Are You Tired? Or Are You TIRED?

People know Ayurveda has a great reputation for getting energy & vitality back, and that’s a good thing because nearly every client at the clinic comes with at least an element of fatigue. In my experience, people have very vague or incorrect understanding of why they are experiencing fatigue.


When the complaint is feeling tired, the first thing I have to do is determine what type of exhaustion the client is actually experiencing, in other words, to determine what is the root cause of the tiredness.

The reason it is necessary to do is that the treatment plan will be radically different from one type of tired to the next.

Take for example a case of tiredness with the root cause of burnout. Someone has been burning the candle at both ends: too busy, overworked, stressed, and not getting enough sleep. This is treated with reducing activity & nourishing deep tissues.

Take another example on the opposite end of the spectrum, of someone experiencing lethargy due to inertia. They sit too long, come home too exhausted to exercise, maybe surf on the couch or behind the computer, make poor food choices, feel heavy and dull. This is treated by building appropriate movement & excitation in the body & mind.

Types of Tired

A quick review of Ayurveda’s take on lack of energy yielded 20 different Sanskrit words for tired, and all these nuances tell the practitioner how to arrange the direction of treatment.

Some examples include:

Klamah- exhaustion
Balasa – K in its diseased stated that reduces energy
Indriya daurbalya – sensory fatigue due to high pitta, or low ojas
Bala bhramsha – literally ‘wandering strength’, a sign of increased Vata
Gaurava – a heavy feeling associated with indigestion and high ama state
Glani – fatigue associated with emaciation & lack of interest

There’s even a tired that comes from too much “passionate sports”, think overexertion of sex & exercise.

The important thing to notice is in order to remove the fatigue, you need to treat that specific cause. Ama-type tiredness won’t go away if you assume the individual has Vata-type tiredness and treat by nourishing the body with oil massages, rich diet, and relaxation.

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Part 2: Overcoming Exhaustion

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