Most of us have tried to improve our health in some way or fashion. We have tried to make better choices in what we choose to eat, perhaps tried to hit the gym after work or get a little more rest, all of which are good steps to improve our health in general.
I’ve recently been learning about Ayurveda, an ancient medical system more than 5,000 years old. Ayurveda literally means Life Science. Never heard of Ayurveda? You’re not alone. Most of us know about Chinese Medicine or at least have heard about it. Chinese Medicine derived its workings from Ayurvedic Medicine about 3,000 years ago. Thus, both have similar thoughts on the body and how it works but do have differing concepts or ways in which they explain bodily systems.
I started looking into this holistic way of thinking after learning I have a genetic disposition called hEDS (Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). This is a connective tissue disorder, meaning my ligaments and tendons don’t really work as well as one would like. I was considered “double jointed” as a kid and am still very flexible in my joints. But with hEDS, you can also have gut issues, which I do, and this has lead me to Ayurveda. I needed an alternative look on the body as I naturally have a leaky guy (think loose connective tissue) which leads to a host of things, one of which is SIBO. For a refresher on gut issues, look back on this previous blog.
So, I thought I would give Ayurveda a try. I felt overwhelmed at first, which is the case when trying anything new. This is a very comprehensive way of looking at the body. Ayurveda views your health as a complete health, to include physical, spiritual and mental aspects of your life. According to your body type, Ayurveda describes what you should eat and what time to eat, how you should exercise, what time to wake up and go to sleep, and creating a morning and evening routine to bring the body back into balance. This will be a several year journey. However, I have already noticed better sleep!
I can’t fix my connective tissue disorder, but I am looking for the healthiest way to live/eat/exercise for my body type. In Ayurveda, they have been studying the body for over 5,000 years and have descriptions for the different body types. Each body type (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) have different ways to keep themselves healthy. As a health coach, I always approach the client as an individual, because everyone is different! Ayurveda just confirms my thoughts on how health coaching should be approached, with curiosity about each client (including myself), and not a cookie cutter approach. To see what Ayurveda says your body type is, take a short quiz here, or here. And if you were curious, I have a Vata dosha.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to getting healthy. I always say to my clients I wish I had a magic wand! I, like you, am pursuing the best health I can with what I got. Never give up! You can find what works best for you, it just takes time. Health is a life long journey.