Staying well with Ayurveda

Winter is the time when we are most susceptible to common colds and flu, but Ayurvedic medicine provides many ways to safeguard yourself and maintain winter wellness. From adjusting your diet seasonally to taking medicated ghee treatments, you can stay healthy this winter naturally.

3 ways to ward of winter complaints with Ayurveda

The winter season is closely associated with the kapha dosha (one of the three elementary life energies that make up our minds and bodies). Kapha is associated with coolness, heaviness and lethargy. Treatments and foods that abate kapha and bring the doshas into balance will help you to stay healthy this winter. Here are three ways to protect yourself from winter complaints with Ayurveda:

  1. Take medicated ghee treatments

The purity of ghee and the lubrication it provides make it excellent as both a food item and a topical salve during winter. Nasya treatments that are administered nasally can help to keep sinuses lubricated and prevent painful cracking where skin is dry from the cold. Ghee itself contains phenolic antioxidants which boost your immune system. Make sure you stock up this winter on plain, non-medicated ghee too.

  1. Adjust your diet for winter

In winter, when the cold kapha and windy vata doshas are dominant, warming, spicy foods such as chilli can help to keep you in better health. Spices such as cumin and cinnamon are warming, so have a mug of warm spiced chai instead of your usual tea to reap the full benefits. A warming, Ayurvedic winter diet will make sure that your immune system stays strong and ready to tackle common winter ailments.

  1. Book an oil massage

In addition to internal applications of ghee, try an oil massage this winter. Ayurvedic massages using medicated oils help to release tension and toxins. Being stressed makes you more prone to common winter maladies, so take the necessary steps to have a stress free, healthy winter.

Keeping dosed on important vitamins will help to keep your immune system functioning optimally this winter. Natural Ayurvedic treatments and lifestyle changes, however, can create the true balance that underlies sturdy health.

5 anti-aging benefits of Ayurveda and an Ayurvedic lifestyle

The Ayurvedic tradition strives towards a core principle: balance. Stress and physical illness are both signs of imbalance, and both are factors in advancing premature aging. Adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle offers multiple anti-aging benefits:

  1. Ayurvedic lifestyles reduce stress – a factor in aging

Stress is a major factor in premature signs of aging. High stress lowers your immune response and can aggravate signs of aging such as thinning hair. Because it creates balance through nutrition, exercise and/or Ayurvedic therapies, Ayurveda can help you to counteract stress and maintain a resilient core.

  1. Ayurvedic, balanced nutrition promotes youthful appearance and energy

Nutrition is a major component of Ayurvedic tradition. The foods we consume to fuel our minds and bodies affect our constitutional balance. Ayurvedic nutrition advocates adhering to a balanced diet in which none of the three primary life energies – the doshas – is in excess or lack.

Healthy Ayurvedic eating requires cutting back on sugar and caffeine-filled food items that lack nutritional value and negatively impact mind-body balance. Healthy Ayurvedic eating that incorporates nature’s medicine chest of leafy vegetables, herbs and spices, fosters youthful energy and appearance.

  1. Traditional Ayurvedic therapies promote younger skin

Ayurvedic therapies such as detoxifying steam therapy (sedan) help to promote blood flow to the skin and a youthful appearance. Besides stimulating circulation to promote a more youthful physical appearance, swedana or sweating treatments also help to balance out the doshas and boost your metabolic rate – a natural aid to weight loss.  Regular Abhyanga is a great treatment for anti-ageing as well as Panchakarma at least once a year balances your doshas and rejuvenates you at the cellular level

  1. Natural herbal Ayurvedic supplements boost energy

Ingesting and topically applying herbal preparations are two core practices in Ayurvedic tradition. Natural herbal supplements that boost energy can help you to maintain youthful energy levels. Triphala is often subscribed as a Rejuvenation formula whilst Ashwagandha helps to boost energy levels and mental strength and helps you to adapt to any situation, both herbs are known to have strong anti-aging properties.

  1. Ayurvedic breathing techniques lower stress and promote wellbeing

Good breathing technique is crucial in Ayurveda. How we breathe not only determines oxygen supply. It also affects our energy levels and state of mind. Learning Ayurvedic breathing techniques that calm or boost energy will help you to combat premature aging and have greater control over passing emotional and psychological states.

To learn more about how you can use Ayurvedic insights to combat early aging, schedule a consultation with Ashishveda today.

How to treat child behavioural problems symptomatically with Ayurveda

If your child displays non-normative behaviour such as heightened irritability or aggression towards other children this can become stressful for both you and your child. Many behavioural problems can be addressed with Ayurvedic changes in lifestyle and diet. You can improve problem behaviour considerably using a holistic Ayurvedic approach:

Ayurveda and aggression

Sometimes children learn destructive behaviour in the playground. Smacking others and other signs of aggression may be learnt behaviour. Yet an underlying imbalance can lower your child’s ability to tolerate external stimuli, making them more reactive.  download (2)

In children as well as adults, a fiery temperament is a sign of a dominant pitta dosha. The doshas are the three life energies that suffuse and affect our minds and bodies. Pitta dosha is aggravated by hot and acidic foods. If your child is showing more irritable or aggressive behaviour, you might need to add more calming foods to his or her diet. Hot and salty food increase pitta, while sweet, bitter and astringent food placates pitta. Above all, avoid any caffeine intake.

Using Ayurveda to change disruptive behaviour

Because our brain chemistry is closely linked to and affected by what we feed our bodies, Ayurvedic diet can help to change disruptive behaviour. Cut refined sugar products out of your child’s diet. Sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of hyperactivity. Instead, use natural, pure sources of sweetness in your child’s food when necessary, such as dates or unprocessed honey. Dates are also a good source of other nutrients, including potassium.

An Ayurvedic diet can be paired with other Ayurvedic interventions to reduce disruptive behaviour. Teach your child Ayurvedic breathing techniques that he or she can use to create calm when the classroom or another environment feels overstimulating.

Using Ayurveda to help nervous children

Many children display high anxiety when they are dropped off at school. While most children acclimatise and this fear diminishes over time, sometimes children need a little extra help. According to Ayurveda, the vatta dosha of lightness and movement is associated with a nervous temperament. Wild oats are a good source of vatta-placating nutrients. Other natural calmatives for nervy children include herbs such as ashwagandha, bala, and Shatavari.

When considering Ayurvedic remedies to address your child’s behaviour, speak to your paediatrician to get the go-ahead on any unfamiliar herbal treatment.

Are you struggling with these or other behavioural problems in your child? Speak to Dr Ashish today to find a natural, holistic way forward.

Fill our dosha questionnaire or consult with Dr Ashish to find out what is in a vatta pacifying diet.

How to help children concentrate using Ayurveda

Many children are naturally energetic, but when children are constantly unable to concentrate in school and other environments an imbalance often lies at the root. Educational  Childrens-Healthpsychologists are sometimes quick to reach for medication, but this can have unpleasant side-effects. Ashishveda offers gentler ways to help children who can’t concentrate. Here are 4 ways you can use Ayurvedic principles to assist your child:

Adjust your child’s diet

In Ayurvedic tradition, diet is extremely important. The primary life energies that affect the mind, the three doshas (kapha, pitta and vatta) can easily become imbalanced through improper diet. This imbalance has an adverse effect on bodily and mental health.

If your child can’t concentrate, it could be that their vatta is imbalanced. This dosha is the force of movement and an overactive mind might suggest vatta is in excess. Give your child vatta pacifying foods. Fill our dosha questionnaire or consult with Dr Ashish to find out what is in a vatta pacifying diet.

Favour warm, nourishing meals over light and insubstantial. This will help to ground and stabilise.

Give your child vetted herbal supplements  

There are several natural herbs that have been used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic practitioners to promote mental calm and focus. Herbs such as Ashwagandha are known to help ease insomnia and anxiety. With the approval of your paediatrician, give your child a natural herbal supplement that will help them focus so that they can learn uninterrupted.

Teach your child concentration-building techniques

Children need to be taught many things, from learning to tie their own shoelaces to counting their times’ table. Techniques for coping with challenges should be taught just as importantly. Teach your child Ayurvedic techniques for calming the mind and building focus and concentration. If your child tends to be scattered, practice breathing exercises with them that they can practice whenever they need to. The increased oxygen intake will help your child stay mindfully alert.

Make sure your child gets enough exercise

If your child is too sedentary there is a lot of energy that isn’t being used up. This contributes to an overactive mind, so make sure that your child exercises frequently. An Ayurvedic movement practice such as yoga is calming and can be scaled to how fit your child is. Take your child to a yoga class for kids or else teach them a few simple exercises that will help them clear their mind and stay focused on any task or challenge.

If you are concerned about your child’s concentration, speak to Dr. Ashish about natural Ayurvedic solutions that will help your child focus and concentrate

 

5 Ayurvedic approaches to help children sleep soundly

Young children are often full of exuberant energy, but it can become disruptive when a child always fights off sleep or has bedtime tantrums. Ayurvedic approaches to help children sleep include natural ways to help children sleep better, resulting in fewer night-time disturbances. Here are 5 Ayurvedic sleep remedies suitable for children:

  1. Combat vata-related sleep imbalance

In Ayurvedic tradition, the three doshas are the elemental energies that affect mind and body. The vata dosha is associated with wind and movement, and excess vata is often at the root of sleep imbalance. Children whose minds run as they get ready for bed should eat foods that balance vata, including warm, cooked meals that avoid stimulants such as sugar.

  1. Combat pitta-related sleep disturbance

A child who wakes in the small hours and can’t get back to sleep might have a pitta-related imbalance. The fiery pitta dosha is aggravated by stimulation and heat-generating foods. Give your child more food (but keep the amount within a reasonable range due to natural sugars). Also, adopt a pitta-pacifying lifestyle. This means making sure your child is in bed and asleep before 10:00 p.m.

  1. Combat kapha-related excess sleep

Older children sometimes are hard to wake for school and seem tired no matter how much they sleep. This can be the result of excess kapha, which causes a slow and sluggish disposition. Heavy, cold foods (such as cold custard) can aggravate Kapha, so it’s best to give a child who needs excessive sleep lighter (though still substantial), warmer foods. It’s also important to make sure the child who has a kapha imbalance gets plenty of exercise.

  1. Avoid stimulants in general

Stimulants such as caffeine and sugar affect adults, creating a buzz of energy. Picture how much more excess energy is created in young bodies. Avoid giving your child food containing added sugar and avoid sources of caffeine (even dark/bitter chocolate is quite high in caffeine). This will ensure your child feels sleepier earlier and isn’t bouncing off the walls at 11 p.m.

  1. Walk your child through guided relaxation

Young, active minds respond well to stories, so turn bedtime into a relaxing story time. Tell your child to imagine a scene and describe somewhere peaceful and beautiful and calm and create a hushed, sleepy atmosphere. If your child becomes wise to this approach, you can also give your child a natural, sleep-time tea such as chamomile (if your child won’t fuss about the taste).

The above five Ayurvedic approaches will help your child to enjoy better, deeper sleep so that you can enjoy bedtime too.  Contact Ashishveda now to get your life back.

 

 

Ashish Paul Ashishveda

5 challenges mothers face that can be eased with Ayurveda

Mothers of all ages face challenges that can take a toll on well-being. Natural changes in the body such as menopause cause great discomfort to mature women, while women of all ages may be affected at some point by physical and/or emotional imbalances that require therapeutic assistance. Traditional Ayurvedic healing takes a holistic approach to common physical and emotional challenges that mothers face. Here are five complaints that may be eased using an Ayurvedic approach:

  1. Mood Swings

Women of all ages experience mood swings, especially those related to the menstrual cycle. A combination of diet and Ayurvedic therapies can reduce mood swings, however. In Ayurvedic practice, purifying the body helps to restore balance, thus purifying panchakarma therapies that detoxify the body help moody mums even out their mood swings.

According to Ayurvedic tradition, it’s also advisable to make dietary adjustments and focus on light, easily-digested food at times when mood swings are most volatile.

  1. Hormonal Imbalance

In Ayurvedic tradition, imbalance is viewed as state of body and mind. The three doshas or life energies affect our bodies as well as minds, and if any is in severe excess or lack hormonal imbalance can result. Hormonal imbalance also occurs naturally with life changes such as menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a non-Ayurvedic approach to this type of imbalance, but there are also herbal remedies (such as the Ayurvedic herb shatavari) that alleviate the most frustrating symptoms of imbalance (such as hot flashes).

  1. Depression

Often hormonal imbalance goes hand in hand with depression. Feeling low and listless is also a sign of imbalance. Ayurvedic tradition offers multiple ways to alleviate depression. Mothers who have post-natal depression or another source of these feelings can learn Ayurvedic breathing techniques that promote calm and psychological wellbeing.

Besides lifestyle changes and practices, there are also foods and home remedies that help fight depression. Ashwagandha or winter cherry is one Ayurvedic herbal remedy that has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression.

  1. Weight gain

Many women do not have sufficient time to exercise, juggling careers and family life. Weight gain is most often a result of imbalanced eating, too. An Ayurvedic eating plan that helps to create balance helps mothers restore wellbeing and a trimmer figure.

  1. Tired skin

Overworked mums often show their tiredness in their skin. A dull complexion can easily be improved and the skin can be rehydrated through an Ayurvedic hot steam treatment. Steam treatments detoxify the body, leaving skin brighter and healthier.

If you suffer any of the above complaints, start finding your way to wellness with the help of Ayurvedic nutrition and supportive, healing therapies.

 

5 Ayurvedic Exercises you can do at your desk

Uninterrupted sitting over long periods can have negative effects on your health. In Ayurvedic tradition, balance is essential and the body needs a movement to balance the sedentary hours of the day. Here are 5 Ayurvedic exercises that you can do at your desk to maintain balance and good health:

  1. Seated crescent moon

Your neck can quickly become stiff if you are spending long hours hunched over a desk or screen. Loosen stiff neck muscles by doing this simple yoga-derived exercise. Stretch your arms above your head, clasping your hands together. Then tilt your head from side to side, touching each ear to the inside of your raised arms. This will relieve tension.

  1. Lower back stretch

The lower back carries a lot of pressure when the spine is not aligned. This lower back stretch will help ward off back pain. Sitting in your office chair, with your legs hip-width apart, bend from the crease of your hips, bringing your torso down so that you are lying face forwards across your knees. Make sure to completely relax your neck. This will relieve pressure on your lower back.

  1. Warrior Two

This is best to keep for private moments at the office, if you are in a shared space, as it is more active than the preceding exercises.

To do the yoga pose Warrior Two in the office, place your chair against a wall so it can’t slip. Place your one leg, heel flat, on the chair, with your leg bent close to 90 degrees at the knee. Your other leg should be placed firmly on the office floor, stretched out so that you are balanced. Raise your arms and reach out in front and behind of you, keeping your raised arms parallel to the floor, as though you are reaching towards the horizon. Hold and release. This is an energizing, invigorating pose.

  1. Seated Twist

This is another great Ayurvedic office exercise to do when your back feels tight and you feel as though you have reduced flexibility. Sitting in your office chair, with your feet forward on the ground, place your right hand on your left knee. Inhale, and as you exhale, twist your body from the upper spine, to look over your shoulder while your legs remain facing forwards. Then swap sides. This is a great exercise for freeing your back muscles.

  1. Chest and shoulder opener

This exercise helps to correct any hunched posture. Sitting up straight, reach your arms behind yourself and clasp hands behind your back. If your chair does not have an open back, you will need to stand up. Clasping your hands together, pull your arms downwards and away from you, pulling your shoulders back and drawing your shoulder blades together. Hold and release. This helps to open the chest and reduces slouching.

All five of these Ayurvedic desk exercises borrow from well-known yoga poses. Practice these in spare moments at your desk to relieve muscular tension, boost focus and maintain good posture.  Why not attend one of my Yoga classes held every Sunday?

Nasya – Herbally Infused Oil – ideal for congestion and sinus problems

View my latest video blog post on Nasya.  The administration of herbally infused oil soothes and protects the nasal passages and helps relieve sinus congestion. Daily nasal lubrication helps to release tension in the head and relieve accumulated stress. Balancing for each Dosha  Vata, pitta, and Kapha, Nasya Oil is also traditionally said to improve quality of your voice, strengthen one’s vision and promote mental clarity.  Contact me for more information.