Anna retired a year ago. She has had fairly good health throughout her life apart from indigestion on and off, bloating and variable appetite, gas, constipation and loose stools occasionally. Her skin is very dry and she feels the cold terribly. She has slightly trembling hands and feels "nervy" often and her sleep suffers fairly regularly. She has noticed a feeling of pins and needles in her lower arms and hands at times lately. She feels anxious and finds it almost impossible to switch off and relax. This means that she often has a couple of glasses of wine to relax in the evenings as it's the only way she can really switch off.
Anna's tongue is usually coated and she has bad breath. She takes no exercise as she is constantly tired from rushing around all of the time and trying to "catch up". She has a great imagination and is creative but due to her mind constantly jumping from one idea to another it means she actually gets nowhere with her great ideas. This leads to constant frustration and tiredness.
Anna has been vegetarian for 18 years. Her diet consists of muesli with cold milk, dried fruit and yoghurt. Lunch is salad with baked potato, quorn pieces or tofu. Evening meal is lentil or chick pea curry or a quorn bolognaise with salad. She has yoghurt and fruit for dessert or fruit. Snacks include rice cakes, crisps, dried fruits, juice, smoothies or chocolate. She has a very sweet tooth and tends to reach for chocolate or sweets more than she ideally would like to. Anna is quite erratic with the times that she eats and can also find that some days when she isn't hungry she skips meals and eats snacks and junk. She often feels like there is nothing that she really fancies eating and eats just for the sake of it with no real love of what she's eating.
Anna tends to be very busy a lot of the time but does feel that she isn't necessarily that good at managing her time well. She doesn't always work efficiently and yet rarely seems to stop. Her energy levels fluctuate and she can sometimes feel as if she crashes, after being able to keep going at a fast rate for quite some time. Her moods can change quickly; she is very up and down in many different ways. Her daily life has little routine to it and she says she doesn't like to plan or stick to routine. "I like to eat when I feel like eating, get up when I feel like it and go to be bed when I feel like it, routine just isn't me!" Anna has been very slim most of her life without really having to watch her weight. She is aware that just recently she has started to put weight on around her midriff. She doesn't like this at all.
On checking Anna's tongue I could see that she had indentations down the sides. This is an indication of malabsorption, and along with the thick coating on her tongue I can see that her digestion isn't balanced and there is a build up of toxic matter that we need to work at getting rid of.
Anna is experiencing ailments due to excess vata energy. This has been made worse by her retirement which has caused her to lose routine and good daily habits. Although she dislike routine I have told her that adding it will make her feel much more balanced. I have given her a sheet of "dinacharya" information, which will give her some daily routines/practices which she can start to implement. I have also asked her to start meditating a few times a week and given her some tips on basic yoga postures that will help. Her diet needs to be one of warmer cooked foods, less salads and raw foods and one that is heavier with healthy fats and plenty of wholegrains included daily. She will take lemon, ginger and salt as a pre digestive and this will help her appetite and enjoyment of meals. She will also take triphala to balance her digestion. She will have a few days of "amapachana" when she will take toxic burning spiced teas that she can make at home. She will start to use warm sesame oil to massage before shower, clean her mouth and nasal passages.
I have no doubt that with regularity, a few days of amapachana, a more nourishing vata pacifying diet and lifestyle, and taking time to practise self care, Anna will start to feel much better. She will also find that she is able to lose those few extra pounds she is carrying as her diet improves so that she is no longer craving sugary foods and chocolate and she will have more energy and a more efficient metabolism.
I will see Anna again in six weeks time.
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