The idea of self-healing is so attractive to me that I didn’t need much convincing to pick up the first book I ever read on Ayurveda, which had the same title as this article. This book, by Vasant Lad (the man who later became my teacher), introduces us to Ayurveda’s basic theory and practice.
Ayurveda suggests that we all are made up of the same stuff but in varying amounts. Because we’re all a little different (or sometimes a lot different), we all need a slightly (or grossly) different diet, exercise regimen and daily routine.
I’ve been learning about Ayurveda and experimenting on myself – mind and body – for 16 years, now, and the greatest realization I’ve had is that the only thing constant is change. I know, it’s not news. But I think that the recognition of this fact leads us to yet another undeniable truth: self-healing really is the only kind of healing we can engage in. I’ll explain.
See, Ayurveda suggests that, as the seasons change and as our circumstances change (activity levels, stress levels etc.), our diet and daily regimens also need to change. What is good for us when we’re not exercising much and have very little stress may not suffice at all when our stress levels and activity levels go up. Similarly, the diet that feels good in the summer is likely not going to give us what we need in the colder winter months.
There are so many factors that change constantly, in our lives. Seasonal changes and activity and stress levels are just a few. This is why we need to become sleuths regarding our mind-body balance. We need to investigate and keep regular tabs on ourselves, noticing how we’re feeling by checking in frequently and noting any consistent or long-lasting shifts in mind-body balance.
I’m all for getting guidance from a health educator and I think it’s ideal to consult with your chosen health care professional every 3 months. But so much can change in just a few days or weeks (sometimes). So, if we really want to respond to what our body needs, we must develop the capacity to be our own health practitioner – at least between visits to a professional. One part of this involves developing a practice of noticing our shifting physical, mental and emotional states and the other part is self-education.
The fact is, each of us is so unique and our needs change so frequently that, if we want to achieve optimal health, we need to understand the basics about our unique mind-body needs. We know ourselves better than anyone (if we’re paying attention). So, we’ll be most likely to prevent illness and maintain health if we develop a practice of self-inquiry and get a bit of health education.
You can start your journey of self-healing by reading about different modalities and finding out which perspective on mind-body health appeals to you most. I love Ayurveda because it acknowledges that we are all so unique that the same diet, daily routine and exercise regimen cannot possibly be right for everyone – and this makes sense to me. What intrigues you? Ayurveda, Western Medicine, Chinese Traditional Medicine, or some other perspective?
While there is a lot to read online, there is reason for caution if you take that route. Many people write about health matters without having a deep education in the area they’re writing about. This can result in dangerous misinformation. Even scientific studies can be biased and misleading (for example, if the sample size is very small and the results have not been peer-reviewed and achieved again in subsequent studies). So, once you know which therapeutic model interests you most, find a book by a reputable author and start your practice of self-healing by getting educated about this amazing biological phenomenon we call our body.
Are you ready to dive into the world of self-healing?
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