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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Consultations - Putting the Power in Your Hands

When you decide to improve your health using Ayurveda you are choosing a therapeutic approach that gives you the driving wheel, with your practitioner as your instructor guiding you along the way, giving you tools, advice and most importantly a whole lot of support. Well that's how I approach it anyway.

The first consultation lasts an hour but often they go longer as there is just so much to talk about. There is your diet, job, daily and weekly commitments, stressors, physical, mental and emotional well being, exercise, relaxation and whatever else is relevant to what makes you who you are. That alone can often take an hour! Once all the information has been presented it is then time to find some practical solutions in the way of dietary and lifestyle changes. The thing to remember however, is that it is an ongoing process so you will not be given all the answers on the first day. There are a number of reasons for this, and the biggest one, is that people generally can't implement or sustain too many changes. Habits are hard to break and just as hard to form so it is better to make changes gradually. Each time you come back we discuss how things are going, how the changes you have made have effected you and from there we have a look at what would be the best way to build on what you have been doing. It's a lovely way to learn about yourself and to gain a real sense of empowerment over your health and your life. 

So what kind of things do I advise people to do? Well it really depends on the individual. Often I will start with diet but not always. Sometimes we might work on reducing stress or anxiety first, or increasing energy levels. It all depends on what seems to be the most in need at the time.  Relaxation techniques seem to be what most people need as we live a very fast and often over demanding lifestyle with little time given to true relaxation. Meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga , baths, essential oils, massage, and even taking a holiday have all been recommended. Just taking time out for you and understanding that you need to make you a priority in your life. Once this happens it all becomes a whole lot easier.  

The follow up consultations are very important as they are how we monitor your progress and chat about what is or isn't working. We also look at anything new that may have come up as things start to shift and change. Follow ups will also vary in time and the first few will usually be longer as there is often lot of discussion as to how things are going and what needs to be done. Then once things have started to balance out and you are getting into the swing of things and you are feeling healthier and happier the consultations become shorter being more of a check in. As most of my clients have been having a massage after their consultation they come in have a 10-20 minute chant and then jump up on the table for a massage. I also have clients who I do a guided meditation with at the end of the consultation. Once they are in this totally blissed out meditative state I give them a massage. It is a lovely package and something that they tell me is a wonderful experience and by the look on their faces when they leave I do not doubt them. 

Ayurveda is about you changing the way you live so that you can live a better, healthier life. You know yourself better then anyone and you know what you are willing and capable of doing, so it does really lay in your hands. However you are not alone, you have someone to support you along the way and from what my clients have told me having someone to "report to" on a regular basis has been very motivating and has helped them to keep on track. Knowing you have to come in and tell someone how you have gone is sometimes all you need to keep at it. But don't worry if you do have a "blow out" or haven't done everything then that's OK too. We generally just have a bit of a laugh then have a look as to why things didn't go as planned and find a way to remedy it. Things happen and sometimes we fall off the wagon so to speak but that's just life and we have to learn to accept our less than perfectness and not let it defeat us. Life is way to short, rich and rewarding to dwell on the negatives. Ayurveda is a wonderful way to tap into that beauty and find a natural, empowering way to take control of your well being.