In 2002, a large clinical trial called the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) reported that hormone therapy actually posed more health risks than benefits for women in the clinical trial. Of the 75% of women in the U.S. that experience hot flashes during menopause, most are still prescribed hormone replacement therapy. Besides the risks, the hot flashes usually return as soon as the drugs are stopped. What if there was a way to actually treat the root of the problem and restore the balance so that dependency on a drug wasn't necessary? Although I haven't personally gone through this phase of life yet, I've treated enough menopausal patients to know that acupuncture treatments and a diet according to Ayurveda can make a very hot woman feel cooler than ever.
Journal Of Oncology Concludes Acupuncture Is More Effective Than Drug Therapy
This week the Journal of Oncology published the results of the first randomly controlled trial to compare the effects of acupuncture versus drug therapy for breast cancer patients experiencing hot flashes. Hot flashes during menopause have a different pathological cause than during cancer treatment, but in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, the pattern behind both types of hot flashes is the same. The results of the study showed that acupuncture and drug therapy were equally effective in reducing hot flashes during treatment, but that after the 12 weeks of treatment, the women who received acupuncture continued to stay cooler, while the women who stopped the drug therapy got hotter again. These incredible results confirm that the acupuncture treatment actually addressed the root of the problem while the drug therapy only masked the symptoms.
If you're one of the millions of people that suffer from insomnia, you know how trying to find an effective sleep remedy can completely take over your life. It seems like a biological necessity, but getting a peaceful night's sleep is rare for a lot of people. With so many technological distractions and a culture of over-stimulation, sometimes our nervous systems just can't calm down. Ayurveda may be 5000 years old, but it still offers several tried and true practices that even today can finally give you that restful sleep you've been looking for.
1. Don't eat or drink alcohol too close to bedtime.
Our body generates heat and energy in order to digest food. Our liver also works harder to process alcohol. Asking our bodies to do this close to bedtime is asking for interrupted sleep. The body needs to rest during the night, so it's best not to give it any extra jobs to do. A lot of people find that they don't sleep as well if they eat or drink late at night. For people who already suffer from insomnia, this can make a big difference.
Are you setting New Year's resolutions that are more dream than reality? We all have health goals we'd like to achieve, and it's important to be realistic about what we can change that's practical and easy! There are simple Ayurvedic ways we can improve our health that don't require massive sacrifice. Ayurveda is full of natural health tips that are actually very easy to integrate and that will totally change your life. Here's my top 5 Ayurvedic New Year's resolutions that will guarantee you a new level of natural health with very little effort.
1. Start your day with the right breakfast.
What you eat first thing in the morning sets the tone of your entire day. Your digestion can either be boosted or totally extinguished depending on what you eat or don't eat in the morning. A hot, whole grain porridge (congee) is the ideal breakfast to kindle your digestive fire, improve absorption, and balance your metabolism. It's easy to cook in a crock pot overnight so that when you wake up, it's all ready to go! No need to wait on a pot of brown rice and oat groats when you're in a hurry to get out the door. Congee is easy to prepare and is very inexpensive. Ayurveda teaches that one of the root causes of all disease is improper digestion, so starting your day with congee will help to heal all types of health imbalances and weight issues.
Do you struggle to align your eating habits with your ideals? If you're like me, sometimes your taste buds take control and you find yourself eating something you know isn't the healthiest choice for your body and your spirit. In this post I want to address the timeless question of whether or not to be a vegetarian. At this moment in history where the environmental impact of every one of our choices, especially the 3-times-a-day ones, is so critical, it's important to examine how we choose what we eat. The decision affects our health, the environment, the economy, and global society. Personally, I am the kind of person who needs to gather a lot of information from many different traditions before I make big decisions. So I've compiled a surprising list of unusual theories about eating meat. If you're on the fence about becoming vegetarian or if you go back and forth, the following considerations and anecdotes may help you finally decide what is best for you.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which ONE health product would you want to have with you? I've got my #1 favorite, and I've asked other health experts and friends what they would choose. I got some really amazing answers, ranging from krill oil to coffee. While there's no substitute for adequate food and water, you could certainly extend your stay on some idyllic island with these supplements. The following explanations are brief, so be sure to click on the highlighted links to get more information.
Fish Oil / Krill Oil
You've heard people cringe about taking cod liver oil as a kid, but fish oils are finally getting their time in the limelight. Fish oils are very important because of their essential fatty acids. EFA's (which include omega-3 and omega-6 fats) are crucial to cardiovascular health, immunity, joint function, and brain development. Krill oil contains EFA's plus antioxidants. Here's what some experts said:
Are you proud of being an excellent multi-tasker? Do you thrive off the adrenaline rush that comes from doing at least 10 things at once? Maybe you feel like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done, so you never do just one thing at a time. It's hard not to do a lot of things at the same time, but new research shows that multi-tasking actually means you get less done and it's not done as well. The impact of multi-tasking on your health may take a while to show up, but according to yoga and Ayurvedic philosophy, this lack of focus creates Vata imbalance and keeps you from achieving optimal health.
Research Shows Multi-Tasking Is Less Efficient
In a 2009 Stanford University study, the researchers found that people considered to be high multi-taskers had an inability to ignore distractions and to keep things separate in their minds.
1. Ayurveda might advise you to stop eating your favorite foods.
Ayurveda teaches that you are what you eat. Most people are in their current health predicament to a large extent because of their diet. Suppose you love spicy food and you pour hot sauce on your eggs at breakfast. You might also experience heartburn and tend to get frustrated easily. Ayurveda would advise you to avoid spicy and greasy foods in order to decrease heat (Pitta) in your body. Who wants to be told that? Maybe people don't want to hear that they are causing their own suffering, but if you're really looking to get healthy, you have to acknowledge that your daily diet might have something to do with how you're feeling.
2. Ayurveda tells you to stop eating at night.
For a lot of people, dinner is their largest meal of the day. It's fun to go out to dinner with friends and have dinner parties. Eating together is an important social activity. But Ayurveda teaches that our digestive fire is lowest at night
after the sun has gone down, and that food eaten after dark doesn't get assimilated very well. This leads to weight gain, elimination problems, and many other health imbalances. Many people will even admit that if they eat dinner too late, they don't sleep well or their stomach gets upset. Yet the habit of eating late is too hard for most people to want to give up. There's almost no way this one is going to go over very well.