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0 In Balance Restore Rejuvenate/ Life

Beware the B*#@S*%&: Essential Questions When Looking For A Holistic Health Provider

[Sunday Rant!]

A client of mine has been suffering from vertigo, anxiety, and a whole host of other things for years and has seen ‘doctor’ after ‘doctor’ with no results.

(I’m guiding her through my methods of mindfulness-based stress reduction but I feel it’s important for her to have someone local she can meet with regularly)

I finally said ‘Ok, who are these people? I want to research them!’ and found that they were all quacks! Seriously, one guy said he could cure cancer with his own ‘proprietary blend of microbiome enhancing supplements’ Oh, he also had a skin care line.

No. Just no.

It is EXTREMELY important to know how to navigate the alternative medicine world and learn how to spot the BS early and often.

Why?

There are people out there who will prey on your desperation to feel better. They’ll say all the right things but when you get down to the nitty gritty, their methods are flimsy (at best) or dangerous (at worst).

What really bites me though are people who’ve actually gone to medical school but then switch to ‘alternative health’ and use the social proof of their medical degree (although their license may have lapsed) to manipulate people into buying their junk.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about alternative medicine. I think our western medical mindset can often miss the connections between symptoms and it’s important to find a practitioner you trust to help you interpret data and offer more natural therapies.

But you need to know how to spot the snake oil.

So as I’ve been looking for practitioners in my client’s area, these are the questions I’m asking:

1. Are they board-certified and if yes, by whom? If offering lineage-based teachings (like spiritual-based meditation), who is their teacher and what is their lineage? An ethical practitioner will be happy to tell you all about their mentors and lineage.

2. Do they have any peer-reviewed articles published? If yes, are they linked? If they link to research, is it solid research that’s peer-reviewed (instead of self-published)?

3. Are they enthusiastic about a collaborative care model? It’s a red flag when a practitioner (of any kind!) is unwilling to collaborate with others to help you feel better. ‘My way or the highway’ does not a happy healthy person make.

4. What does your gut tell you?

That last one is really important. Listen to your gut.

Does it seem weird that this person is listed as a cardiologist but he’s selling vitamins and skin care and telling you he can cure cancer? (seriously, that’s what this guy had on his website)

Do they make wild promises that seem too good to be true?

Will they have a quick phone consult with you to ensure they’re the right fit for you?

And more.

Step into your power place. Let got of ‘being nice’ and don’t stay silent because you are ‘afraid of hurting someone’s feelings’. Ask questions and get more information.

We are our own best health advocates and it’s super important that we build the RIGHT team around us to support our wellness.

 

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