Tag: Ayurveda

Ayurveda Medicine

From  Article Dateline: July 2001

Ayurveda, the ancient system of holistic healing from India, is justly enjoying a widespread resurgence in popularity today. Savvy, health-conscious individuals all over the world are taking more responsibility for their own health and well-being.

The old adage prevention is better than cure makes increasingly more sense in a time when health-care is exorbitant and fraught with risks such as dangerous side effects of drugs that often lead to more problems instead of treating the illness they were taken to address.

In a world that offers more choices than ever before, more and more individuals are exploring alternative health systems such as Ayurveda to help them lead a healthy lifestyle and stop disease before it ever has a chance to take root in the physiology.

The Story of Ayurveda

According to Hindu mythology, the science of life was first enunciated by Brahma, the Creator, in the Brahma Samhita. One version has it that when disease, in the form of fever, first made its presence known on earth, the rishis (sages) of the time gathered together and sent Bharadwaj to the devas (gods) to get the knowledge to combat it. Bharadwaj studied Ayurveda from Indra, king of the devas, and returned to earth to spread the knowledge. He taught several sages, who in their turn, propagated the knowledge further.

Ayurvedic Principles

Ayurvedic principles, techniques and formulations were eventually laid down in many texts, such as the famous treatises by Charaka and Sushruta. Preserved and built upon by traditional Ayurvedic experts, called Vaidyas, Ayurveda flourished in India for millennia until it was relegated to the shadows by long periods of Moslem and British rule.   A holistic approach to healing Ayurveda — literally Science of Life — is based on the twin principles of wholeness and balance.

As a holistic healing tradition, Ayurveda recommends treating the whole person-body, mind, senses, emotions and spirit-instead of following the one-cause-one-cure principle and focusing on the symptoms of the moment. The premise is that if the roots are nourished and watered, the plant will flourish. Diet, sleep, lifestyle, daily and seasonal routines and internal cleansing are just as, or more, important than herbs and potions in order to maintain good health. And Ayurveda is equally about maintaining or preserving good health as it is about treating disorders.

Balance is the key: The three doshas According to Ayurveda, perfect health is a state where mind, body and spirit are balanced. All activities of the mind and body are governed by three biological principles or doshas — Vata, Pitta and Kapha, each of which is made up of some of the five elements of creation or mahabhutas. Vata is mainly air and space, and governs movement in the body-the flow of blood, for example, or elimination, or breathing or thoughts flitting across the mind.

Since the other two doshas, Pitta and Kapha, cannot move without Vata, Vata is considered the lead dosha. Pitta, mainly fire and water, governs heat, metabolism and transformation. Digestion is an important Pitta activity. Kapha is made up mainly of earth and water, and, accordingly, is linked to structure and moisture balance in the physiology. Among other things, Kapha controls weight and lubrication in the lungs, for example. Each of the doshas is also related to a season of the year — Kapha with Spring, Pitta with Summer and Vata with Fall and Winter.

When all of these doshas are perfectly in balance in an individual, it means that all the systems and activities of mind and body are functioning at optimal levels, and the individual, therefore, enjoys perfect health. When one or more of these doshas goes out of balance, disorders result. Some factors that can cause these doshas to become imbalanced are improper diet or eating habits, stress, pollution or the weather. Then, to restore good health, the dosha that has become imbalanced needs to be restored to its original make-up in that specific individual.

Prakriti and Vikriti

It has become common to associate Ayurveda just with superficial body-typing, based on the fact that every individual is born as a combination of one or more of the three doshas described above. Asking What is your dosha? or Are you Vata, Pitta or Kapha? is just barely scratching the surface of Ayurveda. It is much more important to go beyond introductory body-typing or finding out the Prakriti of an individual to determining what imbalances exist in a person’s physiology (Vikriti) — and then finding out how to restore balance.

The Beej-Bhoomi theory

Ayurveda proposes an interesting theory of disease — the Beej-Bhoomi theory. Proper digestion is crucial for good health. If digestion is not optimal, toxins, called ama or digestive impurities, build up in the body and clog the channels of flow. Not just the blood vessels, but all the microcirculatory channels in the body as well as the energy pathways. Ama weakens the physiology, creating conditions fertile for disease and infection to take root. Ayurvedic rejuvenation and cleansing programs — Panchakarma — are techniques designed to flush ama out of the physiology.

The Science of Herb Combining and Processing

Although single Ayurvedic herbs and spices such as Brahmi, Turmeric and Ashwagandha are popular, one of the most significant contributions offered by Ayurveda is the science of herbal combination — formulations that personify sanyoga, the fortuitous blending of a variety of herbs that results in a formulation offering the dual benefits of synergy and balance.

An Ayurvedic formulation can often contain twenty or more herbs and spices — primary herbs that target the area of imbalance, supporting herbs to enhance the benefits of the primary herbs, balancing herbs to counter any possible side-effects from the actions of the main herbs, and bio-availability enhancers to expedite the transfer of the benefits of the formulation to the parts of the physiology. The most complex of the traditional Ayurvedic herbal combinations are an elite group called rasayanas, extolled at length in the Ayurvedic texts for their positive impact on the physiology.

The second principle, sanskar, refers to the way the herbs are harvested, used and processed. Ayurvedic formulations traditionally use the whole herb instead of extracting the active ingredient from the plant. Nature’s healing wisdom is perceived to reside best in the plant in its entirety. Using the whole herb rather than the isolated ingredient also contributes to a balanced formula less likely to have side-effects, because according to Ayurveda, each medicinal plant has both the primary effect and the antidote present in it in its natural state.

At the best Ayurvedic manufacturing facilities, the natural intelligence of the plants is carefully preserved in the final product by using traditional processing techniques that eschew chemical solvents and damaging high temperatures. Following the harvesting and processing techniques enunciated in the traditional texts results in a potent, balanced formulation.

Scientific Scrutiny of Ayurveda

Ayurvedic herbs and formulations are increasingly catching the attention of researchers all over the world. In a heartening trend that seeks to blend the best of the ancient and the modern, not only individual Ayurvedic herbs such as Brahmi and Guggul, but even proprietary rasayanas such as the antioxidant formula Amrit from Maharishi Ayurveda have been and continue to be extensively researched at independent institutions to scientifically validate and document their beneficial effects.

Cumulative Benefits of Ayurveda

The Ayurvedic approach to health is gentle and comprehensive. The concepts of instant cures and pill-popping for immediate relief are foreign to Ayurveda. Because the endeavor is to seek and correct the source of problems — imbalances in the physiology — the best results from Ayurveda come to those who are patient and persistent, who diligently adopt the associated dietary and lifestyle changes needed, and take a degree of responsibility for their own well-being. For those who do make the commitment, Ayurveda offers rich, cumulative health benefits that can help you enjoy a long, healthy and blissful life.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is for the sole purpose of imparting education on Ayurveda and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.

From
Article Dateline: July 2001

The Doctors Will See You Now

Holistic Wellness on justruminating men's blog

Time for your “physical” using the Holistic Health Approach!

Wellness Guide on justruminating men's blog

So, for each part of your physical, you’ve got links to articles and videos you can educate yourself with and ensure your holistic wellness is tip-top!

Relax, Dr. Long Fingers will be along shortly…this won’t hurt a bit…

Holistic Health on on justruminating men's blog

Having a holistic health check up is somewhat different from having a physical by a healthcare provider when your pulse is taken and a tongue depressor is stuck inside your mouth.  Holistic care involves evaluating and nurturing all aspects of our bodies, not the physical body alone.

Here are important questions for you to ask yourself and also to use as a guide enabling you to evaluate how in-balance your mind-body-spirit is. Included are some wellness resource links that offer avenues you can take and tools you can use to help to align yourself with optimal wellness.

1) Are Your Chakras in Alignment?

Chakra Balancing on on justruminating men's blog

Our chakras are our energy centers (vortexes) that are the openings for life energy to flow through. When they are blocked or closed we are functioning at a lower level than is desirable.

2) Are You Breathing Properly? Say Ahhhh!

Breathing Meditation on justruminating men's blog Probably one of the most common mistake people make is withholding breath. There are far too many shallow breathers on the planet. Training yourself how to breathe properly is very important!

3) Are Your Aura Colors Glowing Brightly or Murkish Gray?

Auras Need Love on on justruminating men's blog
Our auras are like magnets picking up vibrational energies that are floating around everywhere we go. It is important to cleanse our auras frequently to free them of foreign vibrations and negative energies.

4) How Deeply Rooted Are You?

We Are The Earth on on justruminating men's blog
When our spirits choose to incarnate into a human body it is understood that we are to respect and honor this outer garment we wear. There is much information and learning that can be accessed from our Earth energies when we grow our roots. Dig in and reach downward!

5) Are You Staying Within Your Own Energetic Boundaries? 

Harness Your Spiritual Energy On on justruminating men's blog
You will experience conflict within your “self” if you become confused by merging your own energies with energies of others. Make sure the emotions you are feeling belong to you.

6) Are You Tending To Your Physical Needs?

Physical Needs On on justruminating men's blog
I should stop bringing ups new topics and build this section of our blog as it is completely near and dear to mine and Karin’s hearts.  We avidly workout and eat well, and it has impacted our lives in so many ways.

Fitness and nutrition have been a huge part of my life-off an on since I went to college and got my hands on the Gold's Gym Training Encyclopedia on justruminating men's blogGold’s Gym Training Encyclopedia.  The fundamentals I learned from that book are largely still applicable today.  And I still do those basic exercises every time I workout!

Sadly, as I was going through our blog to link to some fitness and nutrition articles I found I hadn’t written any!  So, I will be building a thorough library on this area.  There is so much mis-information, complicated this and that’s.

I guarantee we will help you sift this plethora of garbage information and get to the meat and potatoes of eating right and exercising, no matter your fitness level, age, or condition!  First lesson:  “Diet” is a word that no longer exists…

7) Do You Allow Yourself Time/Space To Recoup Spent Energies?

Private Idaho on justruminating men's blog
It is far too easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, forgetting to take care of yourself. Choose from a variety of practices that can easily be incorporated a few minutes each day to bring about inner peace and contentment. Here are a few suggestions.

Obviously this physical would never supersede any medical treatments you are currently undergoing.  But I guarantee you one thing, apply these principles with 100% commitment, you might be surprised the next time you go for an actual physical.

The changes will startle you!  (just one example for myself:  my bp when I started this new journey in December of 2012 was 158/110!  I just had it checked on Monday:  11/80!

Using the list 1-7 above, make a questionnaire for yourself, then put a check mark next to each topic as to whether you take an active role in that wellness function or not.  Avoid the last box!  The graphic is there for you to ponder, not to extend any negative energy field to you whatsoever.  We learn TWICE AS MUCH when we SEE as we do when we HEAR!

Holistic Checklist on justruminating men's blog

The path to Holistic Wellness starts and ends right at the edge of your big toe.  Take the first step and work through your physical and strive to incorporate as many of these principles as you can each and everyday.  And if you are actively involved in your own holistic health, way to go!  Now go find someone to share your wellness with.  Your body will thank you, your mind will thank you, your soul will thank you, and if you reach out to someone else, THEY will thank you!

Sooo…What Brings Your Dosha Here?

dosha on justruminating men's blog

Considered the oldest medical science in the world, Ayurveda is a form of holistic healing that has been practiced in India for more than 4,000 years. Derived from the Sanskrit roots of “Ayus,” meaning life, and “vid,” meaning knowledge, Ayurveda literally translates to the “knowledge of life.”

According to Ayurvedic principles, every aspect of life-the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual-contributes to your overall health. By balancing these elements and addressing the body as a whole, Ayurveda restores equilibrium when you’re ill and keeps your body’s natural defense system strong when you’re healthy.

Prevention vs. cure

Western medicine traditionally treats the symptoms of an illness or disease with medication and/or surgery to “cure” the patient. Ayurvedic medicine takes a holistic approach to prevent the onset of an illness or disease by monitoring a patient’s lifestyle including diet, emotional state, level of activity, sex life, work conditions and spirituality.

Ayurvedic practitioners emphasize natural foods and herbal remedies, and usually recommend yoga and meditation for all the doshas. But by taking your unique physical, mental and spiritual factors into consideration, an Ayurvedic practitioner can advise you based on your individual constitution — and help you take action to help you manage stress and prevent illness, lose weight, detoxify your body and maintain optimal health.

Continue reading “Sooo…What Brings Your Dosha Here?”