A few months ago I discovered that I have a rare auto-immune skin disease called morphea. (It's a small discolored patch of skin on my lower leg) When I got the diagnosis I was horrified that I, with excellent health habits and a clean diet would be susceptible to an auto-immune disease caused by inflammation. How could this be?
In Ayurveda every reaction is a result of a previous action (or many accumulated over time). This is the basic law of karma – the law of cause and effect. Therefore there's something I'm doing (or did) that has contributed to my body attacking itself. Yet my dermatologist and probably most western, traditional doctors would say that the cause is unknown and there's nothing I can do about it. I refuse to believe that.
One of my core beliefs is that we can put our health in our own hands. If we understand the root cause of imbalance we can apply the Ayurvedic principle that like increases like and opposites balance and assist the body in healing itself.
Inflammation is an imbalance of too much fire, or pitta. Because I have a pitta constitution I'm more prone to pitta imbalances. Over the years I've tried to temper my fire by reducing coffee and chocolate, I've committed to daily meditation practices and avoided overly "hot" situations, foods and weather. So I don't know exactly how this happened. It could have been a result of imbalanced living before I started living the Ayurvedic habits, or maybe I just still have lots of "cooling" to do.
According to Ayurveda there are six stages of disease. The first stage is accumulation where the doshas (pitta, vata or kapha) build. Stage two is aggravation where the excessive doshas start to spread. In the first two stages there are no physical symptoms. In the third stage there may be vague, non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and general malaise, which become more pronounced in the fourth stage. Only in the fifth stage do symptoms manifest that are specific to a particular disease.
This all speaks to the importance of preventative care as well as nipping the imbalance in the bud when it starts!
The reason I'm telling you all this is:
I'm committed to total honesty. Maybe my openness will encourage your own vulnerability so that you may connect more deeply to those around you.
My hope is that my disease can be your wake up call. You can’t get away with anything. If you're suffering from sub-par health in any way, shape or form don't wait. The longer an imbalance is around, the more likely it is to turn into a full blown disease. Take action NOW.
If health is not at the top of your list and your #1 priority, don't wait for a crisis to make it one. If you don’t have your health, you don't have anything.
Because I do have a very healthy lifestyle and I eat really well, I've been able to avoid most of the symptoms that come with auto-immune disease like achy joints, muscle aches and fatigue. I'm sure I would be so much worse off if I didn't live the Ayurvedic daily routine, for which I am grateful. I know my body is so much stronger and more resilient because of it.
Take care of your body, it's the only one you've got.