Stairway to Health

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All that stands between me and getting out for a bit is that door. That huge, imposing door that leads to a long, winding staircase that leads to yet another huge, imposing door but finally, eureka, the outside world. Ah. A place I can get my exercise, clear my head and just breathe in life. No, I’m not home. I’m at work! Fooled you didn’t I? It’s a constant struggle to muster up the motivation to do it every day. The doors and staircase really aren’t that menacing, but those are the thoughts that run through my head as a reason not to venture out. I sit for so long at my desk staring at my computer; I ponder how I am going to make it through another 15 hours. All the sitting, working through lunches and general stress of just having to be here can be overwhelming at times. Granted, it took me a long while to realize I’ve had one of the best resources for my health and well-being right at my fingertips, right at a place that I would sometimes associate with being unhealthy and draining. A place that in my head I would subconsciously have a negative feeling about. It has changed my outlook not only on going to work and breaking up the day into manageable pieces but in my everyday life. In my opinion, it is so important to find ways to put a positive spin on situations that look bleak and wear you down, especially as people are spending more and more waking hours at work during these stressful times we live in. If you don’t have a place to exercise at work, not to worry, maybe make it a point to bring a healthy breakfast and lunch every day. There’s no cookie cutter way to do it, everybody is different, embrace that and whatever you discover is your best course, stick with it consistently and you will see a difference. I did.

What is a Dosha?

Just like every person has their own unique DNA, each person has their own unique constitution that makes them who they are. In Ayurveda, the five elements that are found in all living things—space, air, fire, water, and earth— are the building blocks of life. While we all have these five elements within us, we have varying amounts of each. How these five elements appear, and in what proportion, is what makes each of us unique.

The Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha)

  1.  The fiery and intense Pitta type may enjoy the occasional power trip. She will devour a mountain of food with ravenous hunger and yet be ready to eat again when it comes to the next meal.
  2. In contrast, a delicate Vata can never seem to get warm. She will nibble, snack, and graze her way through the day, and she may feel the need to rest often. She’s also inclined to talk about a number of diverse subjects, probably repeating herself more than once.
  3. The contented Kapha type may, with great deliberation, consume three pieces of cake. She will spend quality time curled up on a couch making phone calls to loved ones with uplifting, motherly advice.

The role the doshas play is a dynamic one, constantly changing in response to weather, conditions, and stress. The habits, whether good or bad, that you create are manifestations of your dosha. You may be inclined to go a bit overboard on ice cream, spend too much time talking on the phone late at night, or neglect sleep when you need it most. Whatever your habits, they all result in a shift in your make-up, which could lead to the beginnings of disease if you don’t balance yourself with care and a healthy diet. Getting to know and appreciate your dosha is key to knowing yourself. It provides clues for what you should eat and what things you should address when your energy gets out of whack. The more you know about what may cause certain reactions or tendencies, the easier it will be to balance them.

Take the test to find out your dosha here

What is Ayurveda anyway?

Ayurveda is the science of life. It’s a 5000 year old healing system that came from India.  5000 years is obviously a long time! Ayurveda was around a long time before traditional or Western medicine and it was derived from the Sanskrit words ayus meaning life, and veda meaning wisdom.

Ayurveda offers a proven guide for a life of happiness, vitality, love and purpose.  Who doesn’t need more of this or want this? I know I sure do and have totally fallen in love with Ayurveda.

Using Ayurveda to promote health and wellness

The guiding principle of Ayurveda is the interconnection of all things. From this perspective, health isn’t only the absence of illness or symptom, it is a higher state of consciousness that allows vitality, well-being, creativity, and joy to flow into your experience. In contrast, illness is a disruption or a blockage in the flow of energy and information that creates a sense of separation or alienation. Ayurveda describes disease as the final expression of toxic accumulations in the mind-body physiology. Symptoms and sickness are the body’s signal that you need to restore balance, eliminate whatever is causing the blockages, and reestablish the healthy flow of energy and information.

Ayurveda helps to eliminate the blockages that prevent you from experiencing your natural state of health and well-being. As you release both emotional and physical toxins, you will open to an expanded experience of health and happiness.

There are two main guiding principles of Ayurveda:

  1. The mind and the body are inextricably connected.
  2. Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.

Ayurveda Focuses on the Individual

Ayurveda teaches that all health-related measures, whether an exercise program, dietary plan, or herbal supplement, must be based on an understanding of an individual’s unique mind-body constitution or dosha. By knowing a patient’s dosha, an Ayurvedic practitioner can tell which diet, physical activities, and medical therapies are most likely to help, and which might do no good or even cause harm.

In addition, while Western medicine has tended to treat the symptoms of disease, Ayurveda seeks to eliminate illness by treating the underlying cause. For example, for a patient suffering from anxiety or depression, an allopathic physician would likely prescribe a standard course of antidepressants/anti-anxiety medication and along with therapy. An Ayurvedic doctor, on the other hand, would seek to understand the root imbalances contributing to the depression and anxiety. The doctor would look at the patient as a whole, taking into consideration his or lifestyle, activities, diet, recent stressful events, beliefs, and mind-body constitution. Then  a treatment plan taking all of these factors into account would be recommended.

This blog and my services will help provide you with tools that will enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing through your conscious choices and enlivening the nourishing connection between the mind, body and spirit.

-Namaste,

Dr. Rebecca