Ayurveda & Wellness: Five Sense Therapies

Our senses are the windows to the world. Keeping those "windows" clean and intact is the prime reason for 5-sense therapies. Ayurvedic practitioners developed and refined these self-care practices over thousands of years, and they are as relevant today as they were then. Once those senses are clean, ensuring harmonious inputs is the way to maintain balance. We wouldn't eat junk food and expect to feel good, so why allow junk into the other senses (sight, sound, touch and smell)? What we watch, listen to, put on our skin and inhale through our nose have to be "digested" just like food we put into our mouth.

- Taste: tongue cleaning, oil swishing and eating a balance of the 6 tastes with abundant spices to aid digestion

- Smell: neti pot (nasal irrigation), nasya (nasal oleation), breath practice and aromatherapy and removing/reducing chemicals and toxins from our immediate environment

- Touch: garshana (dry brushing), abhyanga (self-massage), and using only natural oils and herbs on the skin

- Sight: eye washing, candle gazing, and color therapy (through meditation or choice of clothing and surrounding decor)

- Sound: ear oleation and sound therapy (including mantras and various instruments like singing bowls, gongs and chimes)

Additional therapies can complement, such as the use of crystals and gems, specific yoga poses and sequences, meditation, affirmations and seasonal cleanses.