The Maharishi AyurvedaSM Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease
The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa has developed programs to help prevent the onset of age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's and memory loss, in collaboration with Alarik Arenander, Ph.D, director of the Brain Research Institute.
Early detection provides greater opportunity to delay or reverse the existing symptoms of these age-related cognitive disorders. While currently available drugs are somewhat effective in reducing some aspects of cognitive decline, they do not appear to have an impact on the course of Alzheimer's.
Changes in diet and lifestyle are currently the only proven means of affecting the onset and progression of Alzheimer's. The addition of Maharishi Ayurveda offers a comprehensive system of effective interventions beginning with early detection and preventive treatment program, such as The Raj Anti-Aging Program.
Alzheimer's starts early in life and progresses to noticeable declines in cognitive functions such as memory gap or loss. Early diagnosis provides greater opportunity to delay or reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
The Raj's Ayurveda health team, trained in Maharishi Ayurveda, uses the ancient technique of pulse diagnosis to determine specific imbalances in the physiology, many of which can be asymptomatic. These imbalances could predispose an individual to the onset of Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders. This individual diagnosis is a powerful tool for designing the specific aspects of the treatment program and recommendations
Don't Let Your Brain "Dry Up"
Ayurveda states that with advancing age, the makeup of the brain and body gradually becomes more and more agitated and dry. Alzheimer’s is often associated with marked shrinkage of the brain. This "drying" effect is a powerful tendency that must be remedied by proper diet, digestion, routine, and rejuvenation programs offered at The Raj such as the Anti-Aging Program.
The Raj's Ayurveda Health Consultant also offers individualized recommendations to regain balance in the physiology, nourish the brain in the effort to counteract the natural "drying" influence of the brain, and establish optimum levels of mental and physical functions. The Raj Anti-Aging Program offers treatments of herbalized oils that create a deep nourishing influence to the brain and to the entire physiology.
Raj Prevention Program for Alzheimer's (In-residence program)
For Fees: Please call us at 800 864-8714 ext. 3769
The Raj Prevention Program for Alzheimer’s
The Raj’s Anti-Aging Program balances the body’s inner intelligence. Highly trained Maharishi Ayurveda technicians administer the treatments.
The Anti-Aging Program includes an evaluation by an Ayurveda Health Consultant using the ancient diagnostic technique of pulse diagnosis, two and a half hours of Maharishi Rejuvenation Treatments per day, health education courses, yoga classes, guest lecturers, cooking classes, deluxe accommodations, and specialized vegetarian meals.
The overall design of the Anti-Aging program is to enliven the body’s inner intelligence and thereby restore balance to the fundamental modes of physiological and psychological functioning. These fundamental modes or forms of intelligence in Maharishi Ayurveda are termed Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
The Secret to Longevity and Health
The secret to successful aging is to keep Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in balance. Longevity and health can be augmented by supporting Kapha, thereby increasing lubrication and stability and decreasing Vata thereby decreasing dryness, unsettledness, and disruption of mind and body.
In the later years, the element or mode of Vata, with its quality of motion and dryness, becomes predominant. With time, the mind and body have a tendency to become more unsettled, dry and less flexible. These tendencies greatly increase the likelihood of disease, including insomnia, anxiety, stroke, and dementia.
Ayurveda Health Consultation
An Ayurveda Health Consultant trained in Maharishi Ayurveda will start your Anti-Aging program using the ancient assessment technique of Pulse Diagnosis. This helps determine the specific imbalances, many of which may be asymptomatic, in your physiology. This individual diagnosis is a powerful tool for designing the specific aspects of your treatment program.
You will experience the relaxation and rejuvenating influences of two and a half hours of specialized treatments per day. These programs include an individually determined set of Maharishi Rejuvenation treatments such as Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Pizzichili, and Nasya, which help counteract the age-related “drying” effects by “lubricating” the brain.
1) Herbalized Oil Application (Abhyanga)
This is a comprehensive and soothing oil massage carried out by a synchronized team of two technicians. The oil application uses herbalized oils prescribed to suit your individual needs. The treatment promotes the penetration of nourishing oil deep into the tissues so that impurities are loosened and separated from the cell structure.
2) Relaxation Treatment (Shirodhara)
A soothing, continuous flow of herbalized oil poured slowly and gently across the forehead settles and balances the nervous system. The effect is delightful, and many guests experience profound relaxation during the treatment.
3) Full-Body Herbalized Oil Massage (Pizzichili)
A warm, soothing stream of herbalized oil is used to bathe the entire body, settling agitation in vata, balancing the nervous system and providing a deeply relaxing experience.
4) Nasal Treatment
In Ayurveda, the nose is considered the gateway to the brain. The purpose of Nasya therapy is to remove impurities from the head via the nasal passages. This treatment features an herbalized oil application to your head and face followed by the inhalation of herbalized steam. A localized heat treatment and various herbal preparations are then administered through the nasal passages, purifying the head area and bringing increased clarity to the brain physiology. This treatment is also helpful for chronic sinusitis, allergies and other problems from the head and neck areas.
An individualized set of herbs will be prescribed to improve brain function and circulation, reduce oxidative stress, and promote natural rhythms of activity and sleep.
Health education courses and guest lecturers will provide a cutting edge understanding of the process of aging as well as of the treatments and methods used to restore balance. The Raj has a large library of videotapes on subjects related to treatment, health, and rejuvenation.
Daily yoga classes will provide soothing physical activity during treatment. The integrative exercises will augment the effect of the lovely walks available in the beautiful meadows and woods surrounding the facility.
Daily cooking classes with our expert Raj chefs help you learn how to practically apply the knowledge of Ayurveda food preparation.
Scientifically Documented Benefits
Modern scientific research has identified a number of mind/body function imbalances that correlate with improper aging and significantly increased risk for age-related disorders such as dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease.
Early and holistic intervention is vital to promoting health and longevity. This is particularly true of Alzheimer’s disease.
“The disease may develop several decades before the onset of symptoms…”
-National Institute of Aging, 2001-2002 Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease.
The physiological purification treatments available at The Raj produce the following scientifically documented benefits that influence risk factors of many diseases:
- Reduced cardiovascular risk factors
- Decreased lipid peroxide levels (LP)
- Reduction in total cholesterol levels
- Increased HDL cholesterol
- Reduced diastolic blood pressure
- Reduced anxiety levels
- Reduced levels of toxins such as lead, PCB, and dioxins
The most important factors for nourishing your brain and promoting health and longevity are proper diet and exercise. These provide maximum benefit when tailored specifically to your constitution.
Start taking care of yourself today and everyday.
Stay active mentally with such activities as reading, playing cards, solving crossword puzzles, and writing.
Stay active physically with plenty of exercise, such as walking, sports and recreation, and swimming.
- Eat a wide variety of green vegetables and include milk products in your diet. (If you are vegetarian, only milk contains significant levels of vitamin B12, which is absolutely essential for proper nervous system functioning.)
- Check your vitamin B levels (especially vitamin B12) if you are feeling mentally weak and experiencing memory loss.
- Have plenty of anti-oxidants in your diet. Free radicals and oxidative stress are major factors in premature aging of the system. Include plenty of fresh, organic fruits and green vegetables in your diet.
- Include high quality oils sautéed with spices in your diet. Majja is the Ayurveda name for nervous system tissue. Majja tissue is most nourished by oils especially ghee. This is logical as the brain is over 50% fat in composition. Maharishi Ayurveda recommends sautéing spices into your cooking oils to make them the most active in the body and help them nourish the nervous system tissue. Black pepper has the most profound effect among the spices in helping oils get past the blood brain barrier and nourish the brain. Organic ghee and olive oil are best for cooking.
Maharishi Amrit Kalash is an herbal supplement that has been shown in laboratory testing to be a more potent free radical scavenger than Vitamin A, C or E.
The primary risk factor for acquiring Alzheimer’s disease is age. Alzheimer’s starts early in life and progresses to a point where we can detect noticeable declines in cognitive functions, such as memory gaps or loss. As depicted in the Life Path chart, age-related disorders are influenced from an early age by our lifestyle as well as genetic makeup.
The Crisis of Alzheimer’s
Fact: 1 in 10 people are now at least 60 years old. By 2050, the ratio will be 1 in 6.
Fact: Alzheimer’s represents the largest percentage of dementia.
Research in three areas offers hope
1. Brain Mechanisms
The Glial cell’s role in the symptomatic period of Alzheimer’s disease and in the very early, preclinical stages is getting more recognition. Glial dysfunction and myelin breakdown occur as early as midlife and progress over the next 30 to 40 years. The age risk factor for Alzheimer’s may be early, progressive, and related to glial dysfunction. Therefore, treatments and lifestyle changes targeted to support glial function may significantly delay the onset and severity of Alzheimer’s.
2. Early Diagnosis
Early diagnosis and treatment provides greater opportunity to delay, if not reverse, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
PET or MRI may detect and track early preclinical changes as early as 30 years of age. PET research offers dramatic insights into changes in brain metabolism, blood flow, and receptor functions. This neuroimage shows two aging brains: on the left, one of a healthy individual; and on the right, one of an Alzheimer’s individual with greatly reduced metabolism.
3. Available Treatments
Currently available drugs are somewhat effective in reducing some aspects of cognitive decline, but they do not greatly influence the course of the disease.
However, a natural, holistic, and medicinal approach may offer the best chance to slow or reverse the cognitive and pathologic changes of Alzheimer’s. This suggests the possibility of halting these changes and perhaps restoring normal brain function in affected patients.
The oldest, most systematic health care system in the world is Ayurveda. This ancient system of health and longevity offers hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Impact of Ayurveda on the Aging Process and Alzheimer’s Disease
Ayurveda offers a whole system of effective interventions. Ayurveda is the world's most ancient system of preventive health care. Developed in India over 6,000 years ago, ayurveda (which translates as knowledge of life) is a natural approach to creating balance and strengthening the body's healing abilities.
Classic ayurveda was restored to a more complete science of health care over the last 30 years. Working together with the foremost Ayurveda experts in India, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation® program (TM), systematized and restored ayurveda, along with all other branches of Vedic knowledge, to its purity and completeness in accord with classic Vedic texts. Maharishi Ayurveda enlivens the inner intelligence of the body and strengthens its natural healing ability.
Don’t Let Your Brain “Dry Up"
Ayurveda states that with advancing age, the makeup of the brain and body gradually becomes increasingly agitated and dry. Alzheimer’s is often associated with marked shrinkage of the brain. In the diagram, the difference between a normal healthy senior and a brain of an Alzheimer’s patient are evident. This “drying” effect is a powerful tendency that must be remedied by proper diet, digestion, and routine.
The Raj’s expert on natural health care and Maharishi Ayurveda can diagnose imbalances in the physiology that would predispose a person to Alzheimer’s. The expert then offers recommendations to regain balance in the physiology, nourish the brain in the effort to counteract the natural “drying” influence of the brain, and establish optimum levels of mental and physical functioning.
The Raj Prevention Program for Alzheimer’s includes an individually determined set of Panchakarma treatments, such as Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Pizzichili, and Nasya, to help counteract the age-related “drying” influence by lubricating the brain.
Consciousness, Physiology, and Aging
Consciousness-based methods, including meditation, help increase and restore balance in brain physiology. The most widely used and researched meditation technique is Transcendental Meditation, which has been shown to significantly increase brain coherence and integration, leading to greatly improved physiological and psychological health.
Over 40 years of scientific research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation technique enlivens the body’s own inner intelligence. This promotes healthy mind/body functioning, including reductions in chronic diseases, (some of which are risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease).
In addition, the practice of Transcendental Meditation allows individuals to become more flexible in their thinking and behavior, and thus more likely to explore, accept, and use alternative lifestyle choices that promote health. Therefore, Ayurveda offers a powerful contribution to enhancing brain integration, specifically the health of glial cells and myelin insulation, and can help us delay, if not prevent, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.
(For more information about the scientific research on consciousness and anti-aging, please visit the Maharishi University of Management site at):
About Alarik Arenander
Dr. Alarik Arenander is a neuroscientist, educator, international lecturer, and leading researcher into the neuroscience of brain development and human potential. His work has helped establish the field of neuroscience as science’s leading area for exploring human potentiality and mind/body health. He has personally contributed to the scientific exploration of brain development and human potential for the last 35 years conducting research at many top research institutions in the U.S. and Europe.
Dr. Arenander has conducted pioneering research at University of California at Los Angeles, Penn State University at Hershey, MERU, Switzerland, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA.
Since 1999, Dr. Arenander has been the Director of the Iowa’s Brain Research Institute in Fairfield, Iowa. His research focuses primarily on brain development, including both basic and applied research in the relationship of brain and consciousness and the role of the environment and experience on the development of human potential and well-being.