Can Suppressing Natural Urges Cause Disease? - Healthy Ayurveda

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Can Suppressing Natural Urges Cause Disease?

Can Suppressing Natural Urges Cause Disease? 
Ayurveda is one of the oldest, most complete and amazing natural holistic systems of medicine in the world. It’s a fascinating science and art of living (Ayu=Life, Veda=Science.)  There are three primary biomedical terms of Ayurveda that are essential components of this system that allows us to navigate through our lives and our health. These three terms are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are derived from the composition of the five element theory; the five elements being Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space/Ether. In Ayurveda we categorize Vata, Pitta and Kapha into “biological humors” that are configured uniquely in each one of us and determines our physiological and psychological output.

Vata Dosha
Vata, is a Sanskrit term that means “that which moves” and it primarily governs Space and Air. Pitta, primarily governs Fire and Water. Kapha, governs primarily Water and Earth. To take this further, Vata is considered the Neurological System. Therefore, neurological disorders or tendencies of imbalance are assessed as being a result of underlying Vata imbalances. Ayurveda says that 80% of diseases/disorders are a result of Vata. Vata has a general site that it is associated with, that being the pelvic area.  We not only see Vata in the season pertaining to Fall/early Winter, because of its cold and dry qualities but we can also loosely refer to Vata as the process related to catabolism. What I call the “Air Head”, or Personality Type D (Anxious one.) It’s period of life in time is post 45-50 years of age until expiration.

Pitta Dosha
Pitta, is a Sanskrit term that means “that which digests/transforms” and relates to the Endocrine/Digestive System. Therefore, it governs the principles of digestion and hormones. Ayurveda says that 40% of diseases are a result of Pitta imbalance, relating to inflammatory tendencies and it’s general location in the body is the liver and small intestine. We loosely refer to these types as “Summer Types” because of the hot/dry or wet qualities, and also refers to Type A” personality types (Aggressive and strong). What I sometimes call as the “Hot Head.” Pitta is about Metabolism and its period of life in time ranges from the beginning of puberty until the cessation of hormones becoming menopause and/or andropause. Therefore, ranging from around 10/15-45/50 years of age.

Kapha Dosha
Kapha, is a Sanskrit term that means “that which molds/creates form” and relates to the Immunological System.  It governs the principles of immunity, strength and, to some degree, a building of the body overall and its vitality. Ayurveda says that 20% of diseases are a result of Kapha imbalance, relating to accumulation, sluggishness and heaviness. Kaphas general site in the body is the lungs and we refer to Kapha Types as the “Spring Type” because of the cold and wet qualities. Additionally, we consider Kapha Types the “Type B” (depressed/slow) types. I sometimes call them the “Pot Head.” Kapha is about anabolism and its period of life in time is while in the mother’s womb all through childhood, because this is when we build and lengthen. We can say the age range is from birth until 10/15 years of age.

13 Natural Urges
That being said. Ayurveda directs us to daily (Dinacharya) and seasonal (Ritucharya) practices to help maintain health and support disease prevention.  Additionally, when Ayurveda addresses disease it’s not the disease directly that is addressed but the individual because it is understand that it’s not what type of disease does a person get but more about what type of person gets a disease. In addressing healthcare, Ayurveda speaks about 13 Natural Urges (Trayodahsa Vega) that shouldn’t be suppressed and correspond to maintaining balance in our bodies and mind. These urges include:

1) Sleep
2) Hunger
3) Thirst
4) Burping
5) Flatulence
6) Sexual Expression/Ejaculation (orgasm)
7) Defecating
8) Urinating
9) Vomiting
10) Sneezing
11) Coughing
12) Yawning
13) Crying

The Suppression Of Natural Urges Can Cause Disorders 
The suppression of these urges can cause physical and psychological disorders. When we observe the general origin of where these urges are expressed from we can see how they correlate to the regions where Vata, Pitta and Kapha are situated. In suppressing any one of these urges we can see where dysfunction in that area can cause. For instance, when we feel the urge to defecate and we hold it in we can normally feel a sharp pain, gas or tightening in the general region of the bowels. Over time, this can lead to other imbalances that develop into symptoms such as constipation.  If we prevent ourselves from crying when the natural tendency is to do so, we find that we could suffer from lung, heart and even thyroid related complications. If we skip the urge to eat when we are hungry or drink when we are hungry or eat when we are thirsty or even skip drinking or eating when both the need for hunger and thirst are ignored, we will notice digestive issues will form. If we ignore the need for sleep because somehow we justify staying up at night, inevitably we will incur sleep disturbances that spill over into other aspects of the body thereby creating ill health.

Vata is the governing force behind all these urges because the brain is regulating all the functions of the body. The nervous system is the information pathway of the body and through the afferent and efferent neurons the entire geography of the body is communicated through this highway of neural pathways. Over time, as we disturb Vata we eventually are disturbing the other doshas. Furthermore, with Vata being out of balance we can also see a trend where inflammation in the body is the precursor to disease. In an acidic environment, we have a brewery for virus’, fungus and bacterial formation. In an alkaline environment, there is less likelihood for major diseases rooted in Vata(neurological) and Pitta (inflammation) to set up camp. In holding back the urge we disturb Vata and the body will experience inflammation through friction of restriction of urges.

If You Want To Cry … Cry!
Therefore, to help prevent imbalances from forming, the next time you want to cry … cry! The next time you have to poop or pee, just use the bathroom. If you’re hungry, eat! If you’re sleepy, especially at night….sleep! If you’re thirsty, drink! If you have to yawn, sneeze, burp or fart, then do it! If you want to express and cultivate sexual energy accordingly, then do so consciously as possible. If you want to vomit, do it! Remember that your vitality and health depend on it. Think about it. If you take a moment to see where you might be having health issues, take a look (inwardly/outwardly) to determine what urge you may be suppressing and take the first step in allowing them again. Sometimes it takes a re-training but the body is willing and able, we just have to support it and it know exactly what to do. Simply, allow yourself to have natural expressions and honor the self. So, the next time you have an urge then have the experience. The urgency of the urge is that your health depends on it!


About The Author: 
Vishnu Om
Vishnu M.Ayu
, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

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