Finding your center to achieve perfect health

A SPIRITED SOUL - Jeannie E. Javelosa () - August 29, 2010 - 12:00am

We are bombarded by stress from all parts of our lives. It’s become endemic to urban living today. Raise your hand if you know someone with arthritis, heart-related disease, obesity, migraine, insomnia and even glaucoma. Now that everyone’s hands and feet are raised, let’s get straight to the point: It’s a necessity to take conscious steps to be disease free. It takes awareness and a strong will to clean up and try to live a balanced life. Sometimes, we need preventive therapies to help us on this uphill climb in trying to keep not only our inner quietness but also the body’s energetics balanced. To get back that body electric. To unite Body, Mind and Spirit in a oneness that radiates the peace of health and wellbeing.

The need to live a healthy, balanced life in harmony with nature was one of the greatest goals of man since ancient times. It is because physical health and vitality give the “body temple” a certain level of sacredness for the inner spirit to express itself. Peace, contentment and joy are always easier to reach when the body is healthy and clean. Thus, all ways of purifications, cleansings, balancing therapies and ancient holistic healing sciences can be found through all the cultures of the world.

From India, we have Ayurveda (meaning “The Science of Life”) practiced for over 5,000 years. It is generally considered to be the oldest traditional health care system that helped nurture and influence ancient Chinese systems of medicine, Unani medicine (an ancient Graeco-Arab system of medicine), and the humoral medicine practiced by Hippocrates in Greece. Ayurveda is based on the theory of tridosha or biological forces (which are the genesis of all diseases) called Vata (air), Pitta (pitta) and Kapha (water). Diseases arise when there is an imbalance, among the tridoshas and good health follows when there is harmony among them. The aim of Ayurvedic therapy is to bring about the required equilibrium of the five elements of the body: fire, earth, air, water and ether.

It took two stressed people from different parts of the globe to open the first and only Ayurvedic center in Manila. Manelle Jose went on an Ayurvedic detox program in India to rid herself of high levels of cholesterol and uric acid. There, she met Frenchman Patrick Eyquem who had been living in India for almost 30 years, practicing Ayurveda, studying Vedanta and was more Indian than French. The success of Manelle’s treatment and her total sense of wellbeing made her want to share this precious gift of wellness to the Filipinos and asked Patrick to help her put it up. But the direction was to offer the authentic and traditional Kerala way (Kerala in India is the birthplace of Ayurveda), using traditional herbs and oils of top quality, and in the tradition taught by Patrick’s Indian gurus. And so, Arogya Ayurvedic Center opened, (Arogya in Sanskrit means “perfect health”) with Patrick offering his “seva” or service by being in Manila, training and teaching, healing and explaining to people what Ayurveda is all about. It was with Patrick that I got a deeper appreciation of the ancient detoxification treatments that have begun to heal Filipinos with a variety of diseases such as joint and muscular pains, insomnia, arthritis, high blood, diabetes, cholesterol, eye problems, spine and slip disc, heart problems and strengthening the immune system, with treatments that can be one to three or six days to a full 12-day detox program.

Before treatments, all clients undergo an evaluation by answering questions written out to describe how one lives and reacts in life; the medical history and health disorders. The resulting scores determine the predominant dosha which can cause future diseases.

I was given a combination treatment for my own dosha constituency. Abhyanga which was a heavenly full body massage by two therapists working in a synchronized manner and was meant to improve physical constancy, liquefy toxins, normalize blood pressure and eliminate impurities; and Takradhara where cool medicated yoghurt was poured on my forehead for 20 minutes, rhythmically lulling me into la-la land. This, they say, brings relief for insomnia, depression and stress related problems. Awashed in thick, warm sesame oil infused by medicinal herbs, the healing massage was like no other I have experienced before (and I have experienced all sorts of massages and therapies!). Patrick had explained to me that each part of the body had different oil combinations applied based on what I needed. The synchronized massage’s primary objective was to facilitate the opening of pores and absorption of oil into the body (taking seven minutes for the herbal oil to penetrate the skin and reach the internal organs) and open up energy channels to release toxins. This would make food’s nutrients better assimilated into the body later on. What the whole treatment gave me on a first level take-home result was an overwhelming feeling of lightness, that “unbearable lightness of being,” a quiet serene mind, a body pulsing and breathing in a state of deep relaxation, and oh, yes — a Buddha’s smile. I am going back there and making Ayurveda part of my life… a natural addition to the yoga I am already practicing.

People today have become massage addicts to combat stress. My suggestion is to go a step deeper, beyond just a massage, go for balance and the revitalization of your constituency. To harmonize and bring yourself closer to Nature and your deeper nature.

(Arogya Ayurvedic Center is located at 8398 Mayapis St., San Antonio Village, Makati City. Call 403-4048 for appointment.)

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