Ayurveda Consultations: Know Yourself to Heal Yourself

Ayurveda differs from conventional western medicine in that it acknowledges each individual as a unique being in nature and takes into consideration the ongoing imbalances that accumulate from day to day, season to season, year to year. It does this by starting from a unique point of reference.

Pulse diagnostic closeup

Ayurveda Pulse Assessment

According to Ayurveda, the material level of our body, including the cells, tissues and organs, is organized and directed from a deeper, more fundamental level of biological intelligence. Ayurveda pulse assessment is the tool that allows a trained expert to evaluate the state of balance and activity at this fundamental level. The focus is not on the structural state of our cells, tissues and organs, because that level is only symptomatic, controlled by an underlying level of intelligence.

Ayurveda identifies the three main agencies of biological intelligence as the three “Doshas”: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas govern, respectively, movement, metabolism and structure. These three organizing principles control all bodily functions and are responsible for maintaining health.

Disease and disorders occur when the free flow of these three principles is blocked or become imbalanced in some way. The body’s natural healing mechanisms are most effective when Vata, Pitta and Kapha are functioning normally and the channels of communication and circulation in the body are unobstructed.

How Knowing Your Body Type Affects You

Ayurvedic pulse assessment evaluates the inherent balance of Vata, Pitta, Kapha that we have by nature, and also identifies any imbalance present in their functioning.

Body Type

Each Individual has unique qualities of digestion, metabolism, elimination, body mass, bone structure, temperament, etc. This is because the levels of activity of Vata, Pitta and Kapha vary from individual to individual. The relative level of activity of the doshas in an individual creates his or her body type.

Body type is important because it determines the proper diet, exercise, and daily routine for an individual. Body type also helps predict what health disorders a person is prone to and is a powerful aid in structuring a health prevention program.

Imbalances

Health disorders are ultimately due to imbalances on the level of biological intelligence, which are disruptions in the proper functioning of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. On the basis of a person’s pulse assessment, an Ayurveda expert can determine whether there is an imbalance in Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and can recommend the proper approach, using Ayurvedic modalities. Ayurvedic modalities recommended at The Raj include diet, herbs, lifestyle changes, Panchakarma, the Transcendental Meditation technique, yoga, and Vedic technologies such as Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems, Maharishi Vedic Vibration — all designed to restore balance to the body and mind.

For more information on Ayurveda consultations at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa visit:

 www.theraj.com

Choosing the Ideal Ayurveda Diet for Weight Loss

1342968_12234562_picGiven all the information on doshas and imbalances, on the six tastes, and on various food qualities, how do we ultimately decide what food is best for us? While it is true that a person with a particular mind/body balance is most likely to over-accumulate the dosha that predominates, this is not always the case.

Due to our modern lifestyle, filled with so much sensory stimulation, computers, travel, stress, multi-tasking and irregular sleep habits, a large percentage of people end up with some kind of Vata imbalance. So while it is true that a Vata dominated type will most likely develop Vata imbalances, Pitta and Kapha types can also  find themselves with Vata imbalances.

Those trying to lose weight often assume that they should avoid Kapha-type foods. But in fact it could easily be that an underlying Vata or Pitta imbalance is causing poor digestion, triggering food cravings and comfort eating, thus leading to weight gain. Eating light salads, raw vegetables and other light, cold foods (and in some cases spicy foods) would only serve to aggravate these imbalances and work against weight loss. In creating an Ayurveda weight loss program or any other kind of targeted health regime, it is recommended to see an expert in Ayurveda pulse assessment before committing to a particular diet.

It is important to defer, initially, to an intellectual understanding of recommended foods. Suppose you are craving chocolate. The taste of chocolate is both bitter and sweet. When we get cravings it usually means our body requires the nutrients naturally provided by foods with those tastes (especially the bitter taste which tends to go missing in our western diet). Rice and spinach provide sweet and bitter tastes and are probably the kinds of foods that what the body is actually looking for. But the mind turns that craving for sweet and bitter into a craving for chocolate. Bad habits can create “false” desires. Sometimes retraining the mind/body is necessary before we can trust our instincts to lead us to the proper diet. Once we develop truly natural eating habits, the body itself becomes the best Ayurvedic authority.

There are two different approaches to diet: balancing and purifying.  A balancing diet includes all six tastes but favors more of those that will help pacify the one or two doshas that are out of balance. A purifying diet targets the build-up of ama in the system. Ama is the end product of poorly digested food. It is said to be at the basis of the vast majority of illnesses and disorders. Because ama contributes to the early stages of so many diseases, reducing ama and enhancing digestion is a critical part of the Ayurvedic understanding of balanced health. Next week we’ll look at an ama-reducing diet and how we can promote ideal digestion.

To find information about Ayurveda Consultations, visit the website for The Raj, Ayurveda Health Spa and Treatment Center:

http://theraj.com/ayurveda/ayurvedic-diet.php

 

 

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Ayurveda Pulse Assessment — A powerful tool for maintaining balance

DCF 1.0 Just as specialists such as meteorologists and auto mechanics have special tools to help them in their field, Ayurvedic experts use “nadi vigyan” (pulse assessment) to evaluate your mind/body make-up and to pin-point potential weaknesses in the physiology.

When an Ayurvedic expert takes your pulse, he or she does not count the beats per minute. Rather, the expert places three fingers on the artery of your wrist and detects patterns and rhythms that signal your body’s state of health.

“What we feel in the pulse is the direct reflection of the physiology where consciousness first sprouts into matter,” says Mark Toomey, head of the Vedic Health office at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa and Treatment Center. “From this level our assessment has maximum value.”

With this ancient tool, experts can determine your “prakriti” (existing mind/body balance) and detect your “vikriti” (any area that is out of balance and which, if left untreated, may sprout into disease or disorder.)

Prakriti

Prakriti literally means “nature” and refers to your essential nature or body type.

“Knowing your prakriti or body type helps determine your potential strengths and weaknesses. Then we can prescribe the correct diet, routine, behavior, herbal preparations and Ayurvedic treatment program to restore or maintain a healthy balance,” says Toomey.

Vikriti

Equally important is the identification of vikriti. Vikriti refers to any accumulation of the three doshas that is not natural or appropriate for the individual. Imbalance in the doshas can be caused by a variety of reasons, including stressful activity and wrong diet or routine for one’s particular body type (prakriti).

Taking the pulse allows the Vedic expert to determine not only which dosha is imbalanced but also the exact location of that imbalance in the body. This is done by analyzing the five subdivisions, or “subdoshas”, of vata, pitta and kapha.

For instance, you may have an imbalance of apana vata, the subdivision of vata located in the colon and lower abdomen. This could cause gas, constipation, or even lower back pain. Or you might have an imbalance in tarpika kapha, the subdosha of kapha located in the sinus cavities, head and spinal fluid. This is linked to sinus conditions, hay fever, and sinus headaches.

Once these imbalances are identified, specific dietary and lifestyle changes,  herbal remedies and Ayurveda treatments can be recommended to treat the subdoshas that are out of balance.

“Detecting and treating imbalances at this early stage can help prevent illness,” says Toomey. “This makes pulse assessment a powerful tool for promoting and maintain health and vitality.”

To schedule an appointment for an Ayurveda Pulse Assessment or to learn more about the Ayurveda approach to health, contact The Raj:

1-800-864-8714 ext. 9000

WWW.THERAJ.COM