Ayurveda is a user-friendly medicine, which allows you a large amount of participation in your own healing. We teach you how to look after and balance your own body, simply and inexpensively, at home, every day. All you need to know is your constitution and understand which elements need increasing or decreasing in your body.
Nutrition & Herbs Are chosen according to the elements. For example, if you have too much earth in your body, I recommend reducing earthy foods (such as potatoes and carrots) and increasing fiery herbs and spices (garlic, mustard seed, ginger) to ‘burn’ the excess earth. Sounds simple? It is! And its affordable too…foods and edible herbs and spices are one of the most important parts of Ayurvedic healing. We use medicinal herbs in the same way, but these are optional to your treatment.
Routines are of vital importance. Our lives are governed by cycles - the seasons, tides, hormone cycles, cycle of birth to death. Days also have cycles, with certain elements and organs dominant at certain times of day. We eat meals at the times of pitta for best digestion, we sleep when kapha (relaxation) is predominant, and we work when vata causes our minds to be active. We suffer the most asthma attacks at night as the lung is dominant from 3-5am. Creating a daily routine based on these rythms allows our bodies to function at their utmost capacity and is very balancing and grounding in today’s hectic lifestyle.
Lifestyle covers such things as exercise, habits, washing and looking after the body. Many habits are encouraged for all people – such as scraping the tongue in the morning to stimulate digestion and remove toxins from upper digestive tract (with a tongue scraper or spoon). Other habits are recommended according to body type. For example, heating activities such as, saunas, aerobics, and competitive sports are not recommended for Pittas. Calming, cooling activities, such as swimming, yoga, or tai chi are more beneficial.
Body Therapies are lovely and nurturing in Ayurveda. We use a LOT of oil as its grounding and nourishing for our depleted and highly stressed bodies. An Ayurvedic massage uses between 250-1000mls of very warm herbal oils, chosen by body type. We also have musculoskeletal treatments, using massage and steam therapy, and body treatments which aid the mind (these focus on the head area).
Purification Therapy works in a completely different way to Western purification. We believe that healing should be relatively painless, so ensure that the body remains in balance and that toxins are neutralized and ‘escorted’ from the body with ease. Ayurvedic purification normally done in a retreat situation for 7-21 days. Every day a special diet and calming, meditative routine is followed while the person is massaged and steamed and other therapies performed to rid the body from deeply held patterns and harmful substances. At the end, people emerge calm, focused and often profoundly healed.
Mind & Spirit We don’t have room in this article to discuss this other most important part of healing, but I’ll give you a brief overview. In Ayurveda, we have five ‘bodies’, and the physical is only one of them! The other, more important bodies belong to the mind, emotions, energy system and the spirit. So for any healing to take place, we must also address factors which affect these ‘bodies’. We do this through Counselling, Meditation, Prayer and Ethical Lifestyle (the way you think and act -adjusting the lifestyle to better fit with your values and with the people you share this world with). There are also diets and herbs which help balance on a mental and spiritual level. And we have a special body therapy named Shirodhara (a type of very gentle head massage) which helps to release stress, traumatic memories and aids in mental and emotional imbalances.