Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dr. Suhas at The Personal Health Summit

(click link above if trouble viewing)

Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar's interview with Global Health Collective on Ayurvedic Healing!

This is a must see interview! Dr. Suhas has a wealth of knowledge and explains the intricate science of Ayurveda in a way that we can all understand.  His knowledge and passion is infectious!  

Find out more about Dr. Suhas by visitng his website:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New Study! Yoga Relieves Chronic Pain

Image result for yoga

Yoga for Pain Relief: Yoga Offers Effective Relief for Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Pain Issues Study Finds

Chronic pain is one of the most common afflictions impacting American adults, with 126 million of us experiencing persistent, recurring, often severe and debilitating pain every year.  Standard pain care, often consisting of medication, tends to provide only partial or temporary benefit.
Also, with addiction to opiate painkillers reaching staggering proportions, health providers and consumers are more actively seeking complementary approaches like yoga for relief. A new review of the evidence published in Mayo Clinical Proceedings, suggests that yoga may play an important role as an effective antidote, particularly for back pain.
Among adults in the U.S, back pain (28%), joint/arthritis pain (21%), neck pain (14%) and headaches (14%) are among the most common. To deal with this pain, a 2012 national survey suggests that a large proportion of Americans (30-40%) turn to some form of complementary care such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong (10.1% combined) meditation (8%), massage therapy, acupuncture, and manipulation (16.6% combined), and natural products or supplements (17.7%) in any given year.  These complementary approaches are most often used to manage back pain (14.3 million), neck pain (5 million), and arthritis pain (3.1 million).
Due to this extensive use of complementary approaches, a group of researchers from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reviewed the clinical research to see which approaches might be best suited for primary care patients presenting with back, neck, and joint pain, and fibromyalgia.
To do so they examined all of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published from January 1, 1966 through March 31, 2016. To make findings relevant to US primary care providers, these studies were limited to trials either conducted in the US, or including American participants.
Yoga May Relieve Chronic Low Back Pain
A total of 6 RCTs were identified in which yoga was used to relieve low back pain. For purposes of their review, yoga was defined as a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy in which techniques such as physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation were combined.
These studies included 596 adults (mostly female) who attended group classes of 60-90 minutes in duration in which either hatha, viniyoga or iyengar yoga was offered. The number of sessions ranged from 12 to 24, with classes being held either once or twice a week, and home practice often being recommended.
When compared with usual care, 2 studies suggested that yoga was associated with improvements in pain and function, however these results varied when comparing yoga with exercise or stretching. Three additional studies found that yoga was linked with modest reductions in pain and functional disability when compared to either a wait list or educational control group. No adverse events were reported.
Massage and Manipulation May Reduce Neck Pain
To date there are no RCTs examining the effectiveness of yoga for relieving chronic neck pain. Of the studies using complementary approaches, 4 assessed the use of massage to relieve neck pain and disability. In one study, adult participants randomized to 10 massage therapy sessions over 10 weeks reported significant improvements in neck pain and disability compared to a no-treatment control group.
Similarly, other studies showed that regular massage sessions were associated with improvements, with greater benefits demonstrated for those who received 60-minute sessions 2 to 3 times per week compared to those who attended a session weekly.
Of the 3 studies in which spinal manipulation was tested as an intervention for neck pain, findings were mixed, with some studies reporting improvements following spinal manipulation, while others finding little to no effect.
Yoga Linked to Reduced Knee Pain Associated with Osteoarthritis
Only one, quasi-experimental trial of the effects of seated yoga on osteoarthritic knee pain has been published to date. Participants were elderly adults (mean age 80 years of age), and predominantly men (68.7%). Compared to a convenience sample of matched controls assigned to either a Reiki or an attention intervention, yoga group individuals reported substantially better reductions in pain, stiffness, and functional disability. No adverse events were reported in this study.
Yoga Helps in the Management of Fibromyalgia
A single study of 53 women (average age 53.7 years, 92.5% white) compared the effectiveness of yoga for relieving fibromyalgia symptoms compared to a waitlist control group.  Participants attended 8, 120-minute classes, once per week for 8 weeks. Outcome data showed significant improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms for the yoga group at the end of the study, with no adverse events reported.
Unfortunately, very few of the trials reviewed published safety data. Of those that did, the most common incidents reported were minor muscle or joint soreness in the yoga and tai chi studies, some gastrointestinal upset in tests of dietary supplements, and minor pain and/or bruising in the acupuncture trials. The absence of consistent reporting makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the safety of these complementary forms of care.
As is consistent with most reviews of complementary therapies in general, and yoga in particular, conclusions are hampered by a number of methodological issues, the most notable being small, homogeneous (white, female, older adults) samples. Small sample sizes are more prone to false negative results, and homogeneous samples limit the extent to which we can generalize results to a more diverse population of individuals in primary care settings. In addition, most complementary approaches lack standard treatment protocols, making it difficult to determine which aspects of the intervention are effective, and the dosage necessary to attain an effect. Continued, well-funded and rigorous trials will be needed to provide a clear account of how these approaches work, why and for whom.
Bearing that in mind, the results of this systematic review suggest that yoga and other complementary alternatives may provide safe, moderately effective alternatives for pain relief. This is good news for the millions of adults seeking to reduce or eliminate their reliance on painkillers, and other pharmaceutical treatment options.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dinacharya: A Routine to Align Our Natural Rhythm

by Manas Kshirsagar, BS, CAP, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner 

From an Ayurvedic perspective, following a dinacharya, or daily routine, aligns us with nature’s rhythms each day. There is new evidence that demonstrates that our genes may have, over time, lost their ability to hear the natural circadian rhythms of nature. Doctors are only now beginning to understand exactly how important it is for the body to stay in rhythm with nature. In our modern high-tech world, it is becoming a challenge to align our body with the laws of Nature. Our priorities have shifted from being existential to being very concerned with to-do lists, work schedules, finances, etc. Many times, we are so bent on our daily activities that we ignore our health and well-being in order to achieve what we believe is of utmost importance at that particular moment. With social media and cell phones giving us instant access to anyone in the world, these “distractions” may take us out of balance and we lose alignment with the rhythms of nature.
So, how do we realign our routines with the rhythm of nature? Daily responsibilities and stress aside, following this simple dinacharya will help us get on track. We can start slowly by implementing our routine in a manner that is not stressful to us or our schedule. If easy, eventually we can accommodate all the best Yogic techniques and use them as tools to keep our mind, body and spirit balanced!
Outline of Ayurvedic and Yogic Daily Routine for Healthy Adults
Morning 5:30-8:00 a.m.
  1. Arise early in the morning, preferably 30 minutes before sunrise.
  2. If easy and natural, evacuate bowels and bladder. If this is not natural, try taking Organic Digest Tone and/or Premium Amla Berry before bed.
  3. Clean and brush the teeth.
  4. Clean, or scrape, the tongue with a tongue scraper.
  5. Clean the eyes by sprinkling with cold water.
  6. Drink a cup of hot water, or a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of honey (honey should never be heated and one should purchase unpasteurized, unheated honey*), or drink a glass of fruit juice at room temperature.
  7. Perform Abhyanga, a warm-oil massage, for 7-10 minutes. Abhyanga can be a daily practice. We recommend at least twice a week and especially on the weekends.
  8. Brief warm-up exercises, stretches, Yoga postures, or 5-10 Sun Salutations for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Bath or shower, preferably with warm water. Begin with a comfortable temperature and, if you can do so comfortably, gradually lower the temperature as low as possible. Favor washing your head and hair with cooler water — regardless of prakriti, this is something that helps to reset the nervous system first thing in the morning and enliven prana!
  10. Wear clean and comfortable clothes, suitable to season and activity.
  11. Practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique or the meditation of your choice.
  12. Enjoy a well-cooked, light breakfast such as stewed apples or poached pears.**
  13. Work, or study.
Mid-Morning 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Have a soothing drink: warm water, or herbal tea; and, if hungry, a snack: fresh fruit, fig bar, etc.
Afternoon 1:00-2:00 p.m.
  1. A well-cooked lunch consisting of balanced foods. Check out these dosha dietary guidelines.**
  2. Take a brief rest after lunch for about 10-15 minutes, away from work and stress.
  3. Work or study.
Mid-Afternoon 3:30-4:30 p.m. Have a soothing drink: warm water, herbal tea, Organic Vata Tea, etc.; and a snack: fruit, fig bar, etc.
Evening 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  1. Physical exercise of choice for 20-30 minutes. Preferable exercises are Sun Salutations, Yoga postures, swimming, or brisk walking.
  2. Leave an interval of 20-30 minutes between exercise and dinner.
  3. Dinner consisting of balanced foods.**
  4. Brief walk for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Relaxing recreational activities.
  6. Early to bed: 9:30-10:30 p.m. The ideal is eating three hours prior to sleep. At a minimum, leave about a 60 to 90-minute gap between dinner and going to bed, as this will aid digestion and allow for deeper sleep.
* Ayurveda recognizes that heated honey changes form and is very hard to digest. It is, in fact, considered quite problematic. Infants and small children should not be given raw, unpasteurized honey. Read more about Honey Under Heat.
**Breakfast, lunch, and dinner should support a balanced diet according to your individual constitution, daily requirement, and season. Take the vpk® dosha quiz to learn more about your unique combination.
Manas Kshirsagar is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. He comes from a Rig Vedic Bramhin tradition with an extensive Ayurvedic background. He graduated from Aloha Ayurveda Academy and completed his BS in Health and Physiology from Maharishi University of Management. He is an acclaimed Wellness Consultant, and expects to complete his Master’s program (Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine). He has worked as an Ayurvedic Consultant at MAPI and the prestigious Raj Panchakarma center in Fairfield, IA. He is a Health Educator who is passionate about health and fitness. He has worked with clients of all age groups and specializes in Lifestyle Medicine. Providing a holistic approach to medicine, his philosophy of healing revolves around Diet, Yoga, Meditation, Detoxification, Nutrition & effective Stress Management. Appointments available at Serenity Spa I Soul Yoga near Sacramento, CA.

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

4 Detox Reasons to Sweat Every Day

Doctors, health experts, and fitness gurus tell us that we should break a sweat every day – and for good reason. While sweating has a host of benefits simply because it’s a result of health-boosting exercise, the act of sweating itself heals the body as well. Whether you’re sitting in a sauna, walking on a warm day, or working out, sweating is a necessary bodily function with powerful healing effects.
Specifically, more studies are emerging lauding the detoxifying abilities of sweat. By clearing out a range of toxins, from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to heavy metals, sweat plays an essential role in your body’s natural detox function. Let’s look at some of the toxins that are cleared from your body when you sweat:
  1. Persistent organic pollutants (solvents, fumigants, and insecticides): A clinical study with 20 participants found that sweat samples contained a range of toxins, including pesticides DDT/DDE, endosulfan, methoxychlor, and endrin. In fact, nearly all parent compounds of pesticides were found in the samples studied, which shows that sweating is an effective way of diminishing your body’s toxic burden.Additionally, the sweat sample contained some pesticides – including DDT, methoxychlor, and endrin – that were not present in the blood or urine samples collected from the same participant, suggesting that some pesticides are only mobilized and excreted through sweating.
  2. Phthalate (plasticizer): Phthalate, found in plastic products, is another toxic chemical that is removed through sweat. In one study, researchers evaluated blood, sweat, and urine samples from 20 individuals, and discovered that all subjects had mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), a common phthalate, in each of the samples. The concentrations of this compound in sweat were more than twice as high as urine levels, showing that sweating may be the most effective way of ridding your body of this endocrine-disrupting compound.
  3. Heavy metals: One study with 20 patients reported that when compared to urine, sweat contained about 24 times more cadmium, 19 times more nickel, 16 times more lead, and almost three times more aluminum. Overall, sweat proved more effective than urine at removing 14 out of the 18 heavy metals studied. It also contained larger quantities of 16 out of the 18 metals than the blood samples did.Of all the metals, aluminum was found at the highest concentrations in sweat, with zinc, copper, and nickel also occurring at relatively high amounts in the studied samples.
  4. Bisphenol A (BPA): Researchers examined the blood, urine, and sweat of 20 participants for BPA, an endocrine-disrupting toxin found in canned foods and plastic water bottles, among other things. Of the 20 sweat samples collected, 16 contained BPA, while only 14 urine and 2 blood samples tested positive for the toxin.Not only does this reveal that sweat is the most effective way of removing BPA build-up in the body, it also shows that testing blood or urine for toxicity levels may not present the whole picture.
When it comes time to break a sweat, there are a host of activities that you can choose from: running/brisk walking, swimming, yoga, tennis, basketball – the list goes on. A low impact option is spending time in a sauna. When comparing an infrared sauna to a steam sauna, researchers found that the sweat from the infrared sauna contained more bismuth, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and uranium. The steam sauna caused higher levels of arsenic, aluminum, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, lead, tin, thallium, and zinc to be excreted.
Sweating has powerful effects on your health, but not hydrating properly during and after sweating will lead to a host of separate health problems. An easy rehydration guideline to follow is to weigh yourself directly before and after sweating – the weight lost is the amount of water you should drink after to rehydrate yourself. For reference, one pound of water is slightly less than a ½ liter.
Additionally, sweat contains minerals that are essential to keep your body functioning optimally. After activities where you sweat excessively, it’s important to replace the minerals lost, especially zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, and potassium. Coconut water is a great source of potassium, and nuts, seafood, whole grains, and legumes generally contain relatively high levels of zinc, copper, selenium, and chromium.
Next time you feel yourself tempted to stay on the couch instead of going for a run, or opt to stay in the air conditioning instead of spending time in a sauna, think of all the “sweaty” benefits that you’re not getting! Breaking a sweat might seem like pain, but it’s worth it to keep your internal detox systems healthy and well-functioning.

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Meet Deanna:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Serenity Spa: Helping Others Find Wellness and Balance

Many of us go through our days feeling rushed and stressed. We may find ourselves searching for a place to rest and be still, even for just a few moments. Serenity Spa and Soul Yoga is quickly becoming that place for many women in our area.

"Serenity is more than just a spa or a yoga studio," explains Andrea Tagamolila, Spa Director. "It is a wellness center. We really strive to provide the community with a place to gather, connect and truly transform."
Serenity offers a variety of spa services, including massage, facials, waxing and a variety of shower treatments that take place in a vichy shower, under a real rain bar. Serenity guests are also invited to spend some time in the spa's Zen Lounge, where cool water and a stream of fresh sunlight create a therapeutic environment for guests while they enjoy mint water or herbal tea. Guests can also receive a hot rock foot bath or other foot treatment while in the Zen lounge.

Serenity also offers daily yoga classes, through Soul Yoga. "We have two signature yoga courses," says Andrea. "Hot belly yoga - which is trademark and was created by our founder Tammie Fairchild - and seven spiritual laws of yoga, which is based on the teachings of Deepak Chopra."
Hot belly yoga based on the principles of the "Hot Belly Diet" and is a different type of hot yoga than what most yoga enthusiasts know. The heat in the room is generated from a boiling kettle that contains a unique blend of herbs. The heat it produces is described as a healing heat rather than a dry heat. "In hot belly yoga, toxins are expelled and the system is replenished," says Andrea. "The movements help to fire the digestive system. It is very different and quite powerful."

In the seven spiritual laws of yoga classes, the focus is on chakra balancing and toning. The class follows the seven spiritual laws of success as outlined by Chopra in his bestselling book.
Regardless of whether you are looking to work your body or rest your body, Serenity Spa has something to help you find balance, healing and transformation. "The philosophy at Serenity Spa is to help and serve others through touch and to heal others with the human hand and human heart," says Andrea.
Serenity Spa has two locations, in Roseville and Folsom. Visit their website for more details on services, classes and hours.

Serenity Spa is proud to be a sponsor of Care Begins with Me 2016.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

One Beauty Secret For Everyone

The pursuit of beauty, which has been a constant theme throughout recorded history, makes beauty seem like a mysterious gift granted only to the fortunate few. Even now in a scientific age, there’s the constant search for beauty secrets that will bring this gift to many more people. In fact, such a secret does exist, in our view. Instead of saying, “If I’m beautiful I will be happy, the secret is the reverse: “If I’m happy, I will be beautiful.”

This is the axiom of finding beauty from the inside out. There is a rising tide of evidence to show that our cells immediately respond to the inner events in our lives. Being unhappy is a state of mind and body, not simply the mind. There are medical consequences in terms of decreased immune response, for example, among people who are depressed, grief-stricken, lonely, or who have been suddenly terminated from their jobs. This isn’t news. What’s news-worthy is the finer detail, which indicates that no matter how microscopic the scale, all the way down to our genes, shifts in mental activity produce shifts in the wellbeing of cells.

Let’s accept for the moment that the best way to be beautiful is to be happy.  Does that really improve the situation? The field of positive psychology, which is relatively new, has discovered that being happy isn’t a simple thing where one prescription works for everyone. And finding a path to increased happiness is tricky. Each of us has a kind of emotional set point we return to as our default. An outside event can cause the needle to move, making us temporarily happier than usual or unhappier. But over time we return to our emotional set point, even after the most extreme events.

Yet happiness is still the key, because two findings from positive psychology appear to be solid. The first is that a happy life is made up from happy days. In other words, waiting to be happy isn’t effective. Being happy today, here and now, is the best strategy. This ties in with the finding that our cells react to our moods. If you work for twenty years at a job that makes you miserable, waiting for retirement day so that you can finally be happy, then during those twenty years you amass cellular changes, including pathways in the brain, that imprint misery–something you will be carrying around biologically and psychologically for many years into your retirement.

What makes for a happy day? In the first post of this series we reduced this question to a matter of input. Our cells recognize only negative input and positive input. Experience is translated into chemicals that either benefit a cell or harm it. Therefore, by focusing on giving the mind-body system positive input every day and decreasing negative input, you are adding to your well-being overall. Here’s a sizable list of positive inputs to pay attention to, as first stated in our last post:

  • Pure food, water, and air.
  • Avoiding physical and emotional toxins.
  • Unprocessed, natural, organic food.
  • Nurturing relationships.
  • Good sleep.
  • Exercise that favors lightness, balance, flexibility, and gracefulness.
  • Attitudes of appreciation and gratitude.
  • A higher vision of life.
  • Service to others.
  • Satisfying, meaningful work.
  • Mediation and yoga.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • The sense of being in control.
  • Feeling safe.
  • Feeling as if you belong.
  • Daily close contact with family and friends.
  • Generosity of self through acts of giving.
  • Being loved and loving in return.

As a practical matter, you can keep a journal that tracks these positive aspects of life, while at the same time tracking the negative aspects, which are simply the opposite of everything on the list. Most of these things are directly under your control, such as deciding to meditate, and others, such as being in a loving relationship, are things you have a voice in.

So choosing to be happy involves meaningful decisions, which brings us to the second discovery about how to be happy. Despite the effects of outside people and forces pulling against your happiness, and despite the emotional set point, it is estimated that 40-50% of a person’s happiness is dependent on choices made or not made. This is simply an average. It’s likely that some people grow much happier than the norm once they make steady, conscious, positive choices. We already know that such people have much better physical health than the norm, so it’s only logical that the same applies to wellbeing. In our view, “If I’m happy, I will be beautiful” is the beauty secret everyone has dreamed of.

By Deepak Chopra, MD and Kimberly Snyder, CN

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"To eat is human, to digest is divine"

Check out this video & information from our partners, Dr. Suhas & Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar:

Khichadi is widely considered India's most traditional comfort food. It is easy on stomach, nutritious and a complete balanced meal in itself. From the Ayurvedic perspective, it is considered the core of Ayurvedic nutritional healing.

Khichadi is a delicious and creamy blend of organic long grain rice, organic split yellow mung beans and a proprietary blend of gentle organic whole herbs and spices that support detoxification and helps improve digestion.

Khichadi is probably India’s version of the chicken soup. It is eaten when one is sick, has an upset stomach, needs some comfort food or wants to eat light yet filling. Every household makes khichadi and the taste and style of cooking may differ depending on the way it is prepared and ingredients used. But a basic khicahdi is usually made from white rice, yellow, green or split moong dal and topped with some ghee. All these heal and soothe our digestive system. But khichadi is more than just a comfort food. It has numerous other benefits for our body.
  • Wholesome meal: Khichadi is a balance of carbohydrate and protein. Moong beans additionally are a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It has all the 10 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Freshly-cooked khichdi eaten with pure cow’s ghee provides the right amount of macro-nutrients, complex carbohydrate, protein and fat. Adding vegetables to it makes it a complete meal. 
  • Gluten-free: People who suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, cannot process gluten which is storage protein found in certain grains like wheat, rye, barley. But they can opt to eat khichadi on a few days as it packs enough nutrition and yet is light and gluten free. Many people who aren’t suffering from this disease also opt for gluten free food as a lifestyle change. They too can eat khichadi.
  • Balances dosha: This dish can be served any time of the day. It is known for its ability to detoxify the body and balance the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, Kapha. It is a tridoshic food which has a calming effect on the body and is a staple of an Ayurvedic diet. A delicious and nourishing dish of rice, moong cooked with ghee, salt and haldi (turmeric), adding the balance of  basic elements – earth and water for increasing energy and immunity, fire for stimulating digestive enzymes.
  • Easy to digest: Khichadi is soothing for the intestine and helps in settling an upset stomach when eaten with curd. 

Cooking Directions
  1. Rinse rice and mung beans 3-4 times with water. Drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan sauté the Khichadi spice mix in 1 Tbsp. Olive oil or Ghee, on medium heat. (This step is important as spices release their nutrients in warm oil only.)
  3. Add washed rice and mung beans into the saucepan with 31/2 - 4 cups of water. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Stir occasionally.
  5. After 10-15 minutes add fresh, chopped vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale, baby carrots (of your choice).
  6. Continue cooking until the rice and mung beans are tender and have the consistency of hot cereal.
  7. Serve hot with Ghee and garnish with fresh cilantro. (Coconut flakes are optional)
Alternatively, rice cooker may be used to cook Khichadi. Simply mix the grains, spices, oil/Ghee, water and vegetables in the rice cooker and cook it

If not cleansing, add the following for a more nutritious recipe: 1-2 tsp of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, flax seeds and 2-3 Almonds and/or Walnuts
Khichadi is a perfect combination of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber.

Organic cumin seeds, Organic coriander seeds, Organic holy basil leaf, Organic fennel seeds, Organic peppermint leaves, Organic ajwain seeds (carom seeds), Organic ginger root and Organic black pepper.

Organic Khichadi

Organic Quinoa Khichadi