Tag Archives: ayurveda

Are You Ready for the Wisdom of Ayurveda ?

Woman having Ayurvedic spa treatment.

My first exposure to Ayurveda was about ten years ago when I attended many workshops on the Teachers Path at the Chopra Center. It resonated with me. The  idea of holistic wellness and  incorporating mind-body-spirit into my personal health equation, which, by the way, was far from the allopathic medicine philosophy I grew up with, struck a melodic chord. Moreover, I understood how  we must strive for our own independent path toward wellness based upon our unique body type, rather than following the masses on trending diet fads, crazy exercise routines and pharm pills or newfangled supplements touting health magic tricks.  Ayurveda made scientific sense, plus it was backed by over 5,000 years of ancient wisdom. I had so much to learn….

Over the past nine  years I devoured every book, post, lecture and lesson I could to understand more about Ayurveda and how this very ancient “science of life” could profoundly affect not only my own health and wellbeing, but those of others as well. I am particularly attracted to the biological and physiological effects emotions and stress play out on the body, and how (depending upon your genetic code, lifestyle and dosha type) each individual body will respond. I love the notion that each body strives for homeostasis and wholeness. Your body is working extremely hard to heal itself, but we, as intelligent humans, must learn to “listen to” and nourish the mind, body and SPIRIT. They all work closely in tandem to harmonize. Thats part of the beauty of Ayurveda.

So, I present to you a short synopsis of of Ayurveda and some of the core of its philosophies, by Dr. Arya Krisha, with whom I recently had the pleasure of meeting.  Dr Arya Krishna graduated with a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from the prestigious Amrita School of Ayurveda ,Kerala, India.  She brings more than 2 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Currently she’s pursuing her Fellowship in Orthopedics Rehabilitation from the prestigious Appolo group of hospitals.

 Dr. Arya Krishna shares her knowledge about the wisdom and healing powers of Ayurveda:

The Indian system of Medicine, Ayurveda is ancient and rich. Its earliest concepts are set out in the sacred writings called the Vedas, especially in the metrical passages of the Atharvaveda, which may possibly date as far back as the 2nd millennium BC. This system of Medicine has been practiced in the Country from time immemorial and has stood the test of time.

Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing which evolved among the Brahmin sages of ancient India some 3000-5000 years ago. There are several aspects of this system of medicine which distinguishes it from other approaches to health care.

  1. It focuses on establishing and maintaining balance of life energies within us, rather than focusing on symptoms.
  2. It recognizes the unique constitutional differences of all individuals and therefore recommends different regimens for different types of people. Although 2 people may appear to have the same outward symptoms, their energetic constitutions may be very different and therefore call for very different remedies.
  3. Ayurveda is a complete medical system which recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flows from one absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by living a life of balance according to her law.
  • Ayurveda describes 3 fundamental universal energies which regulate all natural processes on both the macroscopic and microscopic levels. They are VaataPittha and Kapha.
  • Ayurveda seeks to heal the fragmentation and disorders of the mind-body complex and restore wholeness and harmony to all people.
  • Panchakarma

    Ayurveda is the rich store house of time tested and effective recipes for the treatment of several obstinate and otherwise incurable diseases. More important than these recipes are the specialized therapies which, while curing such diseases, strengthen the immune system in the body and thus help in the prevention of diseases and preservation and promotion of positive health. These specialized therapies in Ayurvedic Science are called PANCHAKARMA. It is no wonder therefore, that scientists and physicians in India and abroad are showing deep interest in this classical form of Ayurvedic treatment.

    Panchakarma therapy primarily aims at cleaning the body of its accumulated impurities, and nourishing the tissues. Once this is achieved, it becomes very easy to rejuvenate these tissues and slow the process of aging. The term ‘panchakarma’ literally means five specialized therapies. The therapies that are included under this collective term are:

    • Vamana Karma : Emetic therapy
    • Virechana Karma : Purgation therapy
    • Vasthi : Enema containing decoction of herbs
    • Raktha Mokshanam : Blood-letting therapy
    • Nasya karma : Nasal therapy
    • Prior to the administration of these therapies, the body of the patient is to be suitably prepared and the therapeutic measures used for this purpose are called Preparatory Therapies. These are:
    • Snehana karma : Oleation therapy (external and internal oleation)
    • Swedana karma : Fomentation therapy
  • In short, Ayurveda aims at the maintenance  of health or prevention of disease in a healthy individual, cure the diseased and help in Rejuvenation. 
  • Ayurveda also advises proper diet and regimen for a healthy living. It is described in detail the daily regimen and seasonal regimen in classical Ayurveda.

For more detailed information about your particular dosha and maintaing your health or HEALING your body/mind/spirit, contact Dr. Arya directly at dr.aryakris@gmail.com

While we must all decide which types of alternative or integrative therapies may work or not work for us, I can only hope that you open your perspective to learn and understand how Ayurveda can help transform your wellness equation. There are many benefits to utilizing scientific technology to improve our wellbeing, but sometimes it just makes sense to return to our roots–the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda!

Wishing you happiness and the flexiblity in mind, body and spirit.

~Pam~

Live Life Passionately ! 

What Cravings Teach Us

Young woman looking for some snack in fridge late at night

Ahhhh….You know what I am talking about here. That insatiable desire for something: food, carbs, salt, sugar, sex, love, or whatever. Its called a craving. And we all have them, but some of us are better at giving into them than others.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved meat and potatoes. WHAT?  I rarely ate meat and potatoes were a treat. But I craved them. My physiology spoke to me through that hormonal change that said, “I want a great steak. And  I want carbs!”. Huh? Let it be said, cravings are certainly NOT just a prego hormonal response…

So why exactly do we crave something? Why is it desirous? Is it biochemical? Is it emotional? Is it physiological? What the heck is happening when we feel that “I need this NOW!” Is it an addiction-response? Yes…and ….no.

Your biochemical body (hormones) signals you to tell you what we are missing. If you keep feeding your body sugar, your body begins to learn to want it–not being able to truly discern or regulate how much is actually “good” for you. It can become addicting.

But what if you are not getting enough of a certain (good) substance (ie. good fat, protein, vitamin  or mineral)? What if you are not receiving the human touch, or affection? How does that deprivation affect your body?

So some cravings can be a signal to your body to tell you what you may be missing ie.. something your body really needs such as nourishing  hormones/emotions/biochemicals which your body desires and needs. You may need to feed these cravings. Your body is calling you out on them. When you don’t give into these needs, your body seeks (unhealthy) substitutes or ways to fulfill the desires which are not always in our best interest (drugs, illicit sex, unhealthy eating and more)…

So how do you distinguish a real (healthy) craving from one which can cause havoc and unhealthy lifestyle practices?

I believe the first and most important step is to get your body into balance, into a state of equilibrium as much as possible.To do this may mean you need to rid yourself of  (or at least minimize) everything artificial or that which your body truly does not need, such as sugars, processed foods, fried foods, salty foods, nicotine, alcohol,  drugs and more..Strive to feel your optimal best–your healthiest.

Observe your body and how you feel for any signs of lack.  What is  your body  (telling your mind) it’s missing (ie. craving) ? Pay attention.

This will be challenging. Your mind-body will cry out to you because there will be various forces that are at work in and around you. Emotional and physiological forces. These forces can be so compelling that they will steer you to make poor choices about food, sex, or other substances which really won’t nourish your body…in fact..it may simply destroy it. These drives for substances/emotions your mind FEELS you are missing may lead you astray. They are powerful. They are determined.

Remember, that “every emotion you FEEL will have a thought and physical sensation” as described by Dr. Deepak Chopra, in Perfect Digestion. The key is to realize that what you are actually feeling (the emotion) will coincidentally be producing a physical response. For example, if you are feeling very nervous, your stomach may begin to rumble or ache, your mouth may feel dry or you may feel jittery. With cravings, the desire for what we BELIEVE we are missing/wanting may show up as a very physical sensation (anxiousness, sweet tooth, strong hunger pangs).

Get to know your own body’s homeostasis . This is your body’s baseline..where it feels perfectly wonderful. (consistently good weight, healthy appetite, minimal aches/pains/inflammation, strong immunity). When you truly get tuned into your body, you will soon become your own savant about knowing which craving is healthy versus unfounded (misdirected).

Cravings come in all shapes, forms and sizes. They are super good at fooling you sometimes too. If you truly crave a particular substance (which you know isn’t good for you), ask  yourself, “What do I really want? What am I really hungry for? ” Which taste (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, or astringent) am I missing from my diet currently? How am I feeling within? Secure? Loved? Valued? Purposeful? These questions will help you to identify the root of your craving.

And remember, when you  minimize the “excess” of most anything, the craving for it will diminish and eventually disappear. But also know that some cravings act as warning signs signaling to you that you may not be getting enough of a needed substance or feeling  (vitamin, mineral, taste, love, affection, validation). Be careful not to fill your need for love, affection or human touch with food. This will only create another unwanted (substitution) pattern and craving!

Cravings (for food/tastes) will come and go. Dont beat yourself up if you crater to them once in awhile. No one is perfect. We are not meant to be. Give yourself a pat on the back and a lot of love for learning more about your body, your desires and for working hard to make good, healthy choices.

Now excuse me please while I make some fresh popcorn. I’ve got a craving…   ;)

Wishing you healthy cravings in all of their goodness! xoxoxxo

~Pam~

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, EAT them. Get Healthy!

lemons

There is an old proverbial saying , “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning to take the sourness/bitterness of those lemons and turn them into a sweet/pleasurable  drink of lemonade…in other words to be optimistic in the face of adversity or challenge.

However, I say, when life gives you lemons…EAT them! Why? Because that bitterness, sourness will literally do your body much better than making a sweet, sugary lemonade drink!   Lemons (limes, oranges and other citrus fruits) can help your body become better balanced.

While these fruits are acidic in nature, they actually are alkaline producing to your body after they are digested.Lemons, especially, are used frequently in Ayurveda. They are generally pitta producing and vata calming, but can gently be used to treat, heal or simply maintain your bodily health.There are so many wonderful benefits of adding real lemon or lemon juice to your daily nutritional regime. Here are the Top 10 Benefits I have found to be extremely useful:

Top Benefits of Eating Lemons:

    1. Improves your skin texture.
    2. Improves your digestive power. (In Ayurveda, we call this agni...your digestive FIRE.)
    3. Decreases fat deposition.
    4. Relieves bad breath. Cleanses oral cavities.
    5. Decreases cholesterol by decreasing deposits in blood vessels so decrease risk of heart attacks.
    6. Assists in daily elimination of bowels.
    7. Works to detoxify your liver (helps dissolve kidney stones).
    8. Improves your immunity-works against colds and flu.
    9. Helps decrease your body’s production of phlegm…especially important during cold/flu season.
    10. Helps to absorb iron from natural foods. Because lemons are high in Vitamin C, they naturally improve your body’s absorption of iron in many foods including spinach, beans, lentils.

So the next time you feel like life has come at you just too hard and you are feeling challenged by those lemons being tossed your way, DON’t discard them…EAT them instead…a proverbial gift from the universe !

Want Healthier Circulation?–Give Endermologie a Try!

circulation of the bloodThose Groupon deals kept popping up on my screen so I went all out and decided to purchase a body treatment through the Groupon website several weeks ago. It was a trial treatment for Endermologie–boy oh boy…did I ever learn a lot!

Some of you might have heard about endermologie as a spa treatment for fat reduction–that’s how many spas choose to position and market this treatment. But truth be told, this non-invasive treatment is more about improving CIRCULATION than about losing fat. In fact, if you lose waistline or thigh inches post treatment, it has more to do with improved circulation due to less water retention.
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The Spices of a Healthy Life!

 

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Being raised in a Polish household, my mother made some fantastic food, but didn’t use too many spices in cooking, other than salt and pepper. Even the food in college was pretty bland. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20′s that I tried new foods with many different flavors and spices such as Thai, Mexican, Spanish, Indian and even Ethiopian dishes. And guess what I discovered?…VARIETY is the SPICE of LIFE!

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Release Negative Emotions and Improve Your Health!

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Songs, movies, stories and life experiences make us laugh, cry and everything in between. Why? Because they have a unique way of evoking emotion within us. While positive emotions (such as happiness, joy, love, serenity, pride, and gratitude) make us feel blissful and wonderful, bottled up negative emotions do the opposite. According to Ayurveda,the 5,000 year old holistic Hindu discipline of health and wellness, unreleased negative emotions also produce ama and set us up for DIS-ease and chronic illness.

The Health of Your Body Image

shutterstock_122071444With a myriad of diet pills, weight programs and slimming products on the market, its time we truly understand our OWN body and come to terms with what we consider our ideal weight. We all know that mass market diet plans don’t work in the long run..the reason being because we are are quite unique in our own skin. As an avid reader, I am currently enveloped in a wonderful book by Deepak Chopra called Perfect Weight, which gives a much more realistic perspective about what our ideal  weight, body size, and body image should be based upon the Ayurvedic (science of life) body types (doshas).

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Get a Leg Up on SKIN !

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Skin tight. Give me some skin. Under my skin. Thick skinned. Skin deep. Skin flicks. Skinny dipping…

Our skin is our largest organ we have and its cells are constantly dying and re-growing. We do a lot of things to our skin, we:

Flaunt it. Cover it. Poke it. Pinch it.  Pierce it.Steam it. Squeeze it. Inject it. Tan it. Shave it. Tatoo it, and more…

But when it comes to health, even our skin is more than skin deep.

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Welcome…So Glad You Are Here!

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I am so excited to welcome you to  PassionatelyPam.com.

So, what’s Pam passionate about?

Well, I am passionate about many things, but my “sweet spot” is health and wellness.

The world of health and wellness is forever changing, and I am passionate about the exciting fusion of cutting edge AND ancient holistic wellness disciplines that can catapult your health from GOOD to BETTER to VIBRANT!

I invite you to Wake Up Your Health! Challenge yourself to pursue your Health in a whole new way!

Why? Because I want you to SHINE with great health and energy and help you become unstoppable in all that you want to accomplish and create in your life.

This blog is just the beginning. I’ll be expanding this into a full website with resources to help you as you make your journey toward vibrant health.

So join me on this journey…because it’s going to be FUN!

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Who Does She Think She Is?

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I often get asked:

“Pam, what made you create PassionatelyPam.com? You have a unique background…from engineering school to getting your MBA at the University of Michigan and have worked primarily in a corporate setting.. Why the change in direction to becoming an entrepreneur in the health and well being industry?  You are not a doctor, so what can you teach me about improving my health?”

First and foremost, I LOVE creating change and growing things. The entrepreneurial bug bit me when I was about 10 years old and hosted kid shows in my neighborhood to raise money for animal shelters.  My mom relentlessly tells me how I was self driven and persevering at a very young age…and so it goes….

I created PassionatelyPam.com because I have a relentless desire to inspire others to optimize their health through balanced lifestyle, positive thinking and practicing their life purpose.

I created PassionatelyPam.com because I’ve learned that there is more to true vibrant health than nutritious eating and exercising. For the past seven years I have studied Ayurvedic health, a 5,000 year old Hindu system of holistic health and healing (including workshops at the Chopra Center in San Diego, CA), epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, emotional mind-body connections and many other disciplines of health.

I created PassionatelyPam.com because I want to blend my passions for science, health, dance (yep, I LOVE dancing) and music (I was born in Detroit and am a “ Motown” gal at heart) to create a more imaginative, free-flowing directive.

I developed PassionatelyPam.com to create a whole mind-body-spirit methodology that helps others find the way to greater health and happiness.

I started PassionatelyPam.com because of the work my daughter and I have already done supporting teens in the healing process. Collaborating with organizations such as Children’s Memorial Hospital-Chicago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Ronald McDonald Houses, I have seen first-hand how inspiring creative passions can bring healing and hope to those in most need.

And now that I’ve answered YOUR questions, I always like to ask one of my own:

“How can I help you find YOUR path to create vibrant health?”

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