What is Ayurveda?
A Natural Way to Heal
Ayurveda is an ancient system of healing dating back over 5,000 years. Originating in India, a majority of the linguistic narratives are Sanskrit words. Ayurs translates into Life, while Veda equates to Science, making Ayurveda, the Science of Life. This science breaks down all aspects of existence into its basic elemental qualities i.e. Water, Earth, Fire, Air, and Ether. We also examine the qualities of the person, disease, or ailment; whether they are hot/cold, dry/moist, mobile/stagnant etc. We then apply the opposing qualities to achieve middle ground and provide a greater state of overall balance. Ayurveda is truly a means of understanding the world around you, and learning how to influence it to provide equilibrium. The more we are able to live in this state of balance, the more naturally or body will function, leading us to a higher quality of life. This is an introduction into the philosophy of our treatment.
Agni is synonymous with both Digestion and Fire. Digestion can be related to our physical digestion in processing of food, or to our digestion of thought. Fire is what transmutes, what acts as a catalyst for change. It is what coverts our raw nutrients into usable energy, what transforms our thoughts into realities. In Ayurveda we look at the digestion as the root cause of all disease. Small imbalances such as gas, bloating, constipation, hyperacidity, diarrhea, and sluggishness are all early indicators that the body is not reacting as it should. These imbalances give us early insight into which Doshas are out of balance in the person. If treated in this early stage, the Doshas (body types) are not able to diversify into the deeper tissues of the body, this is an emphasis in our preventative ideology of disease. To date, I have not found a single person to have perfect functionality over their digestion. By regulating the digestion we liberate energy that would have been dedicated to our stomach, and return it to the body. This allows it to be utilized in areas which may need the energy more. This is crucial in management of long term ailments or chronic disease, when we typically will have a lower overall energy.
Areas of Expertise
Digestion & Elimination
Nowadays it seems almost everyone has some sort of digestion disturbance. Sometimes these disturbances have been going on for so long, we even attribute them as "normal". Ayurveda views our digestion (Agni) as the root cause of all disease. It is here where we will always begin our journey back to health. The greatest cure for digestion seems intuitive but is still often lacking in our current diet - Spice! This can be supplemented in many ways, wether we add it to our diet, take spice capsules orally, drink digestion teas, or even using digestion essential oils topically, the more spice we intake the better! Different Doshas (Body types) prefer different spices, so the spice blend will carry from person to person.
Elimination is often times a reflection of how our digestion is functioning. Looser stool correlates to an excess of heat in the body (Pitta dosha). Constipation shows dryness which is attributed to Vata dosha. Every person should have a bowel movement - every day... Our elimination is how the body "eliminates" toxins from our body, the longer we go without a bowel movement, the more likely we are to absorb these toxins. Alternatively, loose stool happens quickly, so the body does not have enough time to absorb the good nutrients you have brought in with your food.
Ayurveda can offer support in both digestion and elimination. With these two areas in balance, the body functions at a higher capacity and we have a greater quality of life. Stop living with the understanding that "this is normal for me". It doesn't have to be, schedule today!
The world of sports medicine is constantly growing, I aim to enhance athletics with the powerful modality of Ayurveda. Different sports have different movements, different muscle groups emphasized, and a different set of common injuries. Ayurveda offers a cure for them all! Movement based sports vitiate Vata dosha, sports played in the heat or sun can vitiate Pitta dosha. Vata is associated with all injury, Pitta expresses itself as inflammation of the tissues. Kapha, because of its heavy nature, is building to the tissues. By building up Kapha in moderation, we can help prevent injuries from occurring. Through diet, nutrition, and herbal therapies, we can help you reach your body goals. This could mean more or less overall weight, and adding muscle mass. I have had great success with muscle building formulas which have been cross examined through the Axis NCAA herbal supplementation evaluation foundation to ensure compliance with all drug/herb guidelines. Ayurveda also has a longstanding practice of Pranayama (Breathing techniques), by practicing pranayama, one can greatly affect both the lung capacity and the amount of oxygen being carried to your muscles, two very important things to maximize peak performance.
Outside of body goals and performance maximization, Ayurveda also offers guidance on preventing and recovering from injuries. Yoga, a sister science of Ayurveda, increases flexibility and balance, enhancing your game day and practice performance. A greater amount of flexibility also helps prevent the possibility of hyperextension. Once an injury has already occurred, Yoga offers a gentle form of physical therapy to help get you back out into competition. Herbal therapies can provide great relief, pain salves, bone boost formulas, and tendon repair formulas are just a few examples!
The mind is one of the most powerful assets we have, it requires delicate care and proper management. The mind can be affected by any Dosha, Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. Vata in the mind presents itself as anxiety, overwhelm, insomnia, and rambling speech, just as a few examples. Pitta in the mind often appears as intensity and anger. Pitta also is the force which digests our thoughts, it allows for discernment and comprehension of knowledge. Kapha because of its heavy nature, will oftentimes experience feelings of dullness. The Doshas can also mix and create a unique composition in the mind such as both anger and anxiety! To treat the brain/nerves we have many modalities as options. Herbal supplementation is an obvious standard of treatment, this can also be supported with dietary coaching, increasing our intake of certain brain nutrients, and also reducing qualities which may be increasing towards imbalance e.g. spicy food leading to a heated mind (anger). Pranayama (breathing techniques) have a profound effect upon the mind allowing us to either calm, sedate, or stimulate it. Essential oils also offer an immediate neurological response, scents can be stimulating, sedating, calming, or even just peaceful! I have had tangible results in treatment of generalized anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and Parkinson's.
Energy level is another aspect many people shrug off as "normal". We spend so much of our time in a sympathetic (fight of flight) state in the current age. This is a survival technique that has evolved over millennia to keep us safe in the face of danger. However, often times, we are not in danger. Pranayama (breathwork), helps the body enter a parasympathetic (rest and digest) state which allows the body to relax. In the sympathetic state (fight or flight) our body produces adrenaline which depletes our kidney/adrenal glands, as well as our own energy reserves. Tonic herbs which help build our energy and repair damage to the kidney/adrenals is crucial in the management of chronic and even mild fatigue.