From turmeric lattes and starting the day with warm lemon water, to a love of coconut oil, yoga, meditation, eating light dinners and the importance of gut health, there is a growing interest in Ayurvedic medicine as more and more people look for help beyond their GP’s office.
With an increasing number of untreatable, and often undiagnosable, health issues centred around digestion, hormones, chronic fatigue, weight gain, pain and inflammation, it’s natural that there’s this renewed interest in alternative forms of treatment.
The movement towards Ayurveda, which has attracted some of Hollywood’s biggest stars - like Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Kourtney Kardashian and Amber Valetta - is becoming widely practiced in places like Australia, Europe and the US.
One of the discipline’s key proponents, and well-known Ayurvedic teachers, is Deepak Chopra who established programs based around meditation, Ayurveda and yoga in the mid-1990s.
Part of a growing movement
This shift towards Ayurveda, also part of a wider movement towards alternative and complementary medicine, has come about, quite simply, because it works. In Ayurveda, the entire bodily system is looked at - this gets down the root problem of a disease - rather than just masking symptoms. So many health issues can be treated with Ayurveda, before they become full-blown illnesses.
It’s important to listen to your body’s subtle signs and make a change as soon as things start feeling not quite right. The mind and body are inextricably connected and nothing has more power to heal and transform the body, than the mind.
Good health depends on our ability to fully metabolise the nutritional, emotional and sensory information we ingest. Western research is only now starting to validate thousands of years of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine wisdom, which look at the links between the digestive system and chronic illness.
Growing acceptance of the power of Ayurveda
Ayurveda has been used for 5000 years and is still widely practiced on the Indian subcontinent, with more than 90 per cent of Indians using some form of Ayurvedic medicine, according the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing.
There is growing acceptance of herbal medicines and market research company Ken Research highlights that 70 per cent of all medical doctors in France and Germany are regularly prescribing herbal medication.
Money spent on health and fighting off diseases is also increasing exponentially. The United States (government, individuals and businesses) spent $US3.2 trillion on health care in 2015, up almost six per cent from the year before, according to new data from the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Australian Securities & Investments Commission figures show that an Australian couple with two kids will be spending up to $A104 a week on medical and health expenses.
Alongside this, complementary therapies are across the board, becoming more widely accepted and we’re starting to see things energy-balancing therapy operating in a university; and alternative therapies, like laughter yoga, becoming more actively researched in their treatment for the elderly.
What Ayurvedic practices can you implement?
If you’re still fine-tuning your daily routine, here is a handy list of practices that will help you on the way to improving your overall health and preventing disease. Remember prevention is better than curing! To get started, why don’t you start by choosing a few of of these 12 options to implement each day.
- Always sit down to eat (don’t eat in front of your computer or TV or while you’re driving)
- Eat in a settled atmosphere and not when you’re upset or feeling emotional
- Listen to your body, don’t eat until you’re definitely hungry
- Eat slowly and put your utensils down in between bites - don’t gulp down your food or eat too slowly
- Minimise raw foods, which are much harder to digest than cooked ones
- Look at food as medicine - when you’re eating, try to include all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter and pungent) at each meal
- Start the day with lukewarm water and lemon, ginger, honey and then drink herbal teas throughout the day
- Practice some form of moderate exercise, like yoga or walking, on a regular basis
- Get oil massages as much as possible to relax the body on a deeper level and detoxify the lymphatic system
- Spend time relaxing, meditating or being in nature every day
- Use your kitchen herbs as medicine - these might include ginger, turmeric, triphala and neem to detoxify the system
- Do regular detoxes and cleanses (these can be anything from a short, one-day cleanse to a seven day quick start or a 28-day whole body re-set)
Just one of the many success stories
One of my clients, Jenny Ferrante, struggled with adrenal fatigue for years. After meeting her and her husband Fred, in 2016, we worked together to her improve their health with Ayurveda.
We had one-on-one consultations and then they did our 28 Day Detox & Re-set Program. They tell me this was the beginning of a transformation that’s still going on now. Here’s what Jenny had to say about it.
“We did the 28-day detox program, and that’s when our health really started to shift. To begin with, we were very tired, but as time went on we gained clarity of mind and a great amount of energy,” says Jenny who has lost more than 10kg since doing the program.
“We’ve also continued to eat Ayurvedic style four days out of the week, and eat much more healthily in general.”
Fred says although he didn’t go into it with any real issues of his own, he’s also feeling much healthier than ever.
“I’ve always felt good in myself and I’ve hardly ever gone to a doctor - I don’t like traditional Western doctors, they seem to always try to find a solution without knowing the real problem,” she says.
“Jo, on the other hand, wants to get to the root of dis-ease in the body. She told me things I wasn’t even aware of about my own body and helped me set up a regime of what I should be doing to prevent disease in the future.”
Alternatively, try our seven day detox, you can buy it here, it’s all online with videos and live chats, so you can do it from anywhere. After just seven days, you will have gone a long way to improving your body’s metabolism, and igniting your own body’s innate intelligence to self-regulate.