FAQs about Ayurveda, Panchakarma and Ayurvedic Therapies
The main purpose of our organism is to keep us alive. That is its function, its duty. Every cell has the intelligence to support that duty, but it can be a difficult task due to environmental, emotional, nutritional, and genetic factors. These factors can affect the doshas and bring about ailments and disease. Ayurveda's main objective is to balance the doshas according to your original constitution. When the doshas are in balance, the organism can function properly. Ayurveda focuses on removing the underlying cause of symptoms, which are the result of doshic imbalance. For that purpose, Ayurveda uses medicinal herbs, cooking methods, rejuvenating therapies, and daily routines (called dinacharya). A diet and lifestyle in harmony with your original constitution will strengthen your body, mind, and consciousness, and prevent disorders at all levels.
Ayurveda is a truly holistic natural system of health and herbal medicine for all ages, and even for animals. Since Ayurveda considers food to be medicine, it focuses on diet and lifestyle as the foundation for good health, allowing you to take more control over your health and well being. Along with proper nutrition, it uses Ayurvedic herbs and Ayurvedic therapies that have been utilized for thousands of years. Medicinal herbs have many properties and potential actions, and, when manufactured and used properly, they achieve the desired results without creating further imbalances. So, as with any type of health care, it is important to have the guidance and close supervision of a trained clinician through regular follow-ups and good communication. At Blue Lotus Ayurveda we use only high quality, wildcrafted, and organic herbs and herbal preparations.
Ayurveda is a very effective system of alternative medicine that is slowly being recognized in the West. It is one if the primary systems of health care in India, and has been used for thousands of years for all sorts of ailments and disorders. Its full effectiveness will depend on various considerations, including your age and state of health, how much effort you are willing to put into making the necessary changes toward better health, and how disciplined you are with taking your formulas and following the recommended guidelines. Since an Ayurvedic regime is very individualized, its results will depend on individual factors and on follow-up treatments, since adjustments and close supervision are absolutely necessary to obtain optimal results.
We are aware that some practitioners tour the US offering Ayurvedic consultations and claim to be pulse masters who only need to take your pulse for 5 minutes to treat you, and then prescribe a big collection of herbal products. They may come back to follow-up on you a year later. This may be a good marketing technique, but unfortunately it is also a dis-service to authentic Ayurveda and to real practitioners. Taking your pulse for five minutes is not enough to understand you as a whole person. It is important to look at all the factors involved in the disease process, and pulse diagnosis is just one of the assessment tools in Ayurveda. There are others, and this is what allows us to do long distance Ayurveda consultations. It is important to get to know the whole you: Your constitution, your family history, your medical history, your diet, habits and environment, which cannot be done in 5 minutes. You will often get better results with an individualized constitutional formula than with many general remedies for each of your symptoms.
As a holistic system of medicine, Ayurveda does not focus on disease or pathology per se. Rather, it maintains that all life must be supported by energy in balance. It views health as the harmonious functioning of the organism as a whole, and states that no system can work in isolation. Therefore, its goal is not just to treat or suppress symptoms, but to bring balance to the doshas so as to restore the natural harmony of your organism as a whole. When the flow of energy is harmonious, everything works properly and there is a sense of well being. In other words, when the balance of the doshas is restored, the root cause of imbalance is removed, and your organism works properly (i.e., symptoms disappear). Furthermore, Ayurveda has a unique cleansing and rejuvenation program known as Panchakarma to detoxify and rejuvenate the organism at a cellular level, which can remove long lasting ailments while further promoting overall health and longevity.
Ayurveda can be used in conjunction with Western allopathic medicine. Drugs can save lives, but because of their toxicity they can also weaken or damage the body with side effects. Ayurveda can help protect and make the body stronger after or along with drugs or surgery. It is very important to let your Ayurvedic practitioner know what medications you are on, so he can recommend the appropriate ayurvedic regime for you.
Yes. Ayurveda offers many practical and simple treatments for acute and first aid ailments with medicinal substances you may even be able to find in your own kitchen. Most people are amazed at how simple preventing and treating common ailments can be with a basic Ayurvedic knowledge. As you continue on your journey to optimal health at Blue Lotus Ayurveda, you will learn how to integrate a 'kitchen pharmacy' into your lifestyle.
That would depend on your particular state of health, your lifestyle, and how disciplined you are in following an Ayurvedic regime. Often times, following an Ayurvedic regime can have rather quick effects, but since Ayurveda is a holistic system and herbs act more gently and synergistically, patience and self-effort are important. As far as diet and lifestyle changes are concerned, we believe that slow change is lasting change, since trying to make radical changes all at once can often times become overwhelming. Remember that true healing and optimal health is a journey, not a one-shot deal.
It really depends on what your health state, age, lifestyle, and goals are. Ayurveda defines imbalance as the end result of living out of harmony with your original constitution. Your constitution is the inherent balance of energies within your body-mind complex. It determines everything from your bone structure and temperament to your predisposition toward certain health challenges. Since we all have a different balance of energy, the path to optimal health will vary from person to person. How close you are to your constitutional balance will determine how many changes you need to make to get the results you want from your health program. Ayurveda is practical and can be flexible, but you are responsible for achieving the results you want through common sense and discipline.
According to Ayurveda, the foundation for optimal health is good digestion. Foods have different qualities and require different digestive energies. This is why food combining is of the utmost importance in Ayurveda. When a food that digests easily and quickly (such as fruit) stays in the stomach while other, heavier foods (such as grains and carbohydrates) finish their “cooking” process, a mixed message is sent to the internal organs, disrupting the digestive fire (or agni) and creating toxins (or ama). Likewise, when you combine foods that have a sour quality, or fermented foods such as yogurt, with sweet foods such as milk or fruit, the sour quality can cause the milk to separate and ferment in the stomach, leading to toxic buildup in the GI tract and the deeper tissues over time.
These are just a couple examples of the dietary guidelines Ayurveda offers to benefit everyone’s health. Ayurveda recommends not only avoiding certain food combinations, but also making food choices according to your individual constitution. For this, a personalized consultation is highly recommended, as trying to figure all this out with food charts can be challenging and confusing.
Panchakarma helps to cleanse toxins that accumulate from improperly digested food, as well as other environnmental factors, such as seasonal changes, stress and unresolved emotions, and provides a deep state of relaxation that helps to release chronic stress and tension, all of which act as obstacles to the healing process of chronic diseases and to your overall well being. Panchakarma also helps to counteract imbalances caused by seasonal changes, which can often weaken your immunity and leave you predisposed to ailments such as inflammations, colds, flu, respiratory infections, allergies, depression, etc., depending on your constitution and constitutional weakenesses. Ayurveda recommends to do Panchakarma at least once a year to promote overall health and longevity, and prevent disease.
We have set up a separate page to answer general and FAQs about our Panchakarma programs, and how to schedule a Panchakarma treatment at our clinic: Panchakarma Information and FAQs. Don't hesitate to contact us if you still have questions.
It is important to stress that Panchakarma is a specialized Ayurvedic procedure requiring proper guidance and supervision from a clinically trained Ayurvedic practitioner that also requires specific guidelines before, during, and after therapies.
Generally speaking, Ayurvedic therapies utilize two main elements to promote healing and relaxation: herbal oils and heat to help the medicated oils further penetrate into the tissues. The most common type of Ayurvedic massage is known as Abhyanga. It consists of one or two therapists vigorously massaging warm oil onto your body from head to foot, using specialized strokes. This kind of massage takes you into a state of deep relaxation, both physical and mental, while nourishing all your tissues and promoting cleansing and healing. The use of specialized herbal oils helps bring your body back into balance.
Medicated oils are oils infused with medicinal herbs that have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic clinics. They are used according to your specific needs and dosha imbalance. Warm oil has a penetrating quality that helps the body absorb the substances infused into the oil for health purposes. They are applied in many Ayurvedic Ayurvedic therapies and can also used for self-massage as a part of a daily routine for self-healing (called dinacharya).
Pouring warm oil on the forehead has an extremely soothing and relaxing effect. This therapy quiets both the mind and the senses, allowing your body's natural healing mechanisms to release stress and impurities from the nervous system. When deep relaxation is achieved, the subtle "imprints" of imbalance or disease are also released. This therapy calms the subtle aspects of the doshas in the region of the head, thus promoting mental rejuvenation. It is done with herbal oils and other medicated liquids that nourish the nervous system and the subtle channels in the head. Because of the profound effects it has upon the consciousness, it has often been called "Bliss Therapy." Most people go "out" during this therapy, especially when it is performed after an Ayurvedic massage.
Marma point therapy is similar to acupressure in that it triggers energy to different organs and systems of the body, but it differs from it in that marma points follow different pathways of energy (called nadis) and usually cover a bigger area than Chinese meridian points. There is no use of needles. Our Marma Therapy session includes a blend of massage and acupressure focused on marmas, passive yoga therapy to free blocked energy and promote flexibility, the use of Ayurvedic essential oils, and application of mild heat over specific areas, depending on your individual needs.
We offer long distance Ayurveda consultations within the USA, and these are done over the phone. An online type of assessment would be too incomplete and impersonal. We truly believe that proper Ayurvedic health care requires a more personal interaction with our clients and regular follow-ups, as things change and adjustments need to be made depending on the seasons and your individual circumstances. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding this, or if you would like to start the process of a long distance Ayurveda consultation.