HEALTH AND BEAUTY ARCHIVE:
538: Pool party
Keep your cool this summer with a visit to one of Tokyos many pools.
Metropolis shows you where to take the plunge.
536: Don't sweat it
With the hot and humid months upon us, Cristy Burne share some tips on staying
534: Swept away
Put away your broomsticksall you really need to soar through the clouds
is an armful of nylon and a good gust. Cristy Burne checks out the air up there.
532: Tee time
Cant keep it on the fairway? The yips invaded your game?
Rob Smaal finds a few experienced golf pros who can work out your kinks on the
530: Balancing act
An ancient science is helping modern men and women find peace, health and
the always elusive balance. Tama M. Lung takes a closer look at
528: Kicking on
Former K-1 Japan champion Nicholas Pettas shares his love of martial arts
at the new Spirit Gym in Nogizaka. Chris Betros goes along to watch.
526: On call
A revolutionary daily disease self-management system is making life easier
for diabetics. Chris Betros finds out about Lifewatcher.
524: Team spirit
From rugby to roller hockey, Tokyo is teeming with sports clubs for the
expat athlete. Rob Smaal shows you how to get in the game.
522: Type casting
Second-generation blood-type expert Toshitaka Nomi looks at the links between
blood classifications and health. Mick Corliss reports.
520: Like a rock
Climbing instructor Luke Kearns gets a grip on Tokyo's best indoor climbing
516: The personal touch
Madonna and Matsui aren't the only ones who need help staying fit. Hanna
Kite pumps it up with the top personal trainers in Tokyo.
514: From here to maternity
Kavitha Rao turns to a handful of Tokyo experts to track down baby basics
for nervous expat mothers-to-be.
502: Tour de Morton, part deux
Don Morton gets back on two wheels for a leisurely ride out toward Haneda
An ancient science is helping modern men and women find
peace, health and the always elusive balance.
Tama M. Lung takes a closer look at ayurveda.
|Leading ayurvedic doctor
Partap Chauhan consults with a patient
Photos courtesy of Jiva Ayurveda
Ayurveda may be an ancient Indian medical science, but its
appeal is thoroughly modern. This holistic system practiced
since 1 A.D. has taken off with 21st-century celebrities,
spa-goers and harried city slickers looking to regain a balanced
and healthy lifestyle. And with so many practitioners, products
and websites now devoted to ayurveda, theres never been
an easier time to get acquainted with its ancient methods.
Described as a holistic healing science, ayurveda
deals with the union of body, mind, senses and soul. Its ultimate
aim is to maintain a state of good health by creating a balance
among all aspects of ones lifestyle, including but not
limited to environment, diet, exercise and sleeping habits.
Ayurveda focuses on preventing disease, rather than simply
treating it, and when necessary relies on herbal remedies
rather than drugs or invasive treatments.
Ayurveda is not only limited to the defining of personal
constitution and providing dietary or lifestyle guidance.
Nor is it only confined to oil massages, or cleansing therapies;
it is beyond that, explains Dr. Partap Chauhan, a leading
expert on ayurveda and founder of the Jiva Ayurveda Clinic
and Panchakarma Center in India. It shows the path to
complete health, happiness and peace, which is achieved through
natural balance and harmony.
Recipient of the Best Ayurvedic Physician award and a frequent
lecturer in Japan, Chauhan teaches that the first step in
bringing ayurveda into ones life is self-knowledge.
In this case, that means discovering your dosha, described
variously as metabolic principles, primary
life forces or mind/body principles. Formed
by each individuals unique combination of the five elements
of fire, earth, water, air and space, the three doshavata
(air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth)determine physical
characteristics and bodily functions.
Most people have a dominant dosha (see Resources for how to
determine your type) that will dictate what lifestyle practices
to follow. For example, pitta types are seen as well proportioned
with average stamina and higher-than-usual body temperatures.
They are advised to eat cool and sweet foods, and avoid sour,
spicy or salty foods. Pitta types are also encouraged to get
a lot of sleep and frequent cooling massages.
Ayurveda dictates that when all the body systems are in balance,
health and vitality are maintained. But when life throws them
off-balance, harmful toxins can accumulate in the body and
lead to disease or illness.
Like yoga before it, ayurveda and its dosha principles have
become buzzwords not only in health but fashion and lifestyle.
Foremost among the raft of companies borrowing from this ancient
science is Sundri, a skincare line created in part by
supermodel and yoga queen Christy Turlington. Meaning beautiful
woman in Sanskrit, Sundri uses the same essential
oils recommended for home use in ayurveda to promote balance
from the outside in. Formulations include sandalwood oil and
cucumber extract, jasmine and ylang ylang oils, and neroli
and eucalyptus oils.
Similarly, ayurveda-inspired spa treatments have taken off
not only in India but across the Western world as customers
seek out holistic retreats. According to a 2004 spa report
in the US Cond Nast Traveler magazine, Industry forecasters
predict a continuing rollout of Eastward-looking services,
particularly ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old Indian healing practice
that has recently appeared in spas from Arizonas Miraval
Life in Balance and Canyon Ranch to the Big Islands
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
|The Sundari skincare
line includes cleansers, moisturizers and body and facial
Courtesy of Sundari
Other high-profile ayurveda practitioners include lifestyle
guru Deepak Chopra, a pioneer in holistic healing and one
of the first to introduce the practice in the US. He now heads
up The Chopra Center at La Costa Resort & Spa (www.chopra.com),
which offers three- and five-day wellness programs in addition
to ayurvedic spa therapies such as oshadhi (herbal wrap),
shirodara (stream of warm oil poured over the forehead) and
abhyanga (oil massage performed by two people).
While exclusively ayurvedic spas (see Links section on www.ayurveda.jp)
are limited in Tokyo, there are several that incorporate these
methods into their menus. Ayurveda is also making its way
into modern medicine, with physicians adopting its principles
for treatment of pain, addiction and terminal illness. Doctors
are increasingly seeing the holistic ayurvedic lifestyle as
complementary, and in some cases an alternative, to invasive
But Chauhan also notes that ayurveda is perhaps best used
as a therapy for modern living. No wonder our body systems
are imbalanced and our lives are increasingly shooting off
gear, he says, citing long work hours and lack of rest,
microwaved meals and artificial light, polluted air and caffeinated
drinks. Practicing a proper diet, lifestyle habits,
meditation, exercise regimen, basic herbology, simple home
remedies, massages and rejuvenation therapies go a long way
in ensuring a happy and healthy life.
this article with metropolis readers at http://forum.japantoday.com