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ayurveda diagnosis rama prasad ayurveda elements

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Ayurveda Elements organises courses and classes. This is the handout we use for a part of our diagnosis class. Rama Prasad and Caroline Robertson teach and travel spreading the message of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda Elements organises courses and classes. This is the handout we use for a part of our diagnosis class. Rama Prasad and Caroline Robertson teach and travel spreading the message of Ayurveda.

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  • 1. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Weekend 05-06 Diagnosis & Healing 1 05
  • 2. Contents Signs of imbalance 04 Case taking 06 Tongue analysis -articles 08 Tongue -preparation 19 Tongue Analysis 21 Managing diseases 30 Healing process 92 Ayurvedic therapies 95 Major therapies 96 Preparation for therapies 99 Blissful body therapies 100 Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 2
  • 3. Exercise Application of dosha 86 Qualities as functions 88 Qualities as imbalances 89 Qualities as therapies 90 Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 3
  • 4. Signs of Imbalance - Doshas Category Vata Pitta Kapha Dull, dark Increased, intense, burnt Pale, whitish 01. COLOUR Brown, grey, pink Red, yellow, black, smoky White, dulls 02. DERANGED BY Wind, cold, dryness Heat, sun, fire, humidity Cold, dampness, oiliness 03. DISLIKES Cool, dry, light, bitter Hot, sour, pungent Heavy, cold, sweet 04. DREAMS Airy, flying, anxiety, fearful, Colourful, violent, aggressive Melancholy, sentimental Dry, painful, dilated pupils, dark, Reddish discolouration, burning Itchy, sticking especially in the 05. EYES falling eyelashes sensation, watering morning Dry, hard, less, constipated, painful Loose, hot, smelly, burning sensa- Sticky, slimy, mucus, whitish, itchy 06. FECES defecation tion, with blood anus Shifting temperature, painful High temperature, burning, Low grade, heaviness, dullness; 07. FEVER joints, delirious sweating, thirst, diarrhoea constant 08. HUNGER Fluctuating , irregular Feeling of excess hunger Sluggish, low appetite 09. LIKES Warm climate, rest, foods Cool climate, food and drink Spicy, warm - light food Painful, dark blood, scant, spot- Heavy, burning, hot flashes, Heavy clots, sticky, staining, whit- 10. PERIODS ting, irregular sweating ish blood Restless, fear, sorrow, apathy, Agitated, violent, anger, dizzy, Slow, dull, lethargy, stupor, lack 11. MIND scattered restless, frustration of desire 12. MOODS Shifting, restless Aggression, anger, intense Dull, cold, inertia 13. MOUTH Dry, tasteless, astringent Burns, bleeds, bitter / sour Excess saliva, sweet, salty 14. ONSET Rapid, unexpected With fever, sweat or burning Slow and steady 15. PAIN Shifty, intermittent Burning, intense, feverish Dull, constant Moodiness, anxiety, fear, impa- Anger, irritability, aggression, Melancholy, dullness, slowness, 16. PMT tience, depression violence clouded mind 17. PULSE Thready, feeble, irregular Intense, jumping Full, slow 18. SEASON Fall, early winter Late spring, summer Late winter, early spring Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 19. SECRETION Absent, scanty, thin, painful Profuse, colourful, burning Itchy, sticky, dense Dry, scaling, sensitive, pain, sensi- Warm, sweating, reddish, burning, Cold, heavy, oily, sensitive to cold 20. SKIN tive to wind and cold sensitive to heat & damp 21. SLEEP Insomnia, shallow Prolonged, sweating Long, unsatisfactory 22. SMELL Odourless Profuse, offensive, pungent Fishy, stinking 05 23. STOMACH Constriction, dry, belching, disten- sion, bloating Sour/pungent belching, ulcer, burning sensation Sweet mucoid eructuation, heavi- ness, fullness 4 24. SWEAT Less or absence, irregular Profuse, strong, intense Sticky, staining, itching 25. SYMPTOMS Irregular, variable, shifting Intense, fast, burning Slow, steady, constant 26. THROAT Dry, rough, constriction Sore, inflammation, burning Congested, itching 27. TIME OF Dawn, dusk, cold, dry Midday, midnight, hot Cold, damp AGGRAVATION 6 am- 10 am 6 pm-10 pm 10 am- 2 pm 10 pm-2 pm 2 pm-6 pm 2 am-6 am Total
  • 5. Signs of Imbalance - Elements Category Ether Air Fire Water Earth Depletion, loss, Cold, dry, blocked, Hot, irritable, angry, Slow, sluggish, Growth, stubborn, General nature empty, thin, wane irregular, shifty burning, profuse heavy, slingy over full, stiff Appetite Absent Irregular, shifty Excessive, irritable Sluggish Eat regularly Blood circul... Anaemia Blocked Acidic Excess sugar, fat Excess coagulants Irregular, bloat, Loose, soft, ulcer, Sticky, sluggish, Hard stools, Bowel Absent pains, gas, twisted diarrhoea, inflamed slow, lazy tendency to force Circulation Very little Too cold / too hot Excess and too hot Sluggish Large vessels Cause: climatic Cold, dark, still Cold, dry, windy Hot, humid Damp Cold, static Cause: emotion Unsupported Insecurity Frustration Selfishness Possessive Cause: Starvation, dehy- Irregular, improper Eating over heated Eating even when Emotional eating nutrition 1 dration eating discussion not hungry Cause: Under eating, Cold, dry, low fat, Oily, spicy, ferment- Starchy, heavy, oily, Meat, proteins, nutrition 2 depleted food dehydrated ed, brewed sweet -refined condensed food Ears Ringing, intolerance Aches, blocked Burning, red Excess wax Narrowing canal Eyes Dilated pupil Dry, achy Red, burning Itchy, sticky Growths Signs of depletion, Aches, blockage, Burning, red, excess Swelling, itchy, ac- Growth, stones, General signs emaciation cold, shifting, virus discharge, bacteria cumulation, fungus cyst, clot Cracking noise, Ache, pain, ruptured Inflammation, red- Swollen, too loose, Stiff, immobile, spur, Joints depleted fluid tendon/ligament ness, ulcers unstable calcification Blue (bad circula- Cracks, dry, bleed- Ulcers, easily bruise, Swollen, cold, oily / Lips Heavy wrinkles tion) ing, sore burning sensation moist Blank, memory loss, Worried, unreliable, Irritable, aggressive, Clingy, self centred, Possessive, stub- Mind anxious, insecure confusion, shifty frustrated, violent selfish, Greedy born, controlling Nature of Malabsorption, Irregular, shifting, Inflammatory, red, Slow, sluggish to re- Stubborn, mostly disease depletion aches and pain burning sensation spond to medicine long term / surgical Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Nose Anosmia Septum deviation Bleeding Mucus Growth Production of secre- Blockage of chan- Acidic, burning Swelling, heaviness, Stiffness, growth, Organs (any) tions stopped nels, pain sensation fluid retention stones, clot Relationship Hard to relate Unreliable, shifty Intense, aggressive Clingy, emotional Possessive Low pigments and Red, easily bruising, Swollen, cold, oily / Rigid, heavy Skin Dry, cold, scaly texture, insensitive burning sensation moist wrinkles Sleep Insomnia Toss turn Sweaty, overhot Heavy Clockwork 05 When wakes up No energy, anxiety, Sore, tight, achy, Irritable, grumpy Longer sleep Stiff joints 5 depleted tight needed, heavy Category Ether Air Fire Water Earth Your Score
  • 6. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 6
  • 7. 1 Client Name Contact details Date of birth Gender Living situation Family situation: married/kids Work 2 Presenting condition Record it in client’s & your words History of each condition Nature of each symptom/sign Intensity, frequency What did the doctor say? What was the diagnosis? Any test results? What is the current program/medication/therapy? 3 Lifestyle Rest Relationship Exercise Work - hours, timing, nature Nutrition, diet General routine Habits 4 History 1) of illness 2) other illnesses Conditions -diagnosed and undiagnosed Seasonal imbalances, action taken Periodical imbalances, action taken Other imbalances, action taken Hospitalization, medications, therapies with causes and effects 5 Responses and reactions Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 What helps/aggravates? When is it better/worse? Which season is better/worse? What food makes it better/worse? What time of the day is the best/worst? 6 Analysis 05 Agni Tri-guna Dosha Bhuta 7 Guna Dhatu Mala Srotas Tongue Pulse/Urine Dasha-vidha Samprapti 7 Advice Health routine, seasonal routine, nutrition, diet and exercise. ………items to include and ………items to exclude ………practise to include ………practice to avoid
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  • 13. TONGUES IS YOUR TONGUE TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING? HEAR ITS HEALTH MESSAGE BY LOOKING IN THE MIRROR. BY CAROLINE ROBERTSON ND Sarah stuck out her tongue. “Mmm,” Ayurvedic doctor Rama Prasad responded, “There’s stiffness in the right hip, bloat, lower back pain, cold feet and depression.” Sarah’s jaw dropped wider. Without saying a word, Rama had read her state with astonishing accuracy. “The tongue doesn’t lie,” explains Rama, who has been examining tongues for decades, finding they clearly convey one’s health and habits. Sarah was sceptical at first, knowing nothing about Ayurvedic Medicine, but she adhered to Rama’s advise after his observations. “Following the dietary, lifestyle and herbal advice for a fortnight my symptoms improved and I also noticed changes on my tongue,” Sarah says. When an orthodox doctor probes the tongue they’re looking for obvious problems with the Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 mouth or tonsils. But when you stick your tongue out at a Chinese or Ayurvedic doctor you show a lot more than simply the state of your throat. “Your tongue speaks volumes about your mind-body state,” Dr. Prasad explains, “It’s a holographic map of every aspect of you. Once you learn to identify the markers its very easy to read.” Chinese doctor Charles Chow agrees, “A tongue reading is much simpler than pulse diagnosis. The patient can also see where the problem is and monitor changes themselves.” It’s widely acknowledged that tongue diagnosis is more objective that pulse diagnosis and, though pulse diagnosis take decades to master, 05 basic Tongue diagnosis can be taught in a weekend. 13 Setting tongues wagging Tongue analysis is an ancient diagnostic skill recorded in traditional health sciences worldwide. In Ayurveda it’s known as Jihvaa Pareeksha, in Japanese - Zetsu Shin and Chinese call it She Zhen. The tongue’s colours, contours and coating all reflect our general health and specific problem areas. In conjunction with conventional diagnostic tests, tongue analysis can give us a clear picture of the condition of organs and systems, often revealing the cause of a condition presenting as a confusing collection of symptoms. Bian Que (471-221BC), one of the pioneers of Chinese tongue diagnosis said he could see the patient’s insides from the tongue, identifying past and present patterns as well as predicting future conditions.
  • 14. Chris, a chronic fatigue patient of Dr. Rama Prasad found tongue diagnosis directed his recovery route. “Before Rama identified my spleen weakness I was trying everything without much improvement. I’m 80% better now that I know the allergens to avoid and ways to strengthen the spleen.” Modern medical science is now taking notice of tongue signs. After a landmark study in China revealing significant tongue changes in 12,000 cancer patients , US researchers led by Dr. Robert Schoen, director of Gastrointestinal Cancer Prevention at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is recording computerised images of patient’s tongues to note any correlation between cancer and tongue signs. Dr Schoen explains the rationale behind this, “The tongue is one of the first parts of the gastro-intestinal tract that’s visible.” The tongue is also known as the “sprout of the heart” as it is directly connected to the cardio- vascular system. Hence, eighteenth Century doctors would routinely inspect the tongue in fever patients to monitor how the heart was holding up. According to ancient Indian and Chinese medicine all the body’s meridians connect to the tongue just as they connect to the feet, hands and ears. Because of its proximity, digestive disorders are particularly obvious from tongue analysis. The tongue clearly indicates the body’s internal digestive enzymes, assimilation, inflammation, stagnation and hydration. The “shag pile carpet” adorning the tongue after fasting is digestive toxins exiting the body. “Periodic purification, a pure diet and daily use of a tongue scraper helps to clear digestive toxins accumulated on the tongue,” suggests Dr. Rama Prasad. Keeping it clean “While thou livest keep a good tongue in thy head,” advised William Shakespeare. Nobody wants a furry tongue and bad breath. Removing the superficial layer of plaque and bacteria settled on the tongue reduces the risk of bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, throat infections and heart disease according to modern research. It won’t, however, alter the appearance of deep pathological tongue signs. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Indians all practiced regular tongue scraping to remove toxins and prevent disease. Using a tongue scraper has been shown to be more effective than a toothbrush or mouthwash and it doesn’t make one gag or dry the mouth as alcoholic mouth rinses can. Research shows that up to 75% of vsc’s are removed by a tongue scraper whereas only 45% reduction is achieved by brushing the tongue with a tooth brush . Previously halitosis was attributed more to tooth decay or stomach problems but current studies show 05 that up to 86% of all bad breath is caused by harmful tongue bacteria that isn’t removed by 14 brushing, flossing, or gargling alone. This foul smelling odor is produced by toxic volatile sulphur compounds (vsc’s) which the Journal of the American Dental Association (Sept., 2000) advises one removes with a tongue scraper. A healthy tongue Before assessing your tongue it helps to know what a healthy tongue looks like. Likened to a little kitten’s tongue, it is uniformly pink, similar to a skinned chicken. It is oval in shape, neither too thick nor too thin and has an even width. When sticking out it’s naturally straight rather than veering to one side. The tongue of a healthy person will remain still and strong, not quivering, flaccid or stiff. A healthy tongue has a thin transparent or white coating. It
  • 15. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Tongue and Body 15 05
  • 16. displays all taste buds and is free from red or glassy patches, deep cuts and denuded patches. It is neither too dry nor too wet and it doesn’t emit a bad odour or taste. The veins on the underside of the tongue will not be distended. If your tongue looks like a map of the world don’t worry. Dr. Prasad explains its significance, “Some people have genetic geographic tongues which indicate certain hereditary signs that are not necessarily negative.” Just say aahh… The traditional Tibetan greeting of sticking your tongue out evolved because they understood how to analyse a person through their tongue. They also kept their tongue firmly in cheek to hide their deeper secrets! Decipher your tongue talk by analysing its alignment, colour, surface and shape. Remember that coffee, tea, drugs, cigarettes or food colour can affect the colour of the tongue. It’s best to look at the tongue in natural light or halogen lighting and in the morning before eating or drinking. Incandescent light makes the fur look yellowish and fluorescent light makes the tongue look bluish or purple when it’s not. Poke your tongue out in a relaxed rather than a forceful way so you don’t distort its shape. Pop your tongue back in every ten seconds to stop it from dehydrating or changing colour. Decipher your tongue’s messages by correlating signs with the tongue map. Tongue signs Alignment Veers to one side when Tension on that side of the body or weakness on the other side sticking out Colour Pale Anaemia, low blood pressure, coldness or poor circulation and general depletion Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Yellow Excess bile in liver or gall bladder Blue Heart problems or blood stagnation (also present in healthy pregnant women) Very red Inflammation, acidity, heat or high blood pressure Surface 05 16 Thick white coating Toxins in the respective organs/systems, which may include Candida albicans and mucus. Thick yellow coating: Chronic heat, congested liver or gall bladder. This may also be related to food colourings, drugs or smoking Cracks Connective tissue in this area is weak and undernourished and hence tight Red patches Inflammation or acidity in this area Denuded patches Depleted energy in this area Raised areas Vascular congestion in this area causing probable pain
  • 17. Shape Indents around edges Malabsorption of nutrients often seen in malnourished people with digestive disorders Thick tongue Fluid retention or lymphatic congestion Thin tongue Dehydration, depletion and fatigue Pointed Tip Muscle tension, depletion and a rigid physical condition Rounded tip A flexible yet firm physical and mental condition Very wide tip flaccid muscles Forked Tip Indecisive and rapidly changeable moods Stiff Mental and physical tension Movement Trembling Debilitated nervous system and internal gas; usually happens in tiredness, acute infection etc. Rigid tongue High mental and physical stress Flaccid tongue Low energy and poor circulation Emotional issues These are evident through changes in the related organ’s zone. Anger Liver region Grief Lung region Worry Spleen region Fear Kidney region Depression White coating over colon region or black discoloration on the tip Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 References- 3. Barbara Kirschbaum, Atlas of Chinese Tongue Diagnosis, Eastland Press, 2000. 4. Giovanni Maciocia, Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine, Eastland Press, 1995 Ayurvedic doctor Rama Prasad practices and teaches tongue diagnosis at 05 Ayurveda Elements, Sydney and Melbourne www.ayurvedaelements.com, (02) 9904 7754 17 Chinese doctor Charles Chow consults patients at Ginseng Chinese Medicine Centre, Chatswood, (02) 9419 7131 Caroline Robertson is a naturopath, homoeopath and Ayurvedic consultant based in Sydney. She is also the director of www.ayurvedahealthresorts.com. Email: caroline@ayurvedahealthresorts.com
  • 18. Let the client expose the tongue for … seconds. Get them to do it ………… times. Observe from the ………………… to the ………. Observe the appearing and disappearing features. While you record it don’t think or analyse. What if the client exposes their tongue for more than 30 seconds? Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 18
  • 19. Preparation for tongue analysis Seating Client and therapist ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Light Colour ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Direction ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Walls/curtains ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Windows ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Client Previous food/drink ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Check Chin ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Neck ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Shoulders ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Back ……………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ……………………………………………………………… Tongue Visibility ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………… Torch light type/battery etc. ……………………………………………………………… 05 ……………………………………………………………… 19 Rule out the following ANTIBIOTICS Pealing LOW FOLIC ACID Sore tongue ACCIDENTS Coffee burns, bites etc. LOW VIT B Dark tongue DISEASE OF TONGUE Blisters, inflammation LOW VIT B12 Sore tongue HABITS Chewed tongue PIERCED TONGUE Deep cut, hole, redness HOT FOOD Redness, burns SMOKING White/yellow fur LOW IRON Sore, inflamed STAINING FOODS Various staines
  • 20. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 12 6 17 11 17 5 10 16 4 14 13 15 12 16 10 11 9 15 2 3 9 8 1 7 3 5 14 2 8 6 4 13 1 7 05 20
  • 21. Tongue Analysis Ten aspects of tongue diagnosis Criteria Aspect of life Healthy sign Unhealthy signs 01. Alignment Balance in life Centrally aligned Left/right aligned 02. Colour Immunity, energy Pinkish red Gray, red, white 03. Edges Peripheral, Absorption Same as tongue body Thin, eroded, dented 04. Fur Undigested matter Very little Gray, yellow, white 05. Marks Current imbalances Absent Cuts, ulcers, glassy 06. Movement Low energy, control Still Shaky, shivering 07. Shape Life, philosophy Oval Wider/narrow, long/short 08. Surface Energy supply Even Uneven, wrinkled 09. Texture Vitality, robustness Visible buds Dry, burnt, milky 10. Thickness Accumulation Translucent Thin/thick, hot & swollen Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 21 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 22. 01. Alignment ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… Right sided pull at back …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Left sided pull at back …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Right sided pull at tip …………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 …………………………………………………………………… Left sided pull at tip …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 05 02. Colour 22 Pinkish red …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Reddish …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Bluish …………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
  • 23. Dark …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Whitish …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 03. Edges Grainy …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Curvy …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Spotted …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Craked/serrated …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Dented …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 04. Fur Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Thin …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Thick …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 05 Coloured White …………………………………………………… 23 …………………………………………………………………… Yellow …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Brown …………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
  • 24. 05. Marks Cuts Red …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Normal …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Folds …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Ulcerated …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Horizontal …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Frills …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Significance of midline ………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………… A B C Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 24 D E F
  • 25. 06. Movement Shaky …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Swaying …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 07. Shape Oval …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Rectangular …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Triangular …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Narrow …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Broad …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 08. Surface Peeled skin …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 05 Even/uneven …………………………………………………………………… 25 …………………………………………………………………… Concave …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Convex …………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
  • 26. 09. Texture Grainy …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Smooth …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Dry …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Rough …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Glassy/glossy …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Milky …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 10. Thickness Swollen …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Dense …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… Thin …………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………… 05 Translucent …………………………………………………………………… 26 …………………………………………………………………… Opaque …………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
  • 27. Name ………………………… 01. Alignment ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Date ………………………… 02. Colour ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 03. Edges ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 04. Fur ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05. Marks ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 06. Movement ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 07. Shape ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 08. Surface ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 09. Texture ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 10. Thickness ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Observation …………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Name ………………………… 01. Alignment ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Date ………………………… 02. Colour ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 03. Edges ………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………… 04. Fur ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05. Marks ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 06. Movement ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05 07. Shape ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 27 08. Surface ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 09. Texture ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 10. Thickness ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Observation …………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 28. Name ………………………… 01. Alignment ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Date ………………………… 02. Colour ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 03. Edges ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 04. Fur ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05. Marks ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 06. Movement ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 07. Shape ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 08. Surface ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 09. Texture ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 10. Thickness ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Observation …………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Name ………………………… 01. Alignment ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Date ………………………… 02. Colour ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 03. Edges ………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………… 04. Fur ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05. Marks ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 06. Movement ………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………… 07. Shape ………………………………………… 28 ………………………………………… 08. Surface ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 09. Texture ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 10. Thickness ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Observation …………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 29. Name ………………………… 01. Alignment ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Date ………………………… 02. Colour ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 03. Edges ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 04. Fur ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05. Marks ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 06. Movement ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 07. Shape ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 08. Surface ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 09. Texture ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 10. Thickness ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Observation …………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Name ………………………… 01. Alignment ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Date ………………………… 02. Colour ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 03. Edges ………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………… 04. Fur ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05. Marks ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 06. Movement ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 05 07. Shape ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 29 08. Surface ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 09. Texture ………………………………………… ………………………………………… 10. Thickness ………………………………………… ………………………………………… Observation …………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
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  • 32. Acne Acne- whether cystic, teenage or rosacea - involves an increase in pitta or kapha. Sluggish elimination and poor liver function contribute to it (weak agni). This results in an accumulation of toxins (ama) in the blood stream and the lymphatic system, that then overflows through the skin’s pores. Externally one can avoid harsh, heating or chemical products. See the section on Ayurvedic beauty for external products. Internally herbs help to eliminate toxins, purify blood and clear lymphatic congestion. Some to consider using regularly include turmeric, aloe vera juice, chlorophyll, picrorrhiza, manjishtha, neem and triphala. Lifestyle changes Foods that aggravate pitta and kapha tend to increase acne. To achieve a clear complexion avoid excess oil, sugar, salt, chilli, garlic, tomatoes, caffeine, citrus fruits, alcohol, nuts, red meat, yeast and dairy products. Favour a diet that is rich in natural chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. This includes plenty of leafy green vegetables, ripe fruits, grains such as barley, pure water, seeds, and herbal teas such as fennel and chamomile. Exercise accelerates the cleansing process by improving circulation and elimination. Try cooling sports such as swimming in fresh water, yoga, Qi-gong, fast walking and cycling at a cool time. Daily self massage is a wonderful way not only to cultivate self acceptance and awareness but to improve the skin’s texture and lustre. Issues of low self-esteem and anxiety often underlie chronic acne. To uproot emotional causes practice positive affirmations, visualisations and meditation- focussing on your ideal physical, emotional and spiritual state. Case study Sarah was a 23-year-old pitta constitution with cystic acne on her face and upper body. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 It worsened one week before her period and when under stress. Her diet included a chocolate and frequent orange juice. Exercise involved jogging at lunch under the noon sun. Sarah followed a pitta reducing regime, which entailed cooling herbs such as aloe vera juice and manjishtha along with primrose oil and shatavari powder to balance her hormones. She also went on a diet high in herbal teas and low in heating foods such as tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol and red meat. Instead of jogging she took up 05 yoga which included a cooling yogic breathing-sheetkari. Psychologically, Sarah realised 32 her acne acted as a ‘mask’, which gave her an excuse to avoid social gatherings. Low self- esteem was gradually overcome by building a positive self-image through affirmations and visualisations. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 33. Arthritis Treatment of arthritis varies according to the type suffered. Vata arthritis tends to strike suddenly with shifting sharp pains and accompanying cracking or popping of the joints. Pitta arthritis usually involves more burning, redness and nerve inflammation. Kapha predominant arthritis generally has swelling, coldness and improves with movement. All types can often be linked to poor digestion and a sedentary or overactive lifestyle. A therapeutic approach includes digestive tonics such as triphala, anti-inflammatory Indian myrhh preparations, pain-killing anti bacterials such as Indian frankinsence, circulatory stimulants including ginger and externally lubricating strengthening oils such as castor, mahanarayana and punarnavadi for swelling. Lifestyle changes A nutrition plan for arthritis is tailored according to the individual’s doshic imbalance. For example someone with a burning, red, throbbing pittta arthritis would be wise to follow a pitta diet. All doshas should avoid certain foods are linked to the inflammation and pain associated with all types. Ayurveda advises avoidance of sour foods, yoghurt, tamarind, vinegar, pickles, citrus fruits, red meat and vegetables from the nightshade family- potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum. Sugar, cold foods and fried foods are also not recommended. Moving the joints every day through their full range will prevent the demineralisation associated with osteoporosis and the settling of stagnant toxins associated with rheumatoid and non-rheumatoid arthritis. Specific yoga postures and symmetrical swimming or aqua aerobics helps to mobilise the toxins settled in the joints. Exposure to cold and damp weather should be minimised as it can often aggravate pain. Daily oil massage and in some cases steam therapy may give relief. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Case study John suffered from mal-absorption for 4 years. He started to get pains in his finger joints during winter. John was advised to rub warm castor and ginger oil into his painful joints and to take a combination called mahayoggaraja guggulu, containing Indian myrhh. John had poor circulation, which improved with regular walking, self-massage and cinnamon/ginger tea. He was given a herbal combination of celery seed concentrate, Indian frankinsense, long pepper and nut grass to stabilise digestive function. Reducing salt, alcohol, red meat 05 and nightshade vegetables contributed to John’s marked improvement after 9 weeks. 33 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 34. Asthma Ayurveda traces the cause of asthma back to inherited respiratory weakness or acquired digestive insufficiency. Extreme fear and suppression of emotions are also related to the asthmatic syndrome. People with asthma tend to suffer from accumulated toxins in the stomach and accumulated phlegm in the chest. This sticky environment provides a fertile environment for allergens to take seed and triggers a hypersensitive reaction in the mucuos membranes- an asthma attack. In order to prevent these incidents the digestive and respiratory tract must be cleansed and fortified. This is done by identifying and avoiding allergens such as specific foods, dust, mould and pollens until the body is strong enough to expel them before the it over-reacts to their presence. The body is then purified through treatments such as therapeutic vomiting, nasal cleansing and herbs such as licorice, triphala, garlic, senna and long pepper. The specific herbs vary according to the individual’s doshic imbalance. Strengthening breathing exercises (yogic pranayama) and herbal combinations are then given to promote broncho-dialation, mucous expectoration and to build up the body’s immunity so the mucous membranes are no longer hypersensitive. Herbal combinations for this include trikatu (long pepper, pepper and ginger), sitopaladi churna (cinnamon, bamboo manna, long pepper, cardamom and rock sugar), Vasarishtam, which consists largely of the bronchodialator vasa (Adhatoda vasica) and licorice. Herbs to strengthen the immune system to prevent further asthma attacks include chyavanaprasham, agasthya rasayana and kushmanda rasayana. Lifestyle changes Regular aerobic exercise such as swimming is an effective way to manage asthma. Steam Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 34
  • 35. inhalation with essential oils of wintergreen, frankincense or rasnadi powder followed by salt water nasal cleansing (jala neti) and the application of a few drops of warm ghee up the nostrils can reduce the nasal passage way’s hyper-sensitivity. Applying warm mustard seed oil or a camphor based heating oil to the front and back of the chest daily can stimulate broncho-dilation and accelerate the expulsion of toxins. Supervised yogic breathing exercises relax muscular and mental tension thereby reducing the severity of an attack or preventing it altogether. Removing allergens from the home and diet until resistance has built up is essential. Food allergies commonly associated with asthma include shellfish, mushrooms, peanuts, dairy products, meat, msg, cola, chocolate and wine. Allergens in the home include dust mites in carpet or curtains, mould in bathrooms and kitchens and animal hair. Since colds often precede bronchial asthma, exposure to cold damp weather should be avoided. Case study Jasmine was an overweight 9-year-old with a kapha constitution, experiencing breathlessness and asthma attacks every fortnight for the past two years. She was worse in winter and when she caught a cold. Jasmine was put on a kapha pacifying diet with particular emphasis in reducing dairy products, meat and oils. She started swimming bilateral freestyle for 20 minutes daily and yogic breathing exercises. Since Jasmine was often constipated she was advised to take 1 tsp of triphaladi powder daily (triphala plus licorice). A combination of equal parts trikatu and sitopaladi was also given three times daily. For acute attacks Jasmine took a small dose of Euphorbia hirta (Queensland asthma week) and vasa which effectively dilated the bronchiols. Within 5 months Jasmine had gone off conventional medication and over the following 4 years only suffered an average of one mild asthma attack a year. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 35
  • 36. Boils Boils are sign of impure blood, poor immunity, excess heat and compromised liver function. Ayurveda resolves boils by prescribing a cooling and cleansing diet along with blood- purifying, antibacterial herbs. External poultices help to draw out the infection, reduce pain and promote scarless healing. Antibacterial herbs to cleanse the blood include neem leaf powder or decoction, aloe vera juice, Indian myrhh, sarasparilla, turmeric, shatavari and triphala. Western echinacea and Swedish bitters are also excellent blood purifiers. A poultice of linseed meal soaked in a warm infusion of neem, sandalwood and turmeric is brilliant for drawing out the pus, disinfecting the area and reducing inflammation. Lifestyle changes Boils can easily spread and even multiply into painful carbuncle clusters if squeezed prematurely or if one neglects to disinfect them regularly. Always disinfect clothes, bed sheets and materials that have touched the boil. Keep the boil well coated in antiseptic cream such as neem seed oil, dilute tea tree oil or turmeric cream. The diet to reduce boils should suit the individual’s doshic imbalance whilst pacifying pitta. Heating, fermenting and acidic foods such as yoghurt, alcohol, red meat, tomatoes, chillis, onions, garlic, pickles, vinegar, yeast, sugar and sour fruits are avoided. Coolants such as water, cucumber juice or fresh coconut water flush out the impurities. Stay out of strong sun, avoiding hot showers. Check blood sugar level for underlying diabetes. Case study Joshua was a 16-year-old pitta type with a boil under his right. His blood sugar level was high and he got drunk every weekend. Joshua took a combination of neem, turmeric, Gymnema sylvestre and fenugreek to stabilise his blood sugar levels. Daily doses of aloe vera juice and sarasparilla were given to cool and purify the blood. A poultice of linseed meal, sandalwood, neem powder and turmeric was applied to draw out the infection. Once Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 the head had burst an ointment of comfrey was applied to heal the area. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 37. Candida albicans Persistent vague symptoms such as tiredness, coated tongue, flatulence, itching anus or vagina and skin conditions can all indicate of an overproliferation of candida albicans fungi. Ayurveda sees Candida as ama accumulation and takes a three pronged management approach - namely, to kill and starve the candida and to restore the healthy intestinal flora and immune system. To eliminate the candida anti fungals such as neem, Indian myrhh, manjishtha and triphala are highly effective. Externally antifungals such as neem oil and tea tree oil are useful. For vaginal thrush dip an unbleached tampon in a mix of pure unsweetened yoghurt and a little tea tree or neem oil. Insert a fresh one every night for three consecutive nights. Western herbs such as pau d’arco, calendula and golden seal are also invaluable antifungals. Supporting the remaining healthy flora and immune function employs the application of herbs such as Indian ginseng, garlic, shatavari, picrorrhiza and mineral bhasmas according the individual’s requirements. Lifestyle changes Diet modification plays an essential role in a candida management. Fungus’ or fermenting foods is to be temporarily withdrawn. These include alcohol, sugar, fruits, tempeh, mushrooms, soya sauce, cheese, yeast, honey, maple syrup, malt and caffeine. Nutrition can include plenty of high fibre, nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, wholegrains, culinary herbs and herbal teas. As it is easily transmitted during intercourse condoms should always be used. During menses women should prefer pads to bleached tampons which can trigger a reaction. Lactobacillus acidophilus yoghurt or powder can be taked at room temperature daily. Antibiotics and the contraceptive pill can easily aggravate the problem so should be avoided. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Case study Carmen was a 32-year-old vata constitution with a chronic case of candida. Carmen was put on the anti-candida diet and asked to drink lots of pau d’arco tea throughout the day. By applying calendula and neem oil externally the itchiness around the groin and leucorrhea subsided. Internally she was given a combination of triphala, neem and hing to take twice daily. To strengthen the digestive and reproductive system she was later put on 05 a combination of shatavari and acidophilus until her energy was restored. 37 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 38. Cystitis Ayurveda sees cystitis as a sign that the body is acidic or toxic. Bacteria or fungus proliferates in an ama-filled body resulting in the burning, itchiness and pain of a urinary tract infection. Pitta constitutions are more predisposed to this condition with their increased tendency to acidity and inflammation. In conjunction with an alkaline diet, there are powerful antibacterial herbs to eliminate the infection. These include uva ursi, buchu, sandalwood, Indian myrrh, couchgrass, gokshura, calendula, golden seal and neem. Herbs to soothe and strengthen the urinary tract often used are cornsilk, dandelion root, marshmallow, alfalfa, horsetail, bala and shatavari. An infusion of equal parts fennel, coriander and cumin seeds can be very effective as well. Try triphala, senna or slippery elm bark powder to flush out acidic digestion. Lifestyle changes Since urinary tract infections thrive in excessive heat, management involves protection from the sun, a pitta pacifying diet and luke warm rather than hot baths. Specific foods that can help alkalise the system include barley water, coconut water, cranberry juice, rice and almonds. Wash the area with tea tree soap or very dilute tea tree oil water after going to the toilet rather than using toilet paper, which can spread the infection. Condoms, sex, synthetic underwear and tampons can all aggravate cystitis. A hip-bath in juniper, lavender and a little tea tree essential oil can ease the burning. Supplements such as calcium ascorbate, echinacea, zinc and B complex will assist the immune system to eliminate the infection. Case study Anna had acidic reflux and recurrent cystitis over the past three months. As she was a pitta constitution she was advised to follow the pitta pacifying diet- particularly avoiding acidic fruits, tomatoes, chillis, red meat, alcohol and vinegar. She took triphala nightly and Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 a combination of bala, shatavari and slippery elm powders three times a day. Drinking 1 liter of an infusion of corn silk, buchu, uva ursi and barley water for a week her cystitis and reflux disappeared. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 39. High cholesterol High cholesterol and pathologically low cholesterol are both considered health threats by Ayurveda. Since only 25% of our cholesterol comes from our diet, understanding of our own cholesterol production, emulsification, distribution and storage processes is an important concern. Research has shown that those with high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) are more likely to be highly reactive to stress or to have poor liver or gall bladder function. The stress response triggers the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which consist primarily of cholesterol. Therefore the more stress experienced-the more cholesterol the body has to make. Hence stress management techniques are pivotal to lowering high cholesterol. When fat or cholesterol enters an ama filled body the cholesterol is more likely to clog the system and eventually go rancid(oxidize). Saturated fat from processed foods and cholesterol from animal products is more likely to illicit this rancid reaction. This may be why indigenous cultures with diets high in antioxidants vitamin A,C, E, Zinc and bioflavonoids generally have a low incidence of choleserol related diseases. Ayurveda treats high cholesterol or low cholesterol by maximising the digestion, giving a dosha- specific diet, teaching stress management with yoga or meditation and supplementing with herbs. Ayurveda’s top herbs for high cholesterol are garlic, triphala guggulu, long pepper, vidanga, manjishtha and punarnava. Those with extremely low cholesterol are advised to take ghee-based tonics such as ashwagandadhi lehyam. Lifestyle changes Kapha people are more prone to high cholesterol because of their tendency to retain fat more so than the other body-types. However the driving ambition of pittas can create stress in their lives thus elevating the body’s cholesterol production. A diet low in cholesterol foods including dairy products, meat, saturated fats, margarine, sunflower oil, caffeine, fried foods and alcohol can help to prevent cholesterol excess. Pittas would be wise to set aside unstructured leisure time and practice meditation also taking up a relaxing, uncompetitive exercise. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Foods that can keep LDL cholesterol levels at bay include oats, barley, corn, canola oil, flax seed oil, olive oil, fruit juice (especially grape, grapefruit, apple and orange), millet, lecithin, quinoa, garlic, beans, almonds, walnuts, carrots, strawberries and other foods rich in vitamins A, C, E, carotenoids, and zinc. Smoking, alcohol, deep fried foods, saturated fats and red meat should be restricted from the diet. 05 Case study 39 Norm was a 42-year-old journalist with high cholesterol. He smoked 8 cigarettes a day, drank 14 beers a week and rarely exercised. With the looming threat of heart disease to act as an impetus, Norm agreed to quit smoking, take up football and substitute the beers for 1 glass of wine daily. He also reduced his dairy product and red meat intake to twice weekly. After three months on a kapha pacifying diet Norm actually started to enjoy fresh juices, salads and hearty whole-grain cereals. Practicing a yogic relaxation technique called Yoga Nidra three times a week left him feeling much calmer. Taking a herbal formula called triphala guggulu along with a tincture of hawthorn berries, a cholesterol lowering herb, Norm’s cholesterol had returned to a healthy level within 4 months.
  • 40. Chronic Fatigue Since chronic fatigue constitutes a constellation of non-specific symptoms treatment varies greatly from patient to patient. Chronic fatigue is much more than feeling fatigued- it generally involves chronic pain, loss of mental capacities, deep depression and digestive disturbances. From an Ayurvedic perspective chronic fatigue is due to depleted ojas, the immunity and vitality that arises from a balanced body and mind. The body is depleted because it is busy fighting an internal battle against undigested mental or physical toxins or unresolved infections. Without the energy reserves to expend on otherwise normal physiological or mental processes, a chronic fatigue sufferer are unable to cope with everyday challenges. As chronic fatigue syndrome is commonly related to a vata or kapha imbalance general advice for balancing these is relevent. Initially a diet and herbs are given to purify the organs and channels. Purificatory practices known as panchakarma, involving treatments such as enemas or medicated vomiting may be appropriate also. This is followed by herbs, gentle exercise and meditation to rekindle the digestion, immunity and to nurture a positive attitude. To integrate this new healthy pattern into the mind/body, rejuvenating body therapies using herbalised oils along with internal tonifying herbs are considered the icing on the cake. The mistake some natural therapists make is that they try to build up the body’s strength and immunity without eliminating the underlying hotbed of ama. This may give short-term relief but inevitably fails as the toxins gradually wear down the body again. Lifestyle changes Ayurveda talks about disease resulting from the overuse, under-use or misuse of the body. This is particularly evident in chronic fatigue syndrome. Elite athletes, workaholics and perfectionists have a higher incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome due to the syndrome of overuse (ati-yoga). Without sufficient recuperation the mind/body goes on strike, unable to function even at a minimal level. To reinstate equilibrium the pendulum may have to Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 swing to a phase of inactivity for a short time. By exploring new avenues for developing creativity, relationships, an inner serenity the condition can become a blessing in disguise. It is also a time to be gentle and nurturing to the body rather than a thankless taskmaster. Self massage, yoga nidra relaxation, meditation, cooking wholesome meals, connecting with nature and enjoyable exercise or 05 hobbies can all prove helpful. The diet should be as pure and light to digest as possible. 40 Vegetable juices, steamed vegetables, soups, casseroles, digestive spices and wholegrains suited to the body type are supportive to the cleansing and reparative process. Eliminate chemicals from the home and workplace and choose organic, chemical-free foods, drinks, cleaning agents and paints Case study Gretchen was a Vata constitution mother of two. She was also a nurse and a marathon runner. Gretchen contracted glandular fever yet continued her busy schedule until she finally broke down. Aching all over, feverish and bedridden for months Gretchen felt her old active life slipping away.
  • 41. In a desperate effort for self-preservation the body had enforced minimal activity. Gretchen was advised to undergo a purificatory and strengthening panchakarma regime. In conjunction with daily massage and oil therapies she was administered cleansing anti- viral herbs such as cat’s claw, long pepper, Solanum santocarpum, guduchi and echinacea. A series of herbalised oil enemas followed by digestive herbs were then given. Gentle yoga, Qi-gong and walking were practiced daily. She strictly adhered to the nutrition plan of fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, digestive spices and culinary herbs. Avoiding processed or preserved foods. After Gretchen’s digestion returned to normal, the fever went and her strength increased Gretchen was prescribed adrenal tonic herbs including withania, licorice and brahmi. After 5 months on treatment Gretchen was able to return to life at a more modified, relaxed pace. To keep her immune system strong she now takes chyavanaprash jam daily. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 41
  • 42. Circulation (poor) Poor peripheral circulation is an affliction that vata and kapha have a greater tendency towards. Ginger, clove, gotu cola, cinnamon and brahmi are just some of the warm infusions that will fire the ciculatory system. Adding pungent spices to meals such as ginger, pepper, cayenne, green chili and paprika is another invaluable way to combat icy extremities. With vata, sometimes poor circulation is accompanied by anaemia and low blood pressure. In this case tonics that are high in iron such as red grapes and cerebro-vascular stimulants such as brahmi and gingko biloba are useful. Lifestyle changes Warming your body with a daily self-massage is one of the best ways to optimise circulation. Vata body types can use warm sesame oil, kapha types- mustard oil, and pitta types -almond or jojoba oil. Adding a little cinnamon, juniper, rosemary or ginger essential oil to the base will increase its warming potency. Wearing warming colours such as shades of red, brown, orange, yellow and black can help to conserve body heat. Practicing half an hour of exercise daily that promotes sweat and increases the heart rate is another way to warm up the body. To prevent and treat varicose veins or spider veins apply witchhazel lotion to the area and elevate the legs for 2o minutes daily. Case study Shaemus was a 53-year-old with constantly cold hands and feet. He was also suffering from memory loss and hemorrhoids. Shaemus was asked to walk at a brisk pace, for 30 minutes daily. He also started to give himself a warm oil massage for five minutes daily with sesame oil. In the evening he had a bath with cinnamon essential oil. Daily intake of trikatu (black pepper, long pepper and ginger) started to improve his circulation and memory within a week. A combination of brahmi and gingko biloba was later introduced to improve his memory. He also massaged his scalp with warm brahmi oil twice a week. Because hot spices may have aggravated his hemorrhoids these weren’t added to his diet. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 External application of witchhazel lotion on Shaemus’ hemorrhoids shrunk them. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 43. Cold sores Recurrent cold sores are a symptom of low immune function, a hypersensitive nervous system and unbalanced pitta or vata. To prevent an outbreak protect the lips with an aloe vera, tea tree oil and vitamin E lip balm, reduce foods high in L-arginine (see next paragraph) and manage stress levels before getting overwhelmed. Herbs to take which help to clear the virus from the body include Hypericum perfoliatum, neem, Indian myrhh, aloe vera juice, echinacea and solanum santocarpum. During an outbreak cold ice on the area for 30 minutes can reduce severity. Apply a mixture of neem, aloe gel and ghee to accelerate healing. Lifestyle changes Enjoy foods high in lysine and zinc including brewers yeast, bean sprouts, fruits, vegetables, sunflower seeds and pumpkinseeds. Foods high in the amino acid L-arginine can exacerbate an attack so should be avoided. These include chocolate, gelatine, chicken, wheatgerm, peanuts, rye, corn, barley, soybeans, walnuts, cashews and carob. Regular meditation or guided relaxation can help to thwart an outbreak related to stress. Keep the immune system and nervous system strong with daily self-massage and herbs appropriate to the individual constitution. As herpes is highly contagious and can cause blindness if it affects the eyes be careful to thoroughly disinfect hands or instruments that contact the area. Case study Karen was a 24-year-old who suffered from herpes outbreaks for the past year. She noticed they were worse during times of stress and when her nutrition was poor. Karen also suffered recurrent urinary tract infections- another sign of pitta imbalance. After following a pitta reducing diet that was low in L-arginine and high in lysine Karen found her outbreaks were less frequent. She also took triphala powder and aloe vera juice before bed to purify the Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 blood and keep her immune system strong. Taking up mantra meditation Karen was less vulnerable to stress and mood fluctuations. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 43 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 44. Common cold The common cold is a classic example of how the body can undergo a progressive imbalance in all the doshas over a short time. The sequence of a cold is that the body is exposed to stress, change, wind or cold. This creates a vata disturbance, which manifests as tiredness, restlessness, unusual pains, reduced appetite and loss of enthusiasm. Then the pitta phase sets in with fever, sweating and an irritated feeling in the throat, nose or eyes. As the cold progresses, kapha becomes dominant with copious mucus, lethargy and self-pity. Whatever stage a cold is at there are plenty of effective Ayurvedic home remedies at hand. Holy basil is an excellent antibacterial, antiviral during all phases. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and licorice help to warm the body and soothe the mucous membranes while long pepper, pepper, ginger and lemongrass aid mucus expectoration. Turmeric, fenugreek and garlic help to purify the lymphatics and dry up mucus. Lifestyle changes Keeping warm and well rested is the best way to support inner healing powers to conquer a cold. The head, neck and feet are the most important areas to keep warm at all times. Frequent sips of warm tea with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, holy basil, ginger and honey is usually very effective. Inhalation with tea tree, wintergreen, camphor or eucalyptus essential oil helps to liquify and expel the mucus whilst disinfecting the respiratory passageways. A nasal cleansing yogic technique jala neti assists in further flushing out nasal mucus. Nasal drops of warm ghee, sesame oil or traditional anu thailam help to relieve vata sinusitis symptoms. Rubbing warm mustard seed oil on the chest and back can take the chill out of the body along with a warm epsom salts bath with heating essential oils such as ginger. Case study Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Fleur kept getting a runny nose and achy muscles. She was given a diet to suit her kapha constitution along with trikatu (long pepper, pepper an ginger) and daily inhalation with wintergreen essential oil. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 45. Constipation Kaphas tend to get constipation due to lack of muscle tone and accumulation of toxins. Herbs that tone the intestine such as triphala and dandelion are suited for this along with garlic, which contains an intestinal wall stimulant-allicin. Vata’s constipation is more likely to be triggered by dehydration, a change in routine such as when travelling or stress. Lubricating laxatives such as flaxseed oil, castor oil or prune juice are very effective in remedying vata constipation. Though pittas are least likely to suffer constipation-when they do it is often linked to inflammation or poor liver and gall bladder function. Cooling liver tonics such as aloe vera juice, senna and dandelion generally re-establish the elimination flow. Inceasing fibre to bulk the intestine with psyllium husks is something all types may benefit from. Lifestyle changes The golden rules to bowel harmony can be summarised by the three f’s- fluid, fibre and fitness. Plenty of warm fluids and liquid foods help to flush out undigested waste material- especially important during airplane flights, exercise, cold windy weather and hot temperatures. Conversely- dry, baked, fried or dehydrated foods in excess clog up the gastro-intestinal tract. Mixing warm water with an adjunct such as chamomile helps it to absorb into the deeper tissues. Fibre stimulates the intestinal peristalsis innvolved in a bowel motion. Good sources of fibre include bran, fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains. Fitness promotes healthy muscle tone and function, bringing toxins to the bowel and flushing them out. Excessive tension in the abdominals however can lead to a spastic colon, which disturbs elimination. To prevent this one can squat and massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction. Case study Emily was a 17-year-old vata constitution who had intermittent constipation. She had a very low fibre diet and rarely drank more than 2 cups of tea a day. She was asked to eliminate white flour, white rice, dairy products and red meat from her diet. The bulk of Emily’s meals Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 consisted of brown rice, bean and vegetable casseroles with digestive spices and at least 6 cups of chamomile, licorice or fennel tea. Emily practiced a yogic colon cleanse called Shanka Prakshalana once a month for 4 months and took triphala. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 45 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 46. Cough/sore throat Chronic sore throats can be due to lymphatic congestion, causing infected tonsils. This is treated by gargling with antibacterial combinations including tea tree, eucalyptus, golden seal, holy basil, cardamom, ginger, pepper, red sage, rock salt, turmeric, glycerine or honey. To cleanse the lymphatics internally fenugreek tea, garlic oil, thyme tincture and vasa are all excellent options. A dry, irritating cough may be due to an allergic reaction. In this herbs that cleanse, soothe and strengthen the respiratory tract are indicated. These include coriander seeds, black cumin seeds and Justicia beddomito name a few. When the cough is productive with thick mucous strong regular herbs can be taken to prevent it from progressing to a serious infection. Such herbs would include expectorants such as ginger, long pepper and pepper; anti-tussinves such as vasa, licorice, holy basil, cumin, purified camphor and palm sugar. To soothe the inflamed membranes demulcent herbs such as marshmallow and warm milk may be taken in the latter stages. Lifestyle changes To preserve prana vata (air lifeforce) keep talking to a minimum. Regulate airflow through gentle yogic breathing (pranayama) and steam inhalation with antibacterial essential oils such as tea tree. To reduce kapha remove foods such as rice, dairy, cold and raw foods from the menu. Heavy foods such as potatoes, bananas and red meat can be reduced. Plenty of warm herbal honeyed teas such as a cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, peppercorn chai helps to dry up mucous and eliminate the underlying pathogen. Case study Simon was a kapha constitution who suffered from coughs an average of twice yearly, which could cause bronchial asthma. He took sitopaladi powder which consists of cinnamon, cardamom, long pepper, palm sugar and bamboo manna as well as 3 cups of ginger, licorice, holy basil and honey tea a day. Once the mucous had loosened and Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 bronchioles were opened he underwent supervised yogic vomiting once a week for 6 weeks. This quickly expelled the accumulated mucus in the stomach, which was the origin of the problem. He later took trikatu (long pepper, ginger and black pepper) at any sign of sluggish digestion. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 46 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 47. Cuts, bites, stings There is a complete branch of Ayurveda specialising in the treatment of venomous bites and stings called Visha chikitsa. However here we will deal with less lethal bites and stings that can be safely treated at home. A traditional remedy for fresh cuts to stop bleeding and promote healing is a paste of turmeric powder and honey. Dust area with the powder and once the bleeding has settled apply a thin layer of honey. Organic honey such as manuka or tea tree has extra strong antibacterial properties. For stings or bites apply the juice of coriander leaves and holy basil leaves. Neem seed oil can be applied to bites and stings later to keep infections at bay. Aloe vera gel and rosehip oil is excellent for promoting scarless healing in the later phase. A paste of ghee, honey, black sesame seeds and pure cow’s urine is a traditional remedy to disinfect and reduce the pain of cuts, bites and stings Lifestyle changes To prevent bites, cuts or stings from getting infected blood purifying herbs such as aloe vera, neem, turmeric and manjishtha can be taken internally. Neem is said to deter insects from biting or stinging when taken internally and applied externally. Once the damage has been done- substances to boost the immune system and promote healing are advised. Herbs with immuno-stimulant properties include gooseberries, shatavari, aswhagandha and guduchi. To reduce itching chickweed and shirisha are excellent herbs. Case study A 12-year-old boy cut his finger while playing with a pocket knife. After washing the wound in dilute tea tree oil and hot water it was dusted with a combination of turmeric and sandalwood powder. This was applied daily with a little ghee then covered by light gauze. After 3 days healing had progressed and aloe vera with rose hip oil was smoothed on the area twice daily to ensure a scar didn’t form. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 48. Cysts, fribroids in the uterus Growths such as ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids are indicative of a blockage of vata and a reflex accumulation of kapha and toxins in the bodily channels. To restore balance and proper elimination Ayurveda initially ensures that the digestion is at optimal function. Then herbs are given to balance the body’s hormone levels. A common combination prescribed is called Sapthasaram kashayam. This is a mix of 7 herbs including ginger, castor root, bael roots and punarnava. It is very effective for dissolving and expelling growths. Warm castor oil poultices are also placed over the uterine region along with daily self-massage. Since hormones consist mainly of cholesterol, when the liver is weak, hormones are not broken down and tend to accumulate in the body-resulting in growths. Hence, where applicable liver herbs are given to support the body’s detoxification process. Lifestyle changes Women are encouraged to honor their body’s messages by adjusting their lifestyle during the menstrual cycle. In order to appreciate and facilitate the purification process of menstruation during the first three days exercise is kept to a minimum, sufficient sleep is advised, sex is to be avoided and pads are prefered to tampons in order to encourage an unobstructed flow. Heavy or oily foods, which increase eostrogen and prostoglandin 2 synthesis in the body, are reduced. These foods include meat and eggs. Other restricted items include sugar, salt, tea, coffee, soft drinks, fried foods, chocolate, cold foods and recreational drugs. Daily self-massage and warm epsom salts baths with clary sage essential oil are often helpful. A special series of yoga postures for the female reproductive system can be practiced throughout the month. Case study Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Cassandra was a 35-year-old single woman with a history of 2 miscarriages. When investigating the cause 3 large fibroids were discovered on the uterus. She was advised to go on a low estrogen diet and to use warm castor oil packs on the lower abdomen daily. Given a combination of hing and saptasaram decoction Cassandra’s fibroids began to reduce after three months. 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 48 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 49. Depression “The darkest hour is before the dawn” It has been said that an unexamined life is a life not worth living. Though a serious and debilitating condition, the underlying value of depression is that it offers space for existential enquiry. Time to process and reflect on the past and integrate it into the present in a way, which will enrich the future. Whether the depression is reactive (due to circumstances or events) or endogenous (as a result of internal biochemistry) the best approach is to strengthen the mind. This can be done through herbs and behavioural psychotherapy. Ayurveda often employs rejuvenative herbs such as ashwagandha, shatavari, holy basil, saffron and brahmi. These are often supplemented with tailored meditation practice and body therapies such as shirodhara to balance pituitary gland function. Stimulating music, colours and gems are also effective mood elevators. Lifestyle changes To shift depression a shift in attitude is often required. One way to train the mind to cultivate a positive and optimistic outlook is to keep a daily dairy of the blessings experienced throughout the day. This takes the focus off negativities and onto everyday blessings that can be easily taken for granted. Setting small goals and achieving them helps one to gain the momentum and enthusiasm needed to move from the stagnant, introspective gear of depression. Often depressed people are simply unimpressed with life. Inspirational reading, counseling and taking up a fun hobby can help one to regain lust for life. Exercise is particularly effective as it triggers the release of the natural pleasure chemicals- endorphins. Sufficient exposure to sunlight is essential to eliminate the possibility of depression induced by SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Substances that can aggravate depression include caffeine, alcohol, marijuana and nicotine. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Case study Evan was a 40-year-old, who had suffered depression for sporadic periods throughout his life. Though he had felt an underlying pessimism about life this was further reinforced by recent job retrenchment. Evan was given a series of energising yoga exercises called the Five Tibetans and asked to walk in nature for 30 minutes daily while listening to a compilation tape of his favorite music. To support his adrenal and brain function he was 05 given a herbal jam called Ashwagandadi lehyam and a series of shiro-dhara treatments. 49 Psychotherapy sessions gave Evan a renewed sense of his career options, which led him to pursue his teenage dream of joining a jazz band. On the rare occasions when the blues progressed to the black cloud of depression Evan found group meditation sessions lifted him out of the slump. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 50. Diarrhoea Diarrhoea is the body’s attempt to expel indigestible matter. Substances may be indigestible due to a weak digestive fire or may be harmful as in the case of food or water infected with bacteria or parasites. Ayurveda believes that “plugging up” the system can make things worse, instead it aims to eradicate toxic matter (ama) whilst strengthening the digestion (agni). At the initial phase a gentle bulking laxative such a psyllium husks may be given to promote complete expulsion of toxins. When this is achieved anti microbial herbs such as black walnut hulls, pomegranate rind, nut grass, grapefruit seed extract, kutaja and cloves may be prescribed. Then herbs to encourage the body to retain nutrients are given such as bael juice, nutmeg and charcoal tablets. Once the diarrhoea is controlled herbs to re-ignite the digestive fire are given which may include long pepper, cumin and ginger. Lifestyle changes There is an Indian saying- “If you want an unwanted guest to leave then don’t feed them.” This is also the case with diarrhoea. Fasting from food is recommended as long as the person’s strength remains. If weakness sets in then stomachic and anti-diarhoeal foods such as rice soup with ginger powder and coriander leaves, pomegranate juice, unripe banana, grated cooked apple with nutmeg, guava, buttermilk and whey can be taken. Most serious complications from diarrhoea arise due to dehydration. To prevent this, give plenty of this electrolyte-rich formula. For every bowel motion give 1 cup of room temperature water with 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp honey. When suffering from diarrhoea one should avoid hot water bathing, exposure to the sun, oil massage and exerting physical activity. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Case study A 28-year-old lady suffered from acute diarrhoea after a trip to south east Asia. Initially she was given haritaki fruit to flush out the liver and colon, She then took a combination tincture of black walnut hulls, cloves, grapefruit seed extract, wormwood and kutaja. Her diet was restricted to rice soup with a pinch of nutmeg, coriander leaves and salt. She also took cooked apples and chamomile tea with honey. 05 50 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 51. Dry skin Vata constitutions are particularly prone to dry skin, which gets worse in winter. Internal and external therapies are required to effect long term improvement. A small quantity of ghee can be taken with each meal. Alternatively ingesting the maximim dose of flaxseed oil or evening primrose oil daily improves the lustre of the skin. Herbs to aid the digestion will facilitate the absorption of lubricants through the skin layers. The appropriate herb for this depends on the individual’s doshic imbalance. Sufficient warm water mixed with a synergist such as herbal tea or fruit juice will also carry moisture to the deeper tissue layers. Lifestyle changes Exercise to sweat to open the skin pores and to assist the proper circulation of skin nutrients. Dehydrating things to be avoided include baked food, dried fruits or vegetables, puffed grains, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, diuretics, wind, exposure to the sun, hot water, hair dryers and airplane flights. To manage the condition externally try dry skin brushing to exfoliate off dead skin cells then warm oil should be applied to the whole body one hour before taking bath. Vata can use sesame oil, pitta- coconut oil and kapha can apply corn oil. Avoid chemical and alcohol based beauty products. Instead a moisturiser of rosehip oil or hempseed oil and a cucumber/rosewater toner can help to seal the skin’s moisture in. Ghee softens and moisturises chapped lips Case study Heather had chronic dry skin. Now 34, she had a vata imbalance, which was evident by the presence of obstinate constipation. She was asked to follow a vata pacifying diet that included plenty of ghee, warm liquid casseroles and at least 6 cups of herbal tea daily. Daily yoga exercise and sesame oil massage was diligently observed. She was also given 2 tsps of castor oil with 1 tsp of ginger juice to take before bed. After 10 days on this regime the castor oil was stopped and Heather was given a series of small oil enemas for three Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 days. Her skin started to feel smoother and more lubricated after one month. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 52. Earache An external earache can eased with the use of antibacterial herbal drops. First steam the ear with hot water and a little tea tree oil. Then apply an antibiotic mix of garlic olive oil. This can be made by heating one tbs of olive oil and then adding 2 crushed garlic cloves to it. Put 4 drops in each ear, massaging the remaining oil around the outer ear. Mulleine oil drops for the earache is an excellent alternative to this. Another specialty Ayurvedic treatment for chronic ear problems such as glue ear is similar to the Hopi Indian’s ear candling technique. A cloth cigarette lined with ghee, turmeric and triphala is connected the ear by a tube. This opens the eustachian tubes and dries up accumulated toxins in the ear. Seek medical assistance if symptoms persist. Lifestyle changes As with all infections the immune system must be supported with purifying herbs and foods such as echinacea, gooseberry, turmeric, golden seal, neem and garlic. However these should be selected according to the individual’s doshic imbalance. Avoid touching the ear and try not to sleep on it. Swimming should be avoided until the infection has cleared. However compresses of warm water and a little tea tree oil can be pressed on the ear for relief. Take off earrings and reduce exposure to loud noises. A yogic breathing technique called bee’s breath (bhramari) is excellent to strengthen the ear canals. Case study Dominique was a 12-year-old boy who got an ear infection after swimming. With redness, pain and slight tinnitus he was at the acute inflammatory stage. His ear was steamed with a mix of hot water, triphala and turmeric. Then a traditional Ayurvedic garlic and calamus oil called vacha lasunadi was dropped into the ears. A cotton wad soaked in warm water and dilute tea tree oil was placed in the outer ear for 10 minutes three times a day. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 52 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 53. Eczema When impurities accumulate in the gut and blood they may irritate the skin and nervous system as is the case with eczema. Whether the cause be allergic, emotional, fungal, bacterial or unknown, Ayurveda’s first tactic is to purify the gastro-intestinal tract and the blood. This is achieved with herbs such as manjishtam, neem, Indian sarasparilla, cassia fistula, picrorrhiza, turmeric and triphala. The nervous system may need tonifying with herbs such as kava kava, ashwagandha and brahmi. Once the internal channels are fortified external oils are used to soothe the skin. Coconut based oils with herbs reduce the inflammatory process as well as easing the itching and oozing often associated with exzema. Herbs such as cardamom, turmeric, triphala, manjishtha and neem are commonly used. Lifestyle changes A diet rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C and Zinc has been shown to assist in eczema. This can be obtained by taking flaxseed oil, seeds, yellow vegetables and non-acidic fruits. Foods that tend to aggravate eczema are dairy products, meat, sugar, acidic fruits, tomatoes, hot spices, yeast and alcohol. Since coriander leaves have natural anti-histamines adding it to vegetables is beneficial. Plenty of fluids such as licorice tea, chlorophyll and aloe vera juice can help to flush out the toxins. Case study Sasha was a 16-year-old girl who had suffered from eczema for the past five years. She had a vata pitta constitution and found the condition worsened under stress, with dairy foods and sugar and when she used soap. She was asked to stop using soap immediately and instead to use a bathing powder made from the herb shirisha. Sasha then went on a one week purification diet of suitable fruits, vegetables, juices and evening primrose oil. At the same time she took triphala nightly and aswagandha to reduce stress. Daily sessions of Yoga Nidra relaxation were advised followed by a relaxing 30 minute walk in shaded parkland. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 53 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 54. Eye disorders Eye disorders can be due to an imbalance in vata, pitta or kapha. Vata disorders in the eye tend to lead to dryness, poor vision and degeneration such as retinal detachment and eyestrain. Pitta imbalances cause with burning, inflammation, yellow pus, redness and pterygiums. Kapha imbalances result in clouded vision, glaucoma, cataracts, thick pus and watery eyes. Ayurvedic eye treatment varies for each problem. One standard eye strengthening and purifying treatment is triphala eyewash. Eyebright infusion is another effective eye-bath. Another therapy for vata and pitta is a technique called netra vasti. This is a procedure where a circular dam of urad flour dough is built around the reclining patient. The closed eyes are then filled with warm ghee or medicated oil. The eyes can be opened for a few minutes then closed. This strengthens the nerves and tissues of the eyes as well as enhancing intuition, relaxation and vision. A drop of pure castor oil in the eyes is also healing for vata and pitta eye diseases. As shatavari is high in vitamin A and gooseberry in vitamin C these strengthen the eye’s connective tissue integrity. Cooling herbs such as coriander seeds and leaves, roses, sandalwood and fennel are also applicable. More than just a cosmetic- Indian eyeliner (kajal) is made of camphor and castor oil which improves the vision. Lifestyle changes Ayurveda believes that the eyes are one of the first body parts to degenerate with age. Therefore it is vital to protect the eyes from chemicals, overstrain, sunlight and internal toxins. This can be achieved by wearing protective sunglasses whilst outside, keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from the television, using a glare reducing screen on your VDU to reduce eye strain, reading in good light and taking a break from focusing on one thing every 25 minutes. Yogic eye exercises are an excellent way to maintain clarity of vision. Trataka Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 is another yogic technique involving candle gazing, which purifies the eyes and improves focus. Heat also increases degeneration of the eye’s connective tissue so avoid hot hair dryers, hot water on the face, alcohol based cosmetics around the eyes and heating foods. A diet, rich in antioxidants such as fresh fruit and vegetables also create strong eyes. Case study 05 Irene was a 45-year-old pitta constitution suffering from short sightedness and sporadic 54 conjunctivitis. Since her conjunctivitis worsened with chillis, tomatoes, vinegar and oil these foods were removed from her diet. To cool her overheated body she was asked to go on a pitta reducing diet, swim in cool water and take aloe vera juice daily. She used a triphala and turmeric eyewash daily and threw away old eye make-up to prevent re- infection. When she had the occasional relapse Irene found placing cotton wool soaked in cold coriander seed infusion over her eyes gave rapid relief. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 55. Flatulence Occasional flatulence is a natural bi-product of digestion. However chronic and excessive wind is a painful and embarrassing indicator that the digestion is deranged. To tackle the problem Ayurveda has an abundance of useful household herbs. To increase digestive enzymes herbs such as ginger, piper longum, garlic and asafoetida are invaluable. Mild laxative herbs such as triphala and castor oil help to clear out fermenting intestinal toxins. Herbal oil enemas (vastis) are another effective way of cleansing the colon. Specific carminative culinary herbs and spices are Ayurveda’s specialty. Add the following to meals to reduce gas- cumin, cardamom, fennel, coriander, ajawan and ginger. Charcoal and peppermint tablets give temporary relief in extreme cases. Lifestyle changes Since flatulence is most commonly due to excess vata in the colon, a vata pacifying diet and regime is often indicated. Vata increases as a result of stress, anxiety, dehydration, exhaustion, flying, irregular meals and in cold windy weather. To reduce the impact of these influences meals should be taken in a relaxed way with less talking and more chewing. Daily abdomenal massage with warm sesame oil and exercises to strengthen and stretch the abdominal and back muscles can help. Gaseous foods or those that easily ferment should be minimised-especially at night. These include nuts, beans, soya milk, red meat, cabbage, raw vegetables, yeast, alcohol, sugar, milk and carbonated drinks. Case study Mark suffered from gas ever since a bout of giardia 3 years ago. A powder mix called Hinguvachadi (see asafoetida home remedies) helped to reduce the gas. Mark also took a clove and wormwood tincture to eradicate any lingering intestinal bugs. A cleansing diet of vegetables, grains and digestive spices gave the digestion a chance to clear out built up toxins. Mark then had a series of five oil enemas and maintained his recovery with liver Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 herbs including dandelion root tea and garlic. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 55 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 56. Inflammation is the body’s normal protective response to an injury, irritation, or sur- gery. This natural “defense” process brings increased blood flow to the area, re- sulting in an accumulation of fluid. As the body mounts this protective response, the Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 symptoms of inflammation develop. These include: 05 56 Swelling, pain, increased warmth and redness of the skin
  • 57. Fever Fever occurs when the body needs to combust toxins. It also strikes when the body is free of toxins but is weak or overheated, as in sunstroke. In the initial phase of fever with toxins Ayurveda promotes sweat and bowel motions to help remove heat and ama from the body. Sweating can be induced by keeping the patient warm or with herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, catnip, chamomile, coriander, thyme, cloves and holy basil. If the patient’s fever is dangerously high then this approach may aggravate the situation, especially in pitta body types. The fever victim will instinctively desire what feels right. The next step is to cool the system with substances such as sandalwood, guduchi, feverfew, white willow bark, ginger, boneset, bitter herbs, red grapes, coriander seeds, coriander leaves, holy basil and rice soup. Lifestyle changes Chronic low-grade fevers are a sign that the body is too weak to heal itself. The immune system may be oversensitive to a normal range of pathogens, lacking the inner energy reserves to accomodate them. The message is to rest, relax and rejuvenate the drained body and mind. Tonifying herbs such as ashwagandha, shatavari and echinacea along with a light and nourishing diet help to re-establish homoeostasis. Dry accupressure massage (marma chikitsa) or medicated oil massage can also help. Late nights, travel, exerting exercise and exposure to heat or environmental extremes will only make things worse. Conversely yoga nidra relaxation or very gentle yoga can trigger inner healing mechanisms. Case study Fiona was a 29-year-old life-guard with a fever for no apparent reason. She also suffered from peptic ulcers with reflux. Fiona took two weeks off beach watch duty and an indoor post. This was give her body and chance to cool down. Heating items were restricted from her diet such as tomatoes, salt, chillis, onions, garlic, red meat, fish, alcohol, citrus fruits and vinegar. She also took cabbage juice, slippery elm and shatavari for her acidic digestion. A Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 cooling, laxative juice from coriander leaves a pinch of sandalwood powder and 10 mls of aloe vera juice stabilised her temperature within one week. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 57 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 58. Headache There are almost as many causes of headaches as there are people who suffer from them. Half the cure is in understanding the cause. The main elemental imbalance is evident by the presenting symptoms. With vata headaches the pain is sudden and fluctuating. It often moves around the head and may be accompanied by restlessness, dry mouth, irritability and fatigue. Pitta headaches often involve a raise in temperature, redness, throbbing, sweating and a feeling of frustration. Headaches of a kapha origin commonly present with a congested feeling in the sinuses and a heaviness of the head. Vata headaches may be due to constipation, poor spine alignment, tempero-mandibular joint problems, dehydration, muscle tension, intestinal gas, malnutrition, low blood pressure, low blood sugar or anxiety. Pitta headaches can be linked to liver disorders, anemia, impure blood, overexposure to the sun, heating foods and drinks or suppressed anger. Kapha headaches can sometimes be traced to overeating, excess sleeping, mucus accumulation in the stomach or sinuses and depression. For vata headaches herbalised oil massage, nasal drops, oil enemas and consistent rehydration are key remedies. Useful herbs include dasamoola (10 roots combination), iron rich ashwagandha, castor oil as a laxative and western nervine herbs such as vervain, valerian, skullcap, white willow bark or wood bettony. Pitta headaches can be treated with cooling herbs such as cumin, coriander, sandalwood, aloe vera, gentian, triphala, fennel and cooling essential oils such as lavender, gardenia, jasmine and sandalwood. A specialised Ayurvedic therapy for pitta headaches is where tender coconut water or cool milk is poured continuously over the forehead for at least 40 minutes (ksheeradhara). Since kapha’s are often very congested they respond to supervised steam inhalation, Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 vomiting therapy and nasal irrigation combined with fasting to dry up mucus and toxins. Beneficial warming and stimulating herbs include trikatu (long pepper, pepper and ginger powder), fenugreek, garlic, golden seal or a traditional combination called sitopaladi powder (bamboo manna, cane sugar, long pepper, cardamom and cinnamon). If headaches are linked to eyestrain follow the regimes advised in the eye disorders section. 05 If there is a correlation with the menstrual cycle see the premenstrual syndrome section. 58 Lifestyle changes There are some simple preventative and management techniques for headaches irrespective of the cause, which is not always identifiable. As soon as you feel a headache coming on take at least four cups of warm tea. Vervain or scullcap for pitta, valerian for vata and ginger for kapha. A paste of fresh ginger and ghee paste on the forehead for vata or alternatively nutmeg powder and warm water for vata or ginger and water for kapha helps to subdue the pain. Lying down in a cool dark room and sleeping or doing a guided relaxation tape can relieve the pain totally in some cases. The diet should be as simple as possible, avoiding fatty, oily, sugary, preserved or heavy foods such as nuts, meat and dairy.
  • 59. Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and preservatives are just a few of the hundreds of possible dietary triggers. An allergy test may help to identify specific triggers. Massage of the head, neck, shoulders and feet with warm sesame oil for vata, coconut oil for pitta and corn oil for kapha can dissipate causative tension. Simple yoga stretches and alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana) also helps to relax tense muscles. Understanding one’s emotional state preceding the headache can shed light on psychological origins of the condition. One can then address this through a prefered mind/body technique such as neuro-linguistic programming, meditation or psychotherapy. Case study Kirtida was a 28-year-old with a pitta constitution. She suffered intermittent headaches since childhood. She found that they were worse when she suppressed anger and during the summer heat. Kirtida was put on a pitta pacifying diet and asked to drink at least one litter of cooling mint and vervain tea daily. She was also given a series of Ksheera-dhara treatments (cool milk on forehead) and asked to meditate daily for 15 minutes morning and evening. Daily self massage with coconut and a little lavender oil was advised to cool and relax the body. Kirtida also took a combination of aloe vera juice, neem, gentian and turmeric to purify her liver and blood. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 59
  • 60. Indigestion Almost everyone suffers from various degrees of indigestion over a lifetime. Overeating, eating incompatible foods, eating at the wrong time or in a stressed state can all contribute to indigestion. As with all conditions, the disease symtpoms vary according to the dosha involved. Vata indigestion often manifests as excessive gas, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, grey toxins on the tongue, an irregular appetite and craving for stimulants such as sugar and caffeine. Pitta indigestion generally innvolves burning acidity or reflux in the stomach, an insatiable appetite, a tendency to diarrhoea and yellow toxins on the tongue. Kapha indigestion presents with extreme heaviness in the stomach or oesophagus, lack of appetite, fatty stools and lethargy after meals, weight gain and a whitish tongue coating. A simple indigestion remedy for all body-types is a slice of ginger, a pinch of rock salt, a pinch of long pepper (optional) with a squeeze of lime-juice on top. Chew this 5-10 minutes before a meal to stoke up the digestive fire for complete digestion. Vata indigestion is aided by warming carminative herbs such as asafoetida, garlic, ginger, long pepper, ajawan seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and bay leaves. Pitta indigestion requires cooling carminatives and bitter tonics such as coriander, cumin, fennel, peppermint, nut grass, licorice, gentian, brahmi, shatavari, arrowroot, bala, gooseberry and slippery elm. Kapha indigestion benefits from stimulating and warming herbs including ginger, garlic, pepper, long pepper, Indian mhyrr, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, green chillis, mustard seeds and fenugreek. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 60
  • 61. Lifestyle changes Ayurveda expands on the saying “we are what we eat” by adding that we are when, why, where and how we eat. Though indigestion is sometimes due to hereditary organ weaknesses it is generally self-inflicted and perpetuated by poor eating habits. To optimise digestion try the following tips. Eat meals at around the same time daily, though only eat if hungry. Avoid eating at least two hours prior to sleep and one hour prior to exercise. Minimise talking and especially emotional discussions during meals. Don’t drink cold water directly before, with or after meals. Chew each mouthful at least 15 times. Sip warm ginger tea with meal. Eat according to your body-type whilst observing the way you feel after various foods. Try to take fresh food rather than leftovers. If you are overeating think about what you are really hungry for. If you are undereating try to inject some variety and tantilising flavours into your diet. Enjoy a warm peppermint, fennel or cumin and coriander seed tea 30 minutes after a meal. Case study Benjamin was a vata-pitta constitution with chronic flatulence and stomachache. At 25 years he had recently taken a course of antibiotics for a stomachache but it only got worse. He started to improve as soon as he was put on a vata balancing diet and a herbal combination with asafoetida, long pepper, fennel and ginger. Benjamin also started to eat with minimal conversation and in a relaxed, slow manner. He took a light protein-free dinner before 6.30 PM. Taking a room temperature lassi (water, yoghurt and cumin powder drink) after meals helped to reestablish healthy gastro-intestinal flora. Before bed Ben took 2 tsps of castor oil and ginger juice for one week to alleviate excess air and ether in the intestines. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 61
  • 62. Infertility Vajikarana is the branch of Ayurveda dedicated to helping couples conceive healthy progeny. Since reproductive fluids-the sperm and ovum- are considered the cream of all metabolic processes then infertility is an indication of problems in other areas of the body. Tests for male infertility are less invasive and more conclusive than for females so it is wise to check these first. Male infertility, can be caused by an abnormal erection, blocked vas deferens or epididymis, poor sperm motility or quality, a deficiency of lack of vit A, B complex, E, Zinc, Magnesium, protein, fatty acids, amino acids an accumulation of toxins such as cadmium from cigarettes, or high cholesterol blocking the penis’ arteries. Herbs for male potency include gota cola, saw palmetto, damiana, sarsaparilla, oats, ginseng, urad dal, licorice, suassuria lappa, garlic, amalaki, bala, long pepper, lotus seeds, ghee, milk, almond milk, onion, palm sugar, Tribulus terrestris and cloves. Women’s infertility is often more difficult to diagnose. Possible causes include pelvic congestion, poor quality of ovum (especially after 45years), stress, fears, cysts, endometriosis and fibroids. Aftereffects of contraception, STDs, over or under nutrition, drug side effects, old age A study spanning from 1987-1998 also showed that women who were underweight or overweight had a 60% deceased chance of conception, even on IVF. Natural fertility tonics are chaste tres, false unicorn root, dong quai, squaw vine, ginger, blue cohosh, wild yam, black sesame seeds, aloe vera, black haw, cumin seeds, dill seeds, nettles, saffron, shatavari, fennal, urad dal and wild yam. With stubborn infertility Ayurveda suggests the couple undergo a series of purification treatments known as panchakarma, Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 usually involving oil enemas. 05 62
  • 63. Lifestyle changes You don’t need to know the cause of infertility to optimise nutrition, reduce stress, take herbal fertility tonics and regain hormonal harmony. Both women and men need to regulate their natural biorhythms to ensure that all elements are in synch with their hormonal cycle. This can be done by sleeping with the moonlight shining in the room, eating according to the body’s requirements with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds and grains, taking time for self nurturing through yoga and self massage and avoiding any drugs or foods that may decrease fertility. Massaging the penis and the area between the scrotum and anus with warm sesame oil can help to unblock tubes and bring nutrition to the area. Women can observe the guidance given in menstrual discomfort to regulate the menses. Try to see the time for conception as a sacred moment for a new soul to enter the world. A natural fertility management practitioner will help you to determine the peak fertility times and an astrologer will assess the most auspicious time for union. The man can abstain from ejaculation for 1 month before conception to strengthen sperm count. On the day of conception light, nourishing and cooling foods can be taken. The Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita says the best position is for the women to lie on her back with the man on top, the women wrapping her legs around the man. Case study Jane and Dillon had unsuccessfully tried to concieve for 2 years. They were very busy and active people. Tests showed that Dillon’s sperm count was fine but he had low motility. He was advised to wear boxers and reduce the rigorous exercise routine as it was depleting his vitality. Dillon was also put on a Zinc, B complex and Vitamin A supplement along with a herbal fertility jam called Ashwagandadhi lehyam. Jane received counseling to discuss her fear of having a child. She doubted her ability to sacrifice her time and ambitions for a child. After some discussion she realised that the birth of a child didn’t mean death to Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 her career. She was also given bach flowers and regular massage to reduce her stress levels. After 4 months on a rejuvenating diet and herbs they conceived whilst on an island holiday. 05 ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 63 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 64. Insomnia Sleep is a sanctuary where the mind and body can regenerate after the wear and tear of the day. Sleeplessness or poor quality sleep effects every aspect one’s life. Generally as a result of vata or pitta imbalance, long term sleep deprivation leads to body ache, premature aging, emotional instability, memory loss, fatigue, poor coordination, confusion, and apathy. Sleep deprived people are a danger to themselves and others especially in situations such as driving and operating machinery. Ayurveda uses general nervous system tonics to ground and relax vata type isomniacs. Useful herbs include nutmeg with warm milk, ashwagandha, valerian root, hops, skullcap, passion flower, kava kava, holy basil, Indian myrrh, lady’s slipper, Indian frankincense Pitta type insomnia, which presents with more body heat and mental agitation is treated with cooling nervines such as chamomile, gotu cola, sandalwood, hypericum, vervain and poppy seeds. Ayurvedic body therapies for insomnia include shiro-dhara with buffalo’s milk plus gooseberry and a crown chakra bath called shiro-vasti. (see body therapies.) Lifestyle changes Visiting a sleep lab for assessment can sometimes accurately pinpint the problem. Common stimulants that may disturb sleep are to be avoided. These include caffeine, sugar, nicotine, chocolate, coca cola, salt, amphetamine drugs, alcohol and high tyramine foods such as smoked meats, chocolate, spinach, eggplant, wine and cheese. Foods high in tryptophan help to produce the serotonin, which induces sleep, Vitamin B and C are essential for this conversion. Tryptophan containing foods include milk, potatoes with skin, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, roasted pumpkin and turnips. Deficiencies in manganese, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron can cause restlessness. Ayurveda uses mineral bhasmas Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 64
  • 65. to restore these. Try to wind down in the evening by engaging in a relaxing hobby rather than working, discussing heavy topics of doing strenuous exercise. Exercise during the day however can promote the body’s willingness to rest. A light dinner at least two hours before bed will minimise indigestion-related insomnia. Applying brahmi oil on the head and warm sesame oil on the feet can sedate the nervous system. Also try a warm bath with sedative essential oils suited to your dosha such as lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, clary sage, frankincense, rose otto or vetivert. Daily meditation or yogic brahmari breath before bed can help to quiet an overactive mind, often an underlying cause of insomnia. If you can’t sleep it is still important to rest the body by doing a guided relaxation or listening to soothing music. Try to make the bedroom quiet, dark and comfortable with the head of the bed facing any direction except north and away from power points. Make realistic expectations of the day otherwise you can feel restless due to incomplete tasks. Case study Stephan was a 30-year-old vata constitution who suffered from insomnia since he was 16. His constant fatigue and apathetic attitude turned simple tasks into a huge effort. Stephan revealed that he was extremely stressed since breaking up with his girlfriend as a teenager. His sleep patterns were further disturbed by years of all night music gigs. Stephan was given a series of shiro-dhara treatments where warm herbalised oil was poured over his forehead. This balances the pituitary gland function, which in turn reduces stress and promotes serotonin production. He was also given a tonic of ghee and ashwagandha called Ashwagandadhi lehyam to fortify his adrenals and nervous system. Following a regime of daily yoga, self-massage, swimming and meditation as well as going to bed at the same time daily helped to balance his biorhythms. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 65
  • 66. Liver disorders When the liver is weak the whole body suffers as unwanted toxins are retained and desireable nutrients are not absorbed. Though generally the bane of pitta predominant constitutions, liver disease can strike anyone who contracts an infection such as hepatitis or anybody who neglects their diet, exercise and takes drugs, alcohol or is exposed to environmental pollutants. Ayurveda restores liver function with a three-step approach. Firstly one must remove toxins from the diet and environment. The second strategy is to flush accumulated toxins from the deeper tissues. The final phase is where the liver and other digestive organs are regenerated with herbs. Prime herbs for liver problems include dandelion root, st mary’s thistle, senna, gentian, piccrorhiza, burdock, red clover, barberry, golden seal, echinacea. garlic, raasna, bhringaraja, turmeric and guduchi. Lifestyle changes By relieving the liver of its load it can then channel more energy into removing accumulated toxins and restoring cellular function. This is best achieved by going on a fruit or vegetable fast for three to seven days. Specific foods for the liver include daikon (white radish), beet root, celery, dandelion root, aloe vera, chlorophyll, bitter melon, bitter lettuces, ginger and ash gourd. Check your body-type diet chart to make sure they are suitable. After the purification diet avoid fats, oils, processed foods, refined flour, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, drugs, sugar, salt, red meat and food that isn’t organic. Essential vitamins, minerals and protein are poorly absorbed with liver dysfunction so supplementation is often advisable. Fat soluble vitamins B complex, A, D, E and K and amino acids are the most common deficiencies. Case study John was a 44-year-old pitta constitution with liver cirrhosis, resulting from 15 years of alcoholism. John had stopped drinking with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous but the damage was done. Since he had little appetite it was easy for him to go on a vegetable Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 juice fast for 5 days. He was also given a herbal decoction, from neem, piccrorhiza, turmeric, gota cola, brahmi, licorice, guduchi and sandalwood along with St. Mary’s thistle tablets. By strictly following the pitta pacifying diet and regimes as well as dealing with suppressed anger (sometimes linked to liver disorders) John was on the road to recovery. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 66 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 67. Memory Ayurveda explains that memory retention is governed by kapha, information assimilation is ruled by pitta and memory retrieval is connected with vata. Vata body-types grasp concepts quickly and forget them just as rapidly, pitta is fast to comprehend and remembers well, kapha is slow to understand but knowledge is retained for a long time. Ayurveda uses herbs, diet, meditation and body therapies to nourish and stabilise brain activity. Time-tested brain boosters include ashwagandha, ginseng, cayenne, brahmi, calamus, shankapuspi, gingko biloba, holy basil, bhringaraja, gotu cola, gooseberry, milk and ghee, nasya, brahmi oil applied to the head and saraswatam powder (a combination of ten memory enhancing herbs.) Lifestyle changes A serene mind is like a still lake, drop something in and it creates a deep rippling impression. Whereas a stressed mind is like a choppy ocean, too distracted to register extra activity. This is why we often forget vital information when under stress as the brain is overloaded and preoccupied. Ayurveda recommends meditation or guided relaxation to still the hyperactive mind. Brain function is also impaired by poor cerebro-vascular circulation. This can be improved with aerobic exercise and daily cranial massage with coconut or brahmi oil. Brain foods include, tapioca, spinach, almonds, pure ghee and cows milk. Toxic and oxidizing substances such as aluminium, mercury, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, rancid fats and environmental pollutants can damage brain function and destroy brain cells. Nutrients shown to aid the memory are Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 coenzyme Q10, essential fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and iron. Case study A 58-year-old vata-pitta constitution, Al started to forget little things like where he left his car keys and the names of friends. Simultaneously he was experiencing stress as he was reluctantly due to retire in the near future. Al was given brahmi and bhringaraja 05 oil to apply to his head daily. He also took a combination of brahmi, 67 gota cola and Gingko biloba with warm ghee and cow’s milk to aid its absorption. Counseling helped Al to see the positive side to retirement as he wrote down his future aspirations including places to see, hobbies to pursue and freelance writing projects to work on. Daily Qi-gong helped Al to relax and clear his mind of stressful self-talk. He also reduced his alcohol intake, which had become excessive. As a result of these adjustments Al’s memory gradually began to improve.
  • 68. Menopause With a positive perspective menopause can be welcomed as a natural metamorphosis rather than a disease. While some view it as a dreaded ending, Ayurveda sees it as a ‘meaningful pause’ before the beginning of a liberating new phase. A time where a women’s wisdom comes to fruition so she can share the wealth of her experience. Many women make a smooth transition into menopause, happy to say goodbye to the cramps, bleeding and mood fluctuations associated with the hormonal cycle. This is especially the case with healthy, fit women and those from cultures where age is valued. Menopause can also cause fibroids to shrink and relieve endometriosis. For others however challenges arise at this time due to doshic imbalances. Hot flashes, tiredness, moodiness, dryness and weight gain are some common symptoms. The risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and high cholesterol also increases after menopause. If this were solely due to low estrogen all women would get these symptoms, which isn’t the case. Women with pre-existing doshic imbalances and an accumulation of metabolic toxins (ama) are the ones that experience menopausal difficulties. Ayurveda then takes an individualised approach to menopause according to the elemental imbalance responsible. Regular purification regimes (panchakarma), exercise and a wholefood diet before menopause are the best safeguard against later menopausal discomfort. Herbs to balance hormones include rose flowers, shatavari, fennel, licorice, lotus seeds, cumin, wild yam, red clover, punarnava, alfalfa, flax seed oil, Dong quai and Siberian ginseng, sage and castor root. Supervised vaginal douches(uttara vasti) with oil or infusions of neem, triphala, aloe vera can help to cleanse the uterus. Lifestyle changes Effective menopause strategies depend on whether there is a vata, pitta or kapha imbalance. Vata menopausal symptoms include dryness, insomnia, osteoporosis and anxiety. Pitta problems are heavy bleeding, impatience, hot flashes and acne rosacea. Kapha symptoms Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 may involve weight gain, water retention, depression, raised cholesterol and fatigue. These can be tackled by following the appropriate diet for the affected dosha. Following Ayurvedic daily regimes such as self-massage, yoga and meditation can help the body to maintain a natural homeostasis. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 68 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 69. Hormone replacement therapy is an option for women who are in a high-risk category for osteoporosis, heart disease and high cholesterol. It should be an educated choice made with the awareness of possible side effects such as breast cancer, gall bladder disease, weight gain and raised blood pressure. Natural plant hormones combined with purification therapies are often sufficient to support the body through a smooth and healthy transition. Foods and supplements, which can assist the process, include vitamins a, b, c, e and calcium, magnesium and zinc. The mineral boron boosts eostrogen levels and is present in almonds, hazelnuts, grapes, dates, peaches, honey, apples, pears and soybeans. Greens such as cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccolli are also oestrogenic and antioxidant. Case study Bernadette started to skip periods at 53. She was a vata-pitta constitution with high blood pressure. After one year her periods stopped completely and she started to get hot flashes, dry skin and hair as well as feeling irritable often. Following a vata and pitta pacifying diet helped to stabilise her symptoms. She also practiced self-massage, meditation and yoga or swimming daily. Bernadette thrived on a combination of licorice, shatavari, dong quai and castor roots in a ghee medium. Sage tea helped to soothe the hot flashes. She was advised to check her bone density and triglycerides annually. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 69
  • 70. Preparing for easy menopause 2-4 year plan • I strongly recommend you see your local health practitioner before you start this. They could tailor it for you based on your past and present health status. Following is general suggestions only. The more of these you follow, the better. • Whenever you want to go on this health program you can. It primarily enhances your natural body functions in a busy world. • The program is not for everyone. It is suitable only for committed people who believe in health and happiness. Specific Vital: Use convenient yearly, monthly and daily planners for organizing your life. Health: Treat any existing illness with a holistic medicine. Home: Minimise toxic plastic containers and bottles. Home: Go through all the chemicals at home. Home: Organise healthy laundry / kitchen / bathroom / toilet / cleaning products. Home: Stop using chemical aromas, room refreshers etc. Body: Stop all toxic chemical products used on your skin / hair / face and nail and as make up / tampons and replace them immediately with life-friendly ones. Lifestyle: Include anti oxidant lifestyle such as early to bed, chewing well, good postures, meditation, fresh food etc. Practices: Include free radical scavenging practices like nauli, Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 dhauti and pranayama. 05 70
  • 71. Monthly Cleanse: In between periods, a safe and suitable laxative to be taken before bed. Cleanses are not suitable during illness of most type. Weekly Nutrition: Perform a preplanned fast. This could be skipping 2 main meals of the day. Rest during the program. Sip warm water/herbal tea if necessary. Tonic: Get fresh prana from the food. Enjoy 2 shots of wheat grass juice and 2 doses of barley greens, or something equival- ant. Journal: Write down an experience you look forward to after menopause at least in 50 words. Make this time really exciting with magnatic music and aromatherapy. Exercise: 2 X 30 mins weight training. 2 X 30 mins yoga classes. 2 X 20 minute cardio of your choice. Shop: Buy biodynamic foods. Learn the art of reading labels. Daily Nutrition: Enjoy one healthy soup during winter and salad during non-wintry seasons. Dinner should be before 7 pm most days. Eat organic and bio-dynamic food items. Using the expertise of nutrition therapists make sure that you are eating a variety of foods that gives you all vitamines, minerals etc. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Exercise: 20 minute cardio (walk, swim, run, machines etc). Meditate 10-20 minutes before bed. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 71 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 72. Menstrual problems Ayurveda offers some practical tips to handle the monthly menses so it doesn’t cramp one’s style. The average 450 periods a women experiences in a lifetime are seen as a valuable purification of the blood and the uterus. A healthy menstrual cycle is dependant on the proper function of the endocrine glands to stimulate hormone secretion and the liver and gastro-intestinal tract to break down and elliminate them. Effective herbs for cramps include cramp bark, asafoitida, wild yam, kava kava, valerian, raspberry leaf, aloe vera gel and ginger. Castor oil taken before periods are due can help to ease congestive pain. Heavy periods are reduced with anti-pitta liver and uterine tonics like shatavari, licorice, coriander, punarnava, musta and ashwagandha. Lifestyle changes Riding nature’s rhythms allows one to ride the monthly red wave with ease. Try to go with the flow by cultivating healthy habits throughout the month. Regulate sleep, daily self- massage, regular exercise and a positive attitude all help. Avoid the following foods - animal fats, alcohol, eggs, sugar, salt, yellow cheese, tea, coffee, soft drinks, fried foods, chocolate, cold foods and drinks and recreational drugs. Helpful foods include monounsaturated cold pressed oils, seeds, fresh, fruit, vegetables, split mung dal and whole grains. Try to reduce activity and stress for the first three days, enjoy a light and liquid diet, avoid strenuous exercise, abstain from sex and prefer sanitary pads to tampons as this facilitates a more complete flow. Baths in soothing essential oils such as chamomile, geranium, rosemary, fennel and sweet marjoram can reduce cramps. Abdominal castor oil packs on the stomach can also relieve pain. Helpful supplementation for some includes vitamins a, c, e, b complex, bioflavonoids and minerals iron and zinc. Case study 26-year-old Natalie experienced painful periods and constipation for the past year. Natalie’s GP advised her to go on the contraceptive pill but she was afraid of the increased long Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 term risk of side effects such as breast cancer, liver tumors, skin pigmentation and weight gain. Instead she adjusted her diet and took a tea of cramp bark, castor roots, fennel and shatavari one week before periods. Magnesium, Calcium, B6 and Zinc were also taken to help normalise muscle contractions. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 72 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 73. Migraine People predisposed to migraine attacks tend to be sensitive to particular stimuli. As with headaches the key is to identify the trigger and avoid it wherever possible. Bright lights, sun, smells, suppressed emotions, food allergens, chemical sensitivity are just some of the possible exacerbating factors. Premenstrual migraines are possibly due to an increased fluid retention in the brain is another common cause. As it is an extremely painful condition Ayurveda may resort to an extreme cure called rakta-moksha or bloodletting. This relieves the pressure in the cranial blood vessels and removes impure blood from the area particularly where pitta is aggravated. It is perfectly safe, pain-free and extremely effective when performed by a qualified Ayurvedic surgeon. To increase one’s resistance to triggers and to subdue the vata and pitta root of many migraines internal medicines are prescribed. Common ones include, milk, ghee, saffron, sandalwood, valerian, urad dal, feverfew, wood bettony, white willow bark and crataeva religiosa. Lifestyle changes Allergy testing can help to isolate the cause of migraines. Common allergens to be wary of include chocolate, citrus, caffeine, cheese, red wine, food preservative, msg, peanuts, wheat, smoked meats, yeast, food colorings, benzoic acid, wine and the contraceptive pill. Since heat can often aggravate a migraine it is best to wear sunglasses and a hat if exposed to the sun but it is better to avoid the midday sunlight if possible. At the initial sign of a migraine massage the head with sesame oil, retire to a quiet and dark room and pull the earlobes down whilst yawning to release blood vessel pressure. Inducing vomiting with warm salty water can give instant relief in some cases. A few drop of warm ghee up the nostrils may help with vata predominant migraines. Case study Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Rob was sick of feeling sick. He experienced feverish migraines for 3 continuous days every month for the past 6 years. Pulse diagnosis identified the liver as the root cause. He was given liver herbs dandelion root, punarnava and chitraka along with panchakarma purification therapies to cleanse toxins from the liver. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 73 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 74. Osteoporosis From an ayurvedic perspective, osteoporosis is a vata condition, with the bones becoming porous due to an excess of air and ether and a decrease in earth. Though this can occur at any age for both males and females, it is most common in vata constitution women after menopause. Other things that increase the likelihood of osteoporosis include eating disorders, malnutrition, poor digestion, lack of exercise, alcohol, aluminium, cigarettes, carbonated drinks, high salt, protein and sugar intake and steroid use. Prevention is better than cure in this case as once bone degeneration has occurred, regaining it can be a slow and gradual progress. In the meantime the body is more vulnerable to fractures and joint diseases. To prevent osteoporosis Ayurveda guides a person to keep their doshas in balance with an appropriate diet and a vata-pacifying regime. Herbs to facilitate mineral circulation and deposition into the bones are applied such as ginger, long pepper and cinnamon, provided they are suitable for the body-type. Phytoestogenic herbs used to help postmenopausal women to retain minerals include red clover, alfalfa, parsley, sage, aniseed, fennel, sarasparilla, licorice, false unicorn root, ladies slipper, wild yam, peony, black cohosh and passionflower. Herbs that are high in natural minerals can help. Some of these are horsetail and Cissus quadrangularis (colloquially known as “chain of bones.”) The most effective approach is exercise, diet and oil therapies, discussed in the following section. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 74
  • 75. Lifestyle changes The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to do weight bearing exercise such as brisk walking, yoga, pump classes or low impact aerobics forty minutes four times a week. The vital time to do this is before 30 years old, when the bone continues to gain density. Once osteoporosis has set in exercise must be gentle at first to prevent fractures. Start with aquaerobics before progressing to cycling then walking. The regimes to regulate the menstrual cycle mentioned in PMS should be observed as women have a higher rate of osteoporosis when they miss periods frequently through their life. Mineral rich foods should also be included in the diet such as sesame seeds, figs, mustard greens, turnip, bok choy, kale, broccoli, almonds, brazilnuts, hazelnuts, figs and prunes. As boron prevents calcium and magnesium loss foods high in this also assist in osteoporosis prevention. High boron foods include apples, grapes, pears, peaches, soybeans, molasses and honey. Fresh fruit, vegetables and beans rich in vitamins a, d, e, k, b complex are also important for bone integrity. Vegetarians have a lower incidence of osteoporosis as meat is high in protein and acid which promotes the excretion of calcium. Milk and milk products may not be a reliable source of bone calcium as the Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus ration increases serum calcium yet decreases bone calcium via a natural acid buffering mechanism. Daily oil massage with calcium rich sesame oil is essential to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Ayurveda has devised several strengthening herbalised oils for this purpose with herbs such as bala, ginger, urad dal and goats milk. Case study Lavinia underwent early menopause at 42years. Since her bone density tests were a concern she was considering taking hormone replacement therapy. Once started however, this cannot be stopped as the bone density can drastically plummet. So instead Lavinia decided to go on some oestrogenic herbs such as red clover, black cohosh and sage. Her usual hectic lifestyle was modified by adding daily self-massage, guided relaxation and a 30-minute walk daily. Lavinia followed a diet that was high in minerals and vitamins, avoiding caffeine, sugar, salt, carbonated drinks and excess red meat. She drank plenty of Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 soya milk and licorice tea to keep her hormones balanced. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 76. Overweight Ayurveda believes that a healthy weight is achieved when a person is healthy. There are no artificial standards for an ideal weight: height ratio. People with a kapha constitution will naturally be a little heavier as a result of their slower metabolism making them gain weight easily and loose it slowly. Weight gain isn’t always healthy however as it may indicate water retention, hypothyroidism or ama accumulation. Whatever the cause, the focus should be on loosing waste rather than weight. An ideal weight is where a person can access their optimal stamina, fitness and health. The weight of a waif-like model may be perfectly natural and effortless for a vata-type constitution but is dangerously depleting for a kapha or pitta constitution. Carrying a bit of extra weight can promote greater longevity, providing a reserve to help counter the vata years of old age. For examples look to the gracefully aging voluptuous Jaqueline Bisset, Joan Collins and Sophia Loren- all heavier Kapha types. Along with diet, exercise and mental attitude, Ayurveda has some powerful fat and toxin reducing herbs to facilitate weight loss. These include triphala (amalaki, bhibitaki and haritaki), Indian myrhh, vidanga, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, asana and Acacia catechu. Lifestyle changes Overeating and under-exercising are the simple reason behind most weight gain. Food can be abused as a tool to push down uncomfortable emotions. Pitta body-types tend to overeat to suppress feelings of stress or frustration. Vata constitutions use food as a diversion from anxiety and fear. Kapha types commonly eat for comfort or as a love substitute when lonely, depressed or bored. The best way to overcome this automatic behaviour is to be conscious of the underlying emotional hunger that is being masked by physical hunger. Awareness before and during eating by chewing well, breathing, remaining silent and eating away from diversions such as television help one to focus on the body and mind’s response to the process. Avoiding snacking and eating a regular light breakfast, a substantial lunch and an early dinner assist the body to digest food efficiently. Try to get variety from food Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 including all six tastes- sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. Seeking alternative sources of energy and pleasure helps one to cultivate a taste for life rather than trying to get it solely from food. Walking on the earth, soaking up some sun, breathing in ocean air and pursuing an engrossing hobby can all help one to reduce the dependence on food for vitality and stimulation. 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 76 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 77. A liquid juice or vegetable fast one day a week can aid the liquefaction and elimination of toxins from the system. It can also help to normalise the metabolism and appetite. A kapha diet is suitable for simple cases of weight gain. This suggests avoidance of animal fat, deep fried, sugar, dairy, alcohol, nuts and eating out. Items that support weight loss includes light, warm, bitter, pungent and astringent foods. Some example of these are apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, honey, beans, barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye, spices (except salt), asparagus, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, celery and sprouts. Drinking warm herbal teas with honey can help to cleanse the channels and allay hunger. Pranayama breathing also stimulates proper digestion, assimilation and elimination of meals. Case study Dawn was a kapha body type and felt comfortable with her larger athletic build. Over the past year however she had gained weight and felt sluggish and bloated. Dawn followed a kapha reducing diet and took triphala guggulu before bed (a combination of ginger, gooseberry, haritaki, bhibitaki and Indian myhrr.) She also overcame long term depression by joining the local water polo team and creating closer friendships. Within 2 months Dawn was happy to reach her target weight and felt more energetic. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 77 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 78. PMS Women’s cyclical nature is a constant reminder of their connection with nature’s cycles, allowing them to regularly flush out mental and physical impurities and enjoy richly varied moods throughout the month. Research shows that during ovulation women are more outgoing, creative and energetic and whilst menstruating they are more introverted, hypersensitive and intuitive. It is during this transition between ovulation and menstruation that premenstrual syndrome tends to peak. The degree of PMS depends on the level of metabolic toxins (ama), organ weaknesses and hormone imbalances in the body. The symptoms vary according to the dosha affected. Vata PMS tends to manifest as anxiety, lower back pain, insomnia, restlessness, constipation, gas with abdominal bloating and fluctuating energy. Pitta PMS may present with more anger, hunger, impatience, headaches, diarrhoea, skin outbreaks and sweating. Kapha PMS often involves depression weight gain, fluid retention, tender breasts, leucorrhoea and sluggish digestion. It is best to follow the diet for the relevant doshic imbalance along with specific herbs. Herbs for vata PMS include nervine tonics such as ashwagandha, st. john’s wort, Indian myrrh and evening primrose oil. Herbs for pitta PMS are vervain, nutgrass, aloe vera, passion flower, licorice, brahmi and shatavari. Kapha PMS herbs are dandelion root, false unicorn root, dong quai and ginger. Lifestyle changes By improving the quality of life, the quality of the periods will also improve. As explained previously, the periods are interdependent on all other biological mechanisms making them inextricably reliant on the balance of all other bodily systems. A regulated, self- nourishing routine will help to harmonise the daily rhythms of our lives which then stabilises the monthly menses. Healthy nutrition, sleep, exercise, rest and recreation throughout the month will significantly reduce PMS symptoms. Foods to restrict include refined flour, sugar, caffeine, chocolate, cola, fried foods, animal fats and eggs. Supportive foods are seeds, whole grains, dates, fresh vegetables and fruit, apricots, split mung dal soup, fennel, black strap molasses, licorice, cumin and chamomile tea. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Self-massage helps to calm the nervous system and promotes the flow of hormones out of the body. Essential oils that can help with PMS are chamomile, lavender, geranium, rosemary, clary sage, rose otto, sandalwood, lotus, fennel, vetivert, jasmine and ginger. Reducing ones work and social schedule at this time relieves the body and mind of extra stress. Yoga postures for periods and guided relaxation are also highly beneficial. 05 78 Case study Ursula suffered from Kapha type PMS for a few days every month. She felt bloated, depressed and retained water. Ursula followed a kapha diet with the specific PMS restrictions. She also took an infusion of dandelion root, ginger, long pepper, pepper and cumin. A tincture of Dong quai helped with the depression and B complex with extra b6 reduced the water retention. Baths with epson salts and myrh essential oil also reduced bloating. For an energy boost she would also occasionally take panax ginseng.
  • 79. Psoriasis Psoriasis is more commonly developed by those with a pitta constitution. It involves an increased production of skin cells which relates to pitta’s speedy metabolism. Though psoriasis’ exact medical cause is unknown, Ayurveda links it to poor metabolism of fats and proteins which results in blood impurities struggling to escape through the skin. If the liver is strong however the impurities will be effectively broken down and eliminated. Therefore Ayurvedic treatment focuses on bitter blood purifiers and liver tonics such as neem, turmeric, sarasparilla, aloe vera, manjishtha, Indian myrrh, dandelion and gotu cola. To ease the itching and remove scaliness coconut based oils with herbs such as chickweed, cardamom and dantapala. A body therapy called takra-dhara is very effective for removing heat and reducing stress. It entails the continuous pouring of herbalised buttermilk over the forehead. Lifestyle changes Though obstinant, psoriasis can go into remission fairly rapidly. Food to omit includes yoghurt, meat, eggs, chillis, cayenne, paprika, garlic, onions, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, refined flours, tomatoes and citrus fruits. This cools the body and reduces skin cell hyperactivity. Daily swimming in salt water and exposing the area to UV sunlight can help. However always wear a protective sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Placing green clay on the affected areas for 20 minutes daily then washing off with cold water draws toxins from the subcutaneous layer. A diet rich in Vit A, B complex, C, D, essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium and calcium is beneficial. Since stress aggravates psoriasis it is important to cultivate a stress management technique such as meditation, guided relaxation or tai chi. Case study Jason was a 37-year-old pitta constitution who had suffered from psoriasis on the scalp and face since a teenager. He was a given and chickweed, sandalwood and coconut based shampoo to clear the scalp scales and itching. He applied coconut and evening primrose Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 oil to his face. The biggest dietary change was to give up alcohol. He was happy to shave his head temporarily and go for a daily swim in the sea. After 3 weeks of this regime Jason’s psoriasis was clearer than it had ever been. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 79 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 80. Sinusitis or Hayfever Hayfever is predominantly caused by a vata and kapha imbalance. Vata aggravation leads to hyper-sensitivity of the capillary membranes and the resultant swelling and mucus results from accumulated kapha. A hayfever sufferer has a weak and overactive auto immune system due to toxins coating the channels. This creates a fertile field for allergens to flourish in. The Ayurvedic approach is to cleanse the membranes, balance the immune response and strengthen the membrane’s resistance. Cleansing is done with practices such as supervised vomiting (vamana), nasal irrigation with warm salty water (jala-neti), eye baths and eye drops. Colon cleansing is also important using herbs such as triphala, castor oil or senna. The immune response can be pacified with herbs such as coriander leaves, shirisha, turmeric, black cumin, fenugreek, holy basil, golden seal and echinacea. To fortify membranes there are excellent Ayurvedic nasal drops called Anu thailam, containing 28 herbs, goats milk and sesame oil. Alternatively warm ghee can be dropped in the nostrils. Lifestyle changes To overcome hayfever the irritant should be identified and eliminated. However sometimes the irritant isn’t obvious or it is impossible to avoid-unless you live in a bubble. Some ways you can reduce common household allergens is to cover mattresses, steam clean or remove carpets, avoid curtains, keep pets outside, don’t keep fresh flowers, clean mould from the bathroom regularly and use chemical free cleaners. Food allergies are another trigger for hayfever. Common foods include nuts, dairy, shellfish, processed food, red wine and refined flours. Foods that act as natural anti-histamines and channel dialators can be taken. These include onions, garlic, licorice, chili, horseradish, coriander leaf and parsley. Case study Joel was a 31-year-old hayfever sufferer with a vata constitution. He was noticeably worse in spring and after dairy products. He prepared the coriander chutney described in coriander home remedies and took it daily with lunch. Joel also practiced nasal irrigation Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 and used anu nasal drops every morning. A combination of these strategies coupled with the elimination of dairy from his diet made a marked improvement on his symptoms. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 80 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 81. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 81 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 82. Stress and hypertension Faced with physical or emotional challenges our natural instinct is to react with the flight, fright or fight response. This reaction is possible through the secretion of stress hormones from the adrenal glands such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. Periods of prolonged stress can cause a syndrome called ‘adrenal exhaustion’ - a vata imbalance resulting from the exessive secretion of stress hormones. This makes a person hypersensitive to stress, as they don’t have the reserves to respond effectively anymore, a dilemma experienced by many sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome. Ayurveda teaches that humans are different from animals in that we can rationalise situations rather than automatically reacting at the whim of baser instincts such as fear or anger. By viewing challenges from a positive perspective rather than always feeling threatened we can alleviate most stresses. Welcoming every challenge as an opportunity to learn and deepen one’s character makes every experience enriching. This requires faith that in the long term whatever happens to us is for a meaningful and beneficial purpose, allowing us to relinquish ultimate control of others or situations. Working as if everything depended on us but feeling like everything depends on the divine forces allows a kind of active detachment that greatly relieves stress. As the saying goes “for peace of mind, resign as the general manager of the universe.” While cultivating this new perspective Ayurveda offers herbs to manage the hypertension, nervous debility and anxiety often associated with stress. These include arjuna, snake root, chamomile, vervain, valerian, ashwagandha, ginseng, hawthorn berry, brahmi, licorice and garlic. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 82 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 83. Lifestyle changes Ayurveda excels in teaching ways to diffuse and avoid stress. We can reduce stress by keeping daily goals realistic, managing money sensibly, looking after our health, limiting exposure to the news and sharing burdens with a loving partner. A relaxed body is the gateway to a serene mind. Whenever stress starts to mount take three deep breaths whilst mentally saying- ”calm”, relax the shoulders and facial muscles and keep a tranquil expression. This body language actually triggers the release of relaxing and pleasurable neurotransmitters throughout the body, reducing stress accumulation. To make this level of relaxation readily accessible daily self massage meditation, yogic breathing) pranayama, Qi-gong, yoga, chanting or prayers are invaluable. Pleasurable music is perfect for soothing the nervous system. Warm baths with epsom salts and calming essential oils such as lavender or chamomile help to release physical tension. Renting a funny or sad video or reading a book can help us to have a good laugh or cry which often releases pent up stress. Case study George was a pitta constitution, type A personality corporate executive. He was suffering from stress that resulted in high blood pressure, headaches and psoriasis. He also had a volatile temper that created havoc at work and home. Since George hadn’t taken a holiday in 6 years that was the first prescription. Instead of medication he was interested in meditation so he went to a yoga retreat in a beautiful location where he could receive lots of massage, exercise and meditation instruction. This 2 weeks sojourn was just what George needed to change his perspective on life. He decided to reduce his working hours and spend more leisure time with his family and friends. To keep his blood pressure under control George cut out drinking alcohol and stimulants such as sugar, salt, caffeine and nicotine. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 83 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 84. Worms Since worms are a common occurrence in India they have developed very potent remedies to treat these irritating infestations. The herbal remedies are all bitter blood purifiers, which are sometimes difficult to feed to children, though the powder can be placed in capsules. Another alternative to herbs is homoeopathic Cina, which is usually very effective. Herbs administered for worms include garlic, neem, vidanga, onions, grapefruit seed extract, black walnut hulls, wormwood, pomegranate bark and cloves. When worms have settled in the liver then liver herbs such as picrorrhiza, gentian and turmeric are used. To completely cleanse the body of worms a laxative such as triphala or castor oil should be taken for a minimum of three consecutive days. Lifestyle changes Sweet and sour foods create a sticky internal environment that worms love to settle in. Therefore to evict the worms reduce sweet and sour foods such as sugar, refined carbohydrates and citrus fruits and replace them with plenty of green leafy vegetables, and seeds. Sesame seeds and pumpkinseeds are specific medicine for tapeworms. Grated carrot is effective against thread-worms and papaya seeds or the sap from an unripe fruit is used to treat round worms. Pomegranate juice offers excellent protection against all worms. Avoid the common sources of infection such as livestock, meat, seafood, dirt and sand by going vegetarian, (especially when travelling) and wearing shoes and gloves when in the garden. As worms can cause malnutrition all major vitamins and minerals along with acidophilus powder should be supplemented until digestive strength is regained. Case study Gopal was a 6-year-old boy who loved to play trucks in the sand pit, unfortunately so did the hookworms! He was given 3 neem leaves a day and vegie capsules with vidanga and cloves in them. After 2 weeks on this treatment he was given a small dose of triphala to flush the worms out. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 05 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 84 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • 85. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 85 05
  • 86. Application of ‘dosha’ -1 Channels V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Cooking V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Emotions V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Energies V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Food V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Wastes V……………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… 05 86 Vikriti (mental) V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K………………………………………………………………………………
  • 87. Application of ‘dosha’ -2 Organs V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Prakriti V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Qualities V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K…………………………………………………………………………… Region of body V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K…………………………………………………………………………… Tissues V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… Seasons/time V……………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 P……………………………………………………………………………… K……………………………………………………………………………… 05 87 Vikriti (physical) V……………………………………………………………………………… P……………………………………………………………………………… K………………………………………………………………………………
  • 88. Qualities as biological functions Cold ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Hot ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Moist, oily ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Dry ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Light ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… 05 Heavy ……………………………………………………………………………… 88 ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Choose 10 organs and apply all six qualities.
  • 89. Qualities as physical imbalance Cold ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Hot ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Moist, oily ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Dry ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Light ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Heavy ……………………………………………………………………………… 05 ……………………………………………………………………………… 89 ……………………………………………………………………………… Choose 10 organs and apply all six qualities.
  • 90. Qualities as Therapies (to increase) Cold ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Hot ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Moist, oily ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Dry ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Light ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… 05 Heavy ……………………………………………………………………………… 90 ……………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………
  • 91. Qualities as Therapies (to decrease) Cold ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Hot ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Moist, oily ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Dry ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Light ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………… Heavy ……………………………………………………………………………… 05 ……………………………………………………………………………… 91 ………………………………………………………………………………
  • 92. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Without Ama Disease With Ama Anulomanam Brihmanam Aligning Toning 05 92
  • 93. Optimise fire & elimination Deepana, paachana, anulomana Clear gut other possible large channels Koshta-shodhana Moisten and soften tissues & toxins Mrdoo-karana Oleation Dissolve toxins Sweating Ama-paachana Sweating Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Mobilise natural flow Massaging Anulomana Clear channels Sroto-shodhana 05 Stomach Vomiting 93 Small bowel Laxatinve Cleansing toxins Large bowel Enema Shodhana Trapped in blood Bloodletting Trapped in S.C.R Errhines Replenish fire & tissues Samsar jana
  • 94. Classification of Ayurvedic therapies Classification based on accumulation of ama (digestive and metabolic toxins) Santarpana Brhmnana (toning/building) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Apatarpana Langhana (lightening/reduction) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… a) Shodhana (Cleansing) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… b) Shamana (Neutralizing) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Shamana is utilized if the person or the disease is weak. Here there is no need of cleansing, as toxins are very less. Ama is neutralized or de-activated. Gradually, body might remove ama over a period of time. Shodhana is performed when the disease is deep rooted, toxins are strong and the client has sufficient strength to go through the process. 05 94 Langhana is indicated in conditions of over-nutrition - when body retains more nutrients than it can process. Brihmana is performed in the opposite situation, where body is depleted. Brihmana is replenishing and rebuilding.
  • 95. Classification of Ayurvedic therapies Other therapies Snehana (moistening/oleation therapies) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Rukshana (drying therapies) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Svedana (sweating therapies) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Stambhana (astringent/arresting therapies) ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Rookshana is essential in excessive accumulation of oily or fatty tissues in the body or while channels are clogged due to oily, heavy and cold nutrients/toxins. Here oiliness or fluidity, or both are reduced. Snehana is utilized in opposite conditions where tissues are too dry to function. Here oiliness or fluidity, or both are optimized. 05 Svedana is an approach with which the toxins are dissolved, diluted, broken down and squeezed 95 out of the tissues for elimination. Sthambhana is the process of improving the power of retention during excessive flow such as diarrhea, bleeding, polyurea etc.
  • 96. Major Therapies Purva-Karma Purva ………………………………………………………………………………… Goal of purva-karma 1) Ama-vilayana ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… 2) Dhatu-mardava ……………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Snehanam physical ………………………………………………………………………………… psychological ………………………………………………………………………………… Svedanam physical ………………………………………………………………………………… psychological ………………………………………………………………………………… Pancha-Karma Pancha ………………………………………………………………………………… Karma ………………………………………………………………………………… Vamanam ………………………………………………………………………………… Virekam ………………………………………………………………………………… Kashaya-vasti ………………………………………………………………………………… Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Sneha-vasti ………………………………………………………………………………… Nasyam ………………………………………………………………………………… 05 96
  • 97. Paschaat-Karma Paschat ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Dosha-shesha-kriya …………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Peyadi-krama ………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………… Aharam ………………………………………………………………………………… Viharam ………………………………………………………………………………… Altogether we get six therapies Vamana Virechana Snehavasti Niruhavasti Nasya Raktamoksha Kapha toxins Pitta toxins Low ojas Vata toxins Sinus toxins Toxins in blood Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 97
  • 98. Therapy 1 Vomiting – Vamana For Cold, oily, moist, heavy, mucusy ama Origin of ama First third of GIT Location of ama First third of GIT > Kapha predominant or weak tissues Symptoms Mucus, heavy, swelling, sluggishness, sluggish conditions etc. Therapy 2 Laxation – Virechana For Hot, moist, intense, acidic ama Origin of ama Middle third of GIT Location of ama Middle third of GIT > Pitta predominant or weak tissues Symptoms Redness, burning, over heated, intense inflammation etc. Therapy 3 Tonic enema – Sneha Vasti For Softening and dissolving cold, dry and stiff - 1) ama and 2) tissues. Origin Last third of GIT Location Last third of GIT > Vata predominant or weak tissues Symptoms Movement impared, irregular, solidified, dry ama etc Therapy 4 Cleansing enema – Kashaya Vasti For Cleansing cold, dry, stiff ama Origin Last third of GIT Location Last third of GIT > Vata predominant or weak tissues Symptoms Movement impared, irregular, solidified, dry ama etc Therapy 5 Errhine – Nasya For Ama of any kind in the supraclavicular region Origin Anywhere in the body Location Located around the head region Symptoms Around the head region, unresponsive to other therapies Therapy 6 Bloodletting – Raktamoksham For Ama of any kind Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Origin Anywhere in the body Location Ama trapped in the extrimity or locked region Symptoms Around the extrimities, unresponsive to other therapies 1. Extracting blood using pressure & a tube Sringam 2. Extracting blood with vacuum & heat Alaabu 3. Using anticoagulants - leaches Jaluuka 05 4. Removing ama in trapped veins - venesection Siraa-vedham 98 Supportive therapies for Panchakarma Dhaara Recommended in anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia etc. Special Vastis Kati Vasti (Spinal problems), Janu Vasti (Arthritis), Uttara Vasti (Genitouri- nary, infertility), Shirovasti (cerebrospinal conditions). Special Svedas Nadi Sweda (Pain disorders of different sites), Pinda Sweda (Neurological ailments), Shashtika Pinda (Neurological ailments) Tarpanam Ailments of eyes. Notes: Tonic enema involves the introduction into the rectum of mixture of oil / milk and certain herbal preparations in a liquid medium. Cleansing enema involves the use of herbal decoction with honey, salt, oil, and herbal paste tailored to the client. This has more reducing / cleansing herbs than the tonic enema has. The two therapies are done intermittently. • The nose is the doorway to the brain and it is also the doorway to consciousness. The nasal administration of medication is called Nasya. An excess of bodily humors accumulated in the sinus, throat, nose or head areas is eliminated by means of the nearest possible opening, the nose.
  • 99. Preparation for Deep Purification Lifestyle Lifestyle is regulated to support the client’s normal biological activities. Energy wastage is mini- mized so that natural healing is accelerated. Regimen is tailored based on the person, disease, mind-body peculiarities and the projected outcome of the therapies. Rest, exercise and relation- ship are given prime importance. Diet Diet is designed so that the alimentary tract receives a full rest. Digestion demands around 65% of our body’s energy. When a light and easy diet is implemented this demand reduces. Food is con- sumed based on the responses of the digestive system –hunger and bowel/bladder movements. Routines Body is always kept warm. Environment, food and drinks should all be warm and supportive. Cold, dry qualities can block the channels. No long or strenuous activities are permitted. Good posture is maintained during this period. In the process of directing all available energy towards healing, sexual activities are not allowed few days before, during and few days after major therapies. Good communication with the physician and therapists is very essential. Techniques Dhyana Meditation Asana Healing postures and stretches Vyayama Exercises Pranayama Breathing practices Aushadha Healing herbs Abhyanga Oil applicaion Shaashtika pinda Herbal cream massage Dhara Herbal stream Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Upanaha Poultices Two main Pre-operative Therapies Prior to cleanse, the mind and body has to be prepared thoroughly. Snehana and Svedana are the chosen group of therapies. Therapies Mind Effect on body Techniques 05 Snehana Love, care Lubricates channels, dilutes Counseling, massage, bath etc toxins. with herbal milk, oil, fats. 99 Svedana Motivation Breaks down toxins, force Counseling, heat & moisture them into larger channels (steam, sauna, sun)
  • 100. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 100 05
  • 101. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 101 05
  • 102. AYUR veda, Indian natural healing, honors the body as a sacred temple- a vehicle for the divine spirit within. There’s a beautiful metaphor to illustrate this. Our body with its nine orifices is likened to the nine- holed flute played upon by Lord Krishna. When the flow of breath through the flute is uneven the sound is distorted. Similarly when we are disconnected from our en- ergetic source the flow of spirit through our bodies is impeded, manifesting as the disharmony of disease. Ayurvedic therapists are medico-musicians able to attune their awareness to the body’s vibration, decipher our beings expressive song and conduct a state shift whereby malady is transformed into melody. Our sweet symphony of health is thus restored as the spirit flows freely through a balanced instrument of mind and body. Beautiful music resounds inside all of us as Yehudi Menuhin expressed, “deep within us is the never silent sound of our own vibrations, which we may ignore but is the musical core within us all”. Modern liv- Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 102 ing fosters deafness to the sound of our inner voices. Constant external stimuli, overemphasis on mental abilities and reduced physical activity leaves us in a frag- mented state. Our mind is overactive and stressed to breaking point whilst the neglected body
  • 103. remains sedentary and stagnant. The relaxed and receptive state induced during body therapies reconnects us with ourselves so we can pause to hear our guiding cellular yearnings. From this heightened awareness we recognise and rectify de- structive patterns, progressing towards greater self-love and wisdom. Transference dynamics Why is bodywork so popular? Put simply, touch touches us at the deepest level. It is the voice of feeling, expressing a language beyond words. A pat on the back can be more meaningful than a thousand reassuring words. Sometimes we need to bypass the intellect and mind, as with bodywork, to provoke deep change. Travel- ling through the sea of life our bodies gather barnacles of conditioning throughout diverse experiences. These ‘barnacles’ are unconscious areas of tension that house our history of emo- tional baggage such as defences and vulnerabilities. Weighted down with emotional Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 05 103 toxicity, our body armours itself against attacks from past ‘ghosts’. A sensitive body therapist is able to read an individual’s body map of aches, pains, lumps and bumps, fully aware that every touch evokes certain emotions and gently facilitating the letting go of unresolved wounds. During massage there is a subtle transference of electromagnetic energy takes place between the practitioner and the client so it is
  • 104. important to trust and feel “good vibes” with one’s chosen therapist. One must feel receptive and safe in order to allow the energy of the therapist to facilitate the healing process. In turn a wave of unconditional love and compassion flows through the practitioner as they respect the faith you have placed in them, an honour not taken lightly. Perhaps that’s why the Ayurvedic word for oil is sneha, a term also synonymous with love, kindness and tenderness- all the feelings that should course through one during a body therapy session. Ayurvedic Massage If love is the panacea then an ayurvedic oil massage is a great way to get an unconditional ‘love booster’. Over 5,000 years of empirical research has refined Ayurvedic massage into a sublime art. Combining skilled knowledge of the struc- tural and subtle body, oils, music, gems and bodywork techniques, the result is a profound technique for balancing the body and mind. Massage is integral to many eastern cultures, including Indian. From birth up to 7 years children are massaged every day, self-massage is an impor- tant daily practice and family members often massage each other. Even the temple Gods get into the act as Sri Laksmi massages Lord Vishnu and Srimati Radharani soothes Sri Krishna with her loving touch. Many Indians enjoy an annual Ayurvedic retreat where they may receive body therapies for a month. Just as a machine needs to be greased, the body loves to be lubricated and have it’s largest organ, the skin, smoothed. The Vata body-type aggravated Vata conditions (cold, tense, dry and rigid) respond particularly favourably to Ayurvedic massage. According to Ayurvedic master Vagbhata massage should be done everyday to pro- mote positive health, overcome fatigue, strengthen the nervous system, improve eyesight, nourish the bodily tissues, increase longevity, normalise sleep, instil flex- ibility and sturdiness as well as to prevent and cure disease. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Studies conducted by Dr Hari Sharma of the Ohio State University College of Medi- cine showed that after three months of Ayurvedic treatment and massage patients blood showed a significant decrease in the free radical lipid peroxide and an im- proved immune response. Modern research has proven the beneficial effect massage has on all areas of the body-specifically the neuromuscular, circulatory, lymphatic, 05 skeletal and gastrointestinal systems. Various studies recognise its therapeutic ac- 104tion in skin diseases, neurasthenia, asthma, high blood pressure, arthritis, mental disorders, headaches and insomnia. It’s also been shown to improve the stress response, relax and tone muscles, stimu- late glands under the skin to produce hormones, promote lymphatic drainage as well as partially repair harmful exposure to UV and electromagnetic radiation. An additional benefit of Ayurvedic massage is the potency of the herbalised oils. These enhance the process of purification and regeneration. Shown to completely permeate the dermis in 5 minutes and all seven layers of skin in 8-10 minutes, the unique herbalised oils used can be infused with up to 75 different herbs, increasing the therapeutic effect immeasurably. The oils have been scientifically proven to
  • 105. possess anti carcinogenic and antioxidant properties (Dr. Hari Sharma). This effect is further increased through the Ayurvedic heating process according to recent re- search. This in effect reduces free radical activity in the body -a key-contributing factor to heart disease, cancer and cellular aging. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Charaka Samhita, an Ayurvedic treatise adds, “Ayurvedic oils strengthen the meta- bolic fires, purify the intestines, remove toxins from the tissues, rejuvenate the body, prevent aging and bestow the user with a lifespan of 100 years.” A qualified Ayurvedic practitioner assesses the state of your body before commenc- ing therapy; hence a preliminary consultation is advisable. After investigating the state of your tissues, 5 elements, body systems, past conditions and mental dispo- 05 sition, the ideal body therapy is tailored to your needs. Specific oils, gems, music,105 guided visualisations and affirmations are also formulated to enhance the thera- peutic impact. Ayurvedic massage is performed with an acute awareness of the marmas and chakras. Marmas are vital points similar to acupressure points. Manipulated correctly they revitalise the whole body and can also be used in self-defence, as Xena knows, to mortally wound an enemy. Though marmas are innumerable, there are 107 major ones located at the junction where flesh, veins, arteries, tendons, bones and joints meet as well as being the secondary seats of subtle energy (Prana or Qi) It is at these areas that pains and weaknesses tend to concentrate.
  • 106. Marmas are also the points where the elemental life forces of ether, air, fire, water and earth converge and therefore where the body’s or- ganising intelligence is most concen- trated. The seven great marmas are the same as the main chakras. These seven chakras are whirling vortexes of energy located over the main endocrine glands- the gonads, ovaries, pancreas, adrenals, thymus, thyroid, pituitary and pineal. Each chakra nourishes particular organs and controls various pscho-physio- logical aspects of our being. When they are blocked, physical disease ensues. Ayurvedic massage opens and cleanses these energy channels so the current can flow freely and our latent vitality is released. Most Ayurvedic body therapies begin with a preliminary massage and may then proceed to a more specialised technique. The massage strokes vary from deep to superficial and follow the flow of energy channels, nerve pathways and hair growth. There are three types of movements-active Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 (strong pressure), passive (delicate stroking) and persuasive (pinching or kneading the small muscles with the thumb and forefinger.) Before the massage the practitioner focuses their energy with a brief centering 05 meditation and may recite a prayer 106to magnify the healing potency. Like a hypnotic dance the masseuse or mas- seur synchronize their breath with the receiver in order to maintain a deep interconnection. Like a sculptor flowing with the body’s mould they create a very relaxing yet enlivening mood. The whole body (except the genital region) is tended to in order to bring about a sense of whole body integration and alignment.
  • 107. The session sometimes ends with a body scrub using bean or grain flours known as ubtans. These facilitate exfoliation, reduce cellulite, promote oil removal and stimulate circulation as well as producing a glowing complexion. A steam bath may also be given to further warm the body and enhance the oil absorption. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Supportive input to the senses is emphasised during therapies, as they are the gate- ways to our biological and mental processes. The sense of touch is already being employed but how can the sense of smell, sight and hearing be recruited into the healing process? Next we’ll take a brief look at the use of essential oils, music and visualisations in Ayurvedic body therapies. 05 Smell the roses 107 Upon waking, the ladies of India’s palaces bathed in a pool filled with the petals of 1,000 roses, their bodies and hair were then cleansed and beautified with herbal oils of jasmine, sandalwood and hena. The blend of essential oils created an air of sensual delight that would intoxicate anyone entering the palace grounds. At the site of the ancient Indus Valley excavation site an aromatherapy ceramic dis- tillation apparatus was found, proving that aromatherapy was practiced thousands of year ago in India. Attars (perfume, smoke, wind, odors and essences) are used in ayurvedic aromatherapy to coax our 10 million sense detecting cells into an effort-
  • 108. less state of harmony. In relation to body therapies they may be added to base oil, put in a diffuser, used as a poultice, lit as incense or used in a vapouriser or steam chamber. Smell is the only sense with a direct link to the limbic or emotional centre of the brain. This gives aromas the power to evoke vivid impressions, conjure up memories, boost our immune system, trigger emotions and drive the stress response. Smells are also used to literally ‘clear the air’ of negative influences or energies. How do you choose the right aroma? Everyone has a particular neuro-association linked to certain scents, to one person rose essential oil conjures up happy feelings of their childhood garden, Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 another may be repulsed by its association with a tragic funeral service. It is of ut- most importance that the smell induces a positive state in the inhaler. The essential oil should also counteract one’s elemental imbalances. For example a hot, angry, restless person with skin inflammation would experience aggravation from cinnamon essential oil in a mustard seed oil base. Yet this combination would 05 be great for a cold, plump, lethargic person suffering from bronchitis. The former 108‘hot’ person would whereas the relief from sufferer could feel worse from this. As a coconut oil base experience bronchitis jasmine or sandalwood essential oil in with most Ayurvedic therapies the valuable information is the person’s current el- emental balance-Vata, Pitta or Kapha. This can be ascertained in just minutes by doing a questionnaire from an Ayurvedic book or seeking the advise of an Ayurvedic physician. Some popular bases and blends are featured below. Lend me your ears “Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything” - Plato
  • 109. Vata to warm and ground use a base of sesame oil and a mix of patchouli, sandalwood & cardamom essential oils Pitta to cool and calm use a base of coconut oil and a blend of jasmine, vetivert, hena & rose essential oils Kapha to elevate mood & stimulate the system use a base of mustard oil & sesame oil combined with bergamot, lavender & basil Music is a very uplifting and meditative adjunct to any body therapy session. Tran- scending the intellect, music touches our deepest spiritual essence which is why the Sanskrit term for note (swara) means expression of the soul. Transporting us Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 to a realm of etheric vibrations, music activates the right brain which nurtures creativity, intuition, receptivity, softness, stillness, silence, dreams, relaxation, imagination and regeneration. All states conducive to healing on the mental and physical platforms. Sound is simply a vibration illiciting change in the forms it flows through, our atoms liter- ally ‘dancing’ to the beat of the music. Known to shatter glass, move the objects 05 stimulate rain and move us to tears or laughter- the power of sound vibration is phenomenal. Ayurvedic music therapy understands how to use the energetics of 109 sound therapeutically. An expert Ayurvedist can prescribe a suitable melody to reduce pain, induce sleep, coax one out of depression and subdue anger amongst many things. For thousands of years Ayurvedic music therapists have utilised the Ragas (72 major melodies) in order to dispel imbalances. These melodies were developed through the recognition of cosmic vibrations emitting from natural forces. Reflecting a particular mood and physical reality the listener’s biorhythms start to resonate with the musical vibra- tion, creating a harmony that removes obstacles to health. Some Ragas commonly
  • 110. used include Raga Bhairavi for arthritis, Raga Hindol for backache, Raga Pooriya for hypertension, Raga Bhageswari for insomnia and Raga Jaijaivanti for general pain. Modern music therapy supports ancient assertions with research findings that music slows the neuronal dropout rate in Alzheimers, improves mental faculties of autistic children and reduces pain and mental stress. It also helps to establish new mental pathways, which suggests scope for rerouting negative mental processes and establishing a positive ‘groove’ in their place. Music also induces an alpha brain wave state, which is very conducive for visualisation and affirmation. Although the music used during Ayurvedic body therapy is gener- ally classical Indian Ragas if a patient prefers Gregorian chants, Baroque music, Gospel spirituals, Jazz, Western Classical, ambient music or anything that pushes their bliss button then it can be used just as effectively. As with aromas the impor- tant distinction is how the unique patient responds to the vibration. The use of mantras is sometimes involved during a session but these are usually chanted silenly in the therapist’s mind. Mantras are concentrated, specific sound vibrations, which cleanse subtle impurities from the nerves, mind and energy chan- nels. George Harrison described them as “ a mystical energy encased in a sound structure, each mantra containing within its vibrations a unique power”. They may be used to invoke particular healing energies or to clear specific blockages from the chakras. A simple example is the mantra “Om Dhanwantaraye namah” which invokes the Ayurvedic God of healing’s blessings for a successful treatment. A more specific mantra can be chanted to bring a therapy to an auspicious completion such as- “Sarve bhavantu sukhinah, sarve shantu niraamayaah, sarve bhadraani pashyantu, maa kaschit dukha bhaahg bhavet- May all be happy, may all be healthy, may all experience positivity and let on one suffer”. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Dreams are the seedlings of reality A very powerful partner to bodywork, visualisations trigger the right brain’s capac- ity for renewal and change. Since the mind is exceptionally impressionable and receptive during body therapy, due to the alpha brain wave state induced, it is the perfect time to clear out weed-negative beliefs and plant-positive seed beliefs with conscious intentions. Visualisations are a way of taking advantage of the old ad- 05 age that anything we conceive and sincerely believe we can achieve. Far from just 110 a fleeting new-age concept, the uses of affirmations and visualisations have been used in Ayurveda and Yoga for thousands of years under the guise of samkalpas. The vast range of imagery you can use with bodywork is only limited by one’s imagi- nation. People who find it hard to switch off stressful thoughts sabotage the relax- ing effects of a massage. To initially relax a patient you can ask them to visualise their whole body softening, tensions melting away like wax in the sun. They can then focus on the breath, releasing any sensations with each exhalation. Guiding them to a beautiful place such as a tropical beach, a still lake, a bubbling brook amidst a fragrant flower-filled meadow or a scene that holds happy impressions from the past can evoke a responsive mind set.
  • 111. Saying, “ You’re in a timeless moment, there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do and no-one to be. Enjoy the magic of the present,” coaxes the pa- tient to unwind, releasing past and future con- cerns. In order to prevent them from drifting too far from body-consciousness ask them to be aware of any sensations in the body, travelling to the core of that feeling and experiencing the underlying emmotion embedded there, easing it with each exhalation. If the therapist wants to stimulate blocked energy, the spine is often a good place to start. Guiding the client to visualise the colours of the chakras while holding the respective area and repeating the associated affirmation strength- ens their psych-physiological integrity and function. This commences from the base chakra through to the crown chakra. (See the chakra chart in the next page). A simpler method is to use your fingernails to gently comb long strokes up the spine from the lower back to the shoul- ders and arms. “Imagine a fountain of white energy is flowing up your spine, removing any blockages to your optimal health and showering every smiling cell with renewed vitality”. Stretches during a session are a effective time for visualisations as patients are being extend- ed beyond their self-imposed limitations and Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 boundaries. Two stretches can be easily incor- porated into a bodywork session. With the pa- tient on their back, stand at their feet and grasp the backs of their ankles, gently pulling the legs horizontally away from the body, like a stretch- ing rack. The feet can be seen as the roots of a strong tree, tapping into the earth’s core and 05 absorbing golden, nourishing sap into the body which rejuvenates and heals every organ and 111 system. Still on their backs, standing at the top of the head, stretch the arms above the heads “just like an angel ready to take flight, reach- ing for the stars towards the realm of boundless possibilities.” Holding their wrists and stretching them hori- zontally with each exhalation they can imag- ine their fingers are antennae, gathering all the
  • 112. pure, positive energy in the universe. Stream- ing into their bodies and flooding their cells with fresh life it envelopes the body in a white protective aura. Negative and destructive influ- ences are repelled by this effulgence whereas supportive and strengthening input is drawn into it, reinforcing empowering qualities. At times the elements can be balanced with the aid of visualisations. Connecting with the soil for earth, the sun for fire, the sea for water, the sky for air and movement for ether. The prac- titioner’s intuition and the expertise will assess which practice is appropriate and the most ef- fective time to apply it. Completing the session one can affirm the patients perfect essence- re- questing them to repeat in their mind- “I am experiencing real love, real health, real hap- piness. My body is perfectly relaxed, aligned and integrated.” A this point the therapy is fin- ished but the patient can lie on the table for a few minutes more as they envisage the ideal developments in their life throughout the com- ing year. Covering most life important aspects including health, relationships, service, envi- ronment, abundance, travel, leisure, creativity and spiritual evolution, they should get a sense of the compelling future that awaits them as a renewed sense of excitement and purpose is injected into their life. Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 Next we’ll investigate four of the specialty oil therapy techniques- the forehead shower, crown bath, eye cleanse and creamy rice massage. 1. Forehead shower 05 112 (Shirodhara) WHAT IS IT? One of the most relaxing thera- pies available ‘shiro’ means head and ‘dhara’ is a stream thus, shirodhara denotes continu- ous pouring of herbal liquids over the head and scalp. Imagine you’re lying on an ancient wooden treatment table, ready to surrender all your tension and sacrifice stubborn imbalances. The previous massage has reduced your body to jelly, soothing music and fragrant aromas caress your senses. All your mental demons-stress, fear,
  • 113. anxiety, mood swings, anger and irritability are about to dissolve into an ocean of calm. Lying on your back your body is coccooned in warm towels. As warm herba- lised oil flows in a continuous rhythmic stream across your forehead, your mind is lulled into a state of serenity and expanded consciousness. Oil stroking the third eye has a reflex balancing effect on the deepest recesses of the brain. Profoundly relaxing, the nervous system unwinds, the master endocrine organs the pituitary and pineal glands are balanced and pleasure neurotransmitters such as serotonin flood your grateful cells. In completion the attendant rubs a pinch of warming powder into the crown of your head to assist the process and protect you from exposure to cold. After resting for some time you are ready to face the day with a peacefully clear head and refreshed body. WHO IS IT GOOD FOR? This treatment is especially effective for Vata predominant disorders. In Vata imbalances clients typically suffering from insecurity, fear, ner- vous system strain and ungroundedness respond very well to shirodhara. Pittas with their overactive mind hot headed nature and irritability can experience a cooling, calming benefit from a session. Shirodhara has been used successfully over thou- sands of years to treat conditions such as ear/ nose and throat disturbances. Endo- crine gland imbalances such as menopausal upsets, psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, skin diseases like psoriasis, headaches and pains, cranial burning sensation, scalp ulcers, chronic colds, sinusitis, epileptic fits, hair loss and memory loss are also successfully treated by this. Medical studies have shown that it induces a calm alpha brain wave state which increases mental clarity and memory as well as improved stress and immune re- sponse. Shirodhara also helps to strengthen ojas- the essence of fertility, virility, vitality and longevity. HOW IS IT DONE? The oil and duration of treatment varies according to the individ- Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 ual. Vata patients tend to receive herbalised oil, Pitta types herbalised milk, ghee or coconut oil and Kaphas may receive buttermilk. Ancient texts prescribe 53 mins for Vatas, 43 mins for pitta types and Kaphas enjoy it for 31 minutes, during which they often fall asleep! It should be performed by 2 well-trained and disciplined attendants with clockwork precision, consistency and pace. If the flow is too speedy anxiety and nervousness 05 will occur. If the oil is too hot, anger and heat will result. Oil falling from too far away can cause headaches, fever and agitation. The best time to conduct it is be- 113 tween 7-10am for up to 21 consecutive days, depending on the client. Before treatment the client should avoid heavy meals for 2 hours preceding the therapy. They should have sufficient rest after exertion such as a long drive or ex- ercise before commencing the treatment. Throughout the period of treatment, cli- ents take light, warm and simple nutrition. Overeating, oversleeping, sleeping dur- ing the day and late nights are not advised. This gives the digestive system a rest and enables one to direct awareness and energy towards the treatment. A variation of this is Deha Dhara, the full body oil waterfall. A lovely experience, wherein two
  • 114. to four therapists pour a continuous flow of oil over the body for up to one hour. The vessel (dhara) is made of clay, wood or metal. The table (droni) is made from a therapeutic wood such as neem or nux vomica and is designed to catch the oil for recycling on the same patient. 2. Cranial Bath (Shirovasti) WHAT IS IT? Shirovasti is a truly magical experience with deep therapeutic applications. Made up to look like a sufi dervish you’ll sport a tall open hat sealed with mung dal paste and filled with warm herbalised oil. Ideally the recipient has a shaved head or short hair to facilitate the hats stability but it is still suc- cessfully performed on ‘hairy’ people. Up to two litres of oil is steadily poured onto the head as it is retained comfortably by the seated patient for approximately 30 minutes. Tipping the head forward the oil effort- lessly empties into a receiving vessel and the hat is re- moved. At this point it is advised to rest for 10 minutes and keep the head covered and warm for the following hour. WHO IS IT GOOD FOR? Extensive modern clinical trials has confirmed the effective- ness of shirovasti for a wide range of disorders as also recommended by ancient Ayurvedic texts. It can give specific relief to all ailments connected with Vata in the head such as anxiety, fear, light headedness, poor concentration, epilepsy and tinnitus in partic- ular. It is also indicated in cataracts, earache, deafness, dry mouth or nose, numb- ness of the head, mental stress, ailments of the cranial nerves, migraines, facial Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 paralysis, heart disease, cranial tumours, insomnia, numbness, urinary disorders, mental and physical exhaustion, hemicrania, burning sensation of head, exces- sive sweating, blood disorders, mucus, hay fever and shingles. Ancient ayurvedic authority Vagbhata claims it rejuvenates the whole body, relieves exhaustion, re- stores lustre to the skin, balances the elements and increases immunity. 05 HOW IS IT DONE? The ideal time for receiving shirovasti is afternoon. An Ayurvedic 114 physician will prescribe the best oils and duration according to the circumstances. An average series is 30 minutes for either 3, 5 or 7 days. During the treatment physical exertion must be kept to a minimum and daily meditation along with light nutrition supports the benefits. 3. Eye Cleanse (Netra vasti) WHAT IS IT? One of the most overused and neglected areas of our body would have to be the eyes. Just think how important they are to our everyday quality of life. We tend to take for granted the capacity to indulge in the many visual delights of life such as capturing a sunset, gazing into loved one’s eyes or escaping into movie
  • 115. magic. Considering that the eyes are one of the first areas to deteriorate with age, protecting and fortifying them against degeneration is an important priority in Ayurvedic tradition. Netra vasti is a visionary approach to achieving this. Initially the clients eyes are bathed in a herbal eyewash then they lie down in preparation for the ‘eye-opening’ experience. A relaxing oil-free head massage is given to desensitise and soften the facial muscles. The therapist proceeds to form two doughnut-like dams around the patient’s eyes. Up to 50 ml of leukwarm medicated ghee is then poured gently into each eye dam. The eyes may be kept closed and gently opened if it feels comfort- able. The patient must move their eyes around in all directions and then rest the eyes. After about 30 minutes the herbal ghee is soaked up by cotton and the eyes washed with warm water. One must avoid exposure to wind and sunlight by wearing protective sunglasses when outside on the day of treatment. About 5 hours after the procedure herbal eye drops are put into each eye and Ayurvedic eyeliner can be applied to the inner eyelid if necessary. A totally painless and soothing therapy the indications that it is successful include clarity of vision, sharp focus, lightness and a lustrous shine to the eyes. WHO IS IT GOOD FOR? Primarily netra vasti relieves tensions that are trapped in the eye socket that can result in eyestrain, poor eyesight, allergies, pain, fatigue and that sunken, sallow or dark circles look. It nourishes the optic nerves directly which strengthens the eyesight. Bringing a rich lustre to the eyes, softening wrin- kles, enhancing colour and depth perception it purifies all parts of the eyes and is particularly helpful for tired and irritated eyes. Helpful for eye disorders such as glaucoma, ulcerated cornea, inflamed lesions surrounding the eyes. Ancient text Ashtanga Hridayam sings its praises claiming it “improves eyesight, heals stiffness, pain, dryness and roughness around the eyes. Strengthens eyes, and protects and restores sight them from UV damage, increases mental clarity and memory, re- leases painful memories from the subconscious realm, heals eye injuries, reduces Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 eye pain, heals dark discolouration of skin around eyes, balances loss of lachrymal secretion or excess lachrymal secretion, and heals eye haemorrhaging, glaucoma, ulcerated cornea, eye inflammation, squints, trachomatus parus, night blindness, conjunctivitis and corneal ulcer.” Psychologically it is said to releases visual trau- mas, tapping into one’s visual memory banks in order to releasing past impres- sions. 05 HOW IS IT DONE? Generally netra vasti is performed in the morning or late afternoon in a calm, quiet, protected environment with expert care and support. Therapy is 115 undergone for 7-14 days starting from 30 mins and increasing by 5 minute for the first half of the duration, then reducing by 5 mins. 4. Creamy Rice Massage (Navara Kizhi) WHAT IS IT? The smooth, warm herbalised rice milk is massaged over the body strengthening nerves and gently realigning weary bones. Don’t worry about the fact that you’ll look like a giant chocolate mousse, this creamy treatment is a dreamy treat.
  • 116. Prior to treatment the patient is massaged with the appropriate oil. A bolus the size of a large orange filled with a strengthening rice (shashtika) and dipped in herbalised unhomogenised milk is used to firmly massage the body by two mas- seurs in rhythmic synchronicity. The most common herb to use for this is Bala (Sida rhombifolia). Different substances such as urad dal, fenugreek, dill or mustard may be substituted for rice if indicated. When the body has melted into a relaxed state from the euphoric warmth flowing through the channels, fresh medicinal leaves or cloth are used to wipe the cream from the body. This allows the rejuvenating herbs to enter the body through the open pores. Fin- ishing off with a warm shower and herbal body-scrub one patient described the experience: “I felt like I was sliding through a primal womb emerging with a new soft, glowing body.” WHO IS IT GOOD FOR? Creamy rice massage balances all the doshas but is especially effective in Vata derangements. As it raises the internal heat it is not always rec- ommended for Pitta body-types. Since the massage is done according to the neural pathways it is helpful in neuro- muscular conditions such as twitches, weak muscles, facial paralysis, paraplegia, polio myelitis, osteo arthritis, scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis, sciatica, osteoporosis, facial palsy, hemiplegia, multiple sclerosis and muscular atrophy. It is also prescribed for arthritis, emaciation, dry skin, memory loss, insomnia, mental stress, stiffness of the joints, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, obesity, water retention, anorexia and chronic fatigue. The whole process is famous in South Indian Ayurveda for removing stiffness, im- proving the circulation, supporting flexibility, reducing joint swelling, curing dis- eases of high vata, giving a glowing complexion, enhancing muscle tone, expelling Ayurveda Elements 17 Orchard Rd Chatswood NSW 2067 0061 2 9904 7754 gas, promoting digestion, increasing energy, balancing sleep, reducing high blood pressure and reducing signs of aging. HOW IS IT DONE? This is most effective when done mid- morning for 7-14 consecu- tive or alternate days. 05 116