How do you weave Western Medicine and Ayurveda together in your life? After many years of health challenges, practice, study, and helping clients heal, I urge them to engage with both to leverage their results.
The relationship between these sciences is not always an easy one. But when you start putting them together it is amazing how well they fit and what a beautiful tapestry of care the combination creates.
It’s All About Fit
Western Medicine and Ayurveda have different aims and out of each aim an ingenious system to care for people has evolved. These different aims fit together really well. Medicine defines health as lack of any diagnosable disease or injury. The aim of medicine is to cure disease and repair injury.
Ayurveda defines health as balanced nature, well working processes and a mind, soul, and senses full of bliss. Ayurveda has 4 main aims; to prolong life, promote health, to eradicate disease and dysfunction. Where you go depends on what you need.
“Contemporary medicine has not yet been able to either prevent or retard the progress of these age-related disorders, and that is the reason why elderly people look toward Ayurveda with hope.” Bhushan Patwardhan
Medicine grew from its definition to an amazing science that treats illness and injury with great success. Western Medicine is magnificent in a crisis and in the US Ayurveda has blossomed into a system to build wellness and up level health.
Ayurveda Elevated My Western Medicine Results
“Life is one percent what happens to you, and ninety-nine percent how you respond to it.”
How does the combo work in a real life crisis?
I integrate the sciences, of Ayurveda,Yoga and Medicine in my life. Emergency issues or systems failures head me straight to western med, where I know I will get fast symptom treatment and system & tissue repair. I advise my clients to do the same. But also carry Ayurveda into these situations.
Here is an example: In the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, a few years ago on vacation I had a serious eye problem. I looked over at my husband and said: “I can’t see out of my left eye anymore.” Instead of a view there was a grey river, which it turned out, was blood.
Off we went to the nearest medical center not the nearest Ayurvedic Practitioner. I sat in the ER waiting room meditating.The ER doc looked in my eye and said, “Wow I can’t see anything.” I said “Neither can I”.
I took this as a bad, bad sign and went back to meditating. A specialist was called in and he sent me up to Tucson to a larger facility. The problem turned out to be a detached retina with a lot of bleeding in my eye.
After examining me in Tucson, the doc gave me 3 choices, lose the sight in my eye, have an operation and potentially have to hang out in Arizona for up to 6 months to heal or head home immediately for care. The Boston area where I live has some of the best eye surgeons in the United States. Off I went eastbound on the next plane and into surgery that very day. I used meditation and pranayama(breathing) to still my mind and relax on the plane.
I chanted quietly during my operation until the doctor gently said, “This is the delicate part I need you to be quiet and hold really still.”
Able to Hold Still
Who knew that “hold still’ would be a key part of my recovery? I had to hold my head at a specific angle 23 hours a day for around 3 months for the operation to work. I couldn’t read or watch TV, so I meditated multiple times each day and listened to books on tape.
Before, during and after my operation I used mind body healing techniques from Prepare for Surgery Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston to boost my recovery. A fabulous therapist she helped me to let go of any residual anger and fear.
Mantra was also an essential part of my healing process. After recovering from the operation, I contacted a natural vision coach, upped my daily eye care, worked on balancing the heat in my eyes and used yoga therapy to help my neck muscles loosen up and recover.
Why Does a Yogi Get Sick?
You might ask how in the heck this happened to someone who practices Ayurveda and yoga? I was doing meditation, yoga and walking each morning on the trip.
But for many years before I found these practices I ran myself pretty ragged. Poor food choices, stress and chronic exhaustion set me up for health problems.
The universe gives you what you need to learn and grow. This experience was full of growth for me.
Where in your life did western medicine and ayurveda work together to drive the best outcome? Share your story in the comments below.
A Life Long Partnership
In my life Yoga, Ayurveda and western medicine is a sweet combo. Ayurveda & Yoga may not prevent all illness injury or accidents, but they totally elevate the outcome. Is a health crisis karma? a lesson? or the luck of the draw? I would say it is part of the puzzle of life and full of learning.
Western Medicine has saved my life multiple times. Western Medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda in combination empower me to take action and live my best life.
Yoga and Ayurvedic self care practices stay in my daily routine because they work, and add more and more value over time. I fundamentally believe that Yoga and Ayurveda will help western medicine extend the quantity and quality of my life. Healthy habits built into my day combine to help me express my true nature in the brightest way and give me a long full happy life with moments of bliss.
“Ayurveda teaches us to cherish our innate-nature – “to love and honor who we are”, not as what people think or tell us, “who we should be.”
My complete health care toolbox uses the best of self care, western medicine, yoga and Ayurveda, to build, repair, help, heal, and grow my body mind and spirit as I move through life. The combination saved my sight on vacation in Nevada and will continue to shape my life and health.