Archive for Ayurvedic Blog

Deer, Horse or Bull … Health at Every Size

Deer, Horse or Bull … Health at Every Size

Deer, Horse or Bull…Health at Every Size by Shanti Gowans

The beauty-obsessed world perpetuates the idea that happiness, health, and the ability to be loved are dependent upon how we look. Body insecurity is rampant, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to challenge the poisonous beliefs about food, weight, self-image and self-worth, show every body respect, and get real about inequalities and health.

Weight loss is not the be-all or the end-all keys to health. In the mad dash to shrink our bodies, many of us get so caught up in searching for the perfect diet, exercise program, treatments or surgical techniques that we lose sight of our original goal: improved health and well-being.

Popular methods for weight loss don’t get all of us there, and lead many people to feel like failures when they can’t match unattainable body standards. It’s time for a cease-fire in the war around body image issues, so that we can overcome our culture’s shame and distress. The epidemic is not obesity. Poverty and oppression, including racism, sexism, ageism, transgenderism, homophobia, and classism affect our life’s opportunity, our feelings of self-worth, and even influence our metabolism. The real crisis lies in the toxic stigma attached to certain body types and the impact of living with these inequalities, and not the numbers shown on the bathroom scales.

We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that comes only once we hit our target weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. So many people spend their entire lives chasing thinness by dieting, binging, purging themselves either by vomiting or taking laxatives with their weight yo-yoing out of control, spiralling into anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal tendencies before they reach some even more serious illnesses.

The body is not the problem. It’s how we’ve been taught to see our bodies that’s the problem. We need a new way of seeing the truth about ourselves, to shift our perception around food, our bodies and life in general, to live in a world where every body is celebrated.

It is time for all of us to stop believing the lies we’ve been fed, and start demystifying the common, damaging myths and misinformation about what it means to be beautiful that we are bombarded with every day, and that many of us believe without questioning. It isn’t about believing that your body looks good, it is knowing that your body is good, regardless of how it looks. We are all good enough as we are. Take your power back. Hating the way you look, or being at war with your body cannot be your solution. Perhaps the best way to win the war against your body, is to give up the fight.

Ayurvedic health isn’t about promoting weight gain. It’s simply about understanding your body type, accepting all body types, loving yourself by taking care of your physical and mental health, and enjoying life. If you are new to this science, be warned, it is mind altering and challenges even the most self aware person to look deeper into the social conditioning that we are ALL a part of. To build a world that works for everyone, we must first make the radical decision to love every facet of ourselves. Human beings are a varied and divergent group of people, with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive on our inability to make peace with our differences and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.

In this connection,

I invite you to question your current belief system around the diet culture and unrealistic perceptions about beauty.

  • How do you feel about your body?
  • Have you ever stayed home from a social activity, or not taken other opportunities because of concern about how you have looked?
  • Have you ever judged someone because of how they looked or dressed?
  • Have you ever had difficulty concentrating on a task because you were self-conscious about your appearance?

Dieting doesn’t work. Not long term. In fact, our bodies are hardwired against it. But each time our diets fail, instead of considering that maybe our ridiculously low-carb diet is the problem, we wonder what’s wrong with us. It’s time we called a spade a spade: constantly trying to eat the smallest amount possible is a miserable way to live, and it isn’t even working. So ditch it.

Ayurveda offers a simple path, away from the inherent flaws of dieting and the diet culture, and shares powerful and practical advice about how to heal our physical, emotional, and mental relationship with food. Move away from the empty promises around image sold by the media, advertisers, the fitness, beauty and weight-loss industries, towards one of self-reflection and self-compassion, which offer an alternative vision for redefining beauty.

Losing weight is not your life’s purpose. It is empowering to see the world through the lens of more than just a body. Escape the cult around thinness, the diet trap, the arguments from presumed authorities, disinformation campaigns, half-baked lies, information that is left out, and misdirections, and understand it for what it is; bad health advice masquerading in pseudo-scientific jargon, that has been formulated by a food advertising industry that is intentionally trying to confuse consumers. Every one of us deserves to have a happy, healthy relationship with food and with our bodies. We need to see and accept that the distortions we have around our self-image and our weight-stigma as being the prejudice and hatred that it really is, and promulgate the lies from the diet culture and give ourselves permission to eat all foods.

What is the secret anti-diet? Eat. Whatever you want. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. And don’t forget to rest, breathe, and be kind to yourself.

Ayurveda endorses health and self-esteem for people of every size. The body is not an apology. Tune into your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you feel good. You can feel great in your body right now

Food is a major determining factor for your health, and is one of the main tools you have at your disposal. Sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent tastes tantalise the taste buds. The qualities and potencies within food help metabolise it, converting it into what ultimately transforms into you. We can’t ignore the post digestive effects and special qualities that food imparts on the body either. To live on rice, beans, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit and so on, doesn’t cost any more than living on pre-packaged garbage. In fact, it costs less. Nobody is saying that eating like this is good, or that this food will cure diseases, but it sure has a good track record of reversing many diet related diseases. Furthermore, if you are concerned about your health and want a healthier body, it is a good way to start to know what your body runs well on, and why.

Most importantly, with this renewed understanding about health and wellbeing for your unique constitution, Ayurveda lays out an action plan that arms you with the skills you need to reconnect with your whole self, and to free yourself from the constraints of self-objectification. It also gives you the permission to embrace all that you are, right now; and that is perfect.

Your body is an instrument, not an ornament.
Ayurveda invites you to reconnect with the radical origins of your mind and body and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own universal majesty and shake off the indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others too and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we start acting from this truth on a global scale, we will usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world – for us all.

As our invaluable guide and teacher, the body is an indispensable resource for us, at any age, to help us connect with ourselves better, value ourselves, love ourselves, and ultimately, be ourselves.

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Ayurveda – Wellness Naturally by Shanti Gowans

A revolution is shaking up the healthcare industry, and if you are concerned about your own health and the health of your family, it’s time you jump on board too. Ayurveda, the science of life, is the revolution now shaking up the world of powerlessness and dependence on drugs and medication and their severe side effects. Not only does Ayurveda give you natural and powerful solutions to problems, Ayurveda also prescribes the most effective ways to proactively prevent ill-health and build immunity.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda, literally the ‘science or knowledge of life’, is a 5000 year old Indian medical practice that encompasses a range of treatments, including Herbal Medicine, appropriate diet and lifestyle changes, meditation, massage and Yoga, tailored towards one’s specific unique constitution, or body type, to maintain or restore health.

This system of natural healing that originated in India, has a rich history of oral and written traditions which have been passed down for thousands of years. It is the oldest documented system of medicine in the world.

The word Ayurveda is derived from the words Ayus meaning life and longevity and Veda meaning science or knowledge. Originating in India, founded by ancient ‘seers’ or rishis, it then spread to Egypt, Greece, Rome, Tibet, China, Russia, Japan, and is the cornerstone of many other traditional systems of medicine. But more than just a system of medicine, it is a way to promote longevity and the harmonious integration of body, mind, senses and spirit. Ayurveda is the most senior, continuously practised, complete healing and health care system on the planet.

Ayurveda is wellness naturally.

Ayurvedic principles are based upon the unchanging laws of Nature. As we are part of nature, so the treatments that correct our weaknesses will be found in nature. We are all part of a greater whole. Everything in nature is reflected in each organism and is reflected in ourselves. For instance, according to Ayurveda every person contains a combination of the universe’s five building blocks, the basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth, which in each individual functions as three biological and metabolic types, or doshas. Ayurveda uses the terms Vata (air/space), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth/water) to describe unique psycho-biological make-up which are the components of your body type. Illness arises by an imbalance in one or more of the doshas, which disturbs the tissues and wastes in the body, resulting in toxicity in the body and mind.

Ayurveda itself is a complete, holistic science, encompassing preventative health, health maintenance, health improvement and the treatment of disease. It not only addresses specific health concerns, but also offers explanations as to why one person responds differently to another, both physically and psychologically, in similar circumstances. It can be applied to every activity in life, and for some, becomes a complete way of life. Research has shown that individuals who practice Ayurvedic health are at decreased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and all factors for heart disease, and stress. Herbal remedies within the treatment are considered to help allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue, menstrual cramps, Parkinson’s disease and digestive disorders, including constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Ayurvedic principles are natural. Amongst its basic principles, Ayurveda proposes:

  • The microcosm and macrocosm reflect each other
  • Every cause has an effect…and every effect has a cause
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
  • Like increases like
  • A quality is decreased by its opposite quality.
  • There is no pain in the body without vata, no inflammation in the body without pitta and no oedema in the body without kapha.
  • Balance and health for each individual is unique – one size/treatment/medicine/regime etc. does not fit all.

By applying these and other Ayuredic principles to everyday life, Ayurveda helps you create harmony in the body, mind and spirit, thereby prolonging life and eliminating the causes of disease and dysfunction.

Ayurvedic medicines and treatments

Ayurveda is the medicine of nature and the medicine of life. The treatments of Ayurveda are found in the natural world, and most are simply diet and lifestyle. Plant-based herbs help the body get balanced and then the body heals itself. Eating foods that are most beneficial for your body type will keep you healthy. Regular regime is important.

This magnificent system of holistic medicine and living reveals knowledge about life and health after careful observation of hundreds of thousands of individuals, animals, plants, trees and nature in general, over thousands of years. Ayurvedic sages recorded in encyclopaedic writings the strategies that worked and those that didn’t for every aspect of health and way of living. Being over 5,000 years old and having stood the test of time, this science proven true from the time that the early India sages shared their wisdom and knowledge of this science to today.

Ayurveda recommends specific lifestyle routines, foods and diet, medicines and procedures based upon your unique psycho-biological make-up (your body-type, prakruti, which was determined at birth). Ayurvedic diets and treatments are body type specific.

Does Ayurveda complement conventional medicine?

Ayurveda is a safe system of medicine, with an extensive history of traditional use and depending upon the ailment, can be used as a complete alternative to conventional medicine or alongside it as a complementary or integrated medicine for good health and well-being.

The World Health Organisation recognises Ayurveda as a holistic system of healthcare. Ayurveda can be used whilst undergoing conventional medicine treatments. Ayurveda can help restore balance to your body, and may reduce the need for many conventional medicines. Your Ayurvedic practitioner and doctor can work together to maximise your treatment result. Its speciality and strength lie in its individualised approach to your unique requirements.

While orthodox medicine helps to manage the symptoms through prescribed medications, often the cause of the condition is left untreated, and the patient remains dependent upon the medication. On the contrary, Ayurvedic remedies, while managing the presenting symptom, will also aim at treating the root cause of the illness.

What can Ayurveda treat?

Ayurveda is often referred to as Ashtanga Ayurveda, because it has 8 branches.

The eight brances are:

  1. Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, kayachikitsa.
    The word ‘kaya’ represents the digestive fire in the body, agni, which is responsible for the metabolism in the body. Imbalance to ‘agni’ is the cause for many diseases. Kaya chikitsa deals with the treatment of general ailments, such as fever, diarrhea and cough, by treating your agni.
  2. Gynaecology, Pediatrics and Treatment of Children, kaumara bhritya or baala chikitsa.
    There are three aspects that must be remembered while treating children:Children cannot explain their complaintsThe dosage of medicine is different for childrenThe medicines given to children must be palatable to them.Because of these conditions, treating children is addressed in a different manner. Hence a separate study is devoted for them.
  3. Psychology and psychosomatic diseases, graha chikitsa or bhuta vidya.
    This branch of Ayurveda provides treatment for diseases of psychosomatic disorders, including insanity, and also epilepsy and diseases caused by affliction of external factors.
  4. Treatment of disease of the organs above the clavicle, urdhvanga chikitsa, or shalakya tantra.
    This branch of Ayurveda addresses the head, opthalmology, oro-dental, E,N.T., and thus includes the treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, teeth and head.
  5. Surgery, shalya chikitsa.
    This branch of Ayurveda deals with treatment of diseases caused by foreign bodies and diseases that need surgical therapies. It is carried out only for diseases, which cannot be cured by medicines.
  6. Toxicology, damstra chikitsa or visha chikitsa or agada tantra.
    This form of treatment specialises with the treatment of poisoning from animals, such as snakes, insects, spiders, scorpions and also of plants, metals and minerals.
  7. Geriatrics, rejuvenation and anti-aging, jara chikitsa or rasayana chikitsa.
    Treatment for rejuvenation and restoring the youthfulness of an individual, and prescribes various therapies and herbs that have to be taken to restore your youth and vitality.
  8. Aphrodisiac therapy, vrsha chikitsa or vajikarana chikitsa.
    This branch of Ayurveda deals with treatment of reproduction that helps to get good progeny and provides various medicines and therapies to improve the virility and the sexual prowess of a person to help towards this end.

Thus we can see that Ayurveda is effective in treating a wide range of health conditions relating to physical, mental and emotional states. It can be effectively employed in treatment of both acute and chronic diseases. Ayurveda treats the individual by addressing the imbalance in the vitality of a sick person. Thus Ayurveda can help people suffering with any named or unnamed (undiagnosed) illness. Most common, acute and chronic disorders respond well to Ayurveda.

Would you like to deepend your knowledge and study Ayurveda?

Our sister organisation, Health Institute Australasia, runs comprehensive education in Ayurveda. Courses are available at our Gold Coast, Queensland campus. Please visit the Health Institute Australasia website to find out more about Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Wellness Counsellor studies or the Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner studies. Regular short courses are also available – please visit healthinstitute.edu.au or shantiyoga.com.au

I am Shanti Gowans, and I welcome you to contact me at my website here if you would like to learn more and travel down this healing journey with us. I believe in wellness naturally. The natural health practices, methods and education of uniting the worlds of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda both in our urban, city lives, and during our Wellness retreats provide the best options to live a healthy life. These paths share the common understanding that all disease is rooted in the mind’s disharmony with one’s heart. This is a special time for the emergence of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda throughout the health and wellness industry. Leveraging the authentic heritage of these disciplines, from my birthplace, India, with the modern voice of Australian leadership, Health Institute Australia hopes to contribute substantially towards preventative, curative and promotive health care through our education and inspirational programs, and our ministry of healing. Through our work at the Institute and through the efforts of our alumni, we can all contribute to the larger sustainability of our planet’s resource, its people. My goal is to share information and knowledge to help us live our best lives and achieve the highest levels of health, wholesomeness and success possible. Please forward this website and our material to any family, friends and business associates who you think will benefit from it.

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Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat. July 2023

Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat. July 2023

Live Better Longer.

Friday, 30 June 2023 – Sunday, 9 July 2023

One of the main processes of healing the system in Ayurveda is cleansing. The increase of water and air pollutants, food contamination, pesticides and chemicals in our environment all play their part in depleting and damaging our systems. Our liver, kidneys, colon, skin, and lungs help expel unwanted substances from the body. However, when the amount of toxic substances in our body has overwhelmed its capacity, it’s time for the body to detox.

Our eating habits, lifestyle and environmental conditions can cause toxins to accumulate in the body and result in an imbalance of the tridoshas (the body’s functional aspects). Nirvana’s body purification therapy supports the body’s natural mechanism of excreting these toxins and purifying the whole body so that it regains its natural balance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The 10-day detox package is based on panchakarma (purification processes in the narrow sense) and includes herbal medicines, dietary tissue cleansing that results in purgation, various oil applications (snehanakarma) and sweat treatment (swedanakarma).

Being immersed in nature is a wonderful place to focus on healing, wellbeing, peace of mind, and personal growth.

Urban living and contemporary lifestyles are associated with reduced contact with nature. Although not causal, this coincides with increasing rates of mental illness in the world. In addition, mid-pandemic, being cooped up at home, increases the problem.

Forest exposure can be used as part of a holistic and rounded approach to wellbeing. It is one of many ecosystem services that the environment provides for us.

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Fungal Skin Infections

Ringworm, Tinea Versicolor, Dermatophytosis, Dermatomycosis Furfuracea
Fungal skin infection is a burst out of the exterior condition of the skin, leading to circular or various shaped skin patches/lesions along with itching. Blisters may also be present. Tinea infections are very common, they spread easily, and may affect any age group. Proper hygiene, regular health care, and avoidance of allergic chemicals are the easiest ways to prevent the possibility of this illness.

 

Sites of the affliction

Fungal skin infections can appear on various areas on the body, and are named based upon the site of the affliction
Scalp: Tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm
Body: Tinea corporis
Whole-body surface: Tinea universalis
Neck: Tinea versicolor
Face: Tinea faciei
Groin and buttock: Tinea cruris, also known as jock itch
Hand: Tinea manuum
Feet: Tinea pedis, athlete’s toes, athlete’s foot
Nails: Tinea unguium

Predisposing and promoting factors for fungal skin infection:

  • Poor nutrition – leading to less immunity, and increased proneness to infection
  • Excessive sweating, in hot and humid conditions – leading to moist skin
  • Debilitating and chronic diseases – compromised immunity
  • Poor hygiene, poor living conditions
  • Diabetes – diabetic patients are usually more prone to skin diseases
  • Administration of portico-steroids and immune-suppressing agents leads to compromised immunity, which increases the chance for the fungus to invade.
  • Impure blood

Causative Factors, according to Ayurveda

Causative factors arise from an unwholesome diet and habits, such as

  • Food, habits and lifestyle that increase Kapha and Pitta – itching, and burning sensations are the predominant symptoms, contributed by Kapha and Pitta respectively
  • Oily food, junk food, soft drinks, etc., upset the stomach and intestines, and worsen your immunity.
  • Incompatible foods – poor combinations, and wrong food combination
  • Excess intake of seafood
  • Heavy food intake
  • Excessive food intake
  • Slimy and spicy food
  • Intake of sour curd and milk, together, in excess for a long period of time
  • Excess intake of black gram
  • Drinking cold water reduces the strength of your digestive and metabolic power
  • Contact with dust and contaminants
  • Night awakening
  • Improper bowel habits etc.

Prevention of Spread

  • After bathing, make sure to dry your skin completely
  • Do not share clothing, sporting equipment, towels with others
  • Wash thoroughly after suspected skin contact
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes.
  • Change your socks and underwear repeatedly, if needed. Replacing them at an interval of 6 months to 1 year.
  • Groin: Wear loose-fitting undergarments. Apply talcum powder to keep the skin dry
  • Athletes foot: Put your socks on before your underwear so that the infection does not spread
  • Scalp: do not use old and infected combs, brushes or other hair care products which may be contaminated
  • Avoid using oily skin products
  • Reduce your exposure to the afternoon sun. Increased sweating causes a worsening of the infection
  • Wear natural fibres, such as cotton clothing, which absorbs sweat and moisture completely.

Wholesome diet and habits

  • Drink warm water
  • Eat light and easily digestible food
  • Favour foods with astringent, bitter, and light tastes
  • Wash and bathe regularly
  • Improve your body’s strength and immunity with appropriate exercise
  • Drink homemade buttermilk
  • Use turmeric, curry leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom in your food preparations.

Line of Treatment, dadru chikitsa

  • As the disease is due to the predominant vitiation of Kapha and pitta, measures must be taken to pacify these dosas first.
  • External medications, washing, and cleansing to prevent superinfections.
  • Various home remedies, herbs, and Ayurvedic medicines can be employed for both external applications as well as ingesting.
  • If the condition is severe, and the disease is chronic in nature, classical emesis, Vamana Panchakarma can be undertaken

Home Remedies: 

  1. Turmeric and Neem
    Mix 10 grams of turmeric powder in 100 gm of neem oil
    Apply over the skin lesions, 30 mins before bathing, every day.

    2. Mustard seed paste
    To 1 tsp of crushed mustard seeds, add a little water to make a paste.
    Apply on the affected area, and leave on for 60 minutes.
    Wash off with lukewarm water

    3. Tulsi leaves
    Crush some tulsi leaves, press the paste onto a sieve and extract its juice
    Using cotton wool, apply 2 tsp of this juice to the affected area.

    4.Jatyadi oil
    Used for external application for quick healing on blisters, sinuses, non-healing wounds etc.

Herbs

Aragwadha – Cassia fistula
Bakuchi-Psoralea corylifolia – used in a wide range of skin diseases, including leucoderma
Dhattura – Belladonna – Datura metel

Gandhaka – Sulphur
Haratala – Purified yellow arsenic (to be used under medical supervision)
Haridra – Turmeric – Curcuma longa
Jati-Jasminum officinarum – the main ingredient of many skin preparations, notably Jatyadi oil
Nimba – Azadirachta indica
Patola – Pointed gourd – Cucumerina dioica
Tuttha – Copper sulphate solution is used externally in skin disorders (to be used under medical supervision)

Ayurvedic medicines

Arogyavardhini – used in the treatment of liver diseases, fever, skin diseases etc.
Aragwadhadi kasha – used in the treatment of vomiting, diabetes, skin diseases with itching, and non-healing wounds
Guggulu tiktaka kasha – used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions of the skin, joints and bones
Hajrul Yahood Bhasma – mainly used in urinary calculi, for external application of skin disorders in children
Haridra Khand – used widely in the treatment of allergic skin diseases, and itching skin, to improve the skin quality and complexion
Mahatiktaka kasha – used to treat a wide range of skin diseases, abscesses, non-healing wounds, and sinusitis
Panchatiktaku guggulu – used in skin diseases and fever

PLEASE NOTE:
This information is provided only for the purpose of education. Do not use the information for self-medication or treating others. Always consult your doctor before trying any remedies, lifestyle modifications or medicines.

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Coronavirus and our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing

Coronavirus and our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing

Coronavirus and our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing by Shanti Gowans

 

Discussion around the state of the world, Coronavirus and us

Many people are deeply bewildered about so many unsettling events and the state of affairs taking place in the world right now. From politics to wildfires and floods, to viral outbreaks, and climate change, the news can be overwhelming. Many of these world events are out of our control, but what we do have full control over, is our reaction to them and how we choose to feel.

Today’s hectic 24-hour lifestyle promotes overstimulation and overscheduling, a pace that leads to chronic stress, ill health, behavioural, mood and attention adaptations. It is often difficult to pick which one of the current egregious matters has perturbed what matters most to us. Brought down by our naivete, suddenly realising one deadly thing or another… or not realising something soon enough, being ambushed and assaulted by various cultural and personal shocks to the extreme, we now have a history of being gutted.

When we succumb to limiting stories and their harmful narratives, and become afraid of being left behind in the human ‘race’, we can find ourselves willing to do whatever, in order to at least keep up with others. Additionally, with the varied challenges from nature, Australia has seen bushfires, floods and a continued drought, albeit there have also been reprieves, with wonderful soaking rains and luscious growth.

Nevertheless, new concerns arise around us on a daily basis. In addition, stressful environments, highly processed foods, chemicals, pesticides, pollutants, and imbalanced diets can severely compromise a healthy microbiome. In dark times, there is a tendency to veer towards focusing on how much is wrong and unmended in the world.

When we are in a state of fear, stress or anxiety, our immune systems become suppressed.

It is no secret that what has been going on with the coronavirus right has and is causing a lot of stress and anxiety in the world. Because this has never happened in our modern society, people just don’t know what to do or what to expect, which leads to a lot of fear. The challenge is that when we are in a state of fear, stress, or anxiety, two things happen, namely: our brains do not function in the same way, and so we struggle to make good decisions; and our immune systems are suppressed and this is, of course, not a time we want that to happen.

With rising cases of the coronavirus affliction globally, anxiety around renewed travel bans, disruption to businesses, job losses, the current fear and panic gripping so many people have them fall into being weakened by focusing on what is outside their reach and cannot yet be, and thus running their energy down by bewailing difficult times.

Tune into love and common sense, rather than hysteria and fear. 

The mantra is courage. Do not make yourself ill by being overwhelmed. One of the most important steps you can take to help calm the storm is not to be taken up by a flurry of overwrought emotion or despair. Tune into love and common sense, rather than hysteria and fear. To heal is to touch with love that which was previously touched with fear. Despite our attachments, frustrations, sloth, restless and stints of doubt, we are not without resources. We are the leaders we have been waiting for. We have been raised from childhood and spent a lifetime learning, and being in training, in preparation, to signal each other in our collective quest. You are not alone.

The challenges we face in our lives are how we learn, grow, and create solutions. We are only victims of our circumstances when we let the extraordinary power of our thoughts affect everything around us destructively, causing damage not only to our own lives but also to the lives of others.

There are limitations to future-proofing, which is why we need to aspire to be future-fit instead. We are high-functioning physical expressions of the energy that drives the Universe. We have access to amazing powers and capacities. All of our everyday challenges, both small and large, empower us to awaken to our extraordinary potential as human beings in our everyday lives. The key to the future of human civilisation lies in our personal empowerment. Yet, since we are all the One Life Energy, the only way we can ‘win’ is if all of humanity wins. We have the power to accomplish almost anything and change the world when we consider our humanness and Oneness first and avoid decisions that are destructive and regressive. We have surpassed the benchmarks many times when the puny ego contested the enormity of our universal presence.

Any small, calm thing YOU can do to help yourself or to assist another in some way, helps immensely.

New concerns arise around us on a daily basis. Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. This does not need everyone on Earth. Any small, calm thing YOU can do to help yourself or to assist another in some way, helps immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts, or by whom, will cause a shift in the critical mass. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts. Though we are not invulnerable, having been to hell and back, we are the living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or crucified can be restored to life again. We have perfected the knack of resurrection and transcendence over and over again. You are still standing. To stand up silently and reveal your essence is an act of enormous bravery and great necessity. An unlit candle can be lit from another candle that is lit and willing to show it.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can take is by staying healthy, and supporting and boosting your immune system. This can be achieved by:-

  • supporting a healthy lifestyle
  • changing the gut environment
  • resetting digestive strength
  • detoxing seasonally, and
  • changing our eating habits by eating appropriately for our body type – with appropriate foods, spices, herbs, roots, seeds and flowers in season is an excellent way to let food be the medicine that keeps the body healthy.

Our immunity is also strengthened when we:-

  • release stress
  • reduce anxiety
  • increase calmness
  • improve focus
  • sleep better
  • find balance
  • boost our energy
  • shift our mindset to increase our positive outlook, and
  • build resilience.

The best-kept secret to resilience and health lies in a quiet mind. The quieter we become, the more we notice that silence is not empty. It is replete with a quiet wisdom.

Coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the WHO, and with some of the restrictions being eased by various governments, many of us could get it. Although most will be fine, for the more vulnerable it could mean the difference between life and death. We all have someone we love who could be facing this. Our mission now is to slow it down, because the slower it moves, the more our hospitals can cope, and the more lives will be saved.

With the aftermath of the shutdowns, humanity is about to face serious adversity which can either split us apart in fear, or unite us in common purpose and love. Protect yourself. Prevention is better than cure. The most critical mainspring of social change isn’t coalition building or problem analysis. It’s deep, whole, and systemic healing, inside and out. Restoring your body, mind, and spirit amid change is an act of courage, empowerment, and hope. Trust the universe.

Here are some suggestions for being proactive in supporting your own health, and that of your loved ones:

  • STOP THE VIRUS at our doorstep – by washing our hands regularly, avoiding unnecessary close contact with others, staying home when we feel unwell and seeking medical advice early.
  • PROTECT THE VULNERABLE – by offering love and assistance to those who need it most, and supporting humane policies to keep them safe.
  • SPREAD WISDOM – by sharing reliable, factual information with friends and family, and countering voices of fear and demonisation with love and connection.
  • MEDITATE DAILY – to reduce stress and anxiety, access brain states that support you in building your capacity and unlocking your potential, and strengthen your immune functioning.
  • PRACTICE HEALING SHANTI YOGA – and access the power of group consciousness in healing and wellbeing
  • BOOK AN AYURVEDIC CONSULTATION – this can also be by skype, or online, for Ayurvedic herbal and mineral medicine support and to build immunity
  • ATTEND A DETOX RETREAT IN NATURE, at Nirvana Wellbeing Retreat Sanctuary, to access pathways to healing and creating optimal states of physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • PLACE AN ORDER FOR IMMUNE-ENHANCING AYURVEDIC PRODUCTS, such as Narayan Taila, Anu Taila, Chavanprash online
  • BOOK FOR IMMUNE-ENHANCING AYURVEDIC PROCEDURES AND TREATMENTS

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Ayurvedic medicine – Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam 

Ayurvedic medicine – Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam 

Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam 

Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam are both Ayurvedic medicines in herbal powder form. Both have a similar set of ingredients. But there are substantial differences between them, in terms of indication, method of administration and so on.

Reference
Avipattikar Choorna is mentioned in Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Amlapitta Chikitsa 25-29.
Avipathi Choornam is mentioned in Sahasra yoga Choorna yoga prakarana.

Use in practice
Avipattikar is used in Ayurvedic treatment in North India.
Avipathi is used more commonly in South India, since Kerala Ayurveda practice is based more on Sahasra yoga.

Indication
Avipattikar is used in treating a wide variety of disorders, which range from gastritis, urinary tract disorders, constipation and so on.
Avipathy is used in treating Pitta imbalance disorders such as burning sensation, gastritis, migraine, etc.

Administration
Avipattikar Churna is administered just before food and in between food.
Avipathi Choornam is administered before or after food. It is mixed with little quantity of honey, made into a tablet or soft small ball and then it is administered to the patient.

Effect on Tridosha
Avipattikar Churna is targeted towards all the three dosha.
Avipathi choornam is targeted mainly to achieve Pitta balance.

AVIPATTIKAR CHURNA
Avipattikar Churna an Ayurvedic herbal powder mix, usually used in the treatment of constipation. It is one of the very effective medicines of Ayurveda.

Ingredients in Avipattikar Choorna
10 grams of each of the three pungent substances in trikatu, which are
Black pepper, maricha
Long pepper, pippali
and ginger, shunti

The three Ayurvedic fruits, Triphala, which is the best anti-oxidant combination. These three are:
Chebulic Myrobalan fruit rind, Terminalia chebula, haritaki
Belliric Myrobalan fruit rind, Terminalia bellirica, bibhitaki
Indian gooseberry fruit, Emblica officinalis Gaertn, amalaki

Nut grass (root), Cyperus rotundus, musta, which is one of the most commonly used herbs in urinary tract disorders
Vida salt, vida lavana
False black pepper, Embelia ribes, vidanga, a useful anti-microbial herb
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, ela, relieves pain and inflammation
Cinnamomum tamala, patra, relieves pain and inflammation
Clove, Syzigium aromaticum, lavanga. 110 grams, anti oxidant
Operculina turpethum, trivrit. 440 grams
Sugar, sharkara. 660 grams.

There are twenty types of Prameha is a group of urinary tract disorders. The downward wind, Apana Vata is mainly vitiated in them. All the ingredients are directly or indirectly useful in urinary tract health. Hence, it is useful in Prameha.
Also, in any condition, including Prameha, where daily detox / daily purgation, Nitya Virechana is required, 5 – 10 grams of Avipattikar Churna is administered, as it is mild, usually does not cause twitching abdominal pain and is easier to consume.

Reference
Bhaishajya Ratnavali Amlapitta Chikitsa 25-29.
There are many companies that manufacture this product, such as: Dabur, Baidyanath, Swadeshi, Baba Ramdev (Divya Avipapttikar Churna), Dhanvantri and so on..

Benefits of Avipattikar churna 
It helps to relieve gastritis very quickly, amlapittam nihanti aashu.
It helps to relieve constipation and difficulty in urination, vibandham malamootrayoho.
It helps to relieve indigestion, agnimandya
It is used in treating diseases of urinary system, prameha.
It is used even in chronic conditions, durnama nashanam.

In clinical practice, it is widely used in liver disorders and alcoholism.

Dose
1 – 5  grams. Suggested to be taken at the starting of meals and in between meals.

Side effects  of Avipattikara Choornam
It may cause diarrhoea, watery stools, abdominal pain and dehydration with a few people.
If the patient is diabetic and has uncontrolled blood sugar levels, better to avoid this product, due to the sugar ingredient.

People with diabetes, hypertension, sensitive stomach, ulcerative colitis, diarrhoea, should exercise caution while taking Avipattikar Choorna.

It is dangerous to take this medicine without prescription from an Ayurvedic doctor.
It is not advisable for pregnant ladies and for children below 12 years, unless a doctor prescribes it.

AVIPATHI CHOORNAM

Ingredients in Avipathi Churna (Sahasra Yoga)
Black pepper, maricha
Long pepper, pippali
Ginger, shunti
Indian gooseberry fruit, Emblica officinalis Gaertn, amalaki
Nut grass (root), Cyperus rotundus, musta
Vida salt, vida lavana
False black pepper, Embelia ribes, vidanga
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, ela
Cinnamomum tamala, patra, twak
Clove, Syzigium aromaticum, lavanga.
Operculina turpethum, trivrit
Sugar, sharkarawith the proportion of Clove (lavanga), trivrit and sugar being different in the two medicines

 

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Progressing your career

Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic therapists and practitioners, RPL with Health Institute Australasia

Two long-separated fields, the material and the spiritual come back together to guide and inspire us all to push the boundaries of what’s possible. The traditional yet perennial wisdom of Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda has shown for thousands of years that the mind-body is wondrously dynamic and that our state of consciousness can modify our health instantaneously.

These wisdom perspectives and their practices, open up a whole new vista which binds us to the radiance of what’s possible for our expansion, healing, and connection to the mysteries of existence. They are a powerful synthesis of inner and outer wisdom and practices which shift our consciousness and unlock our innate capacity to heal body, mind, and spirit.

These mind-blowing practices uncover a radical vision, extraordinary promise and offer many benefits, from coherent focus and peak-state performance to alleviating pain, anxiety, trauma, and the radical intimacy of how to be noble in these and all times, and so much more.

This is an unparalleled time for those at the forefront of optimising human health and planetary wellbeing through promoting the union of healing arts modalities with groundbreaking science.

Learn more about your professional development options.

If your mission is to be a life-long learner and you’re ready to take the next step in your Yoga teaching career, you can talk to us about your career expectations, map out your development path and apply for RPL.

There has never been a better time to learn practices that will lead you forward to becoming a health coach, lifestyle consultant, sacred activist, and midwife in a softer, braver, new world. The world needs healers. Come study with us

THE COURSES

  • Yoga for Life. Certificate IV in Yoga. 10885NAT
  • Yoga Teacher Training. Diploma of Yoga Teaching. 10886NAT
  • Therapeutic Yoga Teaching. Adv Dip in Therapeutic Yoga Teaching. 10887NAT
  • Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant. Diploma in Ayurveda. HLT52615
  • Ayurvedic Practitioner. Adv Dip in Ayurveda. HLT62616

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Mindful Living, Mindful Being: residential retreat

• Melt away your stress

• Calm your anxiety

• Skyrocket your sense of wellbeing

• Spark joy in your everyday life

And so much more…

Now that borders have opened up, and the need for quarantine has lifted, please think about yoga and meditation retreats.

We practice silently in the morning, then we go for a walk, or rest, eat delicious food, and chat. We do Nidra in the afternoon, play Scrabble, mindful art, read, garden, have an afternoon cup of tea and a chat, or simply some more rest. Some slow, long stretches in the evening, and after a light supper, we spend the evening sitting under the stars or watching a spiritual movie.

Here’s a breakdown for the 10 days

1 April: Opening Night

On the opening evening, Shantiji leads us into a guided session on Mindfulness and Pranayama, which is followed by a celebratory dinner, and then induction under the Southern stars, which sets us up for the marvelous experience of cultivating the practice for Intensive Peace.

2-4 April: Intense Peace. Vipassana. Silent Meditation retreat – 3 days

A silent retreat is a perfect time to make a new beginning.

Silence washes our awareness. Peace and quietude nurture our being.

The essence of spiritual practice is letting go and receiving deeply.

This is your retreat to let go, be mindfully present, and receive the quiet grace in your heart.

The 3 days, from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, are spent cultivating mindfulness in noble silence. Exploring darkness and light, growth and rejuvenation, the practice is both sophisticated and liberating, as it brings a fresh spin to our stories, our shadow self, and our mirrors. Eventually, the clutter of compulsive thought is cleared away, and the light of awareness becomes powerfully bright. This brightness turned inwards, allows you to access the immaterial realms that a cluttered mind cannot attain. When this brightness is turned towards materiality (the physical world) or mentality (thought forms), these can be perceived and experienced in their unconditioned form, without the overlay of conceptual, conditioned thought.

5-8 April: The Yoga Sutras 4 days

Then the silence lifts, and we proceed with the definitive textbook of classical Yoga. Each day will include periods of meditation, yoga Nidra (deep relaxation), and gentle yoga, and during the course of the retreat, we have short philosophical (dharma) talks and group discussions to deepen our understanding of our dharma in the world. Together we establish a retreat environment that includes daily practice, noble silence, simple group meals, and participation in food preparation and clean-up, in the garden and other tasks, or simply relax.

9-11 April: The 7 Spiritual Laws of Healing

We culminate the retreat with a wonderful weekend spent with a lovely body, mind, spirit understanding based on the Laws of Healing from the Vedic sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, and conclude the retreat with a delicious Sunday feast before we head down the mountain back to our homes.

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Mindful Living, Mindful Being retreat

Mindful Living, Mindful Being retreat

Mindful Living, Mindful Being at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary on the Gold Coast

10th – 13th April: Intensive Peace, noble silence, mindfulness and vipassana 
The retreat opens with the marvelous experience by cultivating the practice for Intensive Peace. Here 3 days are in silence (10th-12th), cultivating mindfulness, where the clutter of compulsive thoughts is cleared away, and the light of awareness becomes powerfully bright. When you turn this brightness turned inward, it allows you to access the immaterial realms that a cluttered mind cannot attain. When this brightness is turned towards materiality (the physical world) or mentality (thought forms), these can be perceived and experienced in their unconditioned form, without the overlay of conceptual, conditioned thought.

13th – 17th April: The Yoga Sutras
Then the silence lifts, and we proceed with Shantiji’s discourses on the original Yoga Sutras. Each day will include periods of meditation, yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and gentle yoga, and during the course of the retreat, we have short philosophical (dharma) talks and group discussions to deepen our understanding of our dharma (purpose) in the world. Together we establish a retreat environment that includes daily practice, noble silence, simple group meals and participation in food preparation and clean-up, in the garden and other tasks.

17th – 19th April: Body, Mind and Spirit and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Healing
We culminate the retreat with a wonderful weekend spent with a lovely body, mind, spirit understanding based on the Seven Spiritual Laws of Healing and conclude the retreat with a delicious Sunday feast before we head down the mountain back to our home.
Mindful Living, Mindful Being residential retreat program 5-14 April 2019.  9 to 19 April 2020

Bookings and enquiries: (07) 5531 0511
or book online at: www.shantiyoga.com.au

NIRVANA WELLNESS RETREATS
Include:-

  • Inspiring talks with discussion and Q & A
  • Loving your mind and body with daily meditation and gentle yoga
  • Delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian meals were you eat love, not stress
  • Detox medicines
  • Nature walks
  • Mindful art, and so much more.
  • Discover the tools you need to stay happy, healthy and whole, every day of your life.
  • Help your body heal and recover from stress, chronic illness, toxicity or poor nourishment, bad nutrition, digestive and eliminating issues
  • Align your energy centres with nature to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Experience a feeling of calmness, tranquillity and bliss

Return home with an upgrade in the quality of your life and work.

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Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Bone is a dynamic living tissue. it is constantly being broken down and rebuilt, a process known as remodelling.

Peak bone mass is reached between the ages of 25 and 35 years. After 35, bone mass is stable until, in women, it starts to drop with menopause. 6-18% of women between 25-34 years of age have ‘abnormally low’ bone density. Hip-fracture rates for white women in the US and Britain begin to rise abruptly between the ages of 40-44 much earlier than menopause begins. This drop occurs more slowly in males.

Bones become porous, or less dense, with age. As we age, the mineral-rich, internal part of bone breaks down faster than it is rebuilt. It should not be treated as disease unless you experience one or following multiple symptoms over a period of time:

  • Bone fracture
  • A gradual loss of height
  • A rounding of the shoulders
  • Gum inflammation and loosening of the teeth
  • Acute lower backache
  • Swelling of a wrist after a minor fall or injury
  • Trouble with nail, hair, teeth, gums, joints, or back
  • Nocturnal leg cramps
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Restless behaviour,

The word osteoporosis simply means ‘porous bones’. Persons with osteoporosis suffer from a loss in bone mass and bone strength at a higher rate than expected with aging. Their bones become weak and brittle which makes them more prone to fracture. Any bone can be affected by osteoporosis, but the hips, wrists and spine are the most common sites.

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

From the Ayurvedic perspective, any vata imbalance or disease pattern in the bods indicated by any one of the symptoms such as stress, anxiety, constipation, dry skin, hypertension, restlessness, insomnia, PMS or many menstrual disorders, Irritable bowel syndrome and Inability to relax and so on. Some of the behavioural patterns that can create a vata imbalance in the body are:

  • when a person is under stress or reacting to stress with anxiety
  • physical exhaustion; mental strain and overwork without giving the body a chance to relax and rejuvenate
  • addictive patterns
  • lack of sleep
  • suffering emotionally from grief, fear or shock
  • travelling (flying or long car journeys)
  • stringent diets
  • eating cold, raw or dry foods frequently
  • living in a cold, dry and windy weather.

Osteoporosis is one of the natural processes that occur with age, however, vata body type individuals or people in the vata stage of life, are likely to experience loss of bone density at a higher rate. Consequently the risk for osteoporosis will be higher in a person of vata body, old people and women after menopausal age. For women, a regular menstrual cycle is important for building and maintaining bone strength throughout a woman’s reproductive years.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing and aggravating osteoporosis include:

  • Being female. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Though most women start to think about bone loss only at menopause, it often begins years before. 50%of the bone loss over their lifespan is lost before menopause even begins. The reasons could include:
    • Women’s bones are generally thinner and lighter.
    • They live longer than men.
    • They have rapid bone loss at menopause due to a sharp decline of oestrogen.
    • Natural menopause before age 40;
    • A hysterectomy which includes removal of both ovaries with no hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
    • A lack of, or irregular menstrual flow.
    • Oestrogen/ progesterone deficiency
  • Having a thin, small framed body
  • Heredity and Race – the risk increases if there is a history of osteoporosis and/or bone fractures in your family. Some races, for example Caucasians are at a higher risk than Asians and African Americans.
  • Lack of physical activity especially activities such as walking, running, tennis and other weight-bearing exercises.
  • Lack of Calcium and Vitamin D, Magnesium and other mineral deficiencies from a modern diet of processed foods.
  • Cigarette smoking and Excessive Alcohol – Heavy drinkers and smokers often have poor appetite and poor nutrition.
  • Taking certain medicines such as corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat asthma, arthritis, lupus, etc.) and aluminium containing antacids such as Rolaids or Di-Gel., anti-seizure drugs and overuse of thyroid hormones.
  • Hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and certain forms of bone cancer, anorexia nervosa, scoliosis and gastrointestinal disease.
  • Malabsorption of nutrients as a result of antibiotic use
  • High Fat, high protein diet

Traditional Treatment includes:

  • Medical management, especially if you are at a high risk of getting the disorder. Doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and/or calcium. These are recommended to prevent fractures from osteoporosis if taken during or soon after the start of menopause and then on a continual basis. HRT does not rebuild bone, but it is supposed to prevent further bone loss. New research on HRT is bringing question mark on this method.
  • Surgery, such as hip replacement, if necessary.
  • Dietary and lifestyle measures.

Natural Dietary and Lifestyle Measures

Natural approaches to osteoporosis treatment are to focus on supporting the body’s dynamic, bone rebuilding process, and not on replacing the natural and healthy decline of oestrogen during menopause. To prevent or slow osteoporosis, take these steps now:

Consume a diet high in complex carbohydrate, and relatively low in fat and protein. 

If you are non-vegetarian, limit your servings of red meat to lean cuts, no more than three times per week (Red meat is very high in phosphorous, as is soda. High phosphorous intake extracts calcium from bones). To keep calcium/phosphorous levels in balance, concentrate on eating dark green, leafy vegetables.

Calcium

Plan to get enough calcium every day. If our diets were mostly whole grains, greens, beans and vegetables, our bones would be more apt to stay healthy on relatively less calcium, as long as we also exercised and got out in the sun for vitamin D. Some high calcium foods include: Milk, yogurt and cheeses. Soft-boned fish and shellfish, such as salmon with the bones, sardines and shrimp. Vegetables such as dark green, leafy vegetables, broccoli, kale, collards. Beans and bean sprouts, as well as tofu (soy bean curd, if processed with calcium). Calcium-fortified foods such as some orange juices, apple juices and ready-to-eat cereals and breads.

Vitamin C

is involved in collagen synthesis and repair and is found in Citrus fruits.

Magnesium

It is found in organically grown vegetables, whole grains, seaweed (kelp) and meats such as turkey. Over-consumption of processed food, such as refined grains or too few dark green leafy vegetables is usually the culprit in magnesium deficiency.

Boron

The minimum dose of boron needed per day is easily met with a daily diet rich in fruit, nuts and vegetables.

Beta Carotene

Vitamin A promotes a healthy intestinal epithelium and promotes strong joints, which is important for optimal absorption of nutrients. It is found in yellow and orange vegetables e.g. pumpkin, carrots, leafy vegetables and broccoli.

Exercise

The average Australian sits for 11 hours a day. This is what happens while you’re sitting:

  • Muscles deteriorate, fat loss slows and calorie burning drops to 1 calorie per minute
  • Blood flow dips, LDL and triglycerides clog your arteries and heart attack risk jumps by 125%
  • Sugar piles up in your blood, insulin skyrockets and diabetes risk shoots up by 90%.

Your body receives the signal that it’s time to shut down, so it starts preparing you for death. If we also sleep an average of 7 hours a day, that’s 18 hours of not moving. And since most of us are working those other 6 hours (or more), most of us can’t find the time to workout, burn fat, and prevent this bodily decay.
Yet, you must follow a program of regular, weight-bearing exercise at least three or four times a week. Beneficial examples include: walking, jogging, cycling, weight training, low-impact or non-impact aerobics, and anything that places weight on the bones, twenty minutes, five times per week, or thirty minutes three times per week.

Pay attention to your posture. Keep your back straight when you sit, stand and walk.

Take measures to prevent falls and injury to your bones.

Avoid

Do not smoke and limit alcohol consumption.

Smoking makes osteoporosis worse. Smokers, together with those who consume two or more alcoholic drinks daily, are at highest risk of osteoporosis. Smoking poisons the ovaries.

Avoid cola or soda and soft, fizzy drinks

These are too high in phosphate, which directly interferes with calcium absorption.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoporosis

Ayurveda focuses on balancing the doshas, especially vata dosha, and ensuring that the tissues (dhatus) are free of toxcicity (ama), to enable the body’s homeostatic mechanisms more efficiently help our metabolism adjust to a natural aging process. When the body’s natural healing ability is strengthened, and causal and root imbalances in basic bodily functions are removed, the bone rebuilding process will be positively influenced.

Ayurveda recommends:

Detoxification and balancing the doshas, especially vata dosha, using Purvakarmaand Basti treatments.

The detoxification (panchakarma) treatment consists of internal oleation, namely snehana, fomentation, or bashpa swedana, lower back oil pooling, or kati basti, and a steady, thread-like stream of oil, poured on the forehead, known as shiro dhara. This is followed by an appropriate purge to remove all the offending, vitiated doshas from the body systems, then followed by basti with herbal oil to pacify vata (vata shamak or dashmoola) for the vitiated vata dosha.

Food supplements and rejuvenators such as Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Bala (Sida cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) should be taken in the powdered form in the dose of 2-3gm daily.

Shatavari and vidari mixed in equal parts, or just shatavari taken on regular basis (1/2 tsp twice daily)
with warm milk, help to make up for oestrogen in the metabolic cycle. These herbs are food precursors of oestrogen and progesterone.

Self massage or abhyanga, using sesame oil, for vata pacification.

Ashokarishta

Ashoka bark has silica, sodium, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, iron, and calcium among others. It is used for many uterine disorders and is a good herb during the time of menopause.

Dashamularishta

Dashmoola is used for vata pacification.

These preparations should be taken after consulting an Ayurvedic consultant.

Daily chewing a handful of sesame seeds in the morning provides at least 1200 mg of natural calcium. These seeds won’t clog arteries, as dependence upon calcium from dairy products may do. One part black or white sesame seeds, half part shatavari, with ginger and raw sugar added to taste is good for the bones.

The vata pacifying diet includes warm, heavy, moist and slightly oily food that give you strength.

Frequent small meals, mildly spiced and with only a few different types of foods per meal are recommended.

– Don’t eat when you are nervous or worried.

– If possible eat with your friends/ family.

Amalaki is a rejuvenator (rasayana) for the bones, nourishing the bones, strengthening the teeth, causing hair and nails to grow. Five gm powder in one cup of water, twice a day is used as a general tonic.

Triphala can be used on regular basis as a tridoshic tonic.

Few diet/ lifestyle aspects to complement the beneficial effect of Ayurvedic Medicines:

– Consume more of calcium-rich foods such as milk and spinach, avoiding red meat at the same time.

– Nourish yourself with whole, natural foods.

– Avoid fats such as margarine and saturated fats such as cheese. Instead use ghee, butter or unsaturated fat such as sunflower and corn oils.

– Make exercise a daily routine (after consulting your doctor) to keep yourself fit

– Limit your intake of tea or coffee to a maximum of one or two cups daily, but avoid completely if possible.

– Practise yoga and meditation for calming effects and mind control. If osteoporosis has begun to develop, yoga as exercises should be done gently, with care, to overcome a real danger of breaking a bone.

– Develop a positive approach towards menopause and life in general.

– Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

– Excess Vata (air) may also be reduced to proper levels by having regularity of routine, providing the body adequate rest, meditation and using vata pacifying essential oils.

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