Tag Archives: psychoneuroimmunology

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 ! 

The Prescription Medication Cocktail: Precusor to Your Funeral

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When I decided to write the post, I knew in advance that many people might not necessarily agree with me nor like what I have to say; but I write to you from my heart.

About eight (8) years ago I lost my father. He died instantaneously of a massive heart attack. My dear mother saw him lying in the snow as he tried to make it to their front porch. He even had enough sense to push the alarm on his car FOB as his desperately reached for his last breath.

And in his sad passing, I realized something so much more important…WHY he died.

As we later discovered, my father was taking a concoction of medications all prescribed by a careless, physician (MD), who, obviously did not even have enough concern for his patient (my dad) to monitor the plethora of prescription meds he had prescribed. While I understand it is up to each person to be responsible for his own health, my dad was “old school.” At nearly 80 years old, he took his doctor’s advice as “G-d’s” word. But the doctor certainly didn’t do his due diligence. I am still not convinced that my father even really needed all of the meds he was prescribed.

The mixture of meds which my father took killed him. Am I blame placing here? Yes and no. Allow me to explain.

Allopathic physicians are schooled to diagnose your symptoms and prescribe medications. The pharmaceutical industry LOVES doctors like this! They make them very rich !

I am not suggesting  all medications are purposefully given to eventually harm you so the pharm industry can make money.  Some are prescribed to enable you to maintain life, or enjoy your quality of life..your lifestyle…but….

All of the man made meds have residual side effects..on your brain, your blood, your liver/kidneys or other organs of your body…and even your heart.

Allopathic physicians have a responsibility and duty (as described in the Hippocratic Oath) to care for their patients and to be mindful of the meds and advice they are prescribing.

Here’s the glitch, even the best doctors DO NOT KNOW the long term side effects of mixing many meds together. Neither do pharmacologists. There just isnt enough viable, reliable research to prove which drugs work/do not work together. And on top of it, every one of us has a unique biochemistry within our body. What may work for YOU, may not work for your sister, or your neighbor.  

So who is to blame?  Maybe the question is not about blame…so …How about “WHO ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY?”

The answer here is dual. YOU and YOUR DOCTOR.

Doctors are human. They are like you and me but have been through 7+ years of medical school. They are taught in a specific fashion. Allopathic doctors are very different from holistic doctors (which consider your entire lifestyle and YOUR specific body rather than just your symptoms before they create an actionable plan for your healing from an illness or disease).

In my dad’s case, I believe my father’s doctor should have been more responsible in guiding him; Even though his doctor may not have known the plethora of side effects by mixing the cocktail of medications, he should have leaned on the more conservative side..perhaps NOT prescribing all of those meds, perhaps suggesting that my father, instead, make major lifestyle changes, which would have probably improved his overall health. My dad was nearly 80. Unfortunately, he did not have the common sense to understand that mixing so many prescriptions would ultimately confuse his body’s biochemistry and lay down tracks for toxicity.  (And he was particularly private about his health and the prescriptions he took.)

Now, with peace in my heart, and with my sincere desire for your ultimate well being, I will make my plea. Stay away from taking prescription medications as long  as possible. If you must take them for a life threatening illness, spend some serious time on your own researching the side effects of those medications. And if you are regularly taking more than one prescribed medication, understand how it may react, interfere, or have long term implications with the other meds you are ingesting. Become a medication sleuth! 

The less meds you ingest, the better. Your pharmacist may help you to understand certain drug interactions, but PLEASE know that even pharmacists and pharmacologists are only relying on the data they are given.

Your body chemistry is unique to you. You may be more sensitive to some medications more than others or may react to some in ways other people do not. In spite of the research that is completed and documented on certain medications, and in spite of its approval by the FDA, there just isn’t hard line data proving that your prescription concoction will NOT have any implications on your body’s organs, systems or ability to optimally function.

So if you are told by your doctor you need a prescription for a  for X,Y or Z (for a chronic ailment) first ask him/her, “Why” and then ask him/her to suggest any lifestyle or dietary changes in lieu of  prescription medicine. Opt for seeking out the advice of a naprapath, homeopathic doctor or holistic physician for a second opinion. You are in the driver’s seat. Make smart, informed choices. Take control of your wellness.

Make each and every day of the rest of your life worth living. (a sweet Tweetable!)

Live Life Passionately …xoxox

Pam

 

 

The Guitar Gal in Me: A Prelude to Well Being!

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It all started when my 4th grade teacher,  Mrs. Darby, would bring her acoustic guitar to class (usually on Friday afternoons) to play for us. As students, we were encouraged to sing along, and it became a really a fun way to end the school week.

Thats when I fll in love with the guitar. I wanted to learn to play this instrument. The melodic sounds were magical to me. So I begged my parents to grant me guitar lessons with a guitar we rented for about a year. The rental wasn’t the best; the strings were hard and made new calluses and indentations on my virgin fingertips.  But I didn’t care. I was learning to pick and strum and train my ear to detect the notes of the scale. I was learning to hold chords across the fretboard that I thought my young fingers could never reach. I was in guitar heaven!

And about a year later, my parents surprised me with a new Martin acoustic guitar of my own. I still own her. She is absolutely beautiful!  (see picture below).  Lets just say, “I adore her!”

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Thats how it began. I took lessons for about 6 years until the diversions of sports, academics and boys got in the way during high school. LOL…yep…guess that what happens when you are in your late teens. But aaahhh…

The “guitar gal in me”  never ceases to move me. To this day, it has taught me amazing lessons of tuning into my soul, expressing myself through music, understanding the benefits of hard core practice (yep…you just got to practice) and just letting go and allowing music to move me. I am a Motown gal…grew up with soulful sounds which still resonate with me today.

Research has shown that playing an instrument or moving to music has wonderful mindful and medicinal and healing effects.   For me, the guitar is all that. I can feel melancholy with it. or super joyful. It reflects me. It can be soothing or hard a**s rocking. I get to choose.

So if you are new to playing a guitar, (or desire to play one) here are a few things I can share with you to help you on your guitar journey:

1. Practice your musical passion. Play your instrument as if it were an extension of your physical body. Yep. An additional appendage for your soulful enjoyment.

2. Feel your instrument. Don’t just touch it, but FEEL the music you are able to create from it. How special is that?

3. Know that the music you make may seem methodical at first, but after you become comfortable with it, your body will magically adapt and the music you create will flow with ease. It will soon become medicinal…magic melodic medicine for your soul and for others who will enjoy hearing you play.

4. Play genres of music which “speak to you”…whether its rock, pop, country, latino or everything in between.  Experiment with other types of music as you improve your ability to play.

5. At a certain point, you will naturally just begin to create your own sounds and melodies. Happy dance here ! You will create chord progressions which sound just perfect for your very own song. Dont worry about lyrics..just get the basic melody down…hum along as you play with chords that might fit with your own song.

6. Give your guitar some real love. Keep it tuned, restring it as necessary and keep it away from damp or cold/dry places/storage.

7. Play when you feel you want to be expressive ..during both sad/melancholy AND joyful times. You will be amazed at the different types of music you can create depending upon your moods when you play. Your guitar will become your bff !

My love for many genres of music was certainly heightened by learning to play my guitar. The “guitar gal” in me will always be there. The guitar not only echos the music in me, but the harmonies of my soul. (A sweet Tweetable!)

Wishing you the melodies of music in your heart to keep you happy and optimizing your Well Being !

 

~Pam~

Keep Living Life Passionately !

Mind Talk: Positive Thoughts Keep You Healthy!

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One of my favorite mantra’s is, “You believe what you tell yourself, so tell yourself something GOOD!”  We spend a great deal of time thinking thoughts. And while many of these thoughts encompass experiences of “the moment”, we often have reflective thoughts about ourselves. Thoughts such as, “I bombed that last sales call.” Or “I nailed that presentation this morning.” Or “I am tired, and feel fat.” Or, “I look really  sexy tonight!”

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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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