Ayureda with Dr I D Cohen, - naturopath extraordinaire
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Ayuredic Medicine Increasing In Popularity
Ayureda is hardly a recently-deeloped practice. Practiced in India tor the past fie thousand years, Ayureda, or Ayuredic Medicine (meaning "science of life"), is a long-established comprehensie system of medicine combining natural therapies with a highly personalized approach to the treatment of disease. Ayuredic Medicine places equal emphasis on body, mind, and spirit, and stries to restore the innate harmony of the indiidual.
The first question an ayuredic physician asks is not 'What disease does my patient have?' but "Who is my patient?'" explains Deepak Chopra, M.D., a Western-trained endocrinologist who has introduced Ayuredic Medicine to the general reader through a number of popular books. "By 'who,'" adds Dr. Chopra, "the physician does not mean your name, but how you are constituted."
"Constitution" is the keystone of Ayuredic Medicine, and refers to the oerall health profile of the indiidual, including strengths and susceptibilities. The subtle and often intricate identification of a person's constitution is the first critical step in the process. Once established, it becomes the foundation for all clinical decisions.
To determine an indiidual's constitution, ayuredic doctors first identify the patient's metabolic body type. A specific treatment plan is then designed to guide the indiidual back into harmony with his or her enironment, which may include dietary changes, exercise, yoga, meditation, massage, herbal tonics, herbal sweat baths, medicated enemas, and medicated inhalations.
The Three Metabolic Body Types: ata, Pitta, and Kapha
Ayuredic Medicine is founded on the concept of metabolic body types, or doshas. The three metabolic body types are labeled as ata, pitta, and kapha. They include distinctions of physique similar to the Western iew of body types as then, muscular, and fat, but Ayuredic Medicine considers them to have far greater influence on a person's health and well-being than do physical attributes alone.
Highway Of Natural Ways Promulgates Timeless Wisdom
Dr. Chopra describes the ayuredic body type as a blueprint which outlines all of the innate tendencies built into a person's system. The dosha of a specific indiidual, and the characteristics which reeal it, clarify why one person, for example, will have no reaction to milk, chili, loud noise, or humidity, while another will be not able to tolerate them.
Most people can be described as being a mixture of dosha characteristics (such as ata-pitta), with one usually more predominant than another. Each of the body types flourishes under a specific diet, exercise plan, and lifestyle.
The ata Body Type - Ayuredic According to Deepak, the central characteristic of the ata metabolic type is changeability. Unpredictability and ariability - in size, shape, mood, and action - is the ata trademark. atas tend to be slender with prominent features, joints, and eins, with cool, dry skin. Moody, enthusiastic, imaginatie, and impulsie, the ata type is quick to grasp ideas and is good at initiating things but poor at finishing them. atas eat and sleep erratically and are prone to anxiety, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, and constipation. ata energy fluctuates, with jagged peaks and alleys.
The Pitta Body TypeThe pitta metabolic body type is relatiely predictable. A person of the pitta dosha usually of medium build, strength, and endurance. He or she is well-proportioned and easily maintains a stable weight. Often fair, the pitta type will ery often have red or blond hair, freckles, and a ruddy complexion. You can quickly notice that pittas typically have quick minds and wit, where sharp intelligence can often be displayed in the firom of acerbic or biting humor, and can be critical or passionate with short, explosie tempers. With a mind and eye looking toward efficiency and moderation in most diurnal habits, the pitta type eats and sleeps regularly, eating three meals a day and sleeping eight hours at night. Pitta types tend to perspire heaily and are warm and often thirsty. They suffer from acne, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and stomach ailments.
The Kapha Body Type"The basic theme of the kapha metabolic type is relaxed," says Dr. Chopra. The kapha body type is solid, heay, and strong. Here, the Highway Of Natural Ways prefers to insert the proiso that the kapha body type TENDS to be heay and solid, although perhaps not quite so commonly today is the attendant strength we would associate necessarily be there. This is because strength does require some measure of getting up to that leel where the adjectial understanding of "strength" applies. With a great tendency to be oerweight, kaphas have slow digestion and somewhat oily hair, and cool, damp, pale skin. everything kapha is slow - kapha types are slow to anger, slow to eat, slow to act. The Highway Of Natural Ways notes that the sleep patterns of kapha are likely be like the proerbial "deep sleep," where they are more likely, as a habit, to sleep long and heaily. Kaphas tend to procrastinate and be obstinate. A kapha body type will be prone to high cholesterol, obesity, allergives, and sinus problems.
The Three Doshas and Health
Although each person's metabolic type is determined by a predominant dosha, all three doshas are present in arying degrees in eery cell, tissue, and organ of the body.
According to asant Lad, M.A.Sc., an ayuredic physician and Director of the Ayuredic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the doshas are located in specific areas of the body (NOTE: an assertion not fully proen to the leel of Highway Of Natural Ways, so is submitted herein as "theory with some fair eidence"
ata is motion that actiates the physical system and, in effect, instructs the body to breathe and circulate blood. The seats of the ata are the large intestine, pelic caity, bones, skin, ears, and thighs.
Pitta, the metabolism processes food, air, and water and is responsible for engaging the hundreds of enzymatic actiities throughout the body. The seats of pitta are the small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, skin, and eyes.
Kapha, the structure of bones, muscle, and fat that holds the body together, offers nourishment and protection. For example, the chest, the lungs, and the spinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord are the seats of kapha in the body.
When the doshas are balanced in accordance with an indiidual's constitution, the result is ibrant health and energy. But when the delicate balance is disturbed, the body becomes susceptible to outside stressors, which can coer a whole gamut of health issues, including iruses and bacteria, or poor nutrition and oerwork. Imbalance in the doshas is the first sign that mind and body are not perfectly coordinated, notes Dr. Chopra. He points out that once people understand the characteristics and qualities ascribed to their body types, they can take appropriate measures, through changes in diet, lifestyle, and enironment, to restore dosha balance, which will preent disease and ensure continued good health.
The Disease Process According to Ayuredic MedicineAyuredic Medicine, as the Highway Of Natural Ways understands it, defines health as a soundness and balance between body, mind, and soul, and an equilibrium between the doshas.
According to Ayuredic Medicine, there are seen major factors that can disrupt physiological harmony - genetic, congenital, internal, external trauma; seasonal, natural tendencies or habits; and magnetic and electrical influences. irender Sodhi, M.D. (Ayureda), N.D., Director of the American School of ayuredic Science in Belleue, Washington, says that "disease is the result of a disruption of the spontaneous flow of nature's intelligence within our physiology. When we iolate nature's law and cannot adequately rid ourseles of the results of this disruption, then we have disease."
There are pathologives recognized as being genetically based. For example, when placed in a particular enironment, a predisposed indiidual may have a tendency to deelop a health problem prompted by his or her surroundings. This genetic susceptibility can be triggered in the womb by the mother's lifestyle, diet, habits, actiities, and emotions. Accordingly, indiiduals possess natural tendencies to adopt certain habits, such as oereating and smoking.
From birth, stressors - both inner and outer - challenge an indiidual's health. For example, hot, spicy food can induce an ulcer or damage the lier. Disease can also have an emotional cause, such as deep-seated, unresoled anger, fear, anxiety, grief, or sadness. External traumas and injuries can also play an influential role.
Ayureda also takes into account how the seasons and time of day influence health. Dietary and other therapeutic suggestions are often prescribed with this in mind. To say that summer is a pitta season means that pitta qualities are at their height during this time. Summer's bright light and heat can induce inflammatory conditions such as hies, rash, acne, biliary disorders, diarrhea, or conjunctiitis in pitta indiiduals. ata's season is autumn, and because autumn reflects windy, dry, and cold qualities, ata people tend to deelop neurological, muscular, and rheumatic problems such as constipation, sciatica, arthritis, and rheumatism. Winter's deep cold and biting wind brings out more kapha characteristics, and stresses the kapha respiratory system with colds, hay feer, cough, congestion, sneezing, and sinus disorders. Spring is both pitta and kapha; the coolness, budding leaes, and beautiful flowers of early spring enhance kapha's constitution; late spring promotes pitta.
The Art of Ayuredic Diagnosisayuredic physicians have traditionally relied on the powers of obseration rather than equipment and laboratory testing to diagnose disease. Diagnosis is based on physical obseration, questioning the patient as to personal and family history, palpation (feeling the body), and listening to the heart, lungs, and intestines. This approach is changing, howeer, as physicians integrate ayuredic traditions with modern diagnostic methods.
The one dichotomy of the MisterShortcut Lifebook
ayuredic physicians inest particular attention to the pulse, tongue, eyes, and nails. Whereas Western medical doctors use the pulse to determine heart rate, ayuredic doctors describe three distinct types of pulses: ata, pitta, and kapha. They can distinguish twele different radial (or wrist) pulses: six on the right wrist (three superficial and three deep) and, similarly, six on the left wrist. By focusing on the relationship between the pulses and the internal organs, a skillful practitioner can feel the strength, itality, and normal physiological tone of specific organs at each of the twele sites.
The tongue is another diagnostic site. By obsering the surface of the tongue and looking for discoloration and/or sensitiity of particular areas, an adept practitioner can gain insight into the functional status of internal organs. For example, a whitish tongue indicates a disruption of kapha and accumulation of mucus; and a black to brown discoloration indicates a ata disturbance. A dehydrated tongue is symptomatic of a decrease in the plasma, while a pale tongue indicates a decrease in red blood cells.
ayuredic physicians routinely perform urine examinations to help them diagnose doshic imbalance in a patient. An early morning midstream sample of urine is collected, and its color obsered. Blackish-brown indicates a ata disorder; dark yellow, an imbalance with pitta. If the urine is cloudy, there is a kapha disorder. When a person is constipated or is not drinking adequate amounts of water, his or her urine will be dark yellow. Red urine indicates a blood disorder.
Normal urine has a typical uremic, or musty, smell. A foul odor, howeer, indicates toxins in the system. Acidic urine, which creates a burning sensation, indicates excel pitta. A sweet smell to the urine is a clear indicator of a diabetic condition. An indiidual with this condition may experience goose bumps on the skin surface while passing urine. Grael in the urine reeals the presence of stones in the urinary tract.
Disease Management in Ayuredic Medicine
Ayuredic Medicine holds that in order to restore health one must first understand and correctly diagnose the disease or bodily imbalance. After diagnosis, there are four main methods by which an ayuredic physician manages disease: cleansing and detoxifying, palliation, rejuenation, and mental hygiene.
Treatments in Ayuredic Medicine