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Ayurveda: Healing & Balance with Yoga, Meditation, Diet, Herbs and More

Ayurveda is an Indian holistic, healing system in which the universal life force manifests into certain doshas or energies.  The three doshas or “forces” are known as:  Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  We are all made up of a combination of these forces.   However, these can fluctuate, and we may have excesses which cause imbalances in our lives, and balancing them will help bring about harmony.

The following are just some general characteristics which each of the doshas may possess:

Vata: Small frame, anxious and creative personality types, dry skin/hair, enjoys sour/salty foods

Pitta: Medium frame, driven personality types, oily hair/skin, enjoy sweet/bitter foods

Kapha: Large frame, relaxed personality types, smooth skin, enjoys sweet/pungent foods

Doshas can fluctuate for many reasons such as stress, age, and diet.  One must determine their imbalances as they can result in different effects on the body.  For example, an excess or imbalance of each dosha can be seen in the following ways:

Excess Vata can cause disturbances with the large intestine, nervous system, immune system, and joints.

Excess Pitta can results in problems with the small intestines, liver, spleen, thyroid, blood, skin, and eyes.

Excess Kapha can result in issues with the stomach, lungs, mucous/water retention, and weight gain.

These balances can be corrected by the foods that we eat, yoga, massage, meditation, facials, detox, herbs, or other methods.  Generally, “the opposite” balances.  For example, the Vata can benefit from grounding and calming treatments, warm, sweet foods such as casseroles, stews, and soups, and their yoga should create warmth and serenity.  The Pitta can benefit from invigorating and energizing treatments, non-spicy foods and plenty of vegetables, and a yoga that encourages compassion and a relaxed effort.  The Kapha benefits from soothing treatments, invigorating the mind with light, spicy foods, and their exercise should be stimulating and vigorous.

Our practitioners at CNY Healing Arts would love the opportunity to assist you with creating balance in your life and within yourself. Please call us or visit us soon.

Syracuse:
191 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755

Albany:
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester:
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

The Balance of Yin and Yang

The theory of yin and yang is one of the most important and fundamental concepts of acupuncture and oriental medicine. The philosophy of yin and yang is as old as Asian history itself. Yet, it is one of the most misunderstood and difficult ideas to get a grasp of.  While I have been practicing Chinese medicine for over 10 years in NYC and here in the Syracuse area at CNY Healing Arts, it is the question I encounter most. Patients are often curious about how the theory of yin and yang relates to their health and what they can do to help themselves.

Most of us are raised with the concept of duality seeing the positive and negative aspects of life, as it is a basic education to make us a responsible member of society and for ourselves. We are taught to defeat the evil and often rewarded for being good. The concept, however, does not apply to the theory of yin and yang.

The concept of positive and negative does not correlate directly to yin and yang. Neither does the concept of good and evil. It is this misunderstanding that causes the confusion among patients whom were misguided.  The concept of yin and yang not only describes the opposite elements or phenomenon, it also includes the model of support and harmony. Yin and yang teaches us the idea of relativity as the stability of matter can only be achieved by maintaining the balance. There will be chaos and eventually death and destruction if this balance breaks or one of the elements of yin and yang gets extremely strong.

Our health depends on the same concept of maintaining the balance. We should not only look for ways to improve on deficiencies, but also find ways to reduce excesses. We also should be aware that this concept applies to our spiritual and emotional state as well. We should understand that the extreme state of our emotion harms the state of our well being. We can overcome this by realizing there is an opposite force in existence, not only in the future or in our imagination but occurring simultaneously as well. By practicing visualizations of this philosophy, we will be more at ease.

There is a universal attraction which holds these opposing but interdependent and inter-supporting elements together. I would like to call this universal bonding agent, love.

Chi Heon Yi, L.Ac.