According to Ayurvedic literature, there exist three energies (doshas) that govern the functions in the body. Traditional medicine looks at the structure of the body. Ayurvedic medicine takes into account the energy behind the physical structure. I will briefly explain the 3 Doshas. We are often governed by one lead dosha along with another that is secondary.
Vata Dosha- comprised of Air and Space elements—creating Wind
Think of MOVEMENT. An individual with Vata governance tends to be always moving, going, traveling. These individuals enjoy change. In balance, an individual governed by Vata tends to be vivacious, talkative, quick thinking and active, with a small bone structure and thin body. But, with wind blowing through your body, imbalance can occur. Imbalanced Vata can lead to dry skin, cold hands/feet, restless mind, ADHD, neck and body pain, tension headaches, adrenal issues, insomnia, anxiety and/or constipation. Vata headaches tend to be occipital and neck in location, often in a ‘tight band’ configuration.
Pitta Dosha-comprised of Fire and Water elements
Think of Sharpness and Heat. Pitta fuels the body’s metabolism. An individual with Pitta governance tends to be very direct, Type A, organized. These individuals are clear and confident. In balance, a Pitta individual is detailed, reliable, a good speaker with a medium build and bone structure. But, if the fire is too high, then imbalance can occur. Imbalanced Pitta can lead to anger, irritability, acid reflux, diarrhea, skin rashes, hormonal issues and MIGRAINES. These headaches have more light sensitivity and nausea associated with them, along with a temple location.
Kapha Dosha-comprised of Earth and Water elements
Think of Stability and Adherence. Kapha gives us the lubrication and structure our system needs to stay grounded. An individual with Kapha governance tends to be calm and grounded with a larger body frame and size. In balance, Kapha individuals are very loyal, deep thinkers, loving and methodical. Imbalanced Kapha can lead to a feeling of slowness, sluggishness, congestion and allergies. Kapha headaches tend to be located in the sinus areas and are associated with congestion.
The key is to understand your doshic composition (aka Prakriti) and your current state of imbalance (aka Vikruti). If you are a Pitta individual (Prakrita) undergoing sinus congestion and headaches, it may be that your Kapha system is imbalanced (Vikruti). Kapha pacifying diet, herbs and oil massages may help balance that state.
Article by Trupti Gokani, MD