I recently met Dr. Jeanne Rosner (virtually, of course! still social-distancing over here!). She's the founder of Soul Food Salon and hosts a weekly segment called Wellness On The Weekend. She invited me to share a little about Ayurveda on her recent program. In this interview, I answered the questions:
1. What is Ayurveda?
2. How do you apply Ayurveda in your daily life?
3. Are there studies that prove Ayurveda works?
4. Can you combine Ayurveda with Western Medicine?
Here's a peek at my responses:
1. What is ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic system of self-care and wellness. It's the traditional medical system from India. It originated over 5000 years ago, around the same time as yoga. The premise of Ayurveda is that you are a microcosm of Nature herself. The 5 elements that make up everything you see in Nature are also within you. The proportion of these elements gives rise to your unique body-mind constitution. Life's stressors can throw your body-mind constitution out of balance. That's what gives rise to dis-ease in your body, mind, and emotions. The key, then, is to restore your unique state of balance and well-being through your lifestyle. That's where an Ayurvedic pracitioner, such as myself, comes in. I help you determine where the imbalance is and what strategies specific to you will be most helpful!
2. How do you apply the Ayurvedic principles in your daily life?
Day in and day out, I live, breathe, and act according to Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda is a way of being and living. It's in your mindset, perspective, daily rituals, relationships, career, activities, and food. It's in taking a daily inventory of your physical, mental, and emotional states. And then, making adjustments to your routines as necessary.
3. Are there valid scientific studies that prove the Ayurvedic principles?
Yes! The research is growing by the day. Although Ayurveda has been around for over 5000 years, the evidence-based research is rather new. Since Ayurveda is custom-tailored to the individual, large-scale studies are difficult to do. Despite that, there are many studies looking at specific aspects of Ayurveda, including:
4. How do you combine the principles of Ayurveda with western medicine? Is there a conflict?
The lifestyle practices of Ayurveda meld well with western medicine. Ayurveda offers a preventive approach. It guides your body back to it's optimal state of well-being. Western medicine generally focuses on management of acute illness. Prevention (Ayurveda) and acute management (western medicine) are both necessary parts of healthcare. As a pediatrician, my specialty has always lent itself well towards prevention!
A word of caution: In addition to lifestyle practices, Ayurveda offers intensive treatments and deep cleansing programs. These treatments should only be done in consultation with your regular physician.