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It’s elemental! Using air as treatment

When treating lifestyle disorders, consider going back to basics.

brunch Updated: Aug 27, 2016 18:41 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Air,Lifestyle disease,Pranayam
Rejuvenate yourself: Medicated steam baths help get rid of toxins via the skin pores (Shutterstock)

No matter how many vitamin capsules, supplements and other man-made wellness products we consume, there’s one thing we forget: that the fundamentals of health are actually free and non-negotiable. These are air, water and sunshine.

As we grapple with a host of lifestyle diseases and disorders, we are beginning to understand again how important these natural elements are for our health.

In this first of a two-part series covering air, water and sunshine, I will show you how you can use air as a treatment.

Air is the foundation of life. Not only does it carry oxygen and other elements essential to survival, but it is also thought to carry the life force energy known in Chinese medicine as Qi.

Here are some ways in which air can be used to treat disorders.

Pranayam: Pranayam is often used as treatment for lifestyle disorders such as hypertension, low blood pressure, stress, and diabetes. It increases the body’s vitality (qi).

Air baths: Many bacteria, viruses and fungi inhabit the skin as a natural part of skin flora. However, the frequent use of synthetic fabrics and tight-fitting clothes can change the pH (acid and electrolyte) balance of the skin that can lead to skin diseases.

Naturopathy advises loose cotton clothing in general, but specially while taking an air bath, which is best done early on summer mornings. Taking an air bath simply means exposing your skin to the air. Dry massage yourself during your air bath to invigorate the skin and increase blood circulation.

Breathe easy: Pranayam increases the body’s vitality (Shutterstock)

Steam baths: These are traditionally used to treat high uric acid and rheumatism. Specially medicated steam baths help the body get rid of toxins via the pores. Ensure your head is not inside the steam chamber. If you’re in a steam room, cover your head with a wet towel.

Hot air baths: Used to treat disorders like neuritis, neuralgia and muscle spasms, these work on the same principle as an air bath, but use an oven-like receptacle (Sauna) to heat the air.

Note: Drink lots of water when you take any kind of steam or air bath.

From HT Brunch,August 7, 2016

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First Published: Aug 06, 2016 20:21 IST