What Is Ayurveda

Ayurveda is growing in popularity in the Western world, with many people curious about their dosha (individual composition)  or learning about Ayurveda through their yoga practice. A universal system with it’s roots in India, this ancient science encompasses the entire natural world; nature, the body, mind and spirit. It involves a holistic approach to health and healing that is in harmony with nature. Ayurveda translates to the “science of life”, ayur meaning life and veda meaning knowledge or science.

5 Elements

In Ayurveda, the theory of five elements helps us to understand health and disease. These qualities of nature exist inside of us. It is the 5 elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) that compose everything in the universe, including the human body.

Based on the ‘levels’ of the 5 elements within a given situation, whether it be human, plant or animal, Ayurveda will accordingly adjust diet & lifestyle factors to not only profoundly prevent disease but also teach one how to live in tune with nature and its cycles – for maximal health, longevity and to elevate ourselves into the higher realms of happiness – the ultimate goal in life.

3 Doshas

In order to live in harmony with nature, ayurveda guides you to tune in and get to know yourself. We each have a unique constitution that matches up with different aspects of nature, in ayurveda there are three constitutional types:

  • Vata: likened to winter – cold and dry. Your nervous system and body are dominated by air.
  • Pitta: likened to summer – hot, fiery, competitive and driven.
  • Kapha: likened to spring – retaining water, easy going, heavier set, mellow.

Ayurveda as Preventative Medicine

Intervening on the path of disease before serious manifestations of it occurs is at the foundation of Ayurvedic medicine. This involves mapping symptoms and tracing them back to their root cause.

Ayurveda has 6 stages of disease. The first stage is where toxins start to accumulate due to hampered bodily function or intelligence. Through certain Ayurvedic diagnostic methods, such as pulse diagnosis, this can be recognised early. Some Ayurvedic doctors can even detect hereditary factors by feeling the pulse, and from here implement diet, lifestyle and herbal measures to prevent this weak spot in the body from becoming vulnerable to disease.

If we look at western medicine, it usually will not step in until manifestation has happened. This is the 5th stage of disease according to Ayurveda, and has happened after 1. the toxins (Ama) has accumulated (sachaya) – 2. aggravated (prakopa) – 3. overflown and became more severe (prasara) – 4. relocated within the body (sthana samsraya) – 5. then it has has reacted and manifested (vyakti).

After diagnosis, there are a number of treatments that can begin to work on the root cause of disease and ultimately enliven and maintain vitality. This can range from simple dietary and lifestyle advice to advanced body treatments and herbal preparations.  To explore which treatments we have available, view our therapeutic menu, herbal remedies or contact us.

The Vital Short Home Cleanse

5 Days to Revitalise Your Digestion, Metabolism, & Energy Levels

A "DIY" Panchakarma Detox and Rejuvenation Program

The Vital Short Home Cleanse (VSHC) is a short 5 day cleanse and detox designed for those who are ready to feel lighter, more energised and peaceful. It is appropriate for busy people who don't have the time for Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation program) or a similar longer cleanse/retreat.

The VSHC is a "DIY" (Do It Yourself) cleanse consisting of following a daily regimen, a simple and delicious diet protocol, taking a few herbal supplements and perhaps backing up a little from your regular life and giving more time to Yourself and rest.

"DIY" entails that the results are based on the level of your compliance and dedication to the program. How far you take it is up to you. You can choose to retreat and reduce external stimuli to turn your senses inside out to feel the deeper parts of yourself. Or, on the other hand, you can integrate the VSHC at the same time as working full time, which will still reap transforming benefits for you body and mind.

This easy 5 day detox will help stimulate your body's natural ability to burn fat, reset digestion, reduce cravings and eliminate toxins.

When to do the Vital Short Home Cleanse

  • The best time to detox is when you have the time to rest. During the 5 days you should be in bed every night by 9:30-10pm and have minimal social/work commitments.
  • It is important to cleanse and relax on a regular basis or when your lymph is stagnant. (see VSHC eBook for signs of stagnated lymph).
  • You can do the VSHC three to twelve times a year.
  • If you typically experience coughs, congestion, weakened immunity or allergy symptoms during a particular season, it is good to do this cleanse about one month prior to when you usually experience symptoms.
  • Do not do this cleanse during fever, if you are not feeling 100% well or during menstruation.

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Vital Short Home Cleanse Kit

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  1. Abhyanga Massage Oil - 500ml Medicated Sesame Oil (for cold climates) or 900-gram Medicated Coconut Oil (for hot climates and sensitive skin) to be used for Self-Massage. Supports lymph and blood circulation, pacifies the nervous, collects toxins from deep in the body to be eliminated and more.
  2. Nasika Oil - 15ml Medicated Nasal Oil for Nasya. Nasya pacifies the brain, strengthens sensory organs and more.
  3. Gandusha Oil - 100ml Medicated Oil to for daily Oil Pulling. Not only profound for oral health but also supports Head Neck and Throat health.
  4. Shodana Vati - 300 tablets. To be taken before dinner. General Detoxifying Agent and 3 Dosha Balancing and more.
  5. Copper Tongue Scraper

Total (with sesame-based Abhyanga oil) = $150

Total (with coconut-based Abhyanga oil) = $185

  • Shipping available within Australia (additional handling and postage fee).
  • Pick up from Bondi Beach, Sydney clinic available. 
  • Purchasing individual products are available.

To purchase the VSHC kit, and for any questions please email dylan@vitalveda.com.au

Valium – The Most Ambiguous Drug Ever

Do you occasionally take Valium? I bet you know people who do? People take it “only occasionally” during plane travel, or when sleep is really being a nuisance.

However Valium, aka Diazepam, is actually not good for sleep, or stress, or anxiety. At all.

Valium belongs to a class of chemicals called benzodiazepines, which are used as both tranquillisers and sleeping pills. These substances were greeted in their day as revolutionary. At the height of its immense popularity, Valium was said to account for a whopping one-quarter of all new prescriptions written in USA!

The job of a benzodiazepine is to activate the brain’s GABA receptors – which provides a sedative effect for stress, sleep and anxiety.

Interestingly, studies in Europe showed certain peptides (proteins) in cow’s milk also activate the brain’s GABA receptors. This is why good ol’ fashion Ayurvedic Golden Milk, just like grandma used whip up for you, and which is now a fad (however hipsters are replacing cows milk with other “milks” which don’t have these peptides), is a potent sleep tonic and stress reducer.

But back to Valium. It is now known:

  • It is addictive.
  • It produces sleep irregularities of its own (interfering with stages of sleep).
  • Serious withdraw symptoms occur after prolonged use.
  • Studies in the UK show it produced dramatic negative changes in human’s micro-biome.
  • Valium out-competes the body’s own neuro-chemicals and takes over their receptor sites. This kind of interference confuses the nervous system which actually worsens anxiety and stress in the long run.
  • The monocytes of the immune system are attracted to valium, affecting the immune system and adding more confusion in the body as unknown messages are being sent into the immune system. This is very risky in a time where cancer incidents are on the rise and having a strong immune system is vital.
  • Valium is the second most deadly drug in Scotland, responsible for 32 percent of drug-related deaths in 2011.
vallium
Valium is killing Scotland's drug-taking poor.       (photo: Vice)

Nature has already provided our bodies with an exact internal analogue to Valium, which means that we are clumsily reproducing something that already exists in nearly perfect form.

Ayurveda teaches us how to awaken our natural bio-chemical, hormonal and enzyme function, proper immune function and nervous system stability.

If you attempt to duplicate natural events with a drug, the results are nowhere near as precise, orderly, and beautifully orchestrated. In fact, they are chaotic.

 

Related video: The Vedic View On Drugs by Maharishi Thom Knoles

 

Nature Deficit Disorder

Yep it's actually a thing.

This contemporary phenomenon, “Nature Deficit Disorder,” is slightly controversial in the medical industry in regards to it being recognised as a mental disorder.

Richard Louv, an author who came up with this “phrase” has stated:

“Nature-deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis but rather to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from the natural world.”

And boy what health costs it can have…

  • Youngers generations are being at risk of having a shorter lifespan.
  • Behavioural problems are developing as well as Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and depression. Studies from the University of Illinois is showing a strong link to ADD, and recently studies in USA showed classrooms and other forms of education that used outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produced significant student gain in social studies, science, language, arts and math.
  • Eye problems like myopia (short-sighted) due to lack of exposure to bright (natural outdoor) light are at jeopardy.(3,4).
  • Childhood obesity is a growing problem and an influential cause of it is separation from nature.(5)
  • A Harvard study showed a strong correlation with mental health as women living in the greenest environments were happier and less depressed.(1,2).

According to Ayurveda, spending time in the nature or green space around plants builds “Ojas” – a substance linked to longevity, vitality and radiant health.

A plentiful reserve of Ojas is reflected in the lustre of the eyes and skin (like the glow in a baby), strong physical strength, immunity and libido, good digestion, vigour and spirituality.

It could be in your garden, or a park. It could be regularly hiking, bush walking, camping or meditating on a beach — it all builds Ojas.

Another one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole food and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of certain foods even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas more directly and quickly.

Depleted Ojas leaves the body vulnerable to disease.

Regularly employing these methods to building Ojas is an important action to overcome fatigue and increase vitality.

Check out this article:

Ojas: Invigorate your Vitality

“When you feel life coming down on you, Like a heavy weight.
When you feel this crazy society, Adding to the strain.
Take a stroll to the nearest waters And remember your place.
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.”
~ Xavier Rudd

Photo: Routeburn Track, NZ  by Dylan Smith

References
(1) http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10363/
(2) https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_158317.html
(3) New research an eye opener on cause of myopia". 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
(4) Nature Deficit Disorder, No Child Left Inside Archived January 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
(5) National Environmental Education Foundation

Takra Dhara Treatment: A Deep Insight

“Takra” = buttermilk
“Dhara” = to pour

Takra Dhara is an ancient treatment where medicated buttermilk is poured over the head in a rhythmic mater (pictured). This stabilises the mind and everything going on inside it, as the herbs penetrate deep into the brain.
During this treatment, usually, you’ll lie in deep, blissful rest, (that is if you haven’t transcended).

The Science: Neurological (Brain and Nervous System) Relation

In times of stress, conduction of neurone cells (nervous system) is chaotic, messages are not clear, there is an inability to think clearly, thus the nervous system is exhausted.
An exhausted nervous system leads to fatigue, sleep issues, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, and/or other mental issues.

This chaos going on between the nerve cells also produces heat in the brain. This heat is trapped, specifically in the hypothalamus (Sadhaka Pitta), meninges and cerebrospinal fluid (Tarpaka Kapha), which further blocks and aggravates the Life Force/Oxygen (Prana), which is responsible for consciousness, memory, sense function, heart function, inhalation and exhalation and spitting, sneezing vomiting, swallowing, hiccups (Dharna’s).
Hormonal imbalance is also present from disturbed pineal and pituitary glands.

Takradhara regulates and stabilises the mind by improving transmission and movement of impulses by increasing Acetylcholine (ACH), which acts as a mediator between nerve impulses.

Takra Dhara gives stability to the Life Force (Prana Vata), taking the heat out very effectively,  it reduces the speed of neurotransmitters (producing a state of deep relaxation for the patient), enhancing neurological function to pave the way for:

Remarkable Benefits and Transformation:

  • Klama – Mitigates fatigue.
  • Shirorak – Effectively cures headache.
  • Regulates Hormonal function.
  • Ojahkshaya – Replenishes depleted “ojas” (our vitality, our immunity, a vital essence of our whole physiology).
  • Kasaiharana Paristodana – Relives the pain and prick sensations of extremities.
  • Murta dosha – Abnormalities of the urine.
  • Sandhi-Vishlatha – relaxed stiff joints.
  • Hridaya ruk – Cure precordial pain – (the region in front of or over the heart).
  • Aruchi – Improves the taste in the mouth
  • Agni mandya – Improves the digestive power
  • Shiro roga – Diseases of the head
  • Karna roga – Diseases of the ear.
  • Akshi roga – Diseases of the eyes.
  • Dosha Kopa – Alleviates the vitiation of doshas in general.

Takra Dhara is Indicated and Effective for:

  • Mental stress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Headache/Migraines
  • Psychological illness
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Dermatological conditions like eruptions, eczema, etc.
  • Pediculosis (lice)
  • Premature greying of hair (Palitya)

Why I Mostly Prescribe Takra Dhara Over Shiro Dhara (pouring of oil)

Shiro Dhara (same treatment, just pouring warm oil instead of buttermilk) is alternatively prescribed if there are issues with the patient’s blood pressure, if the weather is cold, or some other matters that have been accessed.

Book in for a Takra Dhara or Shiro Dhara at the Clinic – to take a transformative step for yourSelf.

For prices see Therapeutic Menu

Abhyanga + Takradhara/Shirodhara is a great combination.

*Costs are for Takradhara. Shirodhara oil is an additional cost depending on the oil prescribed.
Time for the treatment depends on the patient and how many treatments in the package.

To view panchakarma packages see the Therapeutic Menu

Ayurvedic Self-Massage: (Abhyanga)

Express self-love and self-respect by lovingly anointing yourself from head to toe with warm oil. This practice is called Abhyanga. A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity. Regular Abyanga is especially grounding and relaxing for the Vata dosha, but everyone substantially benefits from this practice.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89 (One of the Great ancient texts of Ayurveda)

more on the power of an Ayurvedic massage

Oils Used

  • Best oil to use is medicated oils specific to your individual constitution and the season.
  • Next best is cold-pressed, black sesame oil, as it can most effectively penetrate the body.
  • Rather use cold-pressed coconut oil in some Pitta imbalances, hot climates, and if the person has skin reaction to the sesame oil.

Contact Us to order medicated oils.

How to Perform Self-Abhyanga


Download the printable Self-Abhyanga Poster Here

Notes

  • The main purpose of the strokes is to soothe and stimulate the tissues gently and pacify Vata Dosha throughout the body via the connections the skin has to all the inner organs and systems. So be gentle, not to deep or strong. (Studies actually show light touch is more effective than deep pressure massage for the nervous system. See Light Touch vs. Deep Pressure Massage).
  • Leaving oil on - Aim to leave to oil on for at least 15-20 mins, and up to 45 mins (this time is ideal) at the most. Minimum leave oil on for 8 mins.
  • Washing oil off/bathing - It is very important to wash, or wipe off the oil afterwards so that the toxins that have been pulled out are not reabsorbed. For this reason, leave the oil on for no longer then 1 hour.
  • Caution - Do not do abhyanga or Nasya when you are sick with fever, or when woman are menstruating.

Enjoy the nourishment you provided to your body, mind, and spirit, and carry that with you throughout your day! you sure will feel it!

Vital Veda Massage Oils

Our medicated oils contain complex and precious formulations of a vast range of organic, wild crafted and rare herbs.

Dylan Smith (founder of Vital Veda) will impregnate rare and precious Raju family herbs into organic oils in a cultivated and attentive process that is coordinated with the cycles of the sun and moon.

This ensures safety and enhances a divine potency, and is one of the factors that make our treatments profoundly effective and treasured by so many.

Shop oils here