Eliminating Toxins Can Lead to Weight Loss

Environmental toxins are now being recognized as major contributors to obesity and recent research suggests that the removal of these toxins from our bodily tissues may be an effective treatment approach for treatment-resistant or chronic weight gain. Ayurveda offers a time-tested approach to removing toxins that is comfortable, safe, and, in fact, more effective than any other form of purification approach available today.

Many of the toxic chemicals that build up in our system over time (scientists estimate we have over 700 environmental chemicals in our bodies) are fat-soluble: this means they adhere to our fat tissues — and can stay there for up to 30 years. When we lose body fat, these chemicals get released from shrinking fat cells only to be reabsorbed by other fat cells.

A published research study (Sept./Oct. 2002 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine) on the Ayurvedic panchakarma (purification) treatments offered at The Raj Ayurveda Health Center in Fairfield, IA showed that  50% of these dangerous toxins were actually removed from the body with a 5-day treatment program.  No other method of detoxification has been shown to dissolve this class of fat-soluble toxins from our cell walls and then eliminate them from the body.

Not all toxins come from our environment. It turns out that we create some toxins ourselves due to poor digestion or poor food choices. Ayurveda refers to the toxins created by poor digestion as ama, a sticky residue that gradually clogs up the cells and channels of the body. This waste material can impair cellular functions and accelerate aging. It can also cause lethargy, fatigue, dullness, erratic eating habits and compulsive eating.

When ama blocks the channels of the body, Vata, the principle of movement throughout our physiology, no longer flows property and can become trapped in the abdomen. This can stimulate an abnormal digestive “fire”. As a result, a person feels hungry and begins to eat excessively, beyond their actual need.

The specialized Ayurveda detox treatments (Panchakarma) are also helpful for this type of toxin. Panchakarma reduces imbalance Vata as the same time that it helps “chisel away” impurities and toxins that have been slowly building up in the body over years. Removing these blockages and toxins allows the natural intelligence of the body to become more expressed. Cravings disappear and more natural eating habits are more easily established.

For more information on Ayurveda weight-loss programs, please visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

www.theraj.com

Walking For Your Ayurvedic Body Type

According to Maharishi Ayurveda, walking is a healthy exercise for all body types.  In recent years researchers have found the old-fashioned stroll produces amazing results. It can lower your bad cholesterol, increase cardiovascular fitness and stop bone loss.

For maximum benefits, gear your walking to your body’s individual needs. Ideally one should stay within your body’s range of comfort. Listen to what your body tells you. If you feel any strain or discomfort, ease up and get back into your comfort zone.

Most experts today recommend 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity  5 – 6  days of the week to see health benefits. Brisk walking is considered a type of moderate-level physical activity.

Ayurveda identifies ten body types, made up of different combinations of the three doshas, vata, pitta and kapha.

If you are a mentally active, vata type, be careful not to over-extend yourself.  A 15 – 20 minute walk is ideal. If you are trying to fit in 30 minutes of exercise a day, break it into two sessions so as not to aggravate your vata.

If you are a pitta type you will probably feel bored unless you can look at beautiful scenery along the way — or unless you feel a bit of a challenge. Pitta types need longer, more vigorous stretches of exercise. Try walking for 30 to 45 minutes at a fast pace, even doing race -walking if it is comfortable. But avoid exercising during the hotter hours of the day.

Kapha types need to find hilly terrain or try fast-paced aerobic walking for 45 – 60 minutes.

Both kapha and pitta types can increase aerobic activity by swinging their arms as they walk. But beware of carrying weights, as that can cause ligament damage. If you want to build up your arm muscles, check into weight training.

No matter what your body type, you can gain much more from your walk if you stretch before and after you walk. Yoga exercise or 5 minutes of Surya Namaskara can be beneficial for neuromuscular integration. The more prepared your body is, the more effective your walk will be. It helps to warm up your muscles before making demands on them and the cool-down increases flexibility.

Benefits of Walking

Regular moderate physical exercise has been shown to lower the risk of developing dementia.

Walking has been shown to reduce risks of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes.

Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps to strengthen muscles and bones, thus decreasing your risk of developing osteoporosis and arthritis.

Walking may help protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer.

Walking increases the number of calories your body uses, which helps to benefit weight loss .

Walking for 30 minutes three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression by 47% (as measured with a standard depression questionnaire).

Walking just three times a week for 30 minutes has been shown to significantly increase cardio-respiratory fitness.

A visit to an Ayurvedic expert in your area will help you to more precisely pinpoint your body type and current mind/body balance. To take a mind/body dosha quiz to find out your body type visit the website of The Raj Ayurveda Health Center.

www.theraj.com

Are Toxins Undermining Your Diet?

Environmental toxins are now being recognized as major contributors to obesity and removal of these toxins may be an effective treatment approach for treatment-resistant or chronic weight gain. Ayurveda offers a time-tested approach to removing toxins that is comfortable, safe, and, in fact, more effective than any other form of purification approach available today.

Many of the toxic chemicals that build up in our system over time (scientists estimate we have over 700 environmental chemicals in our bodies) are fat-soluble: this means they adhere to our fat tissues — and can stay there for up to 30 years. When we lose weight these chemicals get released back into our system, only to be reabsorbed by other fat cells.

A published research study (Sept./Oct. 2002 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine) on the Ayurvedic panchakarma (purification) treatments offered at The Raj Ayurveda Health Center in Fairfield, IA showed that  50% of these dangerous toxins were removed with a 5-day program.  No other methods of detoxification have been shown to remove this class of fat-soluble toxins from the body.

Not all toxins come from our environment. It turns out that we create some toxins ourselves due to  poor digestion or poor food choices. Ayurveda refers to the toxins created by poor digestion as ama, a sticky residue that gradually clogs up the cells and channels of the body. This waste material can impair cellular functions and accelerate aging. It can also cause lethargy, fatigue, dullness, erratic eating habits and compulsive eating.

When ama blocks the channels of the body, vata, the principle of movement, no longer flows property and can become trapped in the abdomen. This can stimulate an abnormal digestive “fire”. As a result, a person feels hungry and begins to eat excessively, beyond their actual need.

The specialized Ayurveda detox treatments (panchakarma) can help “chisel away” impurities and toxins that have been slowly building up in the body over years. Removing these blockages and toxins allows the natural intelligence of the body to become more expressed. Cravings disappear and more natural eating habits are more easily established.

For more information on The Raj Ayurveda weight-loss programs, please visit The Raj website:

www.theraj.com

Ayurveda Weight Loss Tips

Most people who lose weight gain it back within a few years – with many regaining even more than they lost. What they do not know is that there are a number of factors that may be triggering the weight-gain that are beyond their ability to control.

Mind/Body Types

According to Ayurveda, different mind/body types have different body shapes and sizes that are natural  — and healthful – for that particular physiology. The goal of Ayurveda is simply to maintain or restore one’s natural balance. As one restores balance, weight will naturally shift back to what is normal for that particular physiology.

Of utmost importance in maintaining balance is keeping the channels of circulation in the body clear.  One specialty of Ayurveda is Panchkarma. These specialized Ayurveda detoxification treatments help “chisel away” impurities and toxins that have been slowly building up in the body over years.

Diet and Digestion

Crucial to maintaining balanced health is good digestion. Suppressing the appetite means suppressing the digestive “fire”. As a result, food does not get digested or metabolized property. When the body is not nourished properly it begins to send messages to the brain that it is starving. The dieter gets cravings that cannot be ignored. This can lead to binge eating, creating further imbalances and weight gain.

Five Weight Loss Tips

Ayurveda recommends five actions steps that are helpful for everyone – no matter what your body type. These tips are easy to implement and can bring about great changes in your over-all health and wellness.

1. Eat a light evening meal favoring easy-to-digest foods (fresh vegetables, soups, grains such as barley and couscous). According to Ayurveda, digestion is weaker in the evening.  Also, going to sleep just a few hours after eating slows digestion, metabolism and circulation. This leads to poor digestion and the accumulation of toxins, fat  and promotes excess weight gain.

2. Eat the largest meal of the day at lunch favoring a wide variety of warm, cooked, organic food. Digestion is strongest at noon and we have many active hours to metabolize the food before we sleep.

3. Drink warm or hot water frequently during the day. This helps flush the digestion tract of accumulated toxins.

4. Avoid eating heavy foods such as red meat, leftovers, packaged foods and deep-fried food. These are hard to digest or lack energy-giving freshness. “Eat fresh food, freshly prepared” sums up the essence of Ayurvedic food guidelines.

5. Move!  Exercise improves digestion, metabolism, elimination, body tone and strength and bone density.  It helps us normalize weight gain. Try to take time every day to get out and walk. It is good to walk 15 minutes or so after eating. Eating after the evening meal is especially encouraged.

The basis of successful weight-loss is a deep understanding of the most fundamental causes of weight gain: imbalance of the doshas, poor digestion and accumulated toxins. Ayurveda offers a time-tested approach that ensures that a comfortable, healthy weight can be both established and maintained.

For more information on Ayurvedic weight-loss programs, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health spa:

www.theraj.com

Ayurveda Approach to Holiday Eating

Thanksgiving opens the flood gates to six weeks of family feasts and holiday treats. The ancient Indian health science of Ayurveda offers helpful tips on how to make your way though the holidays without gaining weight or over-eating.

Winter cravings

The increasingly colder days of fall bring with them an increase in “vata dosha” — the subtle energy in the body that governs movement. When vata dosha predominates, there is an increase in the dry, rough and cool qualities in the body.  This dryness can disturb various tissues and organs. Many people notice dry skin and lips. Dryness can also occur in the colon or large intestine, leading to constipation. Simultaneously you may find that you develop cravings for heavy, sweet and unctuous foods. This is simply your body’s attempt to balance the increase in vata by increasing kapha. Unfortunately, these heavier foods can also lead to poor digestion and to an accumulation of toxins over the winter, which could result allergies in the spring.

Holiday Eating Tips

The following tips can help you navigate the holiday festivities, pacifying vata dosha while avoiding the weight-gain often brought on by kapha-increasing foods.

1. At the start of the holiday season, consult an Ayurvedic expert to see if you have any nutritional deficiencies or imbalances. If these are left untended, you may find yourself at the mercy of cravings and compulsive eating.

2. When you first arrive at a gathering, request a cup of hot water. This will help to pacify vata and will help you avoid mindless eating. Additionally, people often mistake thirst for hunger. If you are well hydrated, you will feel less compulsion to eat. Drinking plain hot water throughout the day is a simple Ayurvedic secret for improved health.

3. Always sit down at a table to eat. Don’t eat if you are standing or moving.

4. Whenever you eat, give eating your full attention. Enjoy your food — even if you are eating something “naughty”! Eating mindlessly while you are doing something else does not allow you to properly taste, experience, or digest your food. As a result, even if you are full, you will feel unsatisfied and want to eat more later.

5. Learn about the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Each taste satisfies a different need. Missing one or more of the tastes can result in cravings. Try to have all six tastes at each meal. If this sounds daunting, there are spice combinations (churnas) made specifically for this.

6. Favor warm, cooked foods. If you want to indulge in heavier foods, do so during the day, when your digestive “fire” is stronger. Try to keep evening meals light, favoring soups and cooked vegetables.

7. Try to take small portions. Ideally you should feel refreshed and energized after eating, not dull. Over-eating compromises digestion. When you overeat, even though you ingest more than you need, your body actually assimilates less. This can result in nutritional deficiencies, perpetuating cravings and the habit of overeating.

Eating with full attention and enjoyment improves digestion. It settles and strengthens your entire system. This can have far-reaching health benefits seemingly unrelated to nutrition.

If you find that you have over-indulged during the holidays, consider enjoying traditional Ayurvedic detoxification treatments, called Panchakarma, in January or February. The soothing oils used in the treatments help detoxify body fat and the recommended treatment diet is the perfect way to get back into healthy eating habits.

Learn more about Ayurveda treatments for weight gain and detoxification at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:

http://www.theraj.com