resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
March, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 03
Stay in Touch With...Ayurveda, Part I
By Karyn Chabot
"Stay in Touch With..." is a periodic column designed to provide an overview of a particular technique or modality. If you would like to contribute to this column, please e-mail .
When I was a student of Dr.Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, each class left me in awe as I learned more about the ancient, profoundly simple, biological and spiritual science of Ayurveda.
In the past, Ayurveda has been misunderstood, but now with the yoga craze, people are starting to see that it is a beautiful medical science that encourages people to live in harmony with the earth, the elements and the seasons. Ayurveda does not involve mandatory worship of mysterious deities. Instead, it embraces all forms of spirituality and recognizes the divine intelligence within all living things. It is the ancient healing science of India.
Ayurveda addresses the root of disease, rather than just alleviate symptoms. It doesn't assign a medical name to disease because when you name something, you indirectly assign power to it. Instead, Ayurveda views disease as an imbalance of the five great elements within the body. Some of the modalities used to restore this fragile balance include nutritional and lifestyle changes, bodywork, herbs, yoga, meditation, mantra, mindfulness, breath work, sound, color, crystal, aromatherapy and intuitive living. This ancient science was designed to empower people with the knowledge of self-discovery and self-healing.
Disease starts in the mind with thought. By cultivating the garden of your mind and generating positive thoughts, you can prevent disease. A thought is absorbed and assimilated into the body, just like food, right down to the smallest structure of the human cell. An Ayurvedic practitioner named Ryan Kurczak, LMT, once told me: "Many of the people I know who succeed in utilizing Ayurveda as an effective method of health maintenance implement moderate changes over a long period of time. They are not fanatics and don't get bent out of shape if someone offers them a piece of chocolate cake when they are supposed to be on a 'pure' Ayurvedic diet. When I asked my spiritual teacher about how strict I need to be with Ayurveda he said, 'Meditate, and be happy. Then adjust your diet as you need to.' One of the most powerful disease causing factors according to Ayurveda is a diseased mind. When the mind is peaceful, the body will be, as well."
We are the subatomic structure of God; we are microcosms of the macrocosmic universe. There are five great elements that exist on our planet: ether, air, fire, earth and water. Ayurveda classifies these five elements into three aspects. These aspects are referred to as doshas, a Sanskrit word meaning "biological principle," which generally refers to an imbalance due to excess of one of the elements within the body.
Although there are five great elements, there are only three doshas or biological principles. All five elements must exist within our bodies and within the universe in order for us to function properly. As soon as the sperm meets the egg, a unique combination of the five great elements is determined and the physical constitution is born. This constitution is called Prakruti.
Stress, negative thoughts, feeling disconnected from the divine within ourselves or the ones we love, wrong food choices, and lack of exercise are just some of the things that throw us out of balance. When the doshas are out of balance, it usually means they are in excess and have reached the first of six stages in the disease process called "accumulation." Restoring balance usually means reducing the dosha by making conscious choices regarding our lifestyle, food, mindfulness, exercise, breath, prayer, meditation and bodywork.
The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. Vata is a Sanskrit word meaning "what blows." Vata lives in the colon/large intestines and becomes excessive on cold, windy days during the fall and winter. When vata within the body is in excess, people tend to experience anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, paranoia and loneliness.
Pitta means "what cooks" and lives in the small intestines. Pitta becomes excessive on hot summer days. When pitta within the body is excessive, people tend to experience self-condemnation, jealousy, anger, competitive thoughts, and aggression.
Kapha means "what sticks" and lives in the stomach. Kapha becomes excessive on cool, muddy days of spring and on cold, snowy days in the winter. When kapha within the body becomes excessive, people experience greed, lethargy, apathy and heaviness. The weather, the seasons, our genetic constitution, lifestyle choices and our thoughts have a direct affect on our health.
After careful observation of the majority of my clients and friends, I have concluded that the most common complaints are stress and anxiety, which consequently disrupts vata within the body. Living in a world where we are eating lunch while we are driving our car, or reading our e-mail while listening to our voicemail at the same time will naturally disturb vata within the body and mind. Multitasking and feeling like there is not enough time in a day will continually challenge vata. When the vata dosha is out of balance within the body, it can blow the other doshas (pitta and kapha) out of balance causing an overflow of the other doshas. Preventing all the doshas from becoming excessive is important, but remember that vata is the dosha that is critical to health and longevity. The ancient Ayurvedic texts say the earth is now in the vata stage of its evolution, so vata is high for everyone simply because we are so connected to our earth.
There are specific bodywork techniques and lifestyle choices that pacify and calm the vata dosha. Massage therapists are at risk for having excessive vata because of the nature of the job. Most massage therapists will tell you they are in constant physical motion on some level during a session. Massage therapists are movement-centered, energetic, and on the go. Since vata is the dosha responsible for motion within the body and the universe, massage therapists need to take extra care not to accumulate too much vata. Massage therapy can become a vata-provoking job, so choose a lifestyle that will soothe and balance your vata. Here are some easy vata soothing activities:
Editor's Note: Read part II of Karyn Chabot's article in the April 2005 issue.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.