Sept 29, 2017 Considering Ayurveda


120th Street – Westside Highway

Courtesy of Ryan Frankel

It’s so loud when you make it to this point. Cars and buses hurtle past on the adjacent road. A small rail offers zero barrier against the sounds of wheels grinding against the road.

I could make it the GW Bridge, but then I’d likely be too tired and have to take the subway back. I avoid the subway like the plague, preferring to get around by foot or the communal bike system here, so I turn around.

Courtesy of

So I take my time to idle my way back listening to the book of another petsit client of ours – Barbara Schoichet’s Don’t Think Twice – and reading about Ayurveda practices, the thought provided by the practices of our current petsit client. Here’s what I learned:

Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India.

It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.

Ayurveda and Your Life Energy

Students of CAM therapy believe that everything in the universe – dead or alive – is connected. If your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe, you have good health. When something disrupts this balance, you get sick. Among the things that can upset this balance are genetic or birth defects, injuries, climate and seasonal change, age, and your emotions.

Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick — and the health issues you develop — are linked to the balance of your doshas.


It goes on to say that one ought to avoid eating too soon after a meal, eating sweet, salty, or sour foods, as well as feelings if fear, grief, staying up too late. Lol. Sensibility linked to spirituality, but I like the story behind the encouragement of positive behaviors.

The next part moved beyond just general care:

An ayurvedic practitioner will create a treatment plan specifically designed for you. He’ll take into account your unique physical and emotional makeup, your primary life force, and the balance between all three of these elements.

The goal of treatment is to cleanse your body of undigested food, which can stay in your body and lead to illness. The cleansing process—called “panchakarma”— is designed to reduce your symptoms and restore harmony and balance.

To achieve this, an Ayurvedic practitioner might rely on blood purification, massage, medical oils, herbs, and enemas or laxatives.


The FDA doesn’t review or approve Ayurvedic products. In fact, it’s banned certain ones from entering the country since 2007. What’s more, the agency has warned that 1 in 5 Ayurvedic medicines contain toxic metals, like lead, mercury, and arsenic. These heavy metals can cause life-threatening illness, especially in children.

So what will I take away from Ayurveda? Well I really loved toting around and drinking from the beautiful, copper water bottle in their home.

It’s $30 to purchase one that doesn’t leak, a bit pricey, As Marie Kondo preaches, I ought to only keep items in my life that bring me joy, I’m considering the upgrade because I did like carrying that bottle. It’s nice to carry something made of organic material, and the copper naturally kills some bacteria found in water, so it would only make me healthier.

We’ll see…