January 8, 2009

A State of Optimal Health

Deepak Chopra writes in his book, Perfect Health, that “the mind exerts the deepest influence on the body”. I know this to be true in my never-ending quest to seek more balance in my life. While Western medicine will always be my preferred choice whenever I have a medical issue, I am not jaded enough to believe that there aren’t any other methods that can be used alone or in conjunction with traditional methodologies. I’ve developed a particular interest in the holistic approach to health, Ayurveda (Sanskrit meaning “science of life”), a centuries old practice from India that may have had roots in Buddhism. The use of natural medicines (herbs), consumption of the freshest of whole foods and lifestyle practices such as yoga, massage and meditation is an appealing way of living. Studying Ayurveda is compelling, something I’ve put on my “bucket list”, not to become a practitioner, per se, but to gain more knowledge of how enveloping these ancient principles can work in today’s overstuffed, overwhelmed, over stimulated world. The Kripalu School in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, is one of the best and offers various levels of certification and training.

Since I started suffering from hormonal migraines a few years ago, I’ve gone through the normal pain relieving stages most migraine sufferers go through: over-the-counter meds, change in diet, perhaps eliminating dairy (which can be a trigger in some), doctor prescribed drugs. Massage hasn’t been a relief nor has caffeine. Quietly chanting “pain go away” 100 times has been useless. Hiding my head under pillows and weeping has proven to be just a method for terrifying my boyfriend. So I’m trying acupuncture, the traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves sterile needles being placed and manipulated in strategic locations in your body’s meridians. I’ve been told by trusted sources that Jill Blakeway at YinOva Center in New York City works miracles. I’m making an appointment.

I do the research. I ask questions, get recommendations and ask to see credentials. I take my quest for optimal health seriously but with a mind open to new ways and new philosophies. Especially in these times, caring for your mind, body and spirit together are essential to our overall wellbeing. Whatever ways you choose to live your life well, don’t stop, keep exploring, stay healthy.

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