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Ayurveda with Anushree

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You are the Healer! You – not your doctor, not your counselor, not your herbalist, not your spiritual guru, not your yoga therapist, not your Ayurvedic practitioner – but, you, are your own healer.The role of a doctor, counselor, guru, therapist etc. is that of a guide or a support system to help you get and stay on your path of healing. But ultimately, it is your body, your mind and your spirit that has to do the work of actual healing. Now, isn’t this an empowering thought?

 

Holism in Medicine

Medicine is the “art of healing”. Over the last few years, the field of medicine is gradually seeing a paradigm shift towards holism. So, the human being is not a machine with separate systems, organs and tissues. Yes, the physical body is a large part of being human, but there is more! The complex mind that is capable of a myriad thoughts and emotions and the soul or spirit that is like a core of our beings since time immemorial are also integral parts of us. The body, mind and soul are interdependent. If any one of these is under stress, we may see repercussions on the other two and vice-versa. Modern medicine has begun to recognize how diseases are psychosomatic i.e. have a mind and body component to them. We need to consider not just the physical body, but also the mind and soul, when addressing the topic of health and wellness or the lack thereof, namely disease. In a nutshell, most disease conditions have physical, mental and spiritual dimensions, and require treatment at all these levels for a more holistic cure that aims at addressing the root cause of disease.

 

Spirituality and Healing

So, how does this “healing” happen? Does it happen by just popping pills, taking shots or even a bunch of herbal concoctions? Not quite. The essence of healing is integration. An integration of faith, love, unity and an acknowledgement of the sacred nature of humanity and all life. These facets are sorely missing in modern medicine. These qualities are not religious or filled with dogma. They are not aimed at limiting your thoughts or stopping your free will. On the contrary, these facets of healing give us the space and freedom to grow and see. They create the grace and flow of the cosmic life-force necessary for healing to occur. A spiritual perspective gives meaning to our lives, without which we may miss out on the wonder, beauty and purpose of our lives. Sickness is prevalent where there is no spirituality. When we are trapped in a tiring, demanding, and stimulating outer world, without a rich, inner life, we have nothing to nourish our hearts and souls. Modern living has unfortunately made it impossible for us to have that essential time needed to care for ourselves. 

Expending energy (physical, mental, emotional) without knowing or spending the time to renew it, has left us depleted and raw inside. We have lost the connection with our true selves. How then can we be truly happy and healthy?

Disease can be viewed as a spiritual opportunity. Although a result of potential “wrong” actions, disease may indicate that the soul is directing its energy inward, away from the body. Self-examination is the first and fundamental step for understanding and resolving any disease, irrespective of its severity. Our entire life is a constant learning experience, providing us with countless opportunities for self-knowledge. Disease is no different.

 

Ayurveda and Self-Healing

According to Ayurveda, at the root of all diseases is a basic disharmony of the 3 doshas – vata, pitta and kapha. Simplistically put, Ayurvedic treatment aims at balancing doshas to neutralize the disease process. There is no focus on treating external pathogens. The aim is to remove the root cause of the disease.

Fundamental to this methodology of healing, is the individual’s own correct living methods, not just some clinical treatment given by a practitioner. This healing can happen through diet, herbs, lifestyle regimens, yoga, meditation – all aspects that the individual can implement for himself/herself. So, Ayurveda is primarily about self-healing!

Of course, as the disease process continues unchecked for a long time and becomes chronic, more complex remedies (herb formulations) become necessary. But the basic premise is that you are the healer! What we do for ourselves to improve our physical, mental and spiritual health is way more effective at restoring health in the long run, than anything any physician can do. A physician’s role is to guide us temporarily to bring us to the point of caring for ourselves well. He or she cannot be a substitute for our own right living. If we are not living in harmony with our individual mind-body constitution/prakriti, then no medicine or formulation by any system of medicine can help us to truly heal. The beauty of Ayurveda is that it empowers us with practical knowledge of how to live in balance – diet, regimen, herbs inclusive. But it can succeed only with out own time, effort, faith and perseverance.

So, your wait ends here. You are all you need to heal! Go and heal thyself!

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photo credit: Studio Lightpaint Sessions via photopin (license)

About the Column : In this column,"Ayurveda with Anushree"  I'll post recipes with Ayurvedic analyses, home remedies for common ailments and sometimes blogs for my take on several Ayurvedic principles like how to do a quick Ayurvedic home facial or how to detox safely etc.

About the Author : Until a few months ago, I was in a high-tech job as a software engineer at EMC, California. I left the job 9 months ago, to pursue my passion, and now don several different hats. I actively run a website, http://TheAyurvedicLife.com, which is my effort to share with others the learnings of Ayurveda that have positively changed my life. The website gives Ayurvedic analyses of food recipes, home remedies for general maladies and also contains a blog for Ayurvedic concepts and my thoughts in general, on topics like Detox, Facials etc. I have used the better part of the last year to become a certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor. As women of the 21st century, in mostly nuclear homes on foreign or home lands, juggling a professional and family life, with little or no help, we have some unique challenges that were likely unknown to our mothers' and grandmothers' generations. However, despite societal norms and other pressures, we need to rise above it all and see that our (and our family's) mental and physical health is a primary pillar, which when cared for will bring about amazing positivity and harmony in the rest of our lives! This is, in a nutshell my life’s purpose – to help people bring about this harmony in their lives through good diet and lifestyle routines!

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