Staying Grounded During the Winter Season

The late fall and winter period corresponds to the Ayurveda mind-body principles of “Vata season” because it is comprised of the same qualities that characterize Vata: cold, moving, dry and changeable. If these elements are in balance, then it is much easier for a person to thrive in the fall and winter season. However, an individual can easily accumulate too much Vata if they do not engage in practices to maintain the balance. Imbalances may manifest into physical and/or emotional symptoms, such as dry skin, anxiety, depression, insomnia and a general feeling of not being grounded.

Since we are all susceptible to too much Vata, we need to be particularly vigilant about staying in balance during the fall and winter seasons. The following are a few, simple ways to help keep you balanced and grounded during these colder months.

Diet:

It is recommended that you increase your intake of root vegetables and drink plenty of warm fluids in the form of teas, soups, and warm water.

Some Common Root Vegetables are:

  • Beets
  • Burdocks
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac (a.k.a. Celery Root)
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet Potatoes (yam)
  • Turnips
  • Yuca (cassava)

These vegetables can be added to just about any dish including soups, casseroles, or by themselves.

One of our favorite soup recipes is this Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup. It is great tasting and chock full of root vegetables. You will find this recipe and others at the following link:

http://blog.drsalzarulo.com/2012/11/12/roasted-parsnip-and-garlic-soup-with-mushrooms/

Sipping warm tea is another activity that greatly helps to reduce excess Vata. There are many companies that make Vata balancing teas. One of our favorites is Vata Tea by VPK.

Another great Vata balancing drink is an Ayurvedic recipe called Ghee Milk. It is warm, delicious, and easy to make. You will find this recipe at the following link: http://blog.drsalzarulo.com/2012/11/29/ghee-milk/

My final recommendation is daily abhyanga (oil massage). It is best to perform this massage in the evenings right before going to bed. Ayurvedic medicine recommends sesame oil, but a mixture that includes coconut or almond oil is also fine. Massage each foot for 1-2 minutes with approximately 1 teaspoon of oil. This will help ground the Vata energy that you accumulate throughout the day as well as help you to have a more restful sleep.

Remember, the best defense is an early defense, so use these tools to proactively care for your health.

Please share this with everyone who will benefit from this!

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo

Who needs a detoxification program? The answer is: Everyone does.

As a result of the industrial revolution and the post-World War II petrochemical revolution, toxins have accumulated in the human system faster than they can be eliminated. Today, people are exposed to chemicals in far greater concentrations than they were in previous generations.

In 2003, The Environmental Working Group (EWG), in partnership with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, released The Body Burden Study: The Pollution in People. The Study consisted of 9 individuals whose bodies were tested for 210 chemicals.

The Body Burden Study Found:

  • Subjects contained an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine.
  • 76 chemicals were directly linked to cancer.
  • Participants had a total of 48 PCBs, which were banned in the U.S. in 1976.
  • The people tested do not work with chemicals on the job, and do not live near an industrial facility.

The Body Burden study clearly demonstrates how toxins in the environment (i.e. air, food, water and soil) wind up in our body.

It is important to keep in mind that this was a test for 210 chemicals and the subjects contained an average of 91 chemicals. There are more than 80,000 chemicals in the United States environment and approximately 700 more are introduced each year. People now carry within their bodies a modern-day chemical cocktail derived from industrial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, food additives and heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury), plus the residues of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

The result of the intake of these chemicals is what is called bio-accumulation, which is a buildup of toxins in the body over time. Bio-accumulation seriously compromises our physiological and psychological health. Over the last ten years, hundreds of studies have demonstrated the dangers to our health from toxic bio-accumulation.

The daily toxins that assault us in today’s environment have so overloaded the body’s systems and organs that they are no longer capable of detoxifying us on their own. In short, these systems need help.

Symptoms like excess weight, dull skin, persistent bloating and gas, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, unexplained headaches, allergies and chronic insomnia are some of the ways in which your body reacts to toxic overload.

Completing a detoxification program makes you feel like a “different person” – and in fact you are different, because you have expelled toxins, congestive wastes and excess fat deposits from your body.  Our world today is overflowing with chemical toxins – with no decrease in sight.  This accumulation of toxins is unavoidable in today’s world, so it is essential to have a system to eliminate them.

Nadi Sodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

This simple yoga breathing exercise can be done virtually anywhere, anyplace.  Yogis believe that this exercise will clean and rejuvenate your vital channels of energy, thus the name nadi sodhana (purification of nadis, or channels).

With this exercise, we breathe through only one nostril at a time. The logic behind this exercise is that normal breathing should alternate from one nostril to the other at various times during the day. In a healthy person the breath will alternate between nostrils about every two hours. Because most of us are not in optimum health, this time period varies considerably between people and further reduces our vitality. According to the yogis, when the breath continues to flow in one nostril for more than two hours, as it does with most of us, it will have an adverse effect on our health. If the right nostril is involved, the result can be mental and nervous disturbance. If the left nostril is involved, the result can be chronic fatigue and reduced brain function.

Benefits:

  1. The exercise helps to produce optimum function to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity. This creates a more balanced person, since both halves of the brain are functioning properly.
  2. The yogis consider this to be the best technique to increase focus and to calm the mind and the nervous system.

How to do it:

In right hand, place the pointer finger and middle finger at base of thumb.  Keep ring finger and pinky together.  Your fingers in this position will almost form a “C”

  1. Place thumb over right nostril and press so that right nostril is closed.
  2. Breathe in easily through open left nostril for a count of four.  Then gently pinch both nostrils closed and hold breath for a count of 16.
  3. Remove pressure off of right nostril and breathe out easily for a count of eight, then breathe in for a count of four.
  4. Then gently pinch both nostrils closed and hold breath for a count of 16.
  5. Switch back to previous position with thumb over right nostril.  Breathe out of your left nostril for a count of eight.  You are now back where you started.
  6. Repeat whole process three more times.

This practice can be done one to two times a day, mornings upon rising and evenings before bed are best.

Earthing: Reconnecting to Mother Earth

Being Earthed is the natural state of living systems throughout history. It is the separation from Earth that is unnatural. By reconnecting to Mother Earth, we mean taking off your shoes and socks and sitting, standing, or walking barefoot on the ground (soil, sand, grass, or in a lake or ocean).

What Earthing does is to reunite you with the natural electrical signals from the Earth that govern all organisms dwelling upon it. It restores your body’s natural internal electrical stability and rhythms, which in turn promote normal functioning of body systems, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, nervous, and immune systems. It remedies an electron deficiency to reduce inflammation – the common cause of disease. It shifts the nervous system from a stress-dominated mode to one of calmness and you sleep better. By reconnecting, you enable your body to return to its normal electrical state, better able to self-regulate and self-heal.

Earthing restores and maintains the human body’s most natural state, which in turn promotes optimal health and functioning in daily life. The primordial and natural energy emanating from the earth is the ultimate anti-inflammatory and anti-aging medicine.

What is most profound about Earthing is that it is so natural and simple, and that it affects every aspect of human physiology. When you ground yourself, the entire body readjusts to a new level of functioning.

For ideal results connect your bare feet to the earth for a half hour or more each day, as often as you can.

Some fun places to practice Earthing are:
Your local park, the beach, your back yard, in the ocean or lake, or any place where your bare feet can touch the Earth. Swimming pools or walking barefoot at home will not give you the benefits of Earthing.

For more information on Earthing, visit EarthingInstitute.net

Source:
Ober, Clinton, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zucker. Earthing. Laguna Beach: Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2010.