When I do a Google search for health I come across various matter science institutions giving their website renditions of it In this measurement tradition of healing descriptors are given to help guide the consumer through disease labels, discuss pharmaceuticals(pills) and tests that can be done to figure out what's the next step And of course procedures that can pull us through difficult times
Health as the Absence of Disease?
The contemporary matter science medical(molecular) model that we use is crisis management In this way of thinking if we're not sick, then de facto we're healthy
Oh, oh I have some bad symptoms of dis-ease or my lab tests are out of whack Red alert Better do something And then we manage the disease with a pill or magic operation
Now it's not to say that this model of healing is not important It's extremely valuable when we are unfortunately really sick But let's be clear, it does not define health
But I don't think people consider health that way anymore even though that's the best the molecular model can give us And it can't give any better because the model isn't made for health, it's made for dealing with disease
The World Health Organization however has a different way of looking at disease To paraphrase, health is not the absence of disease
Energy Science Definition of Health
So the energy science of Ayurveda has a lot to say about the perfect state of health
Not only does it define health for us but it goes the important next step It gives us tools in order to develop that perfect state of health where disease is not possible
But it takes knowledge, awareness, and work to develop the skill of being healthy Would we not think it unusual to find that Tiger Woods doesn't practice golf That he just shows up for tournaments?!!
6 Ways to Develop the Skill of Being Healthy
Here's what we can do to practice health and become skillful at it
Eat according to your mindbody energy makeup
Exercise 4-6 times per week for 30 minutes
Avoid poor food combining
Use a churan to improve digestive fire
Early to bed and early to rise
Eat the biggest meal at noon
Practice Practice Practice
Like any skill we have to practice what it is that we want to achieve These steps will do it for you
Any disease with an inflammatory component such as mulitiple sclerosis can get ramped up during the summer months due to the hot quality that gets even more expressed We’ve chosen eleven ingredients we like that cool Pitta dosha particularly during the hot summer months If we’ve missed one of your favorites, please let us know in the comment section below
11 Ways to Cool Off
There are so many ways to use coconut and so many coconut products to enjoy – coconut water, coconut non-dairy milk and the traditional coconut flakes. Be aware that the oil, while it is certainly cooling, is not recommended for Vata and Kapha
Use as a garnish, stir chopped cilantro into a soup or toss with your salad greens.
Mint makes an amazing tea, loved by many. Toss fresh mint into your salad, on fruit or dessert.
Fennel is wonderfully aromatic with its anise or licorice scent. Saute the seeds in oil to add to your favorite soups or stews. Add the powder to your chai or favorite hot beverage, or sprinkle onto your salad or dinner entree.
5. Rose Water
Add a dash to smoothies, rice puddings or a bowl of fruit. Substitute rose water for vanilla extract in recipes.
6. Pomegranate Molasses
The sugar that condenses when pomegranate juice is cooked forms pomegranate molasses and is quite heavenly. Add to salad dressings, dips and spreads, and use in marinades.
7. Sunflower Oil
This oil is traditionally used externally in Ayurveda as a cooling oil for Pitta. Enjoy sunflower oil as a substitute for vegetable oil. It is mild and light.
8. Maple Syrup
Use this cooling sweetener as you would any sugar. Would also be delicious in salad dressings and marinades.
Ghee is clarified butter. It is beneficial for all three doshas (kaphas should use in moderation). It is delicious and easy to make. Use as you would butter or oil.
Turmeric has certainly seen a lot of press the past few years for it’s amazing health benefits. And fortunately it’s not difficult to add to your diet. Rice dishes, or potato or egg salads all taste delicious with some added turmeric. And of course there is curry!
11 Chyawanprash is a tasty Ayurvedic jam usually taken with warm water, milk, milk substitute whose prinicipal ingredient is amla derived from a berry that has very high Vitamin C but is not acidic It's very valuable in high Pitta conditions and therefore antiinflammatory Here's a link http://goo.gl/NMly6a
From time to time this blog will comment on specific herbs that have important healing effects to the mindbody physiology After all herbs are foods that pack a physiologic whallop? Do we usually think of cinnamon as a herb? But when it comes down to the bottom line, everything on the planet has some medicinal properties, even poisons if used properly
Neem and pomegranite have long had benefical healing uses due to their bitter and astringent properties
Biologic Footprints of the Energy Field: Qualities
Let me digress here for a moment to help you understand that in the energy science medical model an imbalance of qualities leads to dis-ease and correcting the imbalances by using opposite qualities restores balance
For example, if there is too much hot in the physiology manifesting as "heartburn" then using something that is cold to cool the physiology is the answer Something like aloe vera would be great to use
Tastes: Aggregates of Qualities
Another aspect of the energy science is that these qualities are organized into 6 tastes, sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent These tastes have very specific physiologic effects on the mindbody
For example, the very popular and addicting sweet, sour, and salty tastes are responsible for the obesity epidemic in our society
Neem and Pomegranite
The initial taste of anything placed in the mouth has a message to the mindbody and specifically to the oral cavity Neem carries predominantly the bitter(alkaline) giving the dry, light, rough, soft, and clear qualities Pomegranite has an astringent taste(causing the puckering when we drink it) and this delivers the dry and rough qualties
The acidic biofilm formed from oral bacteria naturally occurs on the teeth everyday and will harden into plaque if not removed
The use of such herbs as neem and pomegranite in toothpaste can effectively remove this biofilm and maintain good oral hygeine
Literally as one finishes the brushing the teeth one can hear the bristles squeak over the surface of the enamel surface
Now that's squeaky clean
Anything worth doing, is worth doing for a long while
I think we have all made the observation of rock that has a groove in it from the steady drip of water moving over the rock surface. Perhaps to our amazement we remember that over time even the softness of water is capable of eroding even the hardest and seemingly most immobile surface of rock through the consistency of its action.
In past blogs we have referred to the balance that exists in Nature. The hard, static, dense surface of the rock gives way to the soft, mobile, liquid qualities of water. The matter field is gross and the energy field is subtle. Because of knowing ourselves in the matter field context(bone is hard and blood is wet) we identify with the gross characteristics of our lives.
But it is in the subtleness of the energy field where real healing takes place. It is consistency in action that can literally move mountains. Another word for consistency is intention. In the flow of Nature we see intention at work as we observe the rock being carved by the action of water.
What does this have to do with medicine, healing and preventing disease? From a medical perspective, everything! Because without intention, there will be no healing even in medical matter field discipline. If you don't take your blood pressure medicine then hypertension and the possibilty of the complications of stroke and heart attack are increased.
From a disesase prevention perspective, intention or consistency(even the word discipline comes up) when guided by subtle energy field principles, can show us health promoting habits that promote balance in our lives.
Some simple examples. Bedtime between 9:30 and 10:30 pm every night is a great habit of health. The biggest meal of the day around noon time takes advantage of a strong digestive fire. These are habits that are subtle, but over time they will produce healing benefits. The energy nutrition as outlined in Foods Heal is a powerful way to heal the body if done consistently.
We all have likes and dislikes in our nutritional diet, don't we? In the energy science we call them cravings that are physiologic and nonphysiologic The former should be satisfied like being thirsty after sweating a lot But the latter are problematic for us and often stem from our past history, friends, teachers, but some are darn right desires that try as we might we can't explain why we avoid or are attracted to them.
So we like things such as coffee, tomatoes, carbonated drinks, hot spices everyday, animal foods such as beef, duck, lamb, pork. We all have that salivation list.
If we look at these through the lens of an energy science nutritional approach we find them as yea and nay, that is yes for you but not for another; and vice versa no for you and yes for the other.
But there are foods and drinks that are universally Nay for everyone and Yea for everyone. Take a look.
Nays Raw tomatoes, bread with yeast(not toasted), miso, store bought yogurt, pork and lamb, chocolate, coffee, hard liquor, carbonated drinks, icy cold drinks, white sugar, and poor food combinations.
Yeas Sweet apples, applesauce, sweet berries and cherries, cooked beets, cooked carrots, green beans, cooked leeks, okra, cooked peas, sweet potatoes, summer squash, seitan, sprouted wheat bread(nonyeasted), split mung dal, goat's milk cottage cheese, egg whites, freshwater fish, ghee, aloe vera, sweet berry juice, tea, grain coffee, grape and mango juice, peach nectar, all the cooling spices, supplements such as calcium magnesium and zinc in moderate amounts, chlorella.
Three observations come to mind for me. There are more yeas than nays. YEA!
Secondly the nays have a lot of attractiveness to them for us in general. White sugar, chocolate are screamers but bread with yeast(if not toasted), and carbonated drinks are also engaging as well.
And lastly, the message is that no matter what energy pattern combination you are as revealed at foodsheal.com there is plenty to eat without risking nutritional imbalance. What a deal, huh?
Disease prevention is what we look for but sadly enough the current system of healing as practiced cannot offer it The reason for it seems quite simple actually It is because the molecular or matter science model of healing of today cannot trace the origins of the diseases that it studies
The Origin of Disease
If we are to begin helping people prevent disease, it will have to come from an energy field discipline since it is at the energy field level where all disease begins. As we have written earlier, Hippocrates, said to be one of the four fathers of Western medicine, stated that, "All disease begins in the gut."
In other words we must reassess our understanding of the origins of disease Presently the matter field medical discipline of which I am a practitioner, looks for molecular reasons why disease occurs But the matter field is actually developed from the underlying energy field and diseases that are created in the energy field percolate up into the matter field as expressions of the underlying energy field imbalance
Energy Model of Disease
In reality the body's energy and matter fields coexist but the disease first begins its expression in the energy field but is not detectable in the matter field until an obvious disruption in the matter field can be detected by our gross studies
Currently our present matter field medical discipline provides a system of early disease detection and treatment We attempt to detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages using PSA and the prostate exam Using mammography we try to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages and cervical cancer by PAP smear By the use of sophisticated imaging we uncover unsuspected cancers in their earliest stages. For example, renal cancers are being found as small unsuspected lesions
But now we can see that all these mentioned cancers had their earliest origins in the energy field and gradually the imbalances in the energy field became disruptive enough to show as an early cancer
Early Detection Versus Prevention
The question is, "Is early detection the same as prevention of disease?" The answer is obviously no And the present matter field medical discipline will not be able to deliver disease prevention because it's detection devices operate at the level of the matter field which cannot detect the origins of disease
What we desperately need is a medical delivery model which is a marriage of the matter and energy field disciplines Then we would have a prevention system and one which could deal with diseases that had gotten out of control and needed matter field expertise
So if you want to prevent disease in your life or minimize the consequences of disease that does occur, it would be best to practice an Ayurvedic lifestyle and encourage balance in your life
This leads to a large number of dietary recommendations to eliminate the acidity from the diet and to reduce symptoms
You can go a long way toward resolution of any symptoms if you do fundamental changes in your nutritional format just by eliminating known foods that are physiologically imbalacing from your food choices But as I have written before what foods to avoid often comes down to "who's doing the eating?" because from an energy science viewpoint the nutritional format can be meaningful
At times we don't know that what we are eating is making us sick Did you know that pain from IC can also be related to the acidic loading that occurs from poor food combining?
Some foods don't belong with one another For example, fruit with any other food is commonly practiced yet it can lead to poor digestion and symptoms of bloating and abdominal pain if done frequent enough In the energy science of Ayurveda every food has qualities and when foods are combined which are antagonistic to one another they may be toxic to the mindbody
Here's a list for you to consider
Beans WITH Fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, meat, yogurt
Eggs WITH Fruit (especially melons), beans, cheese, fish, kichari, MILK, meat, yogurt
Fruit As a rule, with any other food. *There are exceptions, such as certain cooked combinations, as well as dates and milk which have the same rasa, virya, and vipaka.
Grains WITH Fruit, tapioca
Honey ** With equal GHEE by weight (e.g. 1 tsp honey with 3 tsp ghee); AVOID boiled or cooked honey
Hot Drinks WITH Mangos, cheese, fish, meat, starch, yogurt
Lemon WITH Cucumbers, milk, tomatoes, yogurt
Melons EVERYTHING — especially dairy, eggs, fried food, grains, starches. Melons more than most fruit should be eaten alone or left alone.
Milk WITH BANANAS, cherries, melons, sour fruits, bread containing yeast, fish kitchari
Nightshades, e.g., potato, tomato WITH Melon, cucumber, dairy products
Radishes Bananas, raisins, milk
Tapioca WITH Fruit, especially banana, mango, beans, raisins, jaggary
Yogurt WITH Fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, hot drinks, meat, MILK, nightshades
A strong digestion which I'll cover in the future is the most important physiologic tool to deal with poor food combining aside from not combining in the first place
An Energy Science Nutritional Approach
From an energy science approach nutrition is more than diet The study of diet concerns itself wit h molecules of the food ingested But nutrition takes into account not only the qualities of the foods taken in and how these qualities interact but also the impact of the digestion of foods on the mindbody physiology This is a very significant difference between matter science and energy science nutrition
So here are 3 things that you can do right now to stop or reduce the flares of IC
1 Check out who you are energetically
2 Choose a nutritional format appropriate for your mindbody energy makeup
3 Go to the orange box and sign up to become a member our growing IC Ayurvedic energy science community
There are basically three energy healing sciences that are currently well articulated. Two of them date back thousands of years and include Ayurveda that is from the yoga tradition and the Traditional Chinese Medical(TCM) science. The third is more recently practiced as homeopathy which in the eyes of Ayurveda is an expression one of the ways to do energy healing within the discipline of Ayurveda.
I have now seen a couple of compendiums trying to merge these two ancient energy science traditions of Ayurveda and TCM and people have asked, "Why not?".
My simple answer is, "Don't do it!".
The reason for this caveat is that these systems are very complex and deep. It will take a practitioner a lifetime to study and assimilate the information in order to apply the material for healing. Even though there are similarities in the two ancient traditions, the differences are too great to be able to combine them and for this reason alone it becomes confusing and frustrating. Furthermore how can we expect ourselves as casual observers who want to apply these principles to our health and healing to be able to know enough?
For the above reasons, I think it's best to stick to one, study it and know its energy language well. Both ancient systems use different energy language systems in order to build the energetic healing medical discipline. They both work exceptionally well but they each require an understanding of the language in order to negotiate the path of healing.
Personally I have chosen the Ayurvedic medical discipline for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is that the nutritional scheme seems to be better articulated. But this is not to say that the TCM system might not work for you.
In the end choose one system, know it well and it will bring great health, wisdom and healing. DrBill
From an energy science point of view the IC bladder pain syndrome( interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, chronic prostatitis, IBS, GERD, and fibromyalgia) is a Vata and Pitta provoked disease, that is, too much hot and mobile qualities in the urinary tract - an imbalance created by the foods consumed So the obvious first step is to reduce those foods that are Pitta and Vata provoking When first getting started to get some relief from the burning sensation you can begin with just a Pitta pacifying nutritional format as at icdiet.com but as you progress using a format that is appropriate for you energy constitutional makeup can be found at foodsheal.com after taking the test
One particular thread that I have seen come up is the question about IC and yogurt How should it be used and whether it is safe in IC, that is, whether it is Vata and Pitta provoking, causing bladder pain
Yogurt is an amazing food and many ethinic cultures on the planet use fresh yogurt and kefir as health promoting foods in their nutrition And there are very good reasons for doing so but due to the Pitta aggravating nature of yogurt, freshly made is the only way to go in moderation
Helping Restore Imbalanced Agni
The value of yogurt is that it serves when freshly made a rich source of probiotic which is a population of "good bacteria" that reside in the bowel "Bad" bacteria at times overgrow the gut flora leading to poor digestion, absorption, and assimilation so it's important that the good flora flourishes and the bad are kept in check As I've alluded to in the past, bacterial growth is a major part of our digestive strength that needs to be nourished
This is particularly important if you have GERD, IBS, and fibromyalgia associated with IC since the digestive fire is significantly compromised in these dual conditions
Regular use of freshly made yogurt insures that the "good" bacteria are consistently replenished Agni is always compromised in these conditions and since the bacterial flora is part of agni it's important to supplement with probiotic foods such as yogurt SIBO(small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is commonly thought of as the root cause of many bowel diseases but from an energy science perspective it's just saying that agni is disturbed
You may have heard of yeast overgrowth and this is yet another factor that can lead to poor digestive fire(eliminating yeast laden bread products is a good idea in that it gives us more than we need so flatbreads are best or at least toasting yeasted products) This candidal imbalance in bowel flora much like SIBO is a result of poor agni So building up agni is one of the central therapeutic themes in the management of the IC bladder pain syndrome
Bowel flora is important in the concept of digestive fire and aids in bowel digestive function as well as providing important nutrients for our nutrition
Pasteurized yogurts should be avoided as pasteurization kills off the beneficial probiotic component of yogurt
Making Digestion Easy By Predigestion-Optimizing Digestive Strength
The value of yogurt comes in the predigestion of lactose and casein which we talked about a couple of days ago Hence the bacteria during the incubation phase of creating yogurt use the sugar lactose and break down the protein casein The lactose then doesn't bother the lactose intolerant and the casomorphin derivative from casein digestion can be less, hence affecting us less
Why freshly made? From an energy science view the build up of acidity occurs with aging yogurt even if refrigerated becomes inflammatory and thus Pitta provoking You also get the maximal amount of probiotic in the yogurt(some bacteria die off after 4-5 days)
Even though fresh yogurt is not very acidic(sour taste) it still can be Pitta provoking if used daily Hence home made yogurt has its consumption limitations
So Some Guidelines
1 Based on the foodsheal.com food combining list, don't use fruit with yogurt
2 To really inhibit the negative sour effects of even freshly made yogurt, the use of Sucanat or Turbinado(crystallized cane sugars) can be important because the sweet taste helps balance the aggravating sour taste
3 Always use yogurt in moderation, that is, 2-3x per week
4 Store bought and therefore processed yogurt is too acidic and will provoke IC
5 Diluting the yogurt with water reduces its acidity
6 Keeping in the fridge after it comes from the incubation phase will help get the yogurt firmer
7 For best results use whole milk
How to get started
Buy a yogurt maker(Donvier is a French brand or other various manufacturers can be found on Amazon) Using fresh starter each time ensures that the bacterial count of the yogurt will be rich The small amount of starter is not enough to aggravate Pitta
And yes, it does take some time to make your own yogurt but after doing it, in a short time you can do a batch in about 15 minutes(total time; heating the milk and cooling it can be done while doing other things)
If the yogurt is curdly and clearly not smooth in texture it means that there's probably too much cooking going on and that the incubation times are too long So try 10 hours instead of 12 hours with the Donvier
YouTube has several videos on how to make your own yogurt
It's best not to use dry milk powder as the milk product as it is provoking to Vata Pitta
The greatest value is making your own yogurt is that you participate in your own health and this is a small but significant step in assuming responsibility for our health
The inflammation that occurs with pain as we've talked about in the past is from the hot and mobile qualities from an energy science viewpoint
As you know this pain can be excruciating and unrelenting causing undue stress on relationships and plans
And there are things that we have discussed that can help with temporary relief of symptoms
The Hot Quality
As we've mentioned before the human energy anatomy Ayurveda says that there are three energy patterns that give us function The Vata, Pitta, and Kapha physiologic energies gives the body movement, transformation, and stability respectively
Pitta the energy of transformation is the only one of the three energy patterns that has the hot vibrational frequency This energy of transformation is responsible for your flares Makes sense doesn't it? Hot transforms right? But too much of this energy produces chronic disease Burning wood, burning thoughts, burning stomach burning bladder, burning pelvis, burning vagina Holy smoke! Burned up relationships!
This is the energy that slso makes us competitive but if more hot enters into the equation it leads to aggressive behaviors that turn people off
So when it's hot in the environment the same hot is aggravated in our own mindbody energy field And when you eat trigger foods the same thing happens whether we can appreciate it or not That's why the food guidelines are so important because sometimes you can't appreciate what's happening
The hot from the sun is never as long term provoking as the hot that we ingest As I've discussed in other blogs consumption of the hot quality has a much longer staying power of influence This is a very important point since the physiology is affected literally for 35 days after a trigger food is chosen to be ingested
What happens when too much hot is in the energy physiology? You guessed it! INFLAMMATION
What To Do What To Do
Sooo…. here's a recipe for a delicious cooling herbal cocktail that you may find valuable particularly during flare seasons
2T of aloe vera gel(NOT the juice)
2oz of pomegranite juice
2oz of water
Chug a lug! Hmmmm delissios
Here's to cooling off