After following these folks for 11 years, the folks with hearing loss had a 24 percent increase of significant cognitive decline – suggesting that if hearing could be supported during the aging process, this may have an impact on age-related cognitive health as well.
Dr. Frank Lin, the lead researcher in this study, suggested that when the hearing is impaired, there is a garbled signal sent to the brain. Neuro-imaging studies have shown that the brain is forced to work much harder to interpret these garbled signals. Dr. Lin suggests that this extra effort to hear is at the expense of other brain functions, such as memory and cognitive function.
Researchers are not sure whether delaying hearing loss would spare the cognitive function of the brain but, according to Ayurveda, there are many strategies employed to support healthy hearing.
Ear Care, Ayurvedically
The classic Ayurvedic therapy for the ears is an integral part of a healthy daily routine. It is called Karna Purana – where medicated oil is dripped into the ears and the ears are then thoroughly massaged.
There are small bones in the inner ear called ossicles, which vibrate when hit by sound waves. These bones stimulate nerve endings that transmit signals to the brain to be interpreted. From the Ayurvedic perspective, the ear skin and the ossicles can dry out and function can be compromised. This is part of a vata imbalance in Ayurveda. Vata is a governing principle in nature akin to air, which, when aggravated, can dry the body out. Oil is the antidote for dryness in the body.
Once again, the key here, from the Ayurvedic perspective, is to care for your “orifices” throughout your life; and not just when they go out of whack – ideally, before. Karna Purana, or ear oiling, is meant to be a daily practice at best. At the very least, receiving Karna Purana as a therapeutic spa treatment is about as soothing and relaxing a treatment as you’ll find – and the benefits go deep – especially when receiving the treatment at the end of summer/beginning of fall – just when our bodies are showing aggravated signs of dryness that compromise immunity when you need it the most through the winter/holidays.
If you’d like to give Karna Purana a try, give us a call and book an appointment! Hope to see you at VitalLiving Ayurveda Spa and Wellness in Nevada City, California.
Ayurveda. There’s a Science to Well-Being.