Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Therapy

happy1A unique element of Ayurveda is the concept of Rasayana or Rejuvenation Therapy.  Although detoxification and cleansing therapies are growing more and more popular each year, the equally essential Rejuvenation Therapy is not as well known.  In this article I will take you through the theory of Rasayana (rejuvenation) according to Ayurveda; along with the benefits, techniques, indications and contraindications that go with it.

What is Rasayana?

Yat Jara Vyadhi Nashanam Tat Rasayanam:  “that which negates old age and disease.”

Rasayana, termed Rejuvenation Therapy here in the West, is an anabolic therapy that focuses on restoring, rejuvenating and rebuilding the system on a cellular level.  The therapies tend to include specific diet, herbs and lifestyle implementations that focus on nourishing and nurturing the body and mind, especially when they are in a state of depletion.  Rasayana can be used to prevent illness, restore the system after illness or maintain optimal health.  When administered properly, Rasayana promotes longevity, strength and immunity.  When it is misused Rasayana can clog the channels of the system, increase toxic build-up and promote heaviness of the body and mind.

Indications for Rasayana Therapy:

Rejuvenation Therapy is the life promoting, anti-aging jewel of Ayurveda.  It can be the “nectar of immortality” with the proper knowledge, and should be a routine part of one’s health maintenance regimen.  Here are some common indications of when Rasayana should be practiced:

  • After a severe illness
  • After a cleanse/detox program
  • Nervous exhaustion
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Vata disorders (insomnia,weakness, debility, emaciation…)
  • Anemia
  • Weakened immunity
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Before age 18
  • After age 40
  • Sexual debility
  • Infertility
  • During pregnancy (Antepartum)**
  • After pregnancy (Postpartum)**
  • While breast feeding**
  • During chemotherapy **

**Perform under a knowledgeable Ayurvedic physician’s direct care

Contraindications for Rasayana Therapy:

Although Rasayana Therapy is the essence of nourishment in Ayurveda; if used at inappropriate times, this nectar becomes toxic.  If you have any of the indications above but find you have contraindications as well, you must first treat these factors before administering Rasayana.  Otherwise conditions may increase and cause more harm than health.

As a general rule, Rasayana is indicated only when the system is relatively clean and free of heavy toxins.  As a great teacher of mine clearly states, “Performing Rasayana while toxins are present is like dying a dirty cloth.  If you want to dye a cloth, you must clean it first in order to allow the dye to shine.”

Here is a list of symptoms indicating that you should NOT be using rejuvenation therapy:

  • Toxins in the system
  • Coating on the tongue
  • Low appetite
  • Slow metabolism
  • Kapha imbalance
  • Congestion in the system
  • Excessive phlegm
  • A chronic sense of heaviness
  • Excessive weight/obesity
  • Parasites in the system
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Fever, flu or acute illness
  • Kapha mental toxins such as depression, sadness and a dull/foggy mind

Benefits of Rasayana Therapy:

When used at appropriate times and with the appropriate administration, Rasayana is indeed nectar to the essence of life.  Here are some of the juicy benefits of this Ayurvedic therapy:

  • Anti-aging
  • Increases energy and vitality
  • Promotes intellect and memory
  • Repairs and rebuilds tissues
  • Increases strength
  • Builds and repairs muscle tissue
  • Increases immunity and resistance to disease
  • Reverses free-radical damage
  • Increases Ojas
  • Nourishes and calms the nervous system
  • Improves the complexion
  • Nourishes and lubricates the skin
  • Maintains a healthy physical-mental-emotional state

How to Perform Rasayana Therapy:

Rasayana is all about nourishing and rebuilding, and therefore the treatment therapies need to be the same.  There are many ways to put Rasayana into practice; however they tend to fall under these four categories:

  1. Ahara (diet)
  2. Vihara (lifestyle)
  3. Aushadha (herbal medicine)
  4. Acharya (behavioral medicine)

If you feel that Rejuvenation Therapy is needed at this point in your life, try taking a couple of these options from each category and incorporating them into your daily routine.  Remember that in order to obtain the greatest health benefits you must give focus to each category, as they are all important to allow a full range of healing.

Ahara Rasayana: Rejuvenating Foods  

mango

Proper food choices are a powerful way to invoke healing and restoration into your Rejuvenation Therapy.  These foods listed below should be incorporated in the daily diet; although in moderate amounts to avoid toxic build-up and clogging of channels.  Rasayana foods tend to be building, nourishing, unctuous (oily) and heavy by nature, making these food healing in proper amounts and toxic in excess.

  • Ghee
  • Dates
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tahini
  • Avocado
  • Healthy oils such as coconut, olive, sesame and almond
  • Coconut meat, coconut water, coconut milk
  • Organic, whole milk (warmed and spiced)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, buckwheat groats, oats, whole wheat…)
  • Figs
  • Raisons
  • Sweet, juicy fruits such as peaches and mangos
  • High anti-oxidants foods such as blueberries, cacao and beets
  • Sweet potato
  • Rice pudding
  • Bone marrow broths
  • Meat broths

Here are a couple recipes to utilize during your Rasayana therapy:

Since each food possesses its own unique qualities, it may be best to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner in order to establish which Rejuvenating foods are best for your body-type and health needs.

Vihara Rasayana: Rejuvenating Lifestyle

massage

Our daily lifestyle choices make a huge impact on the state of our health and can be a powerful tool for Rejuvenation Therapy.  Here are some lifestyle practices to integrate into your daily schedule during Rejuvenation Therapy:

  • Abhyanga Self-Oil Massage (Check out our medicated Ayurvedic oils)
  • Warm baths with essential oils
  • Gentle massage
  • Oiling the feet and scalp before bed (Check out our medicated Ayurvedic oils)
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Deep belly breathing
  • Gentle Pranayama (i.e. nadi shodhana)
  • Gentle exercise (swimming, walking, mild/low-impact cardio)
  • Taking gentle walks in the fresh air
  • Being in nature
  • Observing celibacy (when appropriate)
  • Journaling
  • Art therapy
  • Taking time off of work
  • Avoiding stressful situations
  • Focusing on self-love and self-care

These activities are great during a Rejuvenation Therapy, but are also essential for incorporating into the daily routine on a weekly basis.  Consistent practices of self-nourishment and self-care are imperative in sustaining health, vitality and longevity!

Aushadha Rasayana: Rejuvenating Herbs

amla

Ayurvedic herbs are an amazing gift for the therapy of Rejuvenation.  There are so many options, with each herb possessing different actions and benefits.  Some herbs rejuvenate a targeted system of the body such as the nervous system or respiratory system; some target a specific tissue or organ such as the blood, liver or skin; some herbs target the entire body.  Most of the “Rasayana herbs” are sweet in taste since sweet is building by nature; however, there are many exceptions to this rule.  Here is a large list of the most commonly utilized rejuvenating herbs in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia:

  • Triphala
  • Amalaki
  • Bibhitaki
  • Haritaki
  • Ashwagandha
  • Shatavari
  • Guduchi
  • Punarnava
  • Bala
  • Bhringaraj
  • Brahmi
  • Guggulu (and any guggulu formula)
  • Shilajit
  • Shanka Pushpi
  • Aloe
  • Pippali
  • Yesthi Madhura (Licorice)
  • Vidari
  • Kapi Kachu (Atma Gupta)
  • Gokshura
  • Jatamansi
  • Ginger
  • Neem
  • Turmeric
  • Manjistha
  • Chitraka

***All individual herbs are available on my Bulk herb page.

In order to prepare a potent Rejuvenating formula that is unique to your needs, one must consider the constitution (prakrtti), current state of imbalance (vikrtti), season, climate and digestion-type (Agni type) of the individual.  Each herb possesses different healing actions and focuses on different areas of the body, so it is vital to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner in order to establish a well-rounded Rejuvenating formula to compliment your Rasayana Therapy.

Acharya Rasayana: Rejuvenating Behaviors

breatheBehavioral medicine focuses on a person’s mental state, stress reactions, communication skills with others, relationship conduct, work habits and other areas of behavior.  This is imperative for mental rejuvenation which will soon lead to physical rejuvenation.  If one does not heal their mental state, true health will never manifest.  Health is not just a physical state; but a mental, emotional, spiritual state as well!  Here are some effective methods for rejuvenating your subtle body:

  • Keep good company
  • Avoid negative influences
  • Try to be positive, even during stressful situations
  • Do not repress emotions; instead feel them, process them and let them go
  • Journal and release thoughts, emotions and experiences
  • Avoid conflicting situations
  • Be truthful in words and actions
  • Meditate
  • Communicate with awareness
  • Act with awareness
  • Breath with awareness
  • Do what you love to do in all of life
  • Make sure your work aligns with your passion
  • Make time for family and friends
  • Make time for yourself

Rasayana Therapy is an essential tool for sustaining health at all stages of life.  If you want some guidance during your path to Rejuvenation, contact me to set-up an Ayurvedic consultation.  Together, we can establish a complete Rejuvenation routine that is most effective for you and your needs!

Here are some Herbal Apothecary products to compliment your Rasayana Therapy:

Schedule a Professional Ayurvedic Consultation today!




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