Human body is a marvelous and complex system that enables us to carry out everyday tasks with ease. We usually don’t think about most of the tasks which take place within the body but it coordinates everything so we can function efficiently every second like breathing. The nervous system is the regulatory system for all the activities that take place in the body. Nervous system is what makes us human and enables us to make sense of the world around us. The nervous system is divided into two sub parts:
1.Central Nervous System (CNS): It includes the brain and spinal cord.
2.Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): It is responsible for the communication between CNS and other parts of the body such as organs.
Peripheral nervous system can be further subdivided into two parts;
1.Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
2.Somatic Nervous System (SNS)
Both CNS and the Peripheral Nervous System are made up of cells called neurons. The neurons use electrical signals to communicate all over the body. They form a very large and complex system within the body. They make us aware of what’s happening around us. The
nervous system affects and regulates our health and emotions, memory and thought processes, affects senses so that we feel, touch, see, taste and hear. When the nervous system is affected, the whole body gets disoriented.
In Ayurveda every individual has a different body composition. The Panchamahabhutas- Fire, Earth, Ether, Water and Air; make up the foundation of living things. The Doshas determine the body type of an individual, which in turn defines mental, physiological, and physical state. Every individual has a different proportion of doshas which makes them different from every other.
According to the principle of Ayurveda, Vata dosha governs the nervous system. The Sharira (body), Manas (mind) and Prana (life) are supported by Dhatus. There are seven Dhatus in human – Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (Blood), Mamsa (Muscle), Asthi (Bones), Medha (Fat), Majja (Bone marrow) and Shukra (Reproductive system) Dhatu.
Majja Dhatu is responsible for the functions of the brain and the nervous system, it oversees the physical attribute, strength, and bone nourishment, mental and emotional state. It includes the brain, spinal cord, vertebrate and the skull. The Majja Dhatu is affected due to the effects of lifestyle, poor diet, insomnia, and suppression of emotions.
The desired state of the body is when bodily functions are at their optimal level. This is possible only when Prana or the energy which governs life is healthy. Problem arises when Prana does not flow properly which indirectly suggests a problem in the Majja Dhatu. In Ayurveda, Dhatus work together in order to achieve a balance within mind, body and soul. Anything that causes an imbalance in Majja Dhatu is responsible for Prana related problems. Thus the understanding of how Doshas affect Majja Dhatu is necessary.
When vata Dosha is in excess it leads to an improper tissue formation. When tissues are in excess or deficiency, due to the imbalance in Vata Dosha, Prana has problems. When there are Vata Dosha related problems in the long term, it leads to the tissues becoming fragile and thin. Thursday the tissues become dry, thereby hindering the Prana to move efficiently.
When Pitta Dosha is in excess, it causes inflammation as the tissues are formed faster than normal. This leads to rise in temperature of the tissue, which in turn leads to swelling of them. Swelling leads to neuritis. Further, due to excessive Pitta, metabolism speeds up, and thus, the structures adjacent to the nerves have higher chances of getting burnt.
When Kapha Dosha is in excess, it causes excessive formation of tissues. The quality of tissues formed is degraded. This makes Majja Dhatu thick and heavier, which slows down the rate of neuron communication. This affects Prana flow, causing problems like lack of processing of information and response to surroundings. This leads to severe health issues if continuous for long term.
When Majja Dhatu is in harmony, we feel like everything is right in the world and feel peace. It brings in the feeling of calmness and understanding. Whereas, when Majja Dhatu is not in harmony, it may lead to sort of dissatisfaction, feeling of stagnation, loss of motivation and negativity all around.
Functions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha Dosha in the brain:
1.The frontal executive system of the brain: It includes anterior cingulate gyrus which is responsible for switching of attention and error detection; ventral medial which is responsible for emotional input; and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex which is responsible for decision making. The Vata brain type leads to overstimulation by exhibiting high range prefrontal functions. The Pitta brain type reacts strongly to challenges. The Kapha brain type is slow and steady and prefers routine.
2.The reticular activating system: It is responsible for arousal levels. The Vata brain type leads to a sense of overreacting to the world. The Pitta brain type is highly focused to get the task accomplished. The Kapha brain type is calm, easy going and hardly gets excited.
3.Autonomic nervous system: It governs all the responses to the environment. The Vata brain type is very sensitive to pain and cold weathers and has poor circulation. The fight and flight response is easily activated in Vata brains. The Pitta brain brings rest to this response. The fight or flight response is not easily activated in Kapha brain type, rather, parasympathetic response is high.
4.Enteric nervous system: It is responsible for the digestion process. The Vata brain type has high digesting power which leads to irregular appetite, irregular bowels and frequent gas. The Pitta brain type has a strong digestion and is always hungry. The Kapha brain type can easily skip a meal and is not much affected.
5.The limbic system: It is responsible for emotions and includes amygdala, hippocampal, nucleus accumbens, the insula and Hypothalamus. The Vata brain type is highly sensitive to the changes in environment and their emotions are highly variable. In the Pitta brain type are competitive and dynamic. The Kapha brain types are always smiling, slow in hurry, and nothing can make them angry.
6.Hypothalamus: This part of the brain is responsible for maintaining hemostasis. It controls the responses to hunger, thirst, challenges, and arousal levels. In Vata brain type, the changes in state of mind and body are experienced. In Pitta brain type, hypothalamus is strong and is on fire to accomplish the goal. In Kapha brain type, hypothalamus maintains slower metabolism, which leads to weight gain and slows the responsiveness to temperature and situation.
Thus, from the above information it is clear that all the brainly functions are governed by tridoshas. They are responsible for regulating our responses to the external environment, emotions, and bodily functions which are necessary for a sustainable life.