A Mind-Body Healing Approach to Acid Reflex

02/16/2012 Mind-Body Health Digestion Healing Wisdom Health and Wellness

I am a 24-year-old female  who has suffered from GERD (acid reflux) for four and a half years now. I have been on medication since then that decreases the amount of acid my stomach releases. However, I still have been experiencing problems and do not want to be on medication for the rest of my life. I also fear developing esophageal cancer. What are some natural remedies and approaches I can take to help alleviate my condition?

Thank you,

Dr. Patel’s Response:

Dr. Sheila Patel

Hi Natalie,

I am sorry to hear about your health issue.  From an Ayurvedic perspective, GERD is usually an imbalance of the Pitta dosha (the heat element) and cooling herbs can help alleviate symptoms without interfering with digestion.  You could try pure aloe vera juice — try ¼ cup daily; or drink  coconut milk with water daily to soothe the heat.  That being said, the most important thing to do is to address the underlying issue of why this got started.  Pitta imbalances may be provoked by “over-doing”  (such as having  too many things on your plate — too much work, too much activity, etc.).  There is also often an underlying emotional issue that is unresolved, such as anger, resentment, guilt, and so on.

Without addressing the underlying issue, even using natural remedies may not solve the problem.  I recommend reading Deepak Chopra’s book Perfect Health or David Simon’s Wisdom of Healing  for a good holistic understanding of what is going on.  Diet is likely playing a role ,and you most likely require a Pitta-pacifying diet.  There is information in these books and on our website. You can learn more about Pitta and the other doshas — and how to balance them —  in our online library.

In addition, anything that calms the body will be helpful in returning to balance; therefore, daily meditation, yoga and other mind-body practices are a must. You might want to begin by joining us for our free 21-Day Meditation Challenge™, which begins next week, on February 20.  Perfect timing!  You can learn more and register here.

Best wishes,
Dr. Patel

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About the Author

Sheila Patel, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer
Sheila Patel, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer for Chopra Global and a board-certified family physician who is passionate about bringing holistic healing practices into the Western medical system. She earned her M.D. at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency in family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center in Southern California. For more than a decade, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine, from prenatal care and deliveries to ER coverage and primary care for all ages. As an integrative medical provider, Sheila currently offers medical consultations that combine the best in conventional medicine with the wisdom of Ayurveda. Her special interests include...Read more