Therapy workshop for Massage Therapists, Ayurvedic Practitioners, and Herbalists. Registered Nurses can also attend, as well as Physical Therapists.
Learn and experience first hand the cleansing detoxification therapies of Ayurveda that include Abhyanga, sweat therapies, purgative herbs, Vamana, Nasya and Shirodhara. Learn to cook Panchakarma detox therapeutic food and principles of Ayurvedic nutrition.
Introduction to Panchakarma Theory We will discuss the theory of Vamana, Virechana – Shodhana and Rasayan therapies herb protocols. • Shamana Chikitsa and minor health imbalances. • Panchakarma DETOX recipes due to diet, season and environment.
Kapha Imbalance - Diabetes 2, congestion, sinus issues, insomnia and extreme stress. Pachaka Pitta, Sadhaka Pitta and Rakta Dhatu Imbalances – Acid reflux, Pitta headaches, skin disorders and adult
acne. Vata Imbalances that affect Asthi Dhatu, Mamsa Dhatu and Apana Vata – arthritis, joint pains, muscle issues and chronic constipation.
All of a sudden a phone bell rang and an old friend after long time said, “Hi doc, how are you?”
I am fine, how about you?
“I have been facing one problem for couple of months and I need your advice in this issue.”
“Tell me what it is about.”
“It is about bad body odour. As a part of my routine, I bath, put some good talcum powder over the body and leave for day to day activity. Within 1-2 hours my shirt gets a peculiar offensive odour. I tried different soaps and also started using perfumes but the problem still exists. Can you suggest some way out?”
This was the first time someone seeking advice for such an health issue. Normally using anti-perspirant helps to get rid of this issue, but, since he asked, I had to think something different and effective. Remembered one herb, read in the books about 15 years back, as that herb when consumed orally, eliminates bad body odour. Incidentally I had a chance to try the recipe on this friend.
The name of this herb is BEL in vernacular language and identified as Aegle marmelos in botanical language. I suggested him to take this powder with Triphala powder, mixed in equal quantity. The recommended dose was just half teaspoon at bed time with a sip of water. After this suggestion, I was eager to know the outcome after 1 week. I received his call on 11th day. In his words, “I am using the same shirt for last 2 days and now putting it for laundry as it is soiled. I am really shocked to notice the effect. Despite using it for 2 days, there is no stink”.
Skin is the largest sweat gland
Seldom, it may happen that you suggest some remedy for certain condition but the disease would have normally settled by that time. It could be just co-incidence even. Hence, concluding was not logical unless it shows the same effect in few more individuals. Now the question was how to get guinea pigs? Suggesting this recipe to someone for bad body odour may be emotionally hurting. Suddenly I remembered one smart girl in our office having this problem. Whenever she used to enter the cabin for some work, I used to finish her task on priority basis so that she will move out at the earliest. I personally procured the above mentioned herbal powders and offered it to her.
“Sir, what is this powder for?”
“You are too weak and also anemic. I noticed you become little breathless on climbing even 2 stairs of our office”.
“Thank you sir. In fact I was about to ask you some safe treatment for this problem. When should I consume this and how much quantity?”
“Just half spoon at bed time with a sip of water. Don’t forget to give me the feedback after a week”.
After about 10-12 days she reported “I don’t feel any improvement in symptoms. I am still getting breathless and feeling exhausted”.
“O. K. Just continue it for some more days”.
“Meanwhile, my mother noticed some positive change and she told me yesterday that my clothes had very offensive odor which has suddenly disappeared”
“Now I will tell you the true story of this herbal mixture. This preparation I gave you for eliminating bad body odour but I did not want to express it. I was hesitating to convey it considering you may feel offended”.
“Sir, I just can’t express my contentment. I tried different soaps, perfumes, body sprays but the problem was never controlled.” The conversation ended with bunch of appreciation, thankfulness and gratudes.
The effect of this combination was now established for treating bad body odour. The mind did not allow me to breathe happily after this success but raised a basket of new question ahead.
What is actually the patho-physiology involved in body odour? How oral medicine would reach there and successfully treat it? What is the mechanism of action? It was now essential to discover all these various aspects before concluding.
The step by step study went on progressing and I was happy to arrive at some concrete findings.
There are about 2 to 4 million sweat glands situated under the skin. They function mainly for regulation of body temperature and provide an emotional response. The watery secretion produced by these glands make the body moist and helps to cool the body temperature. The glands are under the control of sympathetic nervous system. Sweat contains water and some salts like sodium, chloride, potassium, urea, bicarbonate, calcium and other excretions from the body such as amino acids. There are 2 types of sweat glands in human body.
They are Eccrine glands and Apocrine glands. Eccrine glands are situated all over the body whereas the Apocrine glands are situated in Axilla (underarm), Perianal (near the anal area), Areole (nipple), Periumbilical (around the belly button), Genital area, External ear canal, and Eyelids. The sweat is actually odourless but on drying, the Coryneform bacteria decompose which produces a peculiar bad odour. Hyperthyroidism is one of the major causes of excessive sweating. Therefore it is essential to have better control on thyroid hormone. While studying this, a research paper came to notice indicating that the leaves of this plant contain Scopoletin (7-hydroxy-6-methoxy coumarin), which regulates the hyper secretion of Thyroxine hormone. Along with that it also has the property to detoxify Liver.
This gave a partial satisfaction of the observation. Now the question of Triphala, how would it be performing the activity to treat the bad body odour. Incidentally one more research paper, which proved that the phenolic compounds and tannins exhibited comparable antimicrobial activity. The complete scientific rationale was established and the respect for Ayurveda was uplifted. The two activities required for treating bad body odour, controlling the excessive sweating and regulating bacterial decomposition was established. It is very important that Ayurveda, an Indian medical science, which is claimed to be older than 5000 years has such an enormous potential hidden within. There were no laboratories, no scientific instruments, no technical support to study; even then the formulations were established with such a great accuracy.
The scientists today study with huge available infrastructure and get doctorates in these subjects but conveniently forget that the answers are already available in our own age old ancient science. We only find as how our ancestors arrived to these findings. It is like the answer to complicated sum is given, we simply make an attempt to study the steps. Ayirveda is an ocean of millions of PhD subjects; we only need to explore the hidden treasury.
In the 21st Century, the popularity of holistic methods has grown, especially in the United States, as people realize the importance of mind over body and choosing homeopathic alternatives rather than Western medicine. This could be because of the expense of healthcare costs and medications. As a result, benefits of the low cost of Ayurvedic treatments, the World Health Organization in 1978 has recognized Ayurveda as being beneficial to economically impaired countries as it reduces expensive drug dependence on industrial states, especially those in the pharmaceutical industries. In 1983, the first International Ayurveda Congress was formed.
Ayurveda has also become popular because of such supporters as Deepak Chopra, Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. David Frawley and my personal favorite, Brigit Heyn who is a Viennese pharmacist and has studied Ayurveda over many years and publish books such as “Ayurveda, The Indian Art of Natural Medicine & Life Extension” from her studies and research.
Ayurveda has now spread out into many countries all over the world. It is classified as a system of complementary and alternative medicine or CAM but not a replacement to Western medicine. Though the struggle to become recognized by mainstream society has been long, there are signs that Ayurveda will not only become main stream but a standard way of life for many.
The Ayurvedic principles according to the seasons is called Ritucharya.
Remembering the universe is made up of the 5 elements, there is always a strong existence between life and nature. We must consider where we live, daily routine, profession etc. Our doshas change under the influence of seasons so it is best to try and control them in order to stay healthy.
During summer pitta is raised, kapha is reduced which increases stability. During windy times Vata is raised, kapha and pitta are reduced.
A cold dry day would even raise kapha. The year can be divided in two where we lose strength, stability, vitality and another when we build up those qualities. The year can also be described as the 6 seasons being separated in 2 adana (associated with the sun) and visarga (associated with the moon). Adana represents winter, spring and summer and visarga represents rain autumn and winter.
Many cultures especially India are influenced by ritucharya and therefore they follow a daily routine according to the seasons in order to maintain good health. Other cultures celebrate the seasons, Japan for example during the summer send their loved ones cards to ask how their health is during the heat and wish them good health. Or in August they eat unagi which they believe helps them survive the summer.
Others follow seasons to start planting, harvesting or look forward to a new year. Each culture has its own unique beliefs and is accustomed to following the seasons. In the Bahai fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset during the Bahai month from March 2-March 20. Buddhist monks and nuns who follow the Vinaya rules commonly do not eat each day after lunch.
This is a disciplined regimen which helps in meditation and good health. In Islam, fasting for a month is an obligatory practice during the holy month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk.
Nadi- Literally, a river, a channel or passageway; the pulse; there are innumerable nadis in the human body, from the very subtle to the very gross, carrying substances into, out of, or throughout the body.
(Lad, M.A.Sc, Vasant, 2002)
In many eastern health sciences, nadis are considered channels or tubes in the human body that carry prana. Prana is also known as energy or life force. These energy channels, or nadis, can be found in both the physical and the subtle body (Kripalu, 2008). In Chinese medicine, nadis are known as the meridians. “Although unlike meridians, nadis are not defined in the limbs” (McAllister, 1998). According to yogic philosophy there are said to be 72,000 nadis in the human body (Johari, 2010).
Our life experience is the flow of substances and energies through these tubes, or nadis. In order to remain healthy, these tubes must remain freely open and unblocked. Painful life experiences can cause restriction in nadis, often leading to survival mechanisms such as “numbness” and “disassociation” (Kripalu, 2008). These blockages can ultimately lead to health problems. Coming back in touch with our true selves through opening these channels, or nadis is important for our health and wellbeing
There are nadis found within the physical body. These nadis make up the nervous system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the lymphatic systems, etc. Any blockages in these nadis can result in physical health conditions (Kripalu, 2008).
Additionally, nadis can also be found in the subtle body. These nadis carry thoughts, feelings, and nerve impulses. When these nadis are blocked, we loose our ability to feel, to truly connect with others, to connect with our environment, and to even connect even ourselves. Various pramayama techniques aid in helping to keep these nadi channels open (Kripalu, 2008).
The chakras are also closely related to the nadis. According to website, Human Spiritual Structure: The Nadis, McAllister states, “the petals of the manipura chakra all correspond to nadis. The lotus aspect of the chakras is due to the nadis connecting to them. The seven chakras play a very important role in governing the energetic body, and the nadis are closely linked to them.
Although many subtle and gross nadis exist throughout the human body, there are three primary nadis and fourteen standard nadis. The three primary nadis are Sushumna nadi, Ida nadi, and the Pingala nadi (Johari, 2010).
The Sushumna nadi is different from all the other nadis because it is said to flow from the physical body directly to the soul. When prana flows freely through the Sushumna nadi, human beings experience a strong sense of inner focus and meditation comes easily. This nadi enables a strong connection to our inner being (Kripalu, 2008). The Sushumna nadi is located along the spinal column. It begins at the base of the spine in the Muladhara Chakra, or root chakra, and ends at the Sahasrara Chakra, or crown chakra. As it winds its way up the spine it dives into the anterior and posterior branches along the spinal column (Johari, 2010). This nadi can become activated and purified through pranayma and yoga asanas (Kripalu, 2008).
Another nadi is the Ida nadi. The Ida nadi travels to the left of the Sushumna nadi along the spinal column. The Ida nadi is considered to carry feminine energy. It ends in the left nostril, but activates the right side of the brain. This nadi helps to purify and nourish the mind and body
Additionally, the Pingala nadi is the nadi that travels to the right of the Sushumna nadi along the spinal column. This nadi carries male energy. It is also considered to carry solar energy, vitality, physical strength, and efficiency. It ends in the right nostril, but activates the left side of the brain (Johari, 2010).
Moreover, other notable nadis are Gandhari, Hastijihva, Yashasvini, Pusha, Alambusha, Kuhu, Shankini, Sarasvati, Payasvini, Varuni, and Vishvodara (Johari, 2010).
Gandhari nadi travels behind the Ida nadi and is associated with the Urinary Bladder.
Hastijihva nadi is also associated with the Urinary Bladder. It travels with the Ida nadi, the left big toe, and the right eye or ears.
Yashasvini nadi runs behind the Sushumna nadi along with the Hastijihva nadi and is associated with the Urinary Bladder as well.
Pusha nadi travels behind the Pingala nadi to the right ear. It is also associated with the Urinary Bladder.
Alambusa nadi runs from the anus to the mouth. It is associated with the Conception Vessel.
Kuhu nadi starts near the pharynx and then ends at the tip of the nose or genitals. Kuhu is associated with the Liver. It lies in front of the Sushumna nadi.
Shankini nadi lies in the throat, but travels to the anus, penis, and the ears. It is associated with the Kidneys.
Sarasvati nadi travels to the left of the Sushumna nadi and is said to be linked to the Spleen.
Payasvini nadi runs between the Pusha and Sarasvati nadi and ends at the ears. It is associated with the Gall Bladder.
Varuni nadi is said to be linked to the large intenstine, urethra, and fallopian tubes.
Vishvidara nadi is corresponds to the stomach. It is said to run between Kuhu and Hastijihva nadis. (McAllister, 1998).
Although there is said to be over 72,000 Nadis found in the body, these are some primary Nadis that are, “deemed of particular significance” (McAllister, 1998). Maintaining open and unblocked Nadis is extremely helpful peoples for overall health and wellbeing.
Kripalu, . (2008). Kripalu yoga teacher training. Stockbridge, MA: Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
Lad, M.A.Sc., Vasant. (2002). Textbook of ayurveda fundamental principles. Albuquerque, NM: The Ayurvedic Press.
Johari, Pratibha. (2010). Tantra-kundalini, ancient teachings of tantra and kundalini. Retrieved from http://www.tantra-kundalini.com/nadis.htm
McAllister, Alan. (11, 1998). Human spiritual structure: the nadis. Retrieved from http://www.wholebeingexplorations.com/matrix/SpSt/nadis.htm
Ayurvedic Marma Massage – Ayurveda’s version of acupressure, a therapeutic massage that releases muscle soreness. It is the Ayurvedic version of Accupressure and uses 107 vital marma points, that are gently massaged in a circular stroke then pressed to release pain.
The marma massage can be done with clothes on, like Shiatsu or with ‘healing’ oils that have anti inflammatory or analgesic qualities like MahaNarayanam Tailam, or, Pidantak Tailam. Sometimes, pain relieving wraps or ice packs can also be used.
Kalaripayattam Masters use their hands, feet, fingers, thumbs as well as natural herbs that heal and reduce inflammation and pain.
Kalari Payattu is an ancient form of martial arts that was founded around the 4th Century A.D., and was perfected in the southern parts of India. The regions where it remained authentic were in Tamil Nadu, India and Kerala, India. The Kalari Payattu discipline is well-known for maintaining a holistic view of “the warrior.” People who were trained in Kalari Payattu were skilled martial art warriors, as well as powerful healers who use utilized Ayurvedic principles and the 107 marmas or vital energy points to help heal themselves and others. Additionally, they were trained in pranayama, yoga, mediation, and Ayurvedic massage to help them maintain mental strength and a strong mind-body connection. (Ayurveda Kalarickal, 2010)
Kalari Payattu martial artists discovered 107 marma points (energy points) on the human body which were used for both healing the human body, or causing harm to an enemy. It was discovered if a marma point is hit in a particular way it can be fatal to a person. Moreover, ancient surgeons would not cut the on marma points because they believed it would take longer for the person to heal after surgery. (Ayurveda, Kalarickal, 2010)
On the other hand, The 107 marma points were discovered also to aid in healing. Kalari Payattu martial artists discovered extensive healing benefits with the use of massage, yoga asanas, and even meditation. Applying pressure to marma points was found to be very beneficial in helping treat physical and mental diseases (Ayurveda Kalarickal, 2010). Kalari Payattu martial artists discovered and perfected many healing remedies that Ayurveda Practitioners today look to as guidelines for their practice. Marma points found mention in Ayurvedic Scriptural Texts like Sushruta Samhita and Charaka Samhita. The same points are used for pain relief and healing by an Ayurvedic Practitioner. Someone comes to an Ayurvedic Practitioner with a problem in their eye. Press the marma in their foot. Instant Relief!! Also different aromatherapy oils applied to these marma points are therapeutic !
Above is a picture of Shirodhara I did for Pitta Prakrati, who had red eyes and falling hair, insomnia and stress. In Ayurveda, we say there was a problem with Alochaka, Sadhaka and Bhrajaka. We used organic rose water with jasmine, and sandalwood oil. Please note that this was not commercial rose water, but organic. We also did amalaki powder mixture in this shirodhara. So, this would not only help the falling hair, stress, insomnia but also the ‘red’ eyes.
Ayurvedic Head Therapies include Shirodhara, Shiro basti, Shiro Pichu and Shiro abhyanga.
Shirodhara involves gently pouring herbal oil or decoction over ajna chakra on the forehead (the ‘third eye’). Used in sukhachikitsa (restorative therapy) as part of Panchakarma. Complmentary to Cranio Sacral Therapy, Shirodhara assists in treating eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, greying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, and neuro-muscular disorders.
Shirodhara involves gently pouring herbal oil or decoction over ajna chakra on the forehead (the ‘third eye’). Used in sukhachikitsa (restorative therapy) as part of Panchakarma. Complmentary to Cranio Sacral Therapy, Shirodhara assists in treating eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, graying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, and neuro-muscular disorders. It also helps restore luster to the hair as well as hair fall. (Please note that these statements are NOT recognized by FDA and Western Medicine. This is a traditional system of health care from India.)
There are specialized forms of shirodhara called tailadhara (herbal oil), ksheeradhara (herbal milk decoction), takradhara (Buttermilk with essential oils) and jaladhara (lukewarm water kept in the sun with essential oils of sandalwood, patchouli and rose.)
Shirodhara has been used to treat a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, greying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, Ménière’s disease and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis. It is also used non-medicinally at spas for its relaxing properties.
There are specialized forms of shirodhara called thyladhara, ksheeradhara, thakradhara and jaladhara.
Shiroabhyanga is massage of the head with customized oil be it dhatoorpatram, nilabhringadi or hibiscus, coconut or sesame. Different oils have different healing properties. The time and strokes may remain same, however the change of herbal oil can change the healing intention.
Now, we will talk about Shiro Basti. Shiro Basti literally means keeping herb infused oil with healing properties on the top of the head for a given period of time. Benefits include help with facial paralysis according to Ayurvedic texts and Ayurvedic doctors in India, Mental illnesses including Schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder and Insomnia or any psychological disorder that may include violence. Please remember these studies have been done in India and not extensively. U.S. does not recognize Ayurveda as a bona fide science but as an alternative treatment.
Ayurvedic Shiro Oil Therapy
Ayurvedic Therapy for Psyschological and Mental Illness
Tying Leather Cap for Shiro Basti Ayurvedic Head TreatmentAyurveda Head Therapies
Why is it that being healthy and fit equals spending money. Why do we have to join expensive gyms and private fitness coaches to lose weight? Why do we pay so much more for organics or fresh groceries.
The truth is, that the world WANTS us to be unhealthy, so that they can market their ‘healthy’ mantras to us, and, make us pay money.
Actually, health and fitness begin from home. You dont HAVE to join a fitness class. You can walk, run around the block or do yoga at home with a dvd as well.
And, yes, I have another bone of contention. I am a yoga teacher. (Above is a photo of my friend doing a lion pose or simhasana). I am not skinny. Why are all the yoga teachers in USA skinny?????
That defeats the whole purpose of Yoga. Yoga is meant for overweight, obese, skinny, old, young, kids, seniors, arthritic….EVERYONE!
This article is about Yoga Therapy!
Yoga therapy is great for both maintaining and generation health, no matter what your age, condition or fitness level.
Until recently yoga’s claim at aiding health was considered hear-say or speculation. There was a reasonable amount of skepticism that yoga could actually be as beneficial to your mental and physical health as its proponents claimed.
However, in the last few years, scientific study, observation, and measurement have proven that yoga can indeed have specific observable affects on your health. It has been shown that body, mind, and spirit do work together and when the effective level of each is raised, the person experiences a much better life in terms of health, happiness, and harmony within himself or herself and with the world in general.
Ayurveda and yoga seem to go hand in hand. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic health system that believes individual has a unique psycho-somatic body constitution. So, the yoga and fitness activities they do must be unique to their body and mind type! If you want to know your ‘body constitution’ or dosha, click here.
and even well-known medical establishments like Johns Hopkins are claming;
“Over 75 scientific trials have been published on yoga in major medical journals. These studies have shown that yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity that also has important psychological benefits due to its meditative nature.”
Indeed, one can lead an optimal life to its full potential through perfect health and yoga. Ultimately yoga is a lifestyle, not just a class you take three days a week. Yoga covers everything from healthy eating to positive thinking, from meditation to ethics that can improve all of your interpersonal relationships.
There are many yoga studios that offer meditation classes free, and, packages that are reasonable as well.
Cooking fresh and organic food that is plant based on its own can solve 70% of the problem. The rest can be done by physical exercise – walking, yoga therapy being the most conducive for most age groups.
Breathing exercises (Pranayama) and yoga therapy helps to normalize the imbalance in the body by working on those areas of the physical body where your ‘dosha’ or imbalance resides.
For example, Kapha body types who suffer from weight issues, congestion, sinus and low metabolism can benefit by Kalpa bhatti pranayama that increases AGNI in the body, and yoga postures of the chest, stomach and lungs. However, breathing exercises are most beneficial to them. If you combine this with warming, anti –kapha vegetarian diet – and, most weight issues, congestion may quickly dissipate.
An individual practicing Ayurveda Yoga -Sun Salutations
Although, breathing exercises are done before yoga to expand the lungs and as a form of meditation to achieve a spiritual goal, however, it has multiple physical benefits as well. Anyone suffering from asthma can benefit from pranayama.
According to Deepak ,a Naturopath Diplomate and Hatha Yoga Expert, in India
“Pranayama and deep breathing (aloma and viloma) increases serotonin, which helps alleviate depression, headaches and insomnia. Regular meditation increases energy, normalizes blood pressure, reduces tension, increases concentration, and strengthens immune system, emotional and mental stability and increases motivation, creativity and stamina. ”
Pranayama Meditation with deep breathing has been known to increase and help in creation of new neuron pathways leading to increase learning ability, memory, and concentration. Best time to do yoga breathing is early in the morning when it is peaceful. Sit in a place with fresh air blowing in and focus on your breathing. For proper breathing, join a yoga class!
What is Ayurveda? What are Tridoshas? What is our body Constitution? Unlike western medical system, that reduces the disease to the minute possible reason and singles it out – For example, caused by virus, caused by bacteria, caused by plaque in cell, caused by overactive thyroid, caused by toxins, caused by side effect of a drug, caused by growth of cell and so on – Ayurveda, considers the human being as a whole.
This is a video lecture by Dr. Parmela Sawhney M.D., given for a workshop for San Diego College of Ayurveda at Coronado.