Archive | April 2012

Sports Meets Medicine!

The Integrative & Sports Medicine Center

 Dr. Frank He L.Ac, Q.M.E.



Joe Sarti, MTCM

Super Sonica!

Dr. Sonica Krishan is a wonderful Ayurvedic Practitioner and my Co-Editor at  Here is an excellent article of hers regarding the many facets of Ayurveda. Enjoy!

Eight Branches of Disease Management in Ayurveda

By Dr. Sonica Krishan

Ayurveda, the science of natural well being and longevity, aims at maintaining natural fitness and welfare and intends to do away with the disconcerting disease.

Enormous emphasis has been laid down on how the natural health of an individual can be restored.

The medical science of Ayurveda healing has elaborate divisions for providing treatment to the diseased.

Ayurveda Disease Management: The Eight Departments

Ayurveda disease management is a holistic curative science that incorporates eight different divisions or departments that are designed to provide complete healing for the specific area of ailment manifestation.

  • Kaya Chikitsa is the medicine department. The doctors deal with providing therapeutic medicinal cure to a patient who is suffering from an ailment like fever, jaundice, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.
  • Bala Roga Chikitsa is the pediatrics wing. This particular department takes care of small children, providing them with comprehensive care. Another name for this department is Kumarya Bhritaya, as in Sanskrit language, Kumara denotes a small child.
  • Bhoota Vidya or Graha Chikitsa portrays the science of demonic seizures psychology, and deals essentially in treating mental and psychological ailments.
  • Shalakya Chikitsa deals mainly with patients suffering from diseases specific to the head and neck region (ear, nose, throat, mouth, and head). In easy terms, this is the ENT department of Ayurveda healing.
  • Shalya Tantra is the surgery department of Ayurveda. Kshara Karma is a highly popular surgical procedure that is performed mainly for treating patients with hemorrhoids and fistula. Sushruta, the ancient Sage, is regarded as the father of surgery in Ayurveda science.
  • Agada Tantra, the toxicology division of Ayurveda, mainly treats those patients who have ingested some sort of poison or toxins, as in case of a bite from a poisonous creature like a spider or snake.
  • Rasayana Tantra, or the science of rejuvenation, is exceptional to Ayurveda system. Ayurveda herbal formulations and supportive treatment is provided to a healthy individual and aids in maintaining natural wellness and longevity. This also deals with anti-aging and immunity enhancing practices.
  • Bajikarna Chikitsa focuses on aphrodisiacs as another equally relevant discipline, which is taken care of as a separate department of Ayurveda treatment.

Ayurveda Treatment Based at Dosha Balance

The three doshas have been acclaimed as the base of Ayurveda treatment. Health and natural well being is the physical and mental result of balance in the states of all three doshas: vatta, pitta and kapha.

The doshas are easily influenced by stimulus and get thrown out of natural balance. When the three doshas or body humors lose their balance, disease has to manifest.

Imbalance in vatta, or the air humor, accounts for eighty types of disease, while imbalance in the pitta, or the fire humor, causes forty types, and kapha, or the phlegm imbalance, results in twenty types of ailments.

Restoring the imbalanced doshas back into balanced state is the requisite for healthy living.

Stages of Dosha Imbalance

Ayurveda Dosha

Whenever disease manifests within an individual, the three doshas or humors are always in imbalanced state. This is termed as Vishama Awastha, or the imbalanced stage.

When imbalance is due to increase or augmentation in the normal level, this augmented stage of doshas is termed asVriddha Awastha. When the imbalance or vitiation is due to decrease in the three doshas, then the decreased stage of doshas is known as Ksheena Awastha.

Both the increase as well as decrease in the doshas is further classified into high, medium and low levels. These imbalanced levels attribute to the demonstration of the disease along with its signs and symptoms in the body of an individual.

To learn more about Ayurvedic medicine and Ayurvedic herbal remedies, visit > India Herbs

Dr. Sonica Krishan is an Ayurveda and Natural Lifestyle Consultant, freelance health writer, and book author based in Chandigarh, India. She has authored the natural home cure books Herbal Healers and Home Remedies, and is presently writing for national and international publications. She may be contacted at or visit

Color Combos!

We live in a technicolor world. But, we may not be aware of how much color truly affects us. For example, some colors like blue or white evoke a sense of serenity and calm, while firery colors like red or orange possibly enhance anger or rage. Ayurveda views color as an influential source that can affect our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Choosing colors that will benefit our doshic constitution can create significant energetic changes and enhance our overall health. Vatas respond best to grounding colors such as earthy tones but may also be creatively stimulated by yellows and greens. Firey Pitta can be managed with cool blues and Kaphas require vibrant, bright colors to motivate and keep them active. This interesting article on color and Ayurveda discusses the spectrum in more detail with a unique eco-friendly paint line developed specifically with the wisdom of Ayurveda. After reading it, I’m sure you’ll never look at color the same way again. Namaste

Superb Sunchokes!

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, are an excellent substitute for potatoes and a good source of inulin and vitamin C. They make a great vegetable for Kapha constitutions as an alternative to heavier root veggies but are best for Vata and Pitta. Their source of inulin, is more easily digested by diabetics and provides fiber. Sunchokes are in season from Oct-April so catch ’em quick! 

Check out these websites for more info and easy recipes!              

2 Minute Yoga!

  Are you sometimes pressed for time but still want to remain in a yogic spirit?

 Well, this new book 2-Minute Yoga might be for you! Yoga is a constant state of mind-bodyconnection and extends beyond physical asanas. We use asanas to recenter the Doshas back into their homes in the digestive tract. Sometimes, 1 or 2 key postures will accomplish this and we can then focus on the breath and the mental benefits of the yogic pose. 

Please check out for some brief, anytime yogic poses in 2-Minute Yoga. =)


C-Ya Cigarette Anxiety!

Too many people suffer from tobacco addiction. We applaud those of you who have ditched cigarettes/cigars/pipes, etc. ! In many cases, you might be experiencing a bit of withdrawal anxiety during your recovery. This unique article by Ayurvedic proponent Alex Duncan discusses how Vata aggravation requires rebalancing once the crutch of tobacco is discarded…

“I know someone who is giving up smoking and they are getting mild anxiety attacks. They asked what can be done, and whether stopping smoking can cause high Vata and anxiety. Here is my response…

Yes it is possible that stopping tobacco brings on anxiety. Nicotine only temporarily lowers anxiety. The key thing to know about nicotine and anxiety is that nicotine only produces a temporary relief from anxiety, that also compromises overall physical health. Many people turn to cigarettes when they are anxious, and the physiological effects of the nicotine can create a calming sensation. However, this usually only works until the substance work through your system, meaning that on-going anxiety provoking situations will return the person to same level of anxiety as he/she had before the cigarette. So if you are now getting some anxiety, then you ought to find out why and treat that. Ayurveda would definitely suggest that Vata reducing treatments take first place and see how the situation pans out. The advice below should be useful.

The best way to give up tobacco is to find someone else who has done it and ask for their help! Otherwise, the most important ‘tool’ is awareness. Awareness has to be the first and the last word on giving up any addiction or habit. The habit of smoking can be given up only when you sincerely want to change the habit. The habit can be changed, but it takes time. Manas needs to be reprogrammed, and this requires awareness.

The clarity of your awareness depends on Sattva, so anything that increases Sattva has to be used as a support to giving up the habit. Especially important are therapies that target Prana Vayu including Nasya therapy (drops of Bramhi Oil in the nose daily for example) and Pranayama (breathing exercises).

Herbs can be used to support the coming-off of tobacco or other addictive substances. They help to (a) improve Sattva (b) remove toxins from the Srotas (c) rejuvenate damage done to Dhatus (such as lungs for smokers, Liver for drinkers). Herbs help to counteract transitory states of depression or anxiety. The most useful herbs are Maṇḍūkaparṇī  (Centella asiatica) and Sweet flag  (Acorus calamus). The dosage of both these plants are quite small – seek professional advice from a qualified herbalist if you want to use them. They can be used internally and also added in small amounts to the cigarette and smoked.

The following protocol is suggested as a starting point:

  • In cigarette: add a pinch (500 mg maximum = ¼ level tsp) of Centella asiatica.
  • Internally: 2 parts Centella Asiatica : 1 part Calamus. 750 mg / 2 x day.

The main Ayurvedic psychological approach with quitting smoking or other addictions is to not stop all of a sudden but to reduce in gradual steps. While this is being done, the act of smoking should be turned into a meditation, that is to say, full non-judgemental awareness should be directed to the total experience of the act of smoking. All five senses should be the subject of awareness, as well as any thoughts or emotions that come up. Increased attention to the act of smoking is the key. Analysis is not the point of this. The idea is to notice everything about the act, all sensations, sounds, smells etc. If this is practiced with total dedication, Consciousness will do the rest all by itself and Buddhi/Manas will function in favour of the change of habit.

One trick is to introduce something different to your routine of smoking – such as the hand you use to smoke with. This forces us to be more aware of the activity (which is otherwise a somewhat robot motion that we go through) essentially tricking you into becoming more aware. This has actually been tested scientifically (I heard about this while listening to a BBC Health Podcast).

Cheers, Alex.”

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