Get Back Into Balance With Ayurveda
Today’s wellness may very well be rooted in yesterday’s therapies.
Ayurveda can be summed up in one word: holistic. This healing system focuses on our entire human experience in the process of diagnosing and treating our ailments. Within Ayurveda (Sanskrit for “science or knowledge of life”) there is a strong emphasis placed on balance – balance within our self and, by extension, the balance of existing in our environment.
The foundations of Ayurvedic teaching, steeped in 5 000 years of traditional knowledge, lie in the wellbeing of human consciousness as directly related to our process of absorbing our environment. This is not simply the taking in of tangible substances such as food and drink, but, as the teachings explain, that we engage with the environment through our five sensory systems, which also take in experiences, create emotional responses and form perceptions based on our hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell.
The result of one at balance is known as ojas (Sanskrit for “strength”). This describes a state in which our digestive system is strong and, as a result, we have clarity of perception, inner strength and immunity. This is seen to be the “innermost vital essence”.
The antithesis of this is known as ama – the root cause of all disease. This is described as a process whereby our digestive system is weakened due to poor lifestyle practices with regard to eating, exercising and negative thought patterns. This results in an impaired digestive system that produces toxins, which get held in the body and create illness.
The principles of Ayurvedic healing:
Ayurveda believes that disease is the natural result of living out of harmony with our environment. It sees the symptoms of any disease as the body communicating that it is in a state of disharmony. Therefore, the Ayurvedic approach to healing focuses on re-establishing harmony between self and the environment.
The process of Ayurvedic diagnosis takes place on the foundational belief that the five elements (earth, air, fire, water and ether) express themselves in a unique way in each person. These combine to form three “personality types”, or doshas: vata, pitta and kapha.
The unique combination of these in each person describes their constitution as set from conception. This tells the Ayurvedic practitioner the person’s natural state of balance, the nature of their disease and the nature of the remedy required.
Ayurvedic tradition also speaks to the idea that there are five different areas of the body, four of which are spoken of as being linked to the Physical body, and the last allocated to the Subtle body. They represent the Nadi Brain model, which is linked to “Self”. The five areas of the body are:
The thyroid and interrelated systems;
The pituitary gland and interrelated systems;
The limbic system;
The cortex and thalamus, and interrelated systems; and
The field of nerves near the emissary vein (“subtle nerves”).
The pathology of Ayurveda:
In Ayurveda, disharmonic doshas are seen as the causative agents of disease. The “tissues”, “additional tissues” and “channel systems” – dhatus, upadhatus and srotas respectively – are seen as the site of the disease.
Dr Deep Singh, an internationally regarded Ayurvedic practitioner (Vaidya), and son of the holy city of Benares in northern India, explains: “There are seven tissues which link to eight canonical components, in Ayurveda we understand the tissues, not to be separate, but to be part of a connected whole with each tissue dependant on the preceding tissue for its health. We, therefore, understand that when an illness develops in one tissue it can manifest in all the surrounding or proceeding tissues if left untreated.”
The seven tissues are: plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow and reproductive tissue. The srotas are partially equivalent to the respiratory system, digestive system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, urinary system and water metabolism system.
“The srotas that transport fluid are recognised as important in treating illness. Through massage treatments, we open these channels and allow healing to occur,” he says.
The etiology of Ayurveda:
Etiology is the understanding of how the patient’s lifestyle caused their doshas to become disharmonic and result in disease.
Dr Deep explains: “A lifestyle which emphasises a fast pace, changes of job or relationship, travel, fast foods, and dry, light foods, such as a vegetarian diet, is likely to cause an aggravation to vata dosha. A lifestyle which is intense, competitive, highly focused, and which emphasises spicy, hot foods is likely to aggravate pitta. Kapha is aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of heavy, moist foods, such as milk, yogurt and meat.”
Ayurveda: Dr Deep’s pulse healing technique
Dr Deep explains that the major disruptions most people are experiencing, either in their health or their psychology, are as a result of emotional disruptions. He says that the body can be seen as divided into two categories or processes.
“Each person has two ‘bodies’: the Physical body and the Subtle body. The Physical body is responsible for the Diet body and the Brain body. The Subtle body is responsible for the Emotional body and the Conscious body. The Emotional body is linked to the thought force and the Conscious body is linked to the life force.
The Conscious body can also be referred to as the Soul body or Bliss body, as it is the body that holds infinite pure knowledge.”
He continues: “This is important to explain, because when an emotional disruption, or a disruption in the Subtle body, occurs, it can manifest in the Physical body, causing illness. This is why I created the pulse healing technique. It is a healing technique which assists in connecting the Bliss body to the Diet body, by bringing it into the Diet body through the specific rhythm of pulse, resulting in a state of balance in the person.
“One must understand that everyone is connected with pulse. There are 72 000 variations of the physical pulse, but infinite variations of the subtle pulse. When I diagnose somebody using their pulse, the rhythm of the pulse gives me information about the health of the Diet body and Brain body, while the gap between the two rhythms gives me information about the health of the Emotional and Conscious body.
“What people don’t often recognise is that your thought force and your life force (your Subtle body) affect your metabolism, thus they can cause many physical ailments. Your Subtle body mostly manifests in the fifth body, or the nerves near the emissary vein, and somewhat in your fourth body, or the cortex and thalamus. Pulse healing is able to examine the processes of your Subtle body in these areas and restore balance throughout the bodily systems.”
Ayurveda: Pulse healing explained biologically
Dr Deep states that the Ayurvedic stance is that “our lifestyle and environment both contribute to disrupting the cellular integrity of our bodies”. From a Western viewpoint, this can be clarified as follows:
The body has an immune system that contains immunoglobulin, which combats antigens and pathogens. As a simple protein construct, immunoglobulin has a short lifespan, being quickly discarded by the body after performing its function. The body, or cells, then retain this cellular memory, so that they can reproduce immunoglobulin in quick response to a similar problem.
When negatively expressed genes and cells are localised, they suppress the immunoglobulin in the area and, over time, it fails to respond. It therefore “forgets” its purpose and the cells lose their memory of this response, resulting in ongoing disease.
Dr Deep says the radial artery (appearing on the wrist) acts as a transmission point that can carry a unique combination of biological messages, specific to each individual. He explains that, through a combination of rhythmic pulsation, applied to the pulse points on the radial artery, the body systems can be stimulated to support, balance, repair and restore cellular memory. This occurs through the release of neurochemicals, enzymes and hormones.
Due to the uniqueness of each individual, when one attends a personal session with Dr Deep, he provides you with your own unique pulse healing code that will optimise your particular healing process. However, he explains that the universal code is 777 and will yield generally good results for all.
How to practise pulse healing:
- Sit in a quiet, comfortable place.
- Bring your hands up to your chest and cross them. Rest them against your chest in this position.
- If you are female, you will use the pulse at the base of your left thumb.
- If you are male, you will use the pulse at the base of your right thumb.
- Cup the correct wrist in your other hand, with the top of your wrist placed against the palm of your other hand and your fingers wrapped around the bottom side of your wrist, resting on your exposed veins.
- Place your index finger, middle finger and ring finger (of the hand cupping your wrist) on the pulse of your wrist, with no spaces in between them. The index finger should rest just below the two defined lines that occur at the beginning of your wrist. When you can comfortably feel your pulse in all three fingers, you know that you have the correct position.
- Now close your eyes and relax.
- Press each finger, on its own, lightly into your wrist for a count of seven per finger. You can do this at whatever pace feels right to you; keep in mind that it should be a relaxing experience.
- Once each finger has pressed down seven times, press down all three fingers at the same time, a further seven times. Repeat this for 12 cycles.
Pulse healing can be done on a daily basis. Dr Deep also suggests that you use it before you go into a situation that is of high importance or over which you are creating a large amount of anxiety, such as before a big meeting or a family event. He says it will improve your clarity of mind and can remove the anxiety of the experience.
My pulse healing experience:
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a personal session with Dr Deep, as well as one of his seminars.
The process required of me that I make an attempt to hear what was being explained to me, outside of the Western paradigm of thinking. This was challenging at times, but allowed me to see Ayurveda as a holistic wellness approach – which sees all aspects of life as interconnected – rather than as something esoteric. Where the Western paradigm is keen to examine everything in isolation, with the aim to predict and control, the Ayurvedic approach is more concerned with the natural flow of consciousness, in human beings and in our relationship with our environment. In Ayurveda, however, there is a spiritual aspect as well.
My personal session with Dr Deep was a unique experience. He greeted me as I came in, after which, once I was seated, no speaking was allowed at all for the first 15 minutes. He simply took my wrists in his palms, instructed that I close my eyes, and fell into silence as he read my pulse. After this period he was able to tell me of physical health patterns that I have with regard to sleeping and the foods towards which I gravitate, as well as what my core personality traits are and the emotional upheavals I have experienced in my past. He could provide me with the year in which an emotional experience had occurred and a general notion of what the incident might have been. I would then fill in the rest. I was surprised by his accuracy.
He then explained to me how my experiences and my personality have combined to create the reality I experience today. He also explained that, through the process of reading my pulse, he had provided some healing. I did leave the session feeling relaxed, happy and content. This lasted for about three days after the session.
I then attended his seminar, during which a small group of us were taught pulse healing and provided with our unique codes. I found the technique to be meditative and helpful, improving brain focus, improving self-awareness and increasing my feelings of centredness or ease.
Ayurveda: How to treat all five areas of the body
Dr Deep says holistic body filtration focuses on specific Ayurvedic treatments that are aligned with each of the five bodies. He explains that the following are the most effective means of restoring balance with treatment, but reminds us that a healthy lifestyle is an essential aspect to maintaining balance:
- Treat the 1st body with an Ayurvedic spa or massage treatment.
- Treat the 2nd body through pulse healing.
- Treat the 3rd body with Ayurvedic sound therapy.
- Treat the 4th body with pulse healing combined with a mantra.
- Treat the 5th body with transformational healing – enter into a process of healing with an Ayurvedic practitioner where they use divine energy