a lifestyle that does not suit you well:
5. manifestation of changes,
6. differentiation and destruction of tissues.
If you understand these stages properly, you can recognize health conditions at any stage and treat their root cause. The first four stages are more likely to be experienced as discomfort. If you know your body and mind well, you will notice the changes. At that moment, according to Western medicine, there is no disease yet. It can only be diagnosed in stages five and six, for example by blood analysis, or because symptoms become clearly tangible or perceptible. Unfortunately, in the last two stages, it is no longer possible to prevent disease and it becomes more difficult to cure it. The symptoms have been present in your body for a long time and on a deeper level.
Seven tissue layers
A deeper level? Yes, according to ayurveda your body consists of seven tissue layers, or dhatus. Rasa, rakta, mamsa, medas, ashti, majja and shukra are the Sanskrit words that describe these layers in your body. They cannot be literally translated to the modern way of looking at things, but roughly come down to the layers you would encounter if you would look at a cross-section of for example your arm. From outside to inside you see: blood plasma and lymph fluid, blood, muscle tissue, fat, bone, bone marrow and the hormonal system.
There are various theories about how these tissue layers are nourished, but roughly the most important one is that nutrients from the digested food are transported via combustion and channels (srota's) to the first layer, which absorbs the necessary nutritian from it. The remaining nutrition goes on to the next layer, which in turn draws from it and so on. Each tissue layer takes about five days to regenerate completely from the supplied nutrition. This means that supplements also need about five days per tissue layer to reach their 'destination' and have their effect there.
Therapy compliance is important to achieve results
You see how it works? The longer your doshas are out of balance and the deeper an imbalance is present in the tissue layers, the more time it takes to notice the effect of a food supplement. For example, if you want to work on an imbalance it may take a while before a supplement has penetrated the right area and can start working: 7 tissue layers + 5 days per tissue layer = 35 days. Depending on the duration and depth of an imbalance and the severity of the condition, it can take less or more time before your doshas are back in balance.
One more point to mention is this: each supplement and the way of taking it are always advised for your individual situation and your own body. So don't just take the means and methods of use from someone else for whom this had a positive effect. In your situation it can work very differently and even have an undesirable effect.
Can't this process be speeded up?
Yes, sometimes it can. By being therapy compliant. So not by taking more or more supplements, but by taking them exactly according to the given advice. Some supplements also work best when taken after a meal, while others are best taken just before bedtime. A daily massage with herbal oil is often done in the morning. And sometimes there are foods such as honey, milk or ghee that - depending on the supplement and your own constitution - allow a supplement to work faster or deeper into your body and mind. Your Ayurvedic specialist will explain exactly what you need to do to get back into balance and stay that way.
You are the success factor
As with modern medicine, there is no miracle pill. You also have to work yourself on your own health. You yourself are the success factor in your own story: your own behaviour and the way in which you implement the given advice in your life, are a decisive factor in the result.
By Daphne Beek
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Sri Sri Ayurveda. Check with your doctor before taking herbs, herbal food supplements or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing, or by young children.