With the buzz of spring in the air, the body naturally seeks out a change in rhythm and diet. Unfortunately, most people nowadays ignore this impulse and carry on eating the same foods year round, with a few seasonal vegetables thrown in to add colour to an otherwise recurring menu. Preferences become habits, then addictions. Annoying health issues – brushed aside for too long and ignored by most doctors as “normal” – become problematic.
Headaches, stubborn body fat, joint and muscle aches, depression, burnout, arthritis, attention deficit disorder (hyperactive or not), chronic fatigue, chronic pain, diabetes, allergies, hay fever, brain fog, memory loss, cancer, Crohn’s, Lyme’s, and other autoimmune diseases, heart attack, stroke… the list goes on and on, but what all these conditions have in common is chronic, systemic inflammation.
Āyurveda has a name for this: āma. And the proven āyurvedic solution also has a name: panchakarma, meaning five actions of detoxification and purification.
Āma is a toxic residue that accumulates in our cells, preventing them from exchanging energy and information with each other, and leading to stagnation, inflammation, and disease. It is whatever is left undigested – from food to thoughts and emotions – and it bogs us down in body and mind, leaving us unable to live our life fully.
For thousands of years, this knowledge has taught us that mental and physical illness begins in the gut, so healing must also begin there.
In the recent past, modern medicine has caught on to the fact that the body is an interdependent system, inseparable from the mind, not a collection of parts requiring individualised attention and unaffected by thoughts, emotions, and other environmental factors.
Just as importantly, research over the past decade has confirmed the importance of the intestinal microbiome to our overall health, affirming the deep understanding of health written about in Āyurvedic texts around three thousand years ago, and still used as medical references today.
We also know that stress, especially long-term or chronic stress, leads to chronic inflammation and eventually dis-ease.
Stress kills, and its inflammatory role is why it is the leading cause of illness around the world. But stressors affect us in ways we don’t always realise: a poor diet, or the wrong diet, eating at the wrong time, eating on the run, air, soil, and water pollution, taking in too much visual or audio stimulation… all of these are as stressful to our health over time as personal experiences of major loss or change.
Āyurveda has clear answers to our problems of dis-ease, and they are both uniquely tailored to each individual as well as simple, old-fashioned common sense rules that apply to everyone. A regular detox treatment such as panchakarma, or even just components thereof, along with supportive daily micro-habits lead to enormous health benefits and a better quality of life.
For over 25 years, to the extent my parental and professional commitments would allow, the one constant thread of my life has been to live according to Āyurvedic principles of simplicity, right timing, and right diet. I never put anything on my skin that I wouldn’t put in my body, food must come from a clean source which doesn’t damage the environment, my medicine comes first and foremost from my food and how it is eaten before resorting to anything stronger… and I applied the same logic to my children’s health.
I was a sickly child, raised on an unhealthy diet and over-medicated for the frequent illnesses it caused. I learned through my own healing how to get better in a fully sustainable – and inexpensive – way.
Whenever I have been ill, injured, or exhausted, I have sought to heal using the same principles that guide my daily equilibrium, with great success. A judicious use of supplements when needed is supported by knowing what, when, and how to eat so I can stay well, or recover quickly.
Every year, in the spring and autumn, I follow a cleansing routine of either a full month-long detox or a two week rejuvenation cure, depending on my needs. Since 2008, this was done in India almost every year (not 2020!), with generous guidance and support.
Āyurveda teaches us how to live well in our own body, with a minimum of reliance on others to stay well.
After many years of healing treatments, along with over a decade of learning Āyurvedic healing techniques from Drs Vasant Lad and Hemang Parekh, I have the skills and knowledge to live a healthy life, and show others how to do so as well.
Since 2013 I have been offering individual āyurvedic counselling sessions for healing a range of issues, from asthma, chronic fatigue and high blood pressure, to weight loss and balanced living.
Now I’m excited to share the proven healing practices I’ve been following for many years in a group format.
Join me on Wednesday March 31st from 19:30 to explore what is possible to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
I look forward to guiding you and your unique body-mind towards good digestion, better nourishment and vibrant energy. You are responsible for the welfare of your own body and soul. Nobody else can do that for you – let me show you how!
With much love and light as ever,