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Arthritis: The Allergy Connection






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The Art of Healing

The art of healing is something I have had close experience with, as I have suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis since a young age and now especially as I have a son who has suffered a congenital disease since an early age and asthma.

The insight from my husband Alfredo who trained many years in India, in ayurvedic medicine, has helped me realize that we need to take a holistic approach to disease and consider the complexity of our lives. It would be childish to blame an isolated principle or cause.

I believe the healing capacity exists within all of us and there are many ways of awakening it. We can find healing through art in all its forms, and through meditation and understanding of our dharma

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is a crippling auto-immune disease to which no known cure has been revealed. I have suffered with it since the age of 14 and have been put on all kinds of drugs for the pain, anti-inflammatory and disease modifiers. All the same I have damaged joints, my wrists have very limited movement and I have damage to toe and elbow joints.

When I have a flare up, really there is no joint that is free of the disease. A year after my son, Joshua was born I had a major flare up, I felt such pain and unbalance in my body. This I know was due to various factors, above all stress.

The doctors recommended I take steroids (which I did for a year) and then methotrexate, a disease modifier which suppresses the immune system, like chemotherapy. I did not take this drug, the side effects are worrying and I realize that all these treatments are just suppressing the disease, but not finding the cause.

In my search for the cause, I have touched on different healing therapies. What I understand is that each of us is different and what may work for me, will not necessarily work for everyone. Ayurveda has helped me have insight into the balance and unbalance in my own body, listening to its subtle messages and taking the necessary action to correct and find harmony.

Every day I hope I get one step closer to balance and expanded awareness. I have integrated within my life activities to help me to do this and live a reduced-stress life, like Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, a belief in the Higher Self, Mantra chanting, Creativity and Service to others. I try to have a healthy diet, mainly vegetarian and organic.


Joshua, my son has suffered with asthma since the age of 4. He has had to be rushed to hospital on two occasions, one of which was New Years Eve! He was pumped with steroids and oxygen and nebulisers and has now always got ventolin to hand, and flixotide to prevent.

The causes to this disease in the case of Joshua could be hereditary as allergies run in both sides of the family, but from an ayurvedic point of view it would also have a lot to do with the balance and Joshua's general immune system, which due to the intake of many antibiotics (for his urinary tract infections) has been lowered.

Recently Joshua has started a breathing technique, Buteyko, which has helped him tremendously, combined with a diet avoiding sugar, cold food/drink and acid food. His asthma has improved so much. He uses the flixotide on the odd occasion when he has a cold, to prevent, but the breathing exercises, which consist in steps for children twice a day, have managed to keep his airways open.

We are so grateful for this release and improvement for Joshua, because asthma can be such a frightening disease, with a worstening of symptoms that can happen very quickly. Knowing what to do to prevent this from happening is the best gift for Joshua at his young age, he is gaining valuable experiences for his future health, especially as he was diagnosed with sacral agenesis and has to deal with bladder and bowel disfunctions as well.

For more information about Buteyko please visit the website.


A preliminary understanding

Ayurveda evolved in an ancient culture which understood the human condition to be limitless; the day to day implementation of Ayurvedic principles creates a strong body, clarity of mind and tranquillity of spirit so the individual may move closer to realizing her/his true potential.
Ayurveda offers a holistic approach based upon the understanding that no single agent by itself causes or brings disease.
In order to further this movement the disciplines of Tantra and Yoga are allied to Ayurveda.

Ayur veda is basically a Global way of healing, it cannot be monopolized or owned by any sect or country or religion in any circumstance, if somebody claims ownership over this medical system they are misleading themselves and others and should not be given any credit or taken seriously, and to confirm this let us review the words of the founder:

There is no end to learning Ayurveda. You should carefully and constantly devote yourself to its study. Increase your skill by leaning from others without jealousy. The wise regard the whole world as their teacher, while the ignorant consider it to be their enemy.
Charaka (Founder)

The aims of Ayur veda are threefold:

· It helps to achieve positive health
· To promote welfare for the world, by actively participating in
...the international community
· To promote the purpose of human life

The urge to preserve life is common to all living forms, this inherent quality can be either dormant or awake, the ideal stage of 'awareness' or being 'awake' is required and will definitely help to prevent serious illnesses by bringing us in tune with 'the life purpose'.

The result of this tuning will be the avoidance of unnecessary troubles or being immersed in a conflictive life style, the amount of success will be proportional to our efforts in the right direction. 'Going with the flow of nature and God's law' is perhaps the main consideration of Ayur Veda.

To understand nature's laws is the key to know how our mind, body and spirit are functioning, to begin this understanding is the study of the five basic principles and their interaction, namely: ether, air, fire, earth and water.

Why is it of essential importance?
Because they represent the etheric, gaseous, radiant, fluid and solid states of nature and their principles of space, movement, light, cohesion and density. They are not elements in the chemical sense but different densities of matter, and the important point here is to mention that 'their qualities' do not change.
For example the Moon and water possess cooling and anabolic properties, on the contrary The Sun and fire functions will be to increase heat.

What is fascinating is the interaction of the elements with the sense organs, they relate in the following manner:

Element relates to grasped with





The root of Yoga derives from Sanskrit which means 'link or unity with God'. It is an approach which brings together the dispersed tendencies within a human being.

Yoga is not just body postures but anything which serves to unify the individual into a whole.

Within us all there are different motivations, desires and goals which are contradictory to each other; every circumstance brings forth courage and fear, prospects of pleasure and pain, judgments of good and bad. Our actions do not satisfy all the different needs and desires that exist within; whatever is left unsatisfied expresses itself through the body/ mind as illness.

The path of Yoga calls for an intense awareness of mind and body so that our actions arise from the totality of who and what we are. A yogi aspires to incorporate elements generally unavailable to conscious awareness, into her/his daily life.


Common Basis of yoga and ayurveda

Both systems share the same views of anatomy, physiology and treatment.

Ayur veda accepts the yogic principle that health of the body depends upon health and equilibrium of the mind .

Ayur veda uses the concept of Agni-Soma . These are the main pair of opposites in the universe and are present in every living entity. Agni represents the heating and transforming principle and Soma represents the cooling and anabolic principle.

The Vata principle is intimately connected with agni which at the same time governs the power of digestion.

Health according to Ayurveda depends greatly upon the balance of mind, since the mind is by nature unstable, it can be easily disturbed, Yoga proposes the control of emotions like fear, greed and anger in order to avoid not only psychic but also physical unbalances which will bring an endless list of ailments.

This self-control can be achieved through mastering the mind by means of Pranayama (breathing control) and Asanas ( physical exercises).

Yoga advises that since no human being has the same needs, the concept of Prakruti, adds great value in order to determine the type and intensity of exercise before undertaking it, as well as the type of diet, herbs, and forms of meditation to be followed.


Tantra is a systematic approach to dissolve personal limitations. As our limitations have intimately to do with our notions of good and bad, real and unreal, the Tantric approach is to continually redefine personal reality.

A Tantric is a person for whom the removal of limitations is more compelling than the maintenance of any given personal reality, no matter how pleasant or beautiful it may be.

Tantra is the path of freedom: The Tantric aspires to recognize the unity of the Human with the Divine.

























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For more
about Ayurveda and other Healing advice, please contact Chai»

Last updated July 2011


© Mischa Fulljames 2008