Do Not Stop That Big Burp!
There are various disorders or symptoms that can occur due to the suppression of our natural urges:
1)Suppression of the urge to burpcan cause disorder related to the subtype of Vata called Udana or upper moving form of Vata. So expectedly it can cause hiccups ( which can be very troublesome), cough, loss of appetite ( as Vata also controls hunger), tremors, heaviness sin the region of heart and chest. These as we can see are Vata dominated disorders but they can precipitate serious attack of diseases related to lungs and heart if these organs are already weak. So the suppression of this urge is to be avoided.
2)Suppression of the urge to Yawncauses aggravation of Vata as yawning is also a function of the subtype of vata called ‘udan’ or upper going vata. so its suppression causes spasm, convulsion and atrophy of body parts , tremors and loss of sensation. These seem unbelievable but if we look at the recent theories behind the physiology of Yawning, we come to know that they are related to the optimum function of brain. According to a recent theory we Yawn as our brain gets hotter. Yawning cools it down. So if we relate yawning to a defense mechanism of the body to save brain from damage ( although the theory is still being investigated) we can imagine what damage can occur if we suppress the urge to yawn deliberately just to tell everybody that you are neither bored nor tired nor sleepy.
3) Suppression of the urge to eat causes predictable symptoms like emaciation, weakness, losss of lusture on face, body aches, and giddiness. But one symptom of loss of appetite is also mentioned which seems contradictory. But it appears in the short term deprivation when a person does not eat at the stipulated time at which he/she takes food. So past that time the appetite subsides and the person either does not feel like eating or does not relish the food that much. The Vata and Pitta Dosha get aggravated if the urge to eat is suppressed.
4) Suppression of the urge to quench the thirstcauses features related to dehydration like mouth and throat getting parched, loss of hearing, tiredness, loss of function of brain, heart ailments like cardiovascular shock or precipitation of heart attack as blood gets thickened. Practically speaking these are symptoms encountered during acute dehydration, in view of the inability to get or hold water ( due to vomiting and / or diarrhea), otherwise our thirst center makes sure that we get thirsty as per the requirement of the body. But it is also seen that due to habit of taking less water or due inability to replace fluids lost during exercise, we do get subclinical levels of dehydration. We need to take somewhere between 48 – 64 ounces of fluid per day and more s in hot climates or if we are exercising heavily. If we do not have enough fluids during the day we definitely put ourselves to the risk of strokes and heart attacks and research has shown that to be true. So it was quite intelligent of the ancient proponents of Ayurveda to have mentioned loss of function of brain and heart ailments as a possible outcome of inadequate fluid intake. Suppression of urge to quench the thirst results in the aggravation of Vata initially and Pitta later. Ear being one of the important site of Vata, hearing loss is one of the symptoms encountered early.
5) Suppression of the urge to weep (withholding of tears)can cause rhinitis, eye diseases, diseases of the heart, loss of appetite, giddiness. Tears are our natural response to emotional upheavals like extreme sadness or happiness. Holding on to the tears deliberately does not allow us to let go of the emotional surge and thus result in a built up in the subconscious mind. The heart or ‘Hridya’ is often used as a synonym of mind. So here the texts imply that holding on to the urge to weep can cause psychological problems and thereby if someone does not vent out one’s feelings ever, they end up with psychosomatic diseases. Suppression of tears can lead to aggravation of Vata and Pitta.
6) Suppression of the urge to sleep causes symptoms like repeated yawning, body aches, loss of attentiveness, heavy headedness, ( and deranged mental functions), heaviness of the eyes. It results in the aggravation of Vata and Kapha Dosha. Adequate sleep is regarded as the one of the pillars of health by Ayurveda, the other being food and a disciplined behavior in all spheres of life particularly the sexual behavior. Sleep deprivation for long is a major cause of Vata aggravation and can lead to Vata disorders like arthritis etc for example. Once the sleep is deprived and Vata gets aggravated, the body as a defense produces more of Kapha leading to Kapha aggravation. Hence we see symptoms due to both Vata and Kapha aggravation in short term. But, in regular sleep deprivation for a prolonged period, Vata aggravation rules.
7) Suppression of the urge to breathe rapidly as a result of physical labor causes feeling of a lump in the throat, chest or upper abdomen, problems with the circulation e.g a Vaso- Vagal shock, and loss of consciousness or more precisely a syncope ( when brain does not get adequately oxygenated blood) . Actually our respiratory rate is approximately 1/4th of our heart rate. So, if heart rate increases due to physical work, so should be the respiratory rate (and in fact it does) . But holding on to it due to any reason can cause the aggravation of Vata particularly the upper going Vata called Udan Vata. This can be correlated to the Vagus nerve activity and most of the symptoms are due to Vagal nerve stimulation. If this is practiced for long periods it can lead to development of heart diseases also, which could be disorder of the rhythm, hypertrophy of chambers etc.