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What are boundaries and do we need them? pt 1

personality jpeg for boundary blogOne of the biggest issues I see and help my clients deal with are boundaries. Boundaries are a very important aspect to everyday life. In order to live well, thrive and be the person you were meant to be, boundaries need to be at the top of the list.

First things first…What is a boundary?

That is the first question. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but I will do my best.

Lets start with something we are all familiar with. Lets say a room for example.  A boundary for a room is different than a boundary for a person. A room would have a distinct look to it, maybe four walls, a window or two and a door. When you walk through the door, or even climb through the window, you know you are within the boundaries of the room because you can see the walls. Those are the boundaries of that space.  There are things you can do, expect, see, experience from within the space that will be different than if you are outside of the space.  Lets take a kitchen for instance. There will likely be a sink, stove, fridge, counter and some cabinets. You know what you can do in a kitchen. You can eat, prepare food, store food, get dishes. Stuff like that.  Boundaries for people can be thought of the same way. Hey! of course its different for a room, but are you beginning to feel what I am saying? » Read more

Ayurvedic perspective on asthma (shwas roga)

lady using inhaler

My first experience with asthma

I remember the first person I knew with asthma. We were in the 5th grade together and were friends. She was a pretty little brown skinned tough tomboy of a girl who had a cute short jeri curl. One reason I remember so well is because her asthma was aggravated by emotional stress and exertion. When we played out on the playground, things were usually fine. Especially when it was free play time. We played a lot of chinese jacks and handclap games.  But I do recall a few times when we were instructed to do particular activities that involved running and she would stop, bending over clenching her chest. Wease, wease, wease and sometimes fainting. Her inhaler was never far away. I remember one time when we had to line up to leave class and she started to have an attack. I went straight over to her to make sure she was comfortable and okay while she sort of slipped between the desk and chair eventually ending up on the floor. A disagreement between her and the teacher had broken out. And when her anxiety kicked in, she couldn’t breath. » Read more

Following those "gut feelings"...tips to strengthen your connection to wisdom

Following your “gut feelings” can feel like a daily struggle. The mind always has something to say. And many times it isn’t what the gut is telling you to do. So which do you follow? » Read more

Do you have psychic ability? Do you have what it takes to be be a professional?

Are you psychic? The sixth sense, E.S.P., spidy sense, intuition, clairvoyance, whatever you want to call it, is a universal gift. Living beings share this experience. Everyday life offers many opportunities to practice. But you will need to be discreet. There are several important things to know when wanting to improve your psychic ability or to see if you have what it takes to be a professional psychic. » Read more

Endometriosis & You an Ayurvedic Perspective

What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is in many cases a debilitating condition which progresses from the untreated causes of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). This imbalance affects females typically between the ages of 18-45 which is the pitta time of life. During the pitta time of life, energy is high, focus substantial, earning of wealth, gaining of knowledge and competition are at their greatest. This is the time of going for it! Bringing life to ones dreams. Life may be full of late nights, pressing past capacity, irregular schedules and routines. » Read more

The pharmacy in your kitchen. Herbs & Spices... ooh la la

herbs on white dish photo

Recently on a lazy Sunday afternoon, my t.v. somehow landed on the Food Channel. Since it was on, I decided to watch the show that was on. What really peaked my interest was the chef. Yes he was handsome! I think that might be a requirement. But the real reason was he was going to make curry chicken. This is a dish I love to make, so I decided to watch. He listed off the ingredients he was going to use… whole cardamom pods, cumin, cinnamon… When he got to turmeric he said “turmeric is just for color”. Hmmm, I thought! Turmeric just for color? I was almost offended. Turmeric is more than just a pretty color. Its such a wonderful herb! Turmeric dates back thousands of years as one of the best anti inflammatory and detoxifying herbs. A daily turmeric regimen will go a lot further than “an apple a day”. But turmeric isn’t the only herb. Many of the herbs and spices in our cupboards add flavor to our foods and have medicinal properties as well. Its like getting two for one! I love it! Love it, love it, love it!

When I was a student in college learning Ayurveda, a teacher (Mr.Shanbhag, very famous Ayurvedic Dr. from India) told us we had a pharmacy in our kitchen. I just loved that. It really stuck with me. So I’ve listed some common herbs and spices that you may already have in your kitchen pharmacy. For the readers with Ayurvedic knowledge, I’ve also included a bit about the qualities.
One more thing…and its important. I know you know this already, but this is a guide. It isn’t meant to replace speaking with any health care professional you are currently working with. If you are taking medications, definitely don’t stop taking them due to information in this blog. If you are on medications and would like to consider the possibility of herbal options, please schedule a private consult with me. Its always on a case by case basis. I offer help in finding balance. Not creating chaos.

Your Kitchen Pharmacyspice jar pictures for kitchen pharmacy blog

Black Pepper
KV-P+ Hot,pungent. Alteratative- cleanses & purifies the blood. Expectorant-promotes discharge of phlegm from lungs & throat. Increases digestive fire. Promotes absorption and burns toxins. Great for indigestion, weak digestion, diabetes, obesity and sinus congestion. In short term may increase libido.

Cardamom
VK-P+ Hot, pungent/sweet. Carminative- helps remove intestinal gas. Expectorant, digestive, antispasmodic. Diaphoretic-causes elimination through the skin. It’s a detoxifyer. It’s really good for cough, nasal congestion, poor absorption, bronchitis, asthma, indigestion, gas, nausea and hoarseness of voice

Cinnamon
VK-P+ Heating,drying/sweet/spicy/astringent. Works on plasma, blood, muscles, marrow, nerves. Carminative, diaphoretic, aromatic, astringent-firms tissues/stops bleeding. Increases energy. Promotes mental clarity. Used for dysmenorrhea, nausea, nasal congestion. May be contra-indicated for pain.

Coriander
PKV= Neutral/cool, bitter/pungent. Carminative, alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic. Digestive. Fresh juice is good for allergies. Anti-histamine. Especially good for fire type excess, urinary tract infection.

Cumin
PKV= Slightly cooling, pungent/bitter. Great for pitta. Carminative. Stimulant. It’s especially good for indigestion, reducing nausea and excessive heat.array of spices picture for kitchen pharmacy blog

Fennel
VPK= Neutral/slightly warming, sweet/pungent. Carminative, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, digestive. Urinary cleanser. Brain Tonic. Increases metabolic fire. Alkalizing. It’s especially good for indigestion, cramps, gas and burning urine. Part of the digestive tea formula known as CCF Tea (Cumin, Coriander, Fennel)

Peppermint
PK-V= Cold,pungent/sweet. Works on plasma, blood, marrow, nerves. Antispasmodic, antiseptic cholagogue, carminative. Helps with indigestion, nausea, gas, gallstones.

Salt
V-PK+ Heating,salty. Encourages bodily secretions, stimulates stomach acid, dissolves congestion, strengthens muscles, increases digestion, increases flavor of food, stool softener.

Turmeric
K-PV+ Heating, bitter,astringent/pungent. Anti-inflammatory, carminative, topical anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, antiarthritic, cholagogue-promotes flow of bile. Helpful in toothache, gallstones, arthritis, wounds. Energizer.

And remember…a few spices a day, keeps the Doctor away!

I’m here for you! Got a question? Go head and ask! Got some personal stuff too personal for an open forum? Schedule an in person or phone consult! It’s easy and we’ll be able to really get to the heart of the matter! **Mention this blog post and get $25.00 off your initial Ayurvedic Consultation with me.

Copyright 2014 Ancient Wisdom Healing Services
All Rights Reserved

** $25.00 off offer expires 5/31/14

Are you sick again? A little wisdom on stress and illness

sick text for r u sick again blogStress is a normal part of life. It is not possible to live a stress free life and be alive. Did some of you just gulp? I believe I heard some gulping out there! Just bear with me, you’ll be fine. Stress is energy that cannot be taken in by the body.  So stress holds the body and mind hostage with a bunch of energy that blocks energy from flowing. It can be a little bit or it can be a lot. It can be temporary or it can be an all the time thing. When its too  much is the main thing we are concerned with. For example if you enjoy running and like to run a mile everyday, its stress but your body may have adapted to it so it feels good. You get outside, get fresh air, really get the blood pumping. Its awesome (saying this in my Oprah voice, you know the way she says it? ok nevermind ) But what if then you decided that 1 mile was good, but 5 miles would be great (pittas!, I’m talking to you!).  Seemed like a good idea when you posted it on facebook.  Anyhow, immediately you notice that you feel more achy, your knees feel unstable, you can’t sleep. These would be signs that you are under too much stress.

stress text for r u sick again blogHow stress shows up always depends. It depends on the person. It depends on the circumstances. It just depends. For instance a relatively strong healthy person might get sick with a cold. Runny nose, sneezing. Lasts a couple days. A person who is weak or weaker might have that same cold for 2 weeks. See what I’m saying?

Depending on your nature (prakriti) certain imbalances, illnesses, diseases, whatever you want to call them, whatever feels right to you, tend to be based on nature. To briefly review, vata has qualities or characteristics of space and air. Pittas qualities are fire and water and kapha are water and earth. The nervous system is related to vata, the endocrine system to pitta and the lymphatic system to kapha.

In Ayurveda, vikruti (v-crew-tee) is the state of imbalance, not your natural born state. For example stress can trigger allergies, asthma, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure) amongst all the other illnesses. It can even lead to a heart condition. It can induce an imbalance of vata pitta or kapha depending on the persons prakriti (nature or DNA). If all this talk is making you want a consult…well, schedule one today. In person or phone. Either one works! I’m here for you! Back to the point..

insomnia picture for r u sick again blogGenerally vata  people increase vata during stressful situations. Vata people may develop vata aggravated stress reactions such as: restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, fearfulness, phobia or anxiety neurosis.

Pitta people increase pitta during stressful situations and typically react to stress in the form of of anger. Pitta people may also suffer from  hemorrhages, lack of appetite, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, and other pitta disorders. anger picture for r u sick blog

Kapha’s under stress can develop  congestion, asthma, under active thyroid function, slow metabolism and sometimes even increased blood sugar levels leading to a pre-diabetic condition. Sometimes over eating and becoming chubby.

So I hope you understand that stress can lead to many things. Even though this is just an introductory look, hopefully it can lead to some insight into whats going on in your own life. Feel free to leave comments! Post your questions.

Copyright 2014  Ancient Wisdom Healing Services
All Rights Reserved

R U what? What is Ayurveda?

What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda comes from India, its presence is easily recognized in America. Ayurveda deals with all aspects of life from birth – death. The word “Ayurveda” translates many ways in English. Probably the most popular translation is “The Science of Life”. Since the time of antiquity, over 5,000 years ago Ayurveda has been at the foundation of many civilizations around the world. Although Ayurveda comes from India, its presence is easily recognized in America. » Read more

Does your skin look like "ashy Larry" from Chapelle Show? Read this

dry desert skinHey out there! This blog is about ashy, dry skin. In Ayurveda (Medical science from India) dryness is a quality of vata dosha. Vata is comprised of the qualities of space and air. When there is too much air quality in the body or in the environment this can lead to dryness. I remember many a day seeing little children playing having a great time in the summer. But those legs! Some of those kids had some ashy little legs. The browner the skin, the easier it is to see. But affects all races and colors. I’ve seen it on the palest of white as well as the deepest brown. People know “its a thing”, but don’t really know what to do about it except put lotion on. What I tell my clients, friends and family member is to look at a few areas of your life.

Environment

For dryness or ashy skin that seems to appear out of nowhere, it might be a good idea to factor in the environment. When there is a lot of wind (vata) and dryness (vata) and its cold (vata), sounds like a factor might definitely be the weather.  The same will be true for climates that are hot with very low humidity. For this type of dryness, if the amount of oil in the skin is low or you’re already in the negative, the environmental factors mentioned above can put the entire situation over the top. This may especially show up on the face with that tight feeling your face feels and maybe your lips crack or split as well. One way to picture it is to imagine the beach. The beautiful sand under your feet. At one point, that sand was rock. However over time with a process called erosion the rock was broken down. Another  similar environmental factor is air conditioning. It can be like indoor wind. It may include dryness in the eyes as well. So my main point, is that it is a good idea to add an extra layer of protection. To do this, try oiling your skin. The additional layer put between the wind, dryness, cold and your skin will go a long way!

Lifestyle

If you tend to wear your fair share of tight clothing especially  skinny jeans or things that hug the lower region, this may be a contributing factor to the dryness. Clothing can easily rub on the skin, rubbing away the oils present. This can increase with age by the way. Another contributing factor especially for school age children is all that rolling around on the ground and floor. Rolling around on carpet can rub off oils and it can be really harsh on the skin. Sandboxes offer hours of fun but the sand is absorbent and can make a mild issue appear a lot worse. woman on computer picture for r u what blog

Stress

Stress is a normal part of life. However when it builds up in the body there are many outcomes. When it affects the skin, it will tend to cause symptoms like dryness (ashy), roughness (vata) cracking and make skin look dull and lusterless (vata).  Other symptoms such as insomnia may be present and  inability to pay attention. When the skin has a lot of these characteristics it may be that the qualities of vata have built up in the body. The symptoms of imbalance are going to show up somewhere, in this case sounds like the skin. To combat ashy skin caused by stress, I recommend a therapy known as shirodhara (she-row-daw-ruh). My clients just love this! It may be just the ticket. Shirodhara is warm oil continuously poured over the forehead. It is very calming, centering and is a great de-stresser! A typical session is 20-40 minutes and for this to have an effect on the skin I would recommended several treatments in a row or short period of time. You will likely also benefit from oiling your skin directly as well. **Mention this blog and get a discount off of your treatment with me!

Diet

Although many people do not attribute dry skin to diet; they need to. Diets need water, oils and fats. Everyone needs them in amounts specific to their health at the time. Some people just don’t drink water. They don’t like the taste. If you don’t like the taste, I suggest you decide to get used to it. Drink to quench thirst.  You may or may not need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. This will be different for everybody.  I recommend plain water being part of a regular diet. In lieu of soda, juices and alcoholic beverages. Yes they do contain water, but sometimes the other ingredients can also contribute to dryness in the body. For years, I listened to people bragging about not eating any oil or butter. Having a diet that is high in vata type foods (dry, light, crunchy) can have an affect on the skin. The food we eat through the process of digestion (emulsification, absorption, assimilation) eventually becomes us. You heard me! I mean this literally. Our food becomes us. I won’t get into the details but here are a couple of sample diets. See if you can figure out what they have in common

plate of food picture for dry skin blog#1

No breakfast

Snack: 10:15 am – couple handfulls of multi grain gluten free chips

Snack: 11:30am- large smoothie w/protein boost

Lunch: 1:00 pm- large leafy green salad, with cashews, chicken pieces with raspberry vinaigrette, Pellagrino

Snack: 3:00pm- organic dehydrated apple chips

Dinner: 8:00pm-last nights leftovers (spaghetti w/meatballs and garlic bread), black tea (no sugar)

If you eat a diet full of salad with rice cakes and popcorn, with toast and

#2

Breakfast- 7:30am- 16 oz coffee

Snack- 9:00am- bran muffin

Lunch: 12:00pm- subway veggie sandwich, water, chips

Snack: 2:00pm- starburst, 16 oz coffee

Dinner: 6:00pm- baked curry chicken, mashed potatoes, green salad

Okay, so of course  leave comments about the diets (or any other questions as well). But to get you started, look at the times of eating. Would you consider either of these 1 day sample diets good? Give me your feedback!

Back to my point from earlier, lack of oil in the diet can have a major effect on the skin. The best scenario is that the oiliness of the skin will come from the inside. Not from being applied topically on the outside. A healthy oiliness of the skin that comes from the inside, may also indicate the joints are properly lubricated as well. But that’s another blog, for another day. Ghee, butter, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and omega 3’s are important in the diet and ensuring the body and mind functions properly. They can come from a variety of sources. Where yours should come from and the amount needed is based on your nature (prakriti or DNA). Making a good effort, will help keep the skin nice and Ashy Larry jokes away.

self massage picture for r u what blog How to oil

The most effective way to oil your skin is to use an organic or wild crafted oil. In this way, you are not putting additional and unnecessary chemicals into your skin that can go into deeper levels of tissues. But that’s my preference. To enhance the oiling of the skin, try warming it. When you warm the oil, not only is it easier to apply but the skin is able to drink it up much easier.  Sesame oil (not the cooking kind) works well for a lot of people. If sesame oil makes you feel like you are heating up and this makes you feel too hot, you can try coconut oil which is much more cooling and has a nice tropical scent as well. For an added boost, oiling and then showering or getting a steam, helps the oil be absorbed faster and easier into the skin as well. Just remember that you need to keep the oil on for a minimum of 15 minutes. Your skin will be so soft! You won’t even know what just happened.

Copyright 2014  Ancient Wisdom Healing Services
All Rights Reserved

**Shirodhara discount is valid thru 5/31/14

Why Do People Lie? An Ayurvedic Perspective on this age old bad habit

Elements of vata, pitta and kapha lies » Read more

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