I was recently shouted down by a charming student doctor who told me in no uncertain terms that Ayurveda is "pseudoscience". The reason for what then became a barrage of insults was my outrageous suggestion that certain foods, the offending dish being cooked apples, could possibly in any way help reduce certain ailments. The topic was gut and microbiome health and it certainly made this very arrogant and ignorant young doctor flabbergasted. How on earth could I be possibly be suggesting that diet could help reverse a plethora of conditions linked to the microbes in our body? What a fool and how irresponsible of me! Then I thought "Oh shit, maybe he knows something that I don't about the deadly dish of cooked apples!!" His reaction was one I might have expected if I were ordering cancer patients to ditch the chemotherapy and "eat clean" trying to convince them that all will be well. Maybe chuck a bit of turmeric in for good measure.
A client of mine is suffering with ulcerative colitis and she gave it a great deal of thought before coming to see me, very much against the wishes of her consultant and nurse. Perhaps they were terrified I might ask her to eat the cooked apple dish too! "Flush all your tablets down the toilet, you don't need them, just eat cooked apples!!" I'd love to be able to ask them why they were against her coming to see me. Perhaps they just scoffed at such pseudoscience hippy nonsense that has absolutely no back up by huge corporations. What has anybody to gain by the Ayurvedic approach? Nothing at all when we break things down.
So my work with this lady involves listening to her talk about the emotional effects that this illness is having and helping her to deal with the huge impact it is having on not only herself but the whole family. We've spoken about the effects this illness has had on her children who are still quite young. She now feels more able to explain things to them, and to her husband who she feels she has been shutting out a little bit.
Her diet is something that she was completely confused about and so I have given her some guidance on how to eat well so that her symptoms are reduced and her energy levels improve. She's discovered chamomile tea and finds it really helpful when she is unable to relax or when she feels quite crampy. Her sleep was a massive issue and was increasing her stress levels even further and so I've helped her with this by teaching her some relaxation techniques and daily practices.
She is enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy, not only for the effects of the essential oils on body and mind, but for the enjoyment of a new hobby and a lovely distraction. She used to be a keen painter but hadn't allowed herself the time since having her children. I asked her if she could allow herself the time again and her love for painting has been rekindled. When we are creative our mind becomes more peaceful and our wellbeing improves. Her daily walks out in nature now are also helping her and she says she feels energised after being outside. I've also helped her to create a little ten minute yoga workout which she enjoys and she says that her body feels lighter and less tender.
I'd like to be given the chance to explain to the student doctor how my work complements any medical treatment that my clients are receiving. There is indeed plenty of scientific evidence to back the effects of diet and lifestyle on the health and to laugh at the idea that a person is much more likely to regain their health by using a combination of medical treatment and complementary care is to my wrong.
I'd also like to reassure him that I am always completely respectful and careful of any medical treatment my client may be receiving and I have the reassurance of communication with a medical doctor. So, as long as I don't poison anybody to death with the cooked apple dish or Lord knows what other lethal things I might mistakenly poison them with, maybe too many carrots or broccoli or an overdose of chamomile tea, fingers crossed they're fairly safe in my hands.