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World AIDS Day: Mind and Body Wellness Practices for people Living with AIDS

About AIDS-


AIDS refers to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, known to have existed since the 1980s in different parts of the world. Its initial wave of commencement was observed in parts of Africa followed by the USA and China gradually. Different sources of origination were considered after research, conforming to HIV( Human Immunodeficiency Virus) as the leading and primary source that hosts the white blood cells in the body and multiplies thereafter vitiating the immune system.


World AIDS Day-


Subsequently, so as to raise awareness to support the HIV affected, fight against it and commemorate those who lost their lives to this virus, the month of December is globally recognized as AIDS awareness month, symbolically represented using a Red Ribbon worn by people on the 1st of December- designated as World AIDS Day alongside dedicating a theme for this monumental event.


Integration of Modern Medicine and Traditional Science of Life-


Allopathic medication and vaccination for AIDS has evolved and transitioned the face of  medical care, the dynamism has not been absolutely fair and justified, aggravating side effects such as physical and psychological conditions leading to depression, anxiety and deficiencies often amongst the affected. Speed of recovery and accessible cure has been definitive of positive signs throughout, but a peaceful and mindful healing process is still questionable.


As much as modern medicine is optimistically perceived as the cure, partnering with traditional remedies-Ayurveda, for holistic wellness as sustainable preventive measures is advisable by practitioners and researchers across the world especially for patients in the initial stages.  Ayurveda refers to the science of life. It has travelled throughout the world amongst preachers and scientists for centuries. It is not only definitive of our ancestral roots in the east, but has been a foundational contributing factor to early approaches for modern medicine in the west.


According to Ayurveda, it is foretold throughout history, diseases like HIV viral infection and itself are considered and proven to be Tridoshic, affecting the immune system as it causes deficiency in the Ojas(energy reserve of mind and body). Maintenance of Ojas is crucial, as it exhausts due to detrimental lifestyle- improper food intake, stress, insomnia and excess sexual intercourse resulting in disturbed balance of Doshas- Vata, Pitta, Kapha and loss of Shukras(vital fluids) increasing susceptibility to this condition. Therefore, resulting in loss of spirituality and weakened mind.


Worldwide, certain wellness practices for holistic wellbeing leading to a peaceful lifestyle throughout the HIV patients have made a transformational positive impact. Let’s have a look at some of them:


1-  Ayurvedic Panchakarma


Panchkarma is a rejuvenating  process of removing excess doshas and ama resulting in detoxification and strengthened immunity. Panchakarma is symbolic and inclusive of five actions- Vamana( Therapeutic vomiting), Virechana(Purgation), Basti(Enema), Nasya(Nasal Purgation), Rakta Mokshana(Bloodletting). At Dharana, our Ayurvedic experts aid in achieving balance of humoral body and mind factors by constructing a customized Dinacharya(daily routine) and Ritucharya(seasonal routine) during the course of 1 to 4 weeks as per the examination conducted individually for the programme. To know more about it- click here


2- Hatha Yoga and Meditation


Yoga and meditation- easier said than done- have numerous benefits for achieving a holistic wellbeing through detoxification of mind, body and spirit. Meditation traverses your mind through detachment from the tangible worldly aspects, rendering opportunity to seek within and to know oneself’s strengths and the hidden. Meditation cannot be taught, as it can only be experienced through several techniques to abandon the wandering mind and achieve wholesomeness.  Hatha Yoga and other forms of yogic practices are inclusive of general asanas, postures and breathing techniques to improve the immune function and diminish the damage caused by HIV.  


3- Traditional medicinal herbs and minerals



Also known as Dhatri or Amala fruit(equivalent of nine oranges of vitamin C), it has antimicrobial properties, to fight against oxidative stressors and reduce cholesterol in HIV patients.



This herb has a sweet, astringent and bitter rasa to treat vata vitiation caused due to HIV. It also helps in treating anxiety, arthritis, insomnia and stress. 



It has rejuvenating properties, with a pungent, bitter and salty rasa, causing a particular action on the reproductive, urinary and endocrine system. According to researchers, Shilajit performed 80-90% effective to fight against an enzyme found in HIV alongside other herbs.


In conclusion, Ayurveda and its traditional approaches to wellness have catered as an additional means to modern medicine and healthcare for HIV positive communities around the world to elevate mental, physical and spiritual wellness for attaining sustainable and mindful lifestyle.


Dharana Wellness Centre, a wellness retreat near Mumbai, focuses on holistic health which includes physical, mental and spiritual balance. One of the key ideologies of this eco wellness retreat lies in the holistic approach. As an Ayurvedic healing center in India, Dharana combines the use of an integrative, modern approach for holistic health with Modern diagnostics with traditional practices like Yoga and Ayurveda to ensure a sustainable wellness journey.