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Short Stories

Good Digestion Is The Basis For Good Health
by Dr. Erika Crotta, N.D., Ph.D.

Sometimes we are lost in medical jargon, running from one medical examination to the next without obtaining satisfactory understanding or results for our ill health. Modern medicine tends to dissect the body into its parts without looking at the whole person. Very important and influential aspects of the disease process are lost in this kind of diagnostic. On the other hand, the ancient healing system of Ayurvedic medicine includes all aspects of life, because diagnosing the whole person is necessary for a complete healing process.

Ayurvedic Medicine is recognized by the World Health Organization as a complete system of natural medicine. It provides the knowledge and methods to maintain or re-establish health by addressing all aspects of life; environmental, physical, mental, emotional, and consciousness. Many studies have shown the positive effects of this comprehensive, prevention-oriented, natural health care system with its wonderful side effects, including normalizing weight, having more energy and just feeling better in general.

According to the principles of Ayurvedic Medicine, good digestion is of utmost importance to health. Everybody has a constitutionally different digestive strength and needs to eat according to this strength. How do you know if you are eating according to your digestive strength? One of the main ways to tell is how you feel right after the intake of a meal, as well as 1, 2, and 3 hours later. A feeling of dullness, heaviness, and fatigue after meals, or symptoms such as bloating, or pressure in the abdominal area usually are signs of overeating, which leads to indigestion and the production of toxins.

Most chronic diseases start on the physical level with indigestion. When the digestion is functioning poorly or the food we eat is not prepared or eaten properly, then toxic waste material called “Ama” collects in the digestive tract and moves from there into other parts of the body, where it creates the basis for the disease process. The final localization of the circulating toxins determines the resulting disease, e.g. liver, kidney or heart disease, etc. On the other hand, if we eat just the right amount and good quality of food that can be digested by our digestive strength, “Ojas” is created. Ojas is the finest end-product of digestion – the material that keeps the body’s inner intelligence lively, so that each cell can function efficiently resulting in balance of body, mind, and heart. The more ojas your body produces, the greater your health, immunity and happiness.

Here are some general tips to improve or maintain the potency of your digestive strength:
1. Avoid overeating;
2. Avoid drinking too much and ice cold drinks with your meals – it dilutes the potency of the digestive enzymes;
3. Avoid eating before the previous meal is digested;
4. Have your main meal at lunch – avoid eating heavy meals for dinner;
5. If your digestion is weak, favor smaller portions of raw and cold foods and only at lunch time.

The best way to lose weight, improve resistance to any chronic disease, and to increase immunity and health in general is through adoption of the right diet for your digestive strength. If you would like to know what diet is best for your constitution, imbalance or disease condition, consult an Ayurvedic physician.

As a system of natural medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine is not just about curing symptoms, although it certainly accomplishes that. Rather, it is about building a way of life that creates health and healing, and that enables you to become responsible for your own health. It accomplishes this not by dictating rights and wrongs from outside, but by teaching you how to listen to your own unique inner voice. It teaches you to become self-referral and self-sufficient.

Dr. Crotta will be giving a talk on Good Digestion is The Basis for Good Health at Dance Etc., May 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call 279-9523 to register.

Dr. Erika Crotta is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor from Germany. She has a Ph.D. in Physiology with an emphasis in Ayurvedic Medicine. Contact Dr. Crotta at www.ayurvedand.com.




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