Anxiety and Depression in Ayurveda

Anxiety and Depression in Ayurveda

For those of you that missed it, here's a recording of my recent free lecture on anxiety and depression, from April 1 2021. First given at the AHG Symposium in 2018, this lecture provides a practical review of yuktivyapāśraya cikitsā (i.e. rational therapy), sattvāvajayacikitsā (i.e. behavioural therapy), and daivavyapāśraya cikitsā (spiritual therapy). This lecture will also incorporate the use of entheogenic and psychedelic therapies, which I have been using in my practice for a decade. … [Read more...]

Āyurveda, diet, and psychosis

Āyurveda, diet, and psychosis

After my recent post on Vegetarianism and Ayurveda, I received a question from a reader, who was curious about why I said that in Āyurveda, there is scant reference to the preferment of a vegetarian diet as a therapeutic tool, except for the disease of unmāda (psychosis). To explain myself better, I want to provide a little background on the disease to provide some more context. The term unmāda is derived from the Sanskrit root words ud, meaning ‘upwards’, and mad, which refers to the capacity to ‘excite' or ‘exhilarate’. According to Āyurveda the life force called prāṇa is received by the body not just through the lungs and digestive system, but also through the top of the head. This prāṇic energy descends downwards to guide the formation and maintenance of our bodies, connecting through our feet to the earth, from a state of etheric potentiality to one of physical manifestation. This energetic flow is symbolized by the downward-pointing triangle, representing the feminine … [Read more...]

What can I do for my anxiety?

What can I do for my anxiety?

When I encounter an anxious patient, the first thing I do is see if there are any clear causes for the anxiety. Although undesirable, anxiety is a normal response to any kind of stressor that makes us feel insecure, such as losing a job, ending a relationship, or making difficult decisions. If the cause of anxiety can be ascertained, measures should be taken to address them, although life circumstances don't always make this directly possible. The important thing is to make sure that your current environment is safe and secure, and that you are practicing a way of living and being that creates stability and support. Often this means slowing down, learning how to breathe properly, and developing a capacity to simply watch our feelings without necessarily becoming engaged with them. For this I have found mindfulness meditation, called 'vipassanā' in the ancient language of the Buddha, to be an excellent way to develop the 'witness' consciousness that allows us to passively observe and … [Read more...]