Five Sense Therapy
Ayurveda Sense Therapy for Whole Body Healing
The Charak Samhita, the eldest of the primary authoritative texts, states the primordial cause of disease is forgetting your true Nature as Spirit.
Not something most people want to hear when they are suffering from chronic indigestion, insomnia, sluggishness or chronic fatigue. However, if we really begin examining our daily life experience within our surroundings, it begins to shed some light. How we intake food, our physical environment, the whole world around us shifting and changing and definitely effecting us, then yeah it makes sense. Consider the difference for yourself of eating a beautifully prepared fresh lunch presented by a friend in a picnic basket; filled with pretty napkins and natural textile bowls and silverware by a bubbling brook as the birds chirp and flowers bud. Sounds dreamy. Compare this to eating fast food handed to you at the mall without eye contact, packaged in waxed coated paper or styrofoam, where you sit listening to multiple people around you on cell phones in florescent lighting. Do you think this may effect your digestive system? Heck yeah.
Let’s go back to the text for another layer of understanding.
This root cause of Dis-Ease or Imbalance can be broken down into three main points:
1. Misuse of the Senses
3. Failure of the Intellect
We are going to focus here on the first main point. Misuse of the Senses.
To begin to understand our own true nature we need to understand the elements in us. The easiest way to do this is monitoring our sensory experiences and impressions. What we taste, smell, hear, see and touch has a profound and life changing effect on how we view our life. It can promote harmony and happiness or bring us to a state of imbalance and disease. Tuning in to sensory impressions is the most basic building block to holistic healing. Watch the subtle shifts that occur and then the greatness of the change in experience when we start to work with our senses for balance instead of letting life experiences quietly pass you by.
Sense organs are important. They give human beings appreciation of the Universe- the five senses are the bridge between us and our surroundings.- Dr Amruta Athale
A few key points:
Sight- For sight healing look at beautiful things. Nature, water, peaceful movies, and appealing artwork.
Smell- Aromatherapy, natural scents, herbs and flowers all promote healing.
Taste- Pay attention to the taste of your food. Chewing slowly and choosing natural foods without additives or preservatives.
Hearing- Sound Therapy can be natural sounds, calming music, gentle speech and positive words.
Touch- Healing touch and loving touch may be the most essential part of your day. This can be self-massage, partner massage, giving hugs to loved ones and even feeling the physical attributes nature has to offer.
While those can be applied to everyone we can take this further for more specific healing practices for each constitution or shifts of the season.
Sense Therapy for the Dosha
Rasa: Taste – associated with the element of Water
Finding balance with your constitution through taste can be achieved with food, beverages and herbs. Sometime these things are subtle! Be sure to review what local foods in your area might support the season and individual through the tastes shared below.
Rasa means taste, mood, essence and so much more! As we work through the qualities of each dosha that can be pacified through the five senses, let us consider the sweetness that softens Vata and Pitta, and the spiciness that stimulates Kapha in more areas than just the taste in our mouth.
Tastes to Balance each Dosha
Vata: Sweet, Sour and Salty
Pitta: Sweet, Bitter and Astringent
Kapha: Pungent, Bitter and Astringent
Sparsha: Touch – associated with the element of Air
There are many ways we feel things through touch. This can be tender loving care, a warm or cool breeze or anything that comes into contact with our skin.
- Body therapies like self-oil massage, warm steams or baths, therapeutic massage, marma, facials, foot baths and other body therapy
- Asana or movement practices and exercise
- Loving touch to self and others
- Quality and texture of your clothing or what touches your skin
- Quality and texture of your furniture and home environment (how comfortable is your bed or living space)
- Touching elements in Nature like soft grass, hard rocks, cool breeze, water, etc.
Touch to Balance each Dosha
Vata: soft, warm, sweet touch through warm oil massage and steams; soft warm clothing and furniture; a warm and humid environment away from wind; swimming in warm water; touching soft grass or plant life; having comfortable shoes and walking barefoot on the soft earth.
Pitta: soft, cool sweet touch through oil massage and short fragrant steams; soft clothing and living space with proper ventilation; cool breeze; feeling the moonlight; swimming in cool water; walking barefoot on soft grass in the shade and comfortable breathable shoes.
Kapha: dry, warm and rougher touch through deep tissue massage; body brushing; dry powder massage; warm moisture wicking clothing like wool; firm but comfortable furniture; hiking on rocks or in the desert sun away from humidity and walking barefoot on dry earth.
Ghraana: Smell – associated with the element of Earth
Filling your home and work environment with scents that create a mood can be supported through essential oils, herbs, flowers, perfumes, candles, incense or a home cooked meal. In the Ayurvedic texts they frequently refer to using scents to balance the pungent smell of Pitta dosha through flowers and herbs.
Smells to Balance each Dosha
Vata: warm and grounding sweet scents like vertiver, cinnamon, wintergreen, vanilla, ginger, lavender, sweet orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, rose, geranium, patchouli, clove, basil, bergamot, frankincense, along with garden scents and a tasty homemade meal.
Pitta: cool and calming sweet scents like asmine, rose, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, sandalwood, chamomile, gardenia, ylang ylang, lime, fennel, coriander, lotus, along with flowers from the garden, a cool sea breeze, the smell of cut grass or mountain air.
Kapha: warm and stimulating spiced scents like cedar, patchouli, cinnamon, grapefruit, pine, rosemary, basil, eucalyptus, sage, ginger, birch, wintergreen, marjoram, camphor, juniper, spruce, along with the scent of spicy meals or visiting a fragrant spice market.
Chakshu: Vision – associated with the element of Fire
Some call our eyes the seat of the soul. Visual impressions can stimulate reactions through almost all of the other senses, evoking memories and more in-depth information carried to our brain from the sense of sight for discernment and discrimination of the physical world. Sometime close your eyes and notice how your other senses become louder. Sight therapy can be a subtle and profound tool for whole body healing and self-care.
Consider the colors of your home, clothing, how often you are on a screen, the sights you witness and if you are spending more time viewing nature or artificial light and experiences.
Sights to Balance each Dosha
Vata: warm, soft lighting; minimal screen time; warm earth tones like gold, orange and red or calming blues; time in Nature with water, plant life and mountains.
Pitta: cool, soft lighting; pastels and cool colors like blues and purples; watching the water, soft trees, shadows and shade; moonlight; minimizing screen time and avoiding watching the sun or fires.
Kapha: warm, well lit rooms; bold fiery and stimulating colors like reds, oranges and dark bright shades of green; fire, star and candle gazing and the view of desert lands and bright colored flowers.
Shabda: Sound – associated with the element of Ether
Ways to consider the influence of sound could be:
- home and work life
- through music
- television or electronics
- volume level
- speech patterns, intensity, quality, quantity
- listening to nature
One of the best ways to reset this channel is through silence in Nature, also known as sound fasting or mauna. (if you are interested in experiencing a Silent Retreat contact us to join the waitlist for our next Silent Weekend Program)
Sounds to Balance each Dosha
Vata: soft soothing sounds; New Age, Smooth Jazz, Acoustic Guitar, Classical, Roots Reggae, Classic Rock, Gentle Tribal Drumming; Nature sounds, ocean sounds, river sounds, etc.
Pitta: Smooth Jazz, Roots Reggae, New Age, Blues, Classical, Country, R&B, Gentle Drumming, Alternative; ocean sounds, river sounds, rocks with water, soft children sounds; birds in Spring.
Kapha: stimulating and upbeat, fast paced music; Reggae, Bluegrass, Holiday Songs, Soca, Latin, Pop, Hip Hop, Rock, Rap, Heavy Metal, Children’s Songs, ; wildlife, and anything that brings joy and enthusiasm. Listen to music that makes you want to move.
Create a Healing Home Environment through Sense Therapy
The simplest way you can support and enhance sense therapy is through daily regimen. You support health through these doorways (senses) merging our external experience to our inner landscape. With proper care you may notice greater ease in life, enthusiasm, clarity and appreciation of yourself and the world around you.
Start with Dinacharya for each Sense
- tongue scraping
- self-oil massage
- eye wash with rose water
- neti and nasya
- ear oil drops
For more on Dinacharya visit the Blog or feel free to contact us for a private consultation. We can’t wait to hear about your experiences connecting with Five Sense Therapies in your own home. Have fun and enjoy!