Be Healthy. Be Happy. Naturally.
Low Back pain is a fairly common problem today. The main culprits are poor posture, poor diet, poor digestion, weak muscles, stress, overdoing it and strong emotions. Fortunately, Ayurveda offers many solutions to soothe back pain. Here are some things that you can try on your own.
If you put a group of people in a room and expose all of them to a cold or flu virus, not everyone will be infected. Wonder why? Getting a cold or flu is not just from exposure, but result when the body’s natural balance is off kilter. Chances are if you have a cold or flu, you just finished working long hours, ate on the go, and had little sleep. You were probably burning the candle at both ends.
In truth, resting deeply, eating healthful foods, following a regular schedule, moving at a gentle pace, exercising, and limiting stimulation are the basics of good health. There’s nothing exotic about these practices. What is unusual is that we live in a society where we have to make an extra effort to practice them and resist the pressures that lead us to neglect self-care.
It all began when my daughter was four years old. She woke up one morning crying because her fingers and toes were swollen, purple and sore. I had no idea what was wrong. I took her to visit our general practitioner, who referred us to the rheumatologist, who referred us to a different rheumatologist, who referred us to a neurologist…you get the picture. No one could figure out what was wrong with her. Then a friend of mine suggested I see this guy who practiced Ayurveda. What the heck was Ayurveda? I had never heard of it but trusting my friend, we took the first appointment. The Ayurvedic Practitioner suggested I change what my daughter ate, give her an herbal tincture, and rub her fingers and toes with special oil. Within a couple of weeks, my daughter’s fingers and toes looked normal, and the swelling and pain were gone.
It was the beginning of my journey. I read everything I could find about Ayurveda and dove into this vast and wonderful ocean of knowledge. We moved to Albuquerque so I could study at the Ayurvedic Institute and I have been studying ever since. It is now in my bones and at home in my soul.
Ayurveda works. I have witnessed it make an amazing difference in so many lives. But I understand that habits and routines can feel difficult to change. Like Plato’s allegory of the cave, we get used to one reality and it can be difficult to see another. But Dear Ones, you have a choice. When you are ready, you can use Ayurveda to shine light on your habits, your routines, your relationships and your life. If you are healthy, you can learn how to stay that way. If you are out of sorts or sick, you can learn how to regain your joy, vitality and health. You can turn away from the wall of the cave. You can start with a candle and end up in the light of the sun. It is possible. It is wonderful. It is a gift. When you are ready, I would love to take your hand and guide you on your own path to wholeness, out of the darkness and into the light. One little step at a time.
Ayurveda tells us that everything we do affects our health and well-being. You are what you eat, you are what you do, and you are what you think. And modern science is just now beginning to prove what Ayurveda has been telling us for the past 5,000 years.
In one recent study, participants were asked to keep a journal during the week. One group wrote about things that they were grateful for, another wrote about daily irritations and a third group wrote about anything they wanted. The group that focused on what they were grateful for were far more optimistic, happier and felt better about their lives. They had fewer health problems and fewer visits to the doctor.
Chai, black tea brewed with some of the world's most medicinally active spices, has its origin in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Among other benefits, chai improves immunity, decreases inflammation, slows the effects of aging, increases cardiovascular health, prevents cancer, lowers blood sugar, increases concentration and improves digestion.
There are many recipes for this potent tea but generally it contains black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, milk and sweetener. While each of these spices have health benefits of their own, they work together to create powerful, synergistic healing effects. So let’s look at chai’s health benefits by looking at each ingredient separately.
Kitchari is a nourishing, cleansing, and easy to digest dish made of mung beans, basmati rice, ghee and spices. A staple food in Asia, kitchari is often the first food fed to babies and is eaten when someone is ill, weak or recovering from illness. It is easy and inexpensive to make. The first time I ate kitchari, my body went "yes! I want more of this!" Kitchari heals and soothes the digestive tract by allowing it to rest while still providing the nutrition our bodies need to heal itself. You can choose to eat kitchari for a single meal, an entire day, or do a short three to five day cleanse by mono-fasting on kitchari. Kitchari is used exclusively in Ayurveda’s wonderful deep detoxification and rejuvenation treatment program called panchakarma. I will share more information about panchakarma in another article.
I'm Shivani Chase. I love to help people learn how to live the best life they can using Ayurveda, yoga, compassion and common sense.