Ayurveda: The Art of Stress Management
“Ayurveda” is the traditional medicine system of India in the same way that Traditional Chinese Medicine is ancient healthcare from China. Just like Traditional Chinese Medicine is the umbrella medical practice that includes Tai Chi and Acupuncture, Ayurveda is the ancient medicine system that rules over yoga and meditation and prescribes them in specific ways as medicine.
Ayurveda translates as the science or study of life, allowing both practitioner and client to understand the patterns that create disease. During an initial consultation, Cassandra will assess your life as a whole, including stress in mind, body and emotions, so as to understand which patterns are creating harmony (which in turn creates an environment for optimum health) and which patterns are creating disharmony (disease). In the follow up visits, you are coached on how to make Ayurvedic changes in lifestyle, yoga, mindful living, or meditation practices to create harmony in the body, one small step at a time.
Western medicine agrees with Ayurveda that stress can cause or significantly contribute to many diseases. It can weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to pathogens. It can also decrease our ability to digest foods, activating our “fight or flight” nervous system instead of our “rest and digest” system. In Ayurveda, digestion is of utmost importance. Ayurveda teaches that what we cannot digest turns into poison in our bodies, even if it is the best organic, clean, whole, plant-based or paleo superfood you can buy. Poor digestion is indicated when we have gas, bloating, heartburn, burning sensations, or heavy and sluggish feelings after eating. In Ayurveda, these are the first signs of potential disease in the body – not be the harmless discomforts we often think them to be.
Importantly, in Ayurveda the idea of digestion is expanded to include emotional and mental digestion. When we don’t have the right tools, it is not always possible to mentally and emotionally “digest” hardships. Perhaps we could not properly assimilate our difficult experiences because we were children at the time, or perhaps we did not have the right support system as adults— the possibilities are endless. Long-term digestion issues of any kind can deplete the body of its immunity and resilience to stress, and can lead to chronic disease and fatigue. In essence, an inability to assimilate what is coming in through all of our five senses will rob you of your vitality. Yoga, which includes the science of meditation, was never meant to be practiced without the context of Ayurveda. Undigested anxiety or grief, for example, can be skillfully digested using these two powerful systems together. Practiced on their own, each is profoundly helpful, but combined, they can have an exponentially higher healing power.
We can create a stress-free life by intentionally creating harmony through an Ayurvedic lifestyle. This process begins when Cassandra calculates your unique Ayurvedic constitution and any imbalances you may have in your body and/or mind during your initial Ayurvedic consultation. Understanding your unique Ayurvedic body/mind profile helps address your unique challenges as an individual with great accuracy and efficiency. Ayurveda teaches that nothing is right for everyone, and everything can be right for someone. This is why paleo works for some, and veganism works for others. Cassandra McDonough, Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, uses this stress reduction system to help you figure out and fine tune what will work for YOU!
Consultations are available via video chat/phone throughout the United States. Sign up for a completely free, no obligation 15 minute consultation with Cassandra today to start reducing your stress!