Sujal Patil Torgal
Almost everyone will agree with the saying – ‘There is no other land like the land of your childhood!’ It is a time of life that is supposed to be free of worries, responsibilities and stress. But it isn’t so with today’s kids who have to catch up with the dynamic era of gadgets, unchecked willing or unwilling exposure to the internet or TV, overwhelming schooling and curricular activities, unhealthy family situations, etc. Think for a while only to realise that unknowingly we are pushing them in the never ending race of life, expecting them to adapt but probably robbing their innocence, making them prematurely-mature, physically and emotionally. Imagine an obese child of eight playing mobile games alongside parents who are busy watching some crime show on TV, sipping on cola and eating pizza. You get the point.
Gone are those days when child medicine was only about infections and epidemics. It’s the age of juvenile disorders like diabetes, autonomic diseases, allergies, vision and hearing disorders, obesity or malnourishment, ADHD, autism, digestive and absorption disorders, food poisoning, skin issue, hormonal disorders, etc. Indian children used to suffer from disorders of malnutrition once, now everywhere we see victims of over nutrition. Most paediatric diseases which are connected to maternal or familial history are difficult to cure. But to manage the rest is trickier we they have to be managed gently and carefully.
Let us introspect further and think about how we can reverse the approach and make children stronger and immune, not just physically but emotionally and socially. The key is prevention.
Balya-avastha which covers the first 20 years of our lives is the foundation of healthy and successful adulthood. Child care has been explained with detailed considerations of dietetics, body type and constitution, emotional and mental crafting of every child as an individual. Kaumarbhritya is a branch of ayurveda that deals with caring for the baby from conception till puberty. Moreover it is firmly believed that parents should be physically and mentally fit to produce a healthy baby, and the guidelines to achieve that have been described. It is important to follow these after consulting with an ayurveda physician. Research has proved that there are astounding effects of anti-natal programmes on the body and mind of children whose mothers underwent them.
Considering the concept of doshas, it can be said in brief that kapha dosha, which is associated with anabolic activity, is predominant in childhood. Pitta dosha with bio transformation is dominant in middle age and vata dosha with catabolic activity in the old age. In other words, childhood is associated with growth and development, middle age with maintenance, and old age with degeneration. Kapha dosha, with qualities like strength, stability, moistness, coldness and solidarity, helps in rapid development of the body and mind which is ideal during this age. The regimen for children should maintain the dosha balance as an increase in kapha causes various disorders.
Figuring out one’s body type or prakriti (based on dosha predominance) is essential in order to know what to eat and what regimen to follow.
Refer to the table to understand your dosha:
To be continued…
(Writer is CMO at TRAYA NATURAL HEALTH CENTRE and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)