The Maharishi AyurvedaSM Approach to Allergies
Introduction To The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa Allergy Program
The Raj allergy program is conducted under the supervision of an Ayurveda Health Consultant and draws on knowledge from Maharishi Ayurveda, the world's oldest and most complete system of natural health care.
Through its unique assessment of causal imbalances at the basis of a condition and its wide range of time-tested recommendations, Maharishi Ayurveda provides the most comprehensive approach for allergies available in natural health care today.
Understanding the Root Causes of Allergies
Unwanted allergy symptoms are due to an inappropriate activation of the body's natural defense mechanisms against foreign agents. When a foreign agent enters the body, the body develops a memory of the invading particle so it may activate a defense against it. This defense often includes vasodilation of blood vessels with resulting fluid accumulation and inflammation.
This response is an attempt to protect the body from harmful agents by:
- Creating an easy entry for immune cells into the area to protect the affected tissues.
- Diluting the concentration of the invading agent.
- Helping wash away the toxins.
Unfortunately the redness, swelling, irritation, and disruption of tissue function that accompany this process are often much worse than any effect the invading agent (allergen) could have on the body. When the body creates an excessive and inappropriate response to an allergen, a person can suffer from the unwanted symptoms of an allergic response.
Modern medicine understands the physiological changes involved in allergic reactions. Maharishi Ayurveda expands this understanding by:
- Describing the mental, physical and behavioral factors that predispose the physiology to inappropriate allergic response.
- Providing natural methods to help prevent and reverse these changes.
Maharishi Ayurveda describes the following types of imbalances that are major contributing factors to the physiology of the allergic response.
1) Poor digestion and elimination lead to the buildup of toxins and impurities in tissues, which predisposes them to an excessive allergic response
When impurities accumulate in tissues they contribute to many chronic conditions, including allergies. Maharishi Ayurveda has programs to reduce the most common sources of impurities in the body including those from:
- impure or toxic food sources
- poor digestion
- poor elimination
- improper metabolism
- mental and physical stress
According to Ayurveda, accumulation of impurities helps create allergies through the following mechanisms:
- Ayurveda theory says the cause of allergies is in the stomach. Improperly digested food is carried through channels into various tissues in the body. The resulting toxin accumulation imbalances the tissues through several mechanisms.
- Impurities also start to clog the channels of circulation to the tissues and the channels that take nutrients into cells and waste out of cells. The end result is that the tissues are not nourished properly and toxic waste starts to accumulate.
- When accumulation of impurities reaches a critical level, the tissue often becomes hyper-responsive to other foreign particles and the person is now "allergic" to environmental substances that are not harmful, and should not be initiating a strong allergic response. The person now "has allergies."
First, the toxins themselves become irritants and are perceived as foreign bodies by the immune system. The result is an allergic response is initiated by the accumulating toxins.
Maharishi Ayurveda can offer many recommendations to improve digestion, eliminate the buildup of impurities and reduce blockage of circulation to tissues.
2) Imbalance and deterioration of nervous system strength and stability
Nervous system stability and activation play a major role in allergic conditions. Nervous system function becomes involved in the many neurochemical changes that lead to heightened inflammation and immune response.
According to Ayurveda theory, the functioning mode in the body called Vata controls the overall level of balance and activation of the nervous system. From this perspective, Vata imbalance can play a major role in allergy symptoms and therefore needs to be reversed. Because Vata is the principle most often disturbed in people, there are many Ayurveda recommendations to help restore balance to Vata and aid the natural healing process.
3) Accumulation of physical and mental stress
Experiences of high mental and physical stress are often associated with a relapse of the condition and worsening of allergy symptoms. Stress reduction therapies are an important component of the Ayurveda approach to managing allergies. Reversing the body's response to stress is aided in The Raj in-residence programs through:
- Instruction in the Transcendental Meditation® program
- Ayurveda massage and heat treatments
- Yoga asana postures and Ayurveda flexibility exercises
4) Decrease in the body's natural balancing and self-repair ability
Every healing modality must ultimately depend on the body's natural healing, balancing, and self-repair ability in order to cure disorders. The main approach of Maharishi Ayurveda is to enliven the natural healing ability of the body. Since the real problem in allergies is not the external allergen but the internal imbalance, any increase in the balancing ability of the body could potentially help alleviate symptoms of allergies.
A Natural Treatment Approach to Allergies
The following section describes the classic Maharishi Ayurveda approaches used at The Raj to eliminate toxin buildup, stabilize the nervous system, enliven the healing ability of the body and manage stress.
Diet, Nutrition and Digestion
Allergies can be aggravated through improper diet. For example, some foods can make Vata highly active or clog the physiology thereby worsening many of the symptoms of allergies.
Consultations with The Raj Ayurveda Health Consultants, along with daily educational meetings, will help you understand which foods are the most clogging and obstructing to circulation and which are the hardest to digest. These foods have the potential to create toxins. Foods that can be easily digested, creating nutrients that are then assimilated into the tissues to rebuild their strength, will be recommended. Your Ayurveda Health Consultants will also provide programs to improve digestion, an important component in overcoming allergies.
During your in-residence stay at The Raj you will also learn the basic principles of Ayurveda cooking. The Raj cooking classes provide knowledge of how to prepare foods in ways that create maximum nourishment for the body and that prevent incomplete digestion and clogged circulation.
In summary, improper nutrition can create and aggravate allergies, but proper nutrition can go a long way to curing and preventing it.
Stress Management and Improved Mental and Emotional Function
Many individuals experience that allergies are often worsened by heightened stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue. This is due to hormonal changes and other biochemical responses to stress that can aggravate the nervous system, create pain, and depress the immune response. The sleep disturbance that is often created by symptoms of allergies increases fatigue, which in turn increases one's susceptibility to stress, which in turn aggravates the allergy condition. A downward spiral is created. The Raj Ayurveda Health Consultants recommend practice of the Transcendental Meditation program for removing the stress component of allergies.
If you choose to learn meditation during your in-residence stay at The Raj, highly trained teachers of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique are available to instruct you in the TM program. The TM technique has a wealth of scientific research verifying its effect on reducing many of the mental and stress factors influencing allergies. Research shows it creates virtually the opposite physiological response that stress does and helps the body recover more quickly from stressful stimuli.
Practice of the TM technique twice a day is an ideal mental approach to the problems of allergies. The TM program at The Raj gets your practice off to a superb start, and your instructor will help connect you with the local TM program center in your home area for any follow-up that you may desire.
Lifestyle and Daily Routine
One of the most important factors for balancing Vata and keeping the natural cleansing processes strong is to have a lifestyle that does not disturb natural bodily rhythms. When we eat, sleep and exercise in constantly fluctuating and disturbing patterns, the body loses its natural balancing cycles and cannot cleanse or heal itself as effectively. Therefore, regularity in our daily routine can be extremely effective in reducing allergy symptoms.
Improper lifestyle can create the Vata imbalance at the basis of allergies and disrupts the body's natural cleansing cycles. Our Ayurveda Health Consultant will review your daily routine and provide the information you need to help create a daily schedule that will actually increase balance in your nervous system and aid in healing your body.
Ayurveda Herbs and Reduction in Free Radicals
During your consultation, our Ayurveda Health Consultants select the appropriate herbal formulas for aiding the healing process, strengthening digestion, and helping the body purify itself.
Free radicals are highly irritating to the physiology and their presence creates and worsens many disorders, including allergies. When appropriate, our Ayurveda Health Consultants can recommend Ayurveda herbs that research has shown to be powerful anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers. Two Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparations have been shown to have 1000 times more powerful anti-oxidant properties than vitamin C or E. These herbs can also have a holistic influence of balancing and nourishing the entire physiology.
Traditional Ayurveda theory says that herbs are most effective after a person completes an internal cleansing program. The cleansing and rejuvenation treatments that you will receive daily are the main focus of your in-residence stay. Once this program is finished, you are ready to gain maximum benefits from your herbal program.
Herbalized Oil Massage
Your Ayurveda Health Consultants will choose a specific herbalized massage oil that is individually prepared for your condition. You will also be instructed in the technique of Ayurveda massage that involves using specific strokes over different parts of the body.
Daily herbalized oil massage provides a deeply soothing and balancing effect to the entire nervous system. The motion of massage creates heat and friction which enhance circulation and help cleanse the areas of chemical impurities that could be causing symptoms of allergies. The oil and herbs cleanse and nourish the tissues so that tissue development and repair is hastened.
The various herbs that have been boiled into a base oil, and the oil itself, are specifically chosen for their Vata balancing and cleansing influence. The oil allows the herbs to deeply penetrate the tissue beds, thereby balancing the nerve and other tissues in the affected areas.
Your Raj program involves two types of Ayurveda herbalized massage:
- Your home program involves herbalized self-massage for 5-10 minutes in the morning before you take your shower. Daily herbalized oil massage provides a deeply soothing and balancing effect to the entire nervous system.
- During the in-residence portion of your program, highly trained Ayurveda technicians daily perform very specialized massage for you, using oils in which as many as 50 herbs have been cured. These special oils are only available as part of the in-residence program. These daily oil massages are a cornerstone of the in-residence cleansing process.
Cleansing therapies: Maharishi RejuvenationSM Therapy
Your daily three-hour treatment program of massage, application of herbalized preparations, and mild internal cleansing is the cornerstone of your In-residence treatment at The Raj. The combination of these three treatments received every day for 5 to 21 days creates the ideal internal physical environment for healing.
Exercise and Flexibility Education
Maharishi Ayurveda considers proper stretching and flexibility exercises to have a very positive effect on the body's healing response and the treatment of many chronic conditions. During your in-residence stay at The Raj, we offer Yoga classes every day and teach you a simple but profound set of postures that can be practiced daily to create a healthy flexibility throughout the body. We also instruct you in individualized Yoga breathing practices that create a state of restful alertness in mind and body.
The Raj chronic disorder program is conducted under the supervision of an Ayurveda Health Consultant and draws on knowledge from the world's oldest and most complete system of natural health care. The program provides the most comprehensive approach in natural health care to remove the imbalances at the basis of allergies.
For detailed information on program structure and fees see Program Overview.
Wishing you perfect health,