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10 FAQs...  

On Sukham Aayu & Ayurveda


1. What differentiates Ayurveda from Western medicine?

  • Besides its genealogy of nearly 7000 years, Ayurveda differs significantly from western medicine in its approach to health and disease. It has remained constant in its comprehensive understanding of the human mind and body for millennia; a science of nutrition, health, diagnoses**, & therapeutics formulated to perfection, scalable to meet the demands of new developments with changing times.
  • Ayurveda is not just a science of the body; it emanates from core foundational science of the world and of existence itself, with links to major Vedic sciences of Jyotish (astrology), Yoga, and Vastu, the science of form and function. It respects elemental forces of nature, and the energies they create and control within our bodies. As such, Ayurveda evaluates and handles imbalances at a substratum of physical existence not acknowledged by western medicine.
  • Ayurveda starts with a comprehensive understanding of food, nutrition, lifestyle, & nature before delving into aspects of health & disease. 
  • While western medicine moves to diagnose and treat diseases on a reductionist scale looking at the microscopic evaluations of individual components, Ayurveda evaluates imbalances on a gross scale, bringing balance to the whole body in a way that allows it to fight and resist disease
  • Ayurveda has acknowledged the psycho-somatic nature of human composition for millennia; never considering them separate entities. As such, Ayurveda understands the refinement of mental states through bodily tissue, an art that western medicine struggles to understand through its science. 
  • Most importantly, while western medicine often suppresses symptoms augmenting the causative factors within the body, Ayurveda changes the existing imbalances by reaching to the core and eradicating these causative factors through food, lifestyle, & herbs.
  • Ayurveda's exceptional explanation of pathogenesis lends itself to an indicative analysis of causation and a predictive theory of health imbalance; there is no place for 'idiopathic' (without cause) in this science.

2. In what areas does western medicine do better?

  • Modern diagnostics is unquestionably superior in understanding 'what' is going on in the body. The use of X-rays, sonograms etc as diagnostic tools has become indispensable. 
  • Western approaches are also exceptionally helpful in acute situations; especially considering the regulatory limitations placed on Ayurveda.
  • Western protocols are often less cumbersome and easier for people with excess travel, or exceptionally busy lives, willing to live with their imbalanced conditions.

3. Can I use Ayurveda complementary to my western medicine?

  • Absolutely! There are multiple ways in which Ayurveda may be used as a complementary means to improved health in conjunction with your western medicine. 
  • You may opt to take herbs and ayurvedic therapies simultaneously with your western meds. This is the commonly adopted approach by most people. It is important you keep your physician aware and involved in this process. 
  • In some cases, your Ayurvedic Practitioner may find it prudent to only adopt external therapies, especially in cases where the possibilities of interactions between your meds and herbs may be critically high.
  • One may also adopt Ayurveda for understanding required food, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to rebalance the body and mind.
  • The pace of recovery, gaining balance again, would depend on what path one adopts in addition to the other usual factors like chronicity, general strength and health, and so on. I generally recommend an annual physical with your physician, even if you wish to maintain health only with Ayurveda.

4. Do I need to be a vegetarian while practicing Ayurveda? How about alcohol?

  • No... ayurveda respects all lifestyles, does not judge in any way. It's the same with alcohol. Ayurveda does recommend what may be beneficial and detrimental to your particular constitution and state of health. The choice is yours. It's the same with alcohol; provided of course, it's consumed in moderation without dependency.  

  5. What is, often, the biggest challenge in following Ayurveda?

  • The greatest challenge for most clients, I find, is changing their mindset about what they think is healthy and good for their bodies. While the body does have its own intuition, this is often messed in conditions of chronic illness. Our selections of food and exercise are also often influenced by recent nutitional information we may receive, consciously or unconsciously  through various channels that are often incomprehensive sources, motivated by profit concerns, or move with constantly shifting fads and trends. In the US, discussions on nutrition  are overarching recommendations based on the constituents of food; they hardly ever take into consideration your unique individual constitution. 
  • Accepting new possibilities, and changing the mental framework to one of acceptance and new experiences, is often the single greatest hurdle to embark on a journey with new rules, new boundaries, and new freedoms! Yes indeed... there are times I urge clients to enjoy life beyond their 'healthy' foods!
  • Since ayurveda also works on a wider platform of health rather than a narrow aspect of symptoms, ayurvedic protocols may also be a bit more strenuous compared to western ones.  

6.  Why do you suggest I focus on a different aspect of my health, when I've come to you for something specific?

  • Often, clients approach me with a specific target in mind, e.g, controlling runaway sugar levels in diabetes**, or high blood pressure**. 
  • Sometimes, in the desire to control what is a known illness, I find clients engaging in stringent lifestyle changes that may lead to more drastic consequences in a different system of the body. 
  • In others, the known illness may be one with which a person can still live a long life with proper care; but there are other more pressing imbalances not noticed through western diagnostic methods - either because of the focus on the original illness or because the second imbalance is still in a state of progression and pathogenesis, but not expressing its prodromal symptoms as an illness. The two are often related from an Ayurvedic perspective, but have no explanation in the western approach. 
  • While modern diagnostics gives a superb picture of what is going on in the body, it often fails to explain the why behind it. The ayurvedic explanation to the 'why' is often a different paradigm; necessitating an emphasis on other aspects of the body than conventionally known in the west. 

7. Do you provide names of herbs and formulations you recommend? Can I buy recommended liquid formulations over the internet?

  • The protocols you receive are usually marked with abbreviated names that a reasonably educated ayurvedic practitioner could identify. There is also a number on each packet, to ease discussions. I am always pleased to give full names. That said, I usually urge my clients to not start their own evaluation and research on these, since the science of ayurveda is quite complex and without education in the subject, one may reach the incorrect conclusions on the need or usage of given formulations.  
  • Yes, you may procure liquid formulations from any reputed brands over the internet. The reason for sharing these from my stocks is only to ensure that the liquid protocol starts simultaneously with the powders/ pills, for maximum benefit. Liquid formulations received from India may often take 15-20 days and may get held in customs.

8. Will my Ayurvedic protocol seem much more strenuous compared to the single pill I take from my doctor?

  • In a society of conveniences, we have become complacent, even of our health. Maintaining good health, especially with age, is a responsibility we owe ourselves, just like our jobs, our families, and our friendships. Nothing in life that is worth achieving, comes easy. 
  • Besides, the Ayurvedic perspective of 'what' is going on in your body (as indicated by diagnostic tools) is often very different from that in western understanding. For example, high cholesterol may be seen in a lipid panel just as it is in pulse diagnosis, but the reasoning for the high cholesterol may be vastly differed in the two sciences.   
  • States of chronic disease are often created over years of incorrect food & lifestyle. It follows then that rejuvenation and re-balance need either a similar timeframe, or a concerted effort over a shorter period of time. 
  • While the body processes all food and medicine in the same way; the effects vary depending on the time of day and year. Each dosha in imbalance has primary conditions (empty/ full stomach, morning/ evening/ afternoon, spring/ autumn/ summer etc) under which it is dominant. As such, herbal protocols often follow these cycles for maximum benefits.
  • One has a choice; a choice between a lifetime of inorganic medicines with multiple side effects, one pill at a time; or a short period of a concerted effort to regain balance with natural herbs that simultaneously rejuvenate and strengthen, bringing longevity and joy! 

9. Why do you recommend I refrain from foods generally accepted as 'good for you'?

  • Nutrition - or incorrect, unbalanced nutrition - is often at the core of most internally emanating imbalances. Ayurveda has an extensive, comprehensive understanding of foods and nutrition.
  • The western paradigm of food, restricted by its classifications of carbs, proteins, fat, sugars, vitamins etc, is insufficiently equipped to understand relationships between the food consumed and its comprehensive effects on the body. Its linear logical deductions (omega 3 is good for the skin, fish contains omega-3, so fish is good for the skin...) reduce foods to mathematical equations, ignoring their overall energetic compositions.
  • The understanding of foods has been vastly influenced by respective industries and expensive marketing campaigns; rather than by the desire for the good of mankind. 
  • Our modern 'binary' way of thinking about food, means there are only 2 ways of looking at it - either good or bad! Ayurveda says, 'the best food consumed incorrectly can be a poison, the most potent poison may be life giving' 
  • Foods that may be generally beneficial in good health, may not be advisable in conditions of imbalance in the body. When I recommend for or against certain foods in your diet, it is because of their known effects on the doshas that influence your body. 

10. Why do you not ask for a pre-formatted medical history and VPK analysis like most other ayurvedic practitioners?

  • Ayurveda is as much a science of intuition as of intellect. Ayurvedic evaluation starts the moment a Vaidya (physician) lays eyes on a person, absorbing every minute detail about the her physical and emotional aspects. Pre-formatted VPK analyses and conditions, I find, often distort the true picture required for an ayurvedic evaluation. Sometimes, the language of these questionnaires may be misinterpreted through the cultural and linguistic lens; at others, a client with some knowledge of Ayurveda may subconsciously modulate answers to ensure the final result is in line with her personal evaluation of her constitution.      

** In line with US regulations, Sukham Aayu does not identify, diagnose, treat or cure any medical conditions or illnesses. Any use of such words, or words like patient etc is purely colloquial, meant to ease discussions, and should not be taken as, or in contradiction to, a medical opinion. The inclusion of past medical history or reports should not be construed as being read by a doctor or medical expert. Zubinji's evaluation of your health is purely based on the Ayurvedic eastern concepts and terminology of vaata, pitta, kappa, agni, aama and more.    


Empower Yourself with the Knowledge of Ayurveda

As you undertake your journey to being whole again, and rejuvenate yourself to a better state of being,

you will experience subtle aspects of your body and mind that you probably took for granted, or never really knew existed. 

Come... understand yourself and the world around you... with a set of new eyes...

Experience the world through those of the sages, the wise men...

Experience your life through Ayurveda!

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