ayurveda practitioners

Engaging Your Mind: Strategies for Managing Chronic Pain

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Courtesy of Jackie Waters of Hyper-tidy.com

We’re conditioned to think of pain as one symptom of a
treatable problem, something that’ll go away with time and medication. Aspirin
can chase away the worst of headaches. The searing pain of an inflamed appendix
disappears after the source of the problem is removed. Here one day, gone the
next. Finding out you have a condition that causes lasting, chronic pain is a
cataclysmic life event, especially if you’re accustomed to an active lifestyle
without physical limits or medical encumbrances. Chronic pain means you’re
facing a new life, a new reality that forces you to deal with pain every day.
This time it isn’t going away.

Accepting the truth is jarring because it means you have to
find ways to manage your pain, to admit that it’s part of you now. It’s a form
of loss because it restricts you in ways that are completely alien. But you
need to move beyond the idea that you’re accommodating pain and understand that
from now on you’re managing it and mitigating its influence on your life.
Chronic pain is a condition, it’s not a death sentence.

A Holistic
Approach

For decades, doctors have controlled pain by prescribing opioid painkillers in
staggering amounts, a trend that’s created a national addiction crisis. But
there’s increasing evidence that a solely prescriptive approach to pain
management is not only ineffective in the long run, but can aggravate a
patient’s condition and do more harm than good. The American
Psychological Association
has called for a more balanced
approach, one that incorporates therapy and psychological methods in
establishing a more robust means of controlling pain.

Coping
with chronic pain means observing healthy mental and physical habits. Eating
healthy foods, getting at least seven hours of sleep, and exercising on a
regular basis are important. It’s also important to distract yourself, to busy
your mind with activities and exercises that
prevent you from dwelling on the pain and feeling like a victim. Try
visualizing pain as an object, something that can be stored away out of sight
and out of mind. Pursuing a hobby or reading a book can engage your mind
completely in positive activity.

Also,
keeping your house free of allergens, pollutants, or irritants will help reduce
the likelihood of inflammation, which can make your chronic pain much worse. In
addition to switching to all-natural cleaning products (harsh chemicals can
sometimes cause flare-ups), selecting a vacuum that thoroughly cleans your
floors can help matters tremendously. For example, while hardwood floors are
relatively easy to clean, you’ll need a vacuum with high suction to help
eliminate dirt and grime from tile flooring. Not surprisingly, there are
countless models on the market, so make sure you find a good tile-friendly vacuum before buying
one.

Social
Engagement

Spending quality time with friends and family members —
supportive people who care about you — is a reassuring and healing way to cope
with pain. Go to the movies with a loved one, or have coffee and discuss a
favorite subject with someone you enjoy being around. Remember, you’re less
likely to feel the pain if your mind isn’t zeroed in on your condition, so find
ways to avoid dwelling on physical symptoms of pain.

Movement and
Exercise

Many pain management experts advise caution when it comes to
exercise. Overly strenuous exertion can exacerbate your condition and make it
more difficult to manage the pain. Instead, try some stretching exercises that enhance
muscle flexibility, which will help reduce pain-producing muscle contractions.
Yoga and meditation exercises are also effective practices. Measured abdominal
breathing and mindful muscle relaxation work for many people,
who learn to focus on the source of tension in the body.

A
Stress-Free Home

Surround yourself with an uncluttered space, a refuge from
stress that emphasizes green plants and soft light. Incorporate
soft and relaxing music, the hum and vibration of ambient noise or even the
soft whirring of a fan. Take some time to clean out your closets and drawers,
ridding yourself of belongings you no longer need or want. You might be
surprised at how therapeutic a little home purging
can be.

Always bear in mind that pain is a physical and mental
phenomenon. It may never completely go away, but you do have the ability to
minimize its severity and its ability to control you. Embrace a holistic
strategy for managing pain, one which shuns an over-reliance on pharmacological
solutions that offer temporary relief but tempt you to overlook more lasting
coping strategies.


5 Tips to Kick Start your Digestion this Holiday Season

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5 Tips to Kick Start your Digestion for the Holidaysholiday meal

It always seems like this time of year rolls around so quickly, and while I am excited to share meals with good friends and partake in holiday cheer, I also know that my digestion easily gets overwhelmed with too much of well, everything. For much of my life until I discovered Ayurveda, I had crappy digestion. Following the simple tips below has made a tremendous difference for me and hopefully will for you too!

  1. Stay away from cold, icy drinks! Your digestion is like a fire, and ice cold drinks dampen the flame. Once that happens, it doesn’t “cook” your food, which may just sit in your belly like a rock.  Simply request “no ice” when at a restaurant, and at home, get used to drinking room temperature water.  It’ll become a habit before you know it!
  1. A strong digestive fire (AGNI) will help you to digest your food better, moving it through your system efficiently so it doesn’t turn into fat, or create a belly ache. So, you ask, how do you fuel the flames?  Drink about 8-12 ounces of water about 15-20 minutes BEFORE you eat, preferably with a squeeze of lemon or lime. This prepares your digestive track for food, stimulating all the necessary digestive enzymes. It is ESSENTIAL to drink your water before and not during or immediately after your meal. When you drink during your meal it dampens your agni, creating bloat, gas and general discomfort. You can sip on a little water during your meal only to wet your whistle. Wait at least a half hour after your meal before drinking a beverage, although you can sip on hot tea such as ginger tea.
  1. Most people really like this suggestion: according to Ayurveda we should eat desert first! The body digests the sweet taste first. If you fill your belly with lots of turkey and stuffing, then add a piece of pecan pie, your body will naturally digest the sweet pie first, leaving everything else to sit. You’ll know when that happens by the reaction of your tummy.  So, start a new tradition this Thanksgiving and serve those pies as appetizers. J
  1. Finish your final meal of the day around sunset. Our bodies mirror the rhythm of nature, so our agni is actually highest at noon (when the sun is peaking), meaning we can eat more and digest i better at that time. If you schedule allows, even if it’s just on the weekends, eat your largest meal of the day at lunch, followed by a lighter “supper” around sunset. I suggest a nice, savory soup during the cold, dark winter to help keep you warm and enkindle your agni. (See link to pumpkin soup recipe below.)  If you finish eating for the day around sunset or shortly after, and just say no to the holiday cookies calling your name (at least a few days a week), it will be really be helpful in maintaining your weight.  You’ll probably sleep better and feel lighter and more energetic in the morning.
  1. Now here’s a biggie. We’ve been told to eat often to quell hunger, but that isn’t Ayurvedic. According to Ayurveda, most of us should stick to three meals a day, giving our bodies several hours to digest the prior meal and start to rely on our bodies’ fat stores for additional energy.  In order to do this, eat a decent size lunch and be sure to have some fat and protein with each meal.  If you must, have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts for a snack.

 
Here are some herbal formulas that I recommend for digestion:

Click here and order these herbs asap!

Triphala – Gently cleanses and detoxifies the system

Pitta Digest – for digestion that is too quick

Vata Digestion – for those who suffer from constipation, gas and bloat

Kapha Digest – for Sluggish Direction

Liver Support –Promotes proper digestion of fat and a healthy metabolism.


Introduction to Ayurveda Series 3/30 – 4/27 2015

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Understand Yourself and How to Create Balance!

Introduction to Ayurveda Series 3/30 – 4/27

 VATA, PITTA or KAPHA, which “constitution” or “dosha” are you?  Why does it matter? Do you wonder why one person is inspired to run 10 pre-dawn miles, while another can’t wake up without two shots of espresso?

The “Introduction to  Ayurveda” workshop explains these differences and shows you how to understand your dosha so you can keep yourself in balance, and have the tools and know-how to do so. Considered the healing side of yoga, Ayurveda, a 5,000 –year-old healing science from India, offers a natural, balanced approach to optimal health.

 Taught by Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist Holly Padove, the inspiring five-week workshop will reveal easy-to-implement Ayurvedic choices that balance body, mind and spirit, and will be especially tailored for the spring months, the ideal time to hit the “reset” button.

WHEN: Five sessions – Mondays 6:30– 8:00 pm; March 30-April 27

WHERE:  Om on the Range, Old Oak Park Road, Arroyo Grande

COST:  $89 for pre-registration by March 21; $99

REGISTER OR MORE INFO:  Holly Padove, holly@balancedlivingayurveda.com; 805-440-4561

The five sessions will cover Ayurvedic topics such as:

  • Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements and discovering your dosha (constitution)
  • Balancing your dosha with food choices, food combining and cooking techniques
  • Cooking and eating an Ayurvedic meal together!
  • Common herbs and spices for balance and health
  • Harmonious daily routines
  • Yoga, meditation and exercise best for your dosha and the spring season
  • Meditation, colors and aromatherapy for the doshas

This is a must for any student of yoga, as yoga and Ayurveda are intricately intertwined!

About the Instructor:  Holly Padove is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist.  She has a private Ayurvedic practice, Balanced Living Ayurveda, located in Arroyo Grande where she offers private consultations to clients.  Holly is also a Registered Yoga and Teacher and certified Qi Gong instructor.


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