Adrenal fatigue is a modern epidemic, and it’s really no surprise. Yet, many people don't even know what their adrenal glands are, where they are, or what they do. Your adrenals are two tiny little glands that sit on top of the kidneys, and they do a LOT of work for us. In these modern times, like everyone else, they are way overworked.
In ancient times, it was probably less common to see an issue such as adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue and the associated symptoms were not typically connected to a specific organ, but were more the observation of lifestyle and diet patterns. Those patterns are the gunas (qualities), which make up the Doshas.
Adrenal fatigue can actually be categorized under an imbalance of either Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha, or both. Overdoing things (a Pitta tendency) and over-stimulating the senses (a Vata tendency) leads to an overload of stimulation that our often sensitive systems have to try and digest. Our minds can move and evolve much faster than our bodies, so our physiology takes more time to catch up with how fast our lives, technology, and diets are changing. In a world where almost anything can be instantly available to us, change is often and extreme.
Adrenal fatigue is basically one of the screaming signposts that is saying, “enough is enough!” When the adrenals shout out for relief, the other endocrine-producing organs are typically not far behind. Very soon, if the problems are not addressed, the liver and heart will feel the repercussions of stress too.
This type of adrenal imbalance does not happen overnight. So when working with a natural approach to balance the adrenals, such as Ayurveda, positive results may not manifest immediately. But over time, if the following 4 tips are followed, you can balance Vata and Pitta, and bring your adrenals back into a healthy state, positively affecting the rest of your system.
1. Cut out stimulants and reduce time in front of a TV screen. When you're feeling low and fatigued, reaching for an immediate fix, such as coffee or an energy drink, is common. Even what's considered "mild" stimulants are one of the most draining things for the adrenals: coffee, tea, sugar, and chocolate (no matter how organic or pure) tell adrenals you need more, more and more. Contrary to popular belief, the time for stimulants are when you’re already feeling good and strong. When you’re feeling tired, REST is the ultimate re-energizer and the only thing that works on a long-term basis.
Time spent on social media, reading online, and texting are the sneakiest energy suckers in our lives, and they do some of the most damage. When we are fatigued, we can’t afford to direct our minimal energy outside of ourselves into something as draining as computer screens. Screen time fills the mind with more “stuff” that needs to be digested by the already over-taxed, over-worked adrenals and agni.
When you're feeling fatigued, spend more time in meditation, rest and relaxation, preferably in nature.
2. Practice Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is the ultimate full stop. This is a meditation done lying down in Savasana and it calms scattered Prana. When your Prana is scattered, means Vata Dosha is likely also out of balance, which can be best described as an unintelligent and unhelpful flow of energy - you have probably experienced this feeling of mind-muddiness before. Lying down for Yoga Nidra between 2pm and 6pm, the Vata time of day, is especially helpful.
3. Practice abhyanga. Abhyanga is one of the most vital tools for balancing Vata Dosha. This resource on Ayurvedic self-massage will walk you through the very basics. A self-massage can be a part of your daily self-care routine for long term health and is extremely powerful.
4. Use a weekly ginger compress. Following abhyanga, you may also consider a ginger compress over the kidneys and adrenals for a therapeutic effect. This gentle warmth is nourishing and calming. When the adrenals are depleted, warmth and grounding practices are preferred.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.