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0 In Ayurveda

Anxiety & Physical Pain: It’s Not In Your Head

You know the feeling.  That feeling when your adrenaline begins to climb.  Your heart rate speeds up.  Your breath becomes shallow.  Your jaw begins to clench.  You begin to sweat…but remain chilled to the touch.

This is our old pal anxiety and if you’re like the nearly 40 million people in the US suffering from chronic anxiety, you know what I’ve described all too well.   

But did you know that chronic anxiety is often responsible for physical pain that usually lingers FOR YEARS?  

Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Migraines, and Back Pain have all been connected to chronic anxiety and, after years of neglect, severing of the mind/body/spirit connection, and just ‘getting through it’, people are often left needing powerful pharmaceuticals, or worse, self-medication with alcohol just to simply exist.  

My intention is not to scare you…it’s to put the connection between anxiety and physical pain in very blunt terms.  There’s no way to get around it: your chronic anxiety is likely responsible for your physical aches and pains.  And it’s hurting you on more than a physical level.

So, what to do?

Ayurveda classifies anxiety as a Vata imbalance, meaning there is too much air and space in the pranic body.  My Ayurveda mentor, Dr. Vasant Lad, once said ‘Space is freedom’ and what he meant by that is…space is possibility but it is also ambiguity.  

Ambiguity can be scary so we will  fill that space with negative self-talk, mindless mental chatter, and what I would call ‘pacifiers’.  Anything to save us from the discomfort of ambiguity and space.  This leads to anxiety and physical pain because it is not a sustainable way to live.  Your adrenals will become exhausted and your body will begin to believe that chronic adrenal spikes are normal.  

Thankfully, there is much we can do to bring Vata back into balance and it starts with first loving on yourself and acknowledging where you are at this very moment.  Release the ‘could have/should have’ guilt of past choices and simply see your body and mind where it is in this very moment.

Begin to notice the pain signals your body is trying to get you to pay attention to.  Where is the pain in your body?  Breathe into that.  

Nourish your body with healthy food, give yourself a warm-oil massage, begin a meditation practice.

These are all natural pain relievers but will also begin to re-train your brain and adrenal system so that proper function may be restored.  

Shocker: we are not meant to live in Fight/Flight our entire lives! 🙂  

If you are someone with chronic anxiety and physical pain, I hear you.  I acknowledge that your pain isn’t ‘all in your head’.  Ayurveda does not subscribe to the idea of separation between body, mind, and spirit.  All are one and intimately connected (and impacted) by one another.

If you would like to learn more about the connection between anxiety and physical pain (from an allopathic perspective), I encourage you to visit the Anxiety & Depression Association of America’s website.

And if you would like to explore how Ayurveda can help you reduce your anxiety and heal your chronic pain, I encourage you to reach out to me.  You can book your FREE 60-Minute breakthrough session HERE.

Much Love & Namaste,

Katie

0 In Ayurveda

No, but really: what is Ayurveda?

I was skimming PubMed last night for nerdy articles about Ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic super-herb often called ‘Indian Ginseng’) in prep for a blog post I’m writing but I came across this beautiful description of Ayruveda and I wanted to share it with all you post haste. Ayurveda is vast both in scope but also in history and, at times, it can be difficult to cram all that vastness into an elevator pitch when someone asks ‘What is Ayurveda?’.  So, I present to you the words of Murphy et al. in their paper titled “Scientific basis for the use of Indian ayurvedic medicinal plants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders: ashwagandha.”  Not quite an elevator pitch but still very much worth a listen: (bold added for emphasis)

Ashwagandha: Ayurvedic super-herb!

Ashwagandha: Ayurvedic super-herb!

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, which means “the scripture for longevity”. It represents an ancient system of traditional medicine prevalent in India and in several other south Asian countries. It is based on a holistic view of treatment which is believed to cure human diseases through establishment of equilibrium in the different elements of human life, the body, the mind, the intellect and the soul [1]. Ayurveda dates back to the period of the Indus Valley civilization (about 3000 B.C) and has been passed on through generations of oral tradition, like the other four sacred texts (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvanaveda) which were composed between 12(th) and 7(th) century B.C [2, 3]. References to the herbal medicines of Ayurveda are found in all of the other four Vedas, suggesting that Ayurveda predates the other Vedas by at least several centuries. It was already in full practice at the time of Buddha (6(th) century B.C) and had produced two of the greatest physicians of ancient India, Charaka and Shushrutha who composed the basic texts of their trade, the Samhitas. By this time, ayurveda had already developed eight different subspecialties of medical treatment, named Ashtanga, which included surgery, internal medicine, ENT, pediatrics, toxicology, health and longevity, and spiritual healing [4]. Ayurvedic medicine was mainly composed of herbal preparations which were occasionally combined with different levels of other compounds, as supplements [5]. In the Ayurvedic system, the herbs used for medicinal purposes are classed as brain tonics or rejuvenators. Among the plants most often used in Ayurveda are, in the descending order of importance: (a) Ashwagandha, (b) Brahmi, (c) Jatamansi, (d) Jyotishmati, (e) Mandukparni, (f) Shankhapushpi, and (g) Vacha.’

Full citation: Ven Murthy MR1, Ranjekar PK, Ramassamy C, Deshpande M. (2010) Scientific basis for the use of Indian ayurvedic medicinal plants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders: ashwagandha. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2010 Sep 1;10(3):238-46.  Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20528765/?i=2&from=/27316579/related

0 In Ayurveda/ Life/ Seattle

Taking My Own Advice

Hi everyone!

I hope this summer has brought you lots of sunshine, popsicles, and barefoot picnics.

There are some big changes happening around here at Katie Meyer Ayurveda HQ and I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share what’s been going on and how I’ve had the opportunity to remember to take my own Ayurvedic advice.

The biggest change is that I’m moving away from one-off appointments in favor of a 6-week program commitment. The reasons for this are many-fold but the biggest reason is that changes take time and it doesn’t matter how many pieces of advice I give you in an appointment…if there isn’t follow up and commitment, it is REALLY difficult for clients to experience the full benefits of Ayurveda.

To that end, I’ve spent the past two months designing a 6-week program and I am 100% positive it will get you out of burnout & adrenal fatigue…if you put in the work! Why burnout & adrenal fatigue? Every. Single. Client has reported symptoms of burnout and adrenal fatigue so I knew I had to start there and a 6-week program gives us a good chunk of time to slowly but surely introduce and integrate Ayurvedic wisdom into your daily routine. Slow and steady wins the race, right? (or, in this case: banishes the burnout)

The program is called The 5-Step Formula for Banishing Burnout & Adrenal Fatigue Naturally (without quitting your job) and is specifically aimed at busy professionals with demanding jobs and home responsibilities that just won’t quit. It’s the formula that I used to ELIMINATE my own burnout and I’ve worked with western doctors, my Ayurvedic mentors, nutrition coaches, and more to make sure this program is effective and something my clients can stick to.

As I write this, the butterflies are flying around in my belly because I’m about to launch this program to the world via a live Masterclass tonight @ 7pm PST. You guys, I have poured so much heart, soul, love, and a few tears designing this program, building my slide deck, and diving deeper in APIs, Facebook pixels, and CSS than I ever thought I’d need to.

And that’s when I realized I needed to pause and chill. Take my own advice. Practice my own burnout busting tips and take a moment to recognize what’s about to happen.

So, with that, I’m going to take a nap (!!), have a light dinner, meditate, and then do some jumping jacks to prep for the Masterclass! Hope to see you there!

Register for tonight’s Masterclass HERE.