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Ayurveda and Menopause / Peri-Menopause

In my practice in Northern California / Grass Valley, CA, I have had the opportunity to see many peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women. In this article, you will find information explaining an Ayurvedic understanding of the reproductive hormones and get a clearer understanding of Ayurveda and menopause.

ayurveda and menopause

Every woman will respond differently as she goes through the transition of Menopause.  We mostly  hear of the difficult problems that women may have – but there is definitely the possibility that this transition can be very smooth and hardly noticeable.  This all depends on whether her Doshas are balanced or not balanced.  Women with Pitta predominant body type will be more prone to hormone problems.  This is due to the fact that Ranjaka Pitta – the Pitta in the Liver – has a very large impact on sex hormones.  But, any body type can be affected.  It is ideal that a woman prepares for at least several years before menopause to bring balance to Ranjaka Pitta.

A Ranjaka Pitta imbalance will cause an over active Liver which will “burn” the hormones.  The first to be affected is usually Progesterone.  Many peri-menopausal women have problems due to this.  A Ranjaka Pitta imbalance may be  caused by a wide variety of things:  eating Pitta aggravating foods, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, any drugs – OTC, prescription, etc as they need to be processed by the Liver, holding on to fiery Pitta emotions such as irritation, impatience, anger, envy, dis-satisfaction, etc,

Subdoshas and Dhatus that are involved in Ayurveda and Menopause

Vata – Subdoshas – Prana Vata and Apana Vata Dhatu – Asthi

Pitta – Subdoshas – Ranjaka Pitta and Sadhaka Pitta

Kapha – Kledhaka Kapha, Bodhaka Kapha Dhatu – Meda

In order to have a more complete understanding of the information, you may wish to read my Introduction to Ayurveda Article

Progesterone

Is a precursor of other sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone

Is a natural diuretic, Is a natural antidepressant,

Helps thyroid hormone action, restores sex drive, helps to normalize blood sugar levels,

Builds bone and is protective against osteoporosis, Is a precursor of cortisone (adrenal)

Progesterone has a balancing effect on Estrogen Protects against fibrocystic breasts,

Symptoms of Low Progesterone 

Headaches, low libido, anxiety, swollen breast, moodiness, fuzzy thinking, depression, food cravings, irritability, PMS symptoms

Estrogen – Estrone, Estradiol, Estriol

There are different areas of the body where estrogen is produced: ovaries, fat cells, adrenal glands, skin cells, breast tissue, etc.

Estrogen is beneficial to the vagina, cervix, and vulva. Decrease estrogen can lead to vaginal dryness and atrophy and predispose a woman to vaginitis and cystitis

Estrogen dominance can occur during peri-menopause and can be dangerous for women- Estrogen promotes cell growth

Phyto Estrogens are a safe, effective way to address low Estrogen. Many people confuse Plant or Phyto Estrogens with the adverse affects of Human, Animal, or Synthetic  Estrogen. Some women may not take the plant based Estrogens for this reason.  Human and Animal based Estrogens are composed of Cholesterol.  Plant based Estrogens DO NOT contain Cholesterol.  That do not hold the same danger as the human or animal based Estrogens may have.  They also assist in balancing cholesterol and maintaining bone density. The main Phyto Estrogen in Ayurveda is Shatavari. The main Phyto Progesterone in Ayurveda is Vidari Kanda.

And, many will also mistakenly believe that men or boys should not take Plant / Phyto Estrogens.  This is another sad mistake.  They will not adversely affect a growing boy.  And, they are very beneficial in assisting a man’s prostate in staying healthy.

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Hot flashes, shortness of breath and palpitations, night sweats, sleep disorders, insomnia, vaginal dryness, dry hair, hair loss, anxiety, mood swings, headaches, depression, memory loss, frequent urinary tract infections

Emotional Affects of Decreased Reproductive Hormones according to Ayurveda and Menopause

Vata Emotions Mood swings, fear, anxiety, depression

Pitta Emotions – Anger, irritability, sadness, controlling, stubborn

Kapha Emotions – Lethargy, attachments, depression

 

Shaktiveda Ayurvedic Herbal Products have several different formulas to address hormonal concerns. There is a line of products for both the menstruating woman and the Post-Menopausal woman.

Shaktiveda Line of Ayurvedic Herbal Products – designed for Peri and Post Menopausal Women

Transitional Moon – for peri-menopausal women. Peri menopause may begin in a women’s late 30’s or early 40’s. 

Luna Rejuv Herbal Powder – for the very late stages of peri-menopause and for post menopausal women.

Luna Rejuv Nasya Oil – for both peri and post menopausal women

Luna Support Vaginal Oil – for both peri and post menopausal women

These may be ordered by ordering from our website or sending us an email or by phoning. 

www.shaktiveda.com

 

Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being. With Dr. Cravatta’s siddhi to feel distance pulse,  you may have your consultation by either phone or zoom.

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Ayurveda and Thyroid – Key to Health

Our health is intimately connected to the functioning of the thyroid gland.  The far reaching effects of the thyroid hormone influence every cell in our body.  Metabolism, governed by this hormone, sets the pace for vitality and strength. Ayurveda and thyroid health are very important.

Improving Metabolism For Better Health

Ahh, yes, metabolism – how does it impact us?  A large part of cellular metabolism concerns how efficiently we burn calories to create energy and heat.   Thyroid hormone enters into each cell and is the catalyst to set off an entire cascade of events that allow for the proper performance of the various tissues in the body.  Without the power sparked by thyroid hormone, every individual cell could become weak and unable to effectively do its job.

Symptoms of Hypothyroid

Insufficient thyroid function may cause fatigue, foggy thinking, weight gain, decreased concentration, loss of memory, weak muscles, brittle hair, and temperature fluctuation.  This list could go on and on since every system in the body is affected by the thyroid.  We could include depression, hair loss, constipation, muscle cramps, and irregular menstrual cycles.  However, to some extent, any malfunction of the different bodily systems may be associated with the thyroid.

Ayurvedic Perspective on the Thyroid

In an Ayurvedic perspective, the thyroid could affect Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.  Whenever there is an underlying disturbance in any of the subdoshas, an inadequate level of thyroid hormone would more likely affect the cells or bodily systems governed by that subdosha.  For example, if someone has an Apana Vata imbalance in their abdominal area, a thyroid deficiency could weaken the muscles in the colon, slowing the digestive process; leading to either an incomplete bowel movement or constipation.

With a decreased thyroid, there may be a reduction in oxygen available in the blood and this can bring fatigue.  The sequence of events begins with the weakening of the heart muscle which in turn slows the heart rate. Oxygen production is diminished – making less available to be utilized during metabolism.  As the amount of energy that is created through cellular metabolism is lessened, fatigue will ensue.

Ayurveda and thyroid: How does the Thyroid become imbalanced?

Energetically, the thyroid is governed by the throat chakra. Physically, the thyroid is located within the subdosha Udana Vata which is located in the upper chest, neck, and throat area.  The 3 Doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha,  can be subcategorized five times each into the 15 Subdoshas. Both the Throat Chakra and Udana Vata are related to communication: speaking, hearing, listening, and the performance of action.

The Throat Chakra is also known as Vishudhi or Truth. If we are not able to fully express our inner truth this is disruptive to the well being of the Throat Chakra and to the Thyroid. The Throat Chakra also affects our living our truth which manifests as our thoughts behaviors, and actions. Any  unprocessed cellular memory that remains in the lower four chakras (Root, Sacral, Navel, or Heart) will have an influence on the well being of the Throat Chakra, Udana Vata, and the Thyroid Gland.

How Repressed Emotions Affect the Thyroid

Either hypo or hyperthyroid may be caused by subtle factors relating to expressing ourselves.  There may be an accumulation of repressed desires or emotions from a non supportive relationship.  Perhaps our words have not been valued or dealt with as being insignificant.  Other times, feeling powerless and not in a position to fulfill our needs or to take the steps necessary to advance dreams into reality.  Any of these can disrupt the natural flow of life force in the Throat Chakra and create a blockage. Ayurveda and thyroid is very important for general well-being.

Thyroid Blood Tests May Be Misleading

Thyroid tests may not show a clear picture of the body’s needs or utilization of thyroid hormone.  Blood test results for T3 and T4 are quite broad and may suggest within the normal limits; however, this may not be indicative of the needs of the individual.  Reproductive hormones play a significant role in the proper functioning of the thyroid.  A surprisingly high percentage of peri and post menopausal woman have transitioning sex hormones along with a decrease in  thyroid function.  For these woman, both the sex hormones and thyroid hormones must be addressed.  Usually, this can be attended to with safe and natural herbal therapy.

Peri-Menopause, Menopause, and the Thyroid

Going through this change of life does not need to be disruptive with symptoms that appear to be a mystery such as sleep problems, chronic fatigue, loss of  memory, unexplained dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands along with the host of known conditions related to fluctuating hormones.

ayurveda and thyroid

Iodine and Selenium for Thyroid Health

The lack of proper nutrients has a detrimental effect on thyroid function.  Iodine is necessary to produce thyroid hormone, but may be insufficient in the diet.  Using iodized salt and including sea vegetables such as seaweed or kelp assist in having the proper amount.  Selenium is fundamental for utilization of  thyroid hormone in cellular metabolism.  Excellent vegetarian sources for Selenium include brazil nuts, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds.  Ayurveda thyroid Shilajit  (mineral pitch) contains both Iodine and Selenium in a highly assimilable form.  Shaktiveda Herbal offers Shilajit capsules along with Thyroid Assist formula or capsules and Thyroid Relief Nasya Oil.

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Awaken Your Spine 7 Day Intensive-Ayurveda Yoga

Awaken Your Spine 7 Day Retreat Blends the wisdom of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Chiropractic.

The Awaken Your Spine – Pelvic Pattern and Heart Centered Retreat. The information contained in this course is so beneficial, that it is offered as part of our Enhanced Knowledge Program.

Dr. Cravatta has developed an amazing style of yoga to facilitate the unwinding from cellular memory.   Traditional Yoga Asanas are taught in an expanded manner that utilizes Shaktiveda Yoga’s Divine Sevenfold Path to release and rejuvenate.  From her decades as a chiropractor, she blends this information with her understanding of Ayurveda and Yoga to truly address imbalances that affect us physically and emotionally.

All Chakras are addressed with this style of Ayurveda Yoga – and the emphasis of this course is the release of cellular memory that is held throughout the entire spine – affecting both our physical and etheric bodies. You will learn in depth knowledge of cellular memory that is held in the Pelvic area – particularly the Root and Sacral Chakras – and the Cervical / Thoracic spine – Heart and Throat Charkas — and, how all of this relates to our Navel Chakra (our Power Center). Discover what your pelvic pattern is and how it relates to the cellular memory that needs to be addressed and released.  This is intimately related to the cellular memory that is held in the Heart Chakra and may manifest in the thoracic spine, shoulders, and neck. As these old imbalances begin to unwind, one feels clearer, lighter, and has the ability to view life in a renewed perspective.

This transformational course is taught in an atmosphere which allows you to go deep within.

Dates:   April 2016.

Each day is structured similarly to our Awaken Within Retreat – beginning with group yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

Fee for Awaken Your Spine – Pelvic Pattern and Heart Centered:  $1,297  plus $224 for Ayurvedic vegetarian meals – if paid in full 3 weeks before the course begins you will receive a $30 credit towards Shaktiveda Retail products.

Ask us for suggestions of places to stay while attending the course. The course is held at Shaktiveda Ranch, Grass Valley, CA.

It is important to have a basic understanding of both Yoga and Ayurveda to be able to attend this course.

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How Digestion Affects the Making of Ama / Toxins

In this Abundantly Healthy conference call, Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta describes how Ama or toxins is created by not properly digesting your food, and how it is deposited throughout your body.

How-Digestion-Affects-Making-Ama
[audio:http://shaktiveda.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/How-Digestion-Affects-Making-Ama.mp3|titles=How-Digestion-Affects-Making-Ama]

www.shaktiveda.com Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta Grass Valley, CA 95945
Ayurvedic Herbal Products – Ayurvedic Consultations – Ayurvedic Cleansing Programs – Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.

 

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Ayurvedic Times of Day

In our YouTube Video on the Ayurvedic Daily Routine, Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta describes the importance of living in accordance with the Laws that pertain to the Ayurvedic Times of Day and how it affects the three Doshas of Vata, Pitta, & Kapha.

Pay particular attention to how Dr Cravatta explains the Pitta Time of Night – 10pm to 2am and why it is so important to be in bed by 10pm. You will be amazed by how going to bed early will have a profound affect on your health and well being. You will learn a deeper understanding of how the Pitta Subdoshas of Ranjaka Pitta and Sadhaka Pitta are influenced by this time of night.

Doing the Yoga Postures in our Awaken Within Yoga DVD before bed will assist you in unwinding from you day and help in having a deeper nights sleep.

www.shaktiveda.com Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta Grass Valley, CA 95945
Ayurvedic Herbal Products – Ayurvedic Consultations – Ayurvedic Cleansing Programs – Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.

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Abundantly Healthy Talks

Since many of our patients have phone consultations and do not live in Northern California to attend classes in our Ayurveda Clinic, we offer you an easy method to deepen your Ayurvedic knowledge.

Shaktiveda hosts a monthly free Ayurvedic conference call on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Each month features an interesting Ayurvedic topic that will assist you in gaining an even deeper understanding of how to live an Ayurvedic Lifestyle. To access the live Conference Call, dial this number a little before 7pm PST on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Check Shaktiveda’s Calendar for the upcoming topics.
1-218-862-6789 – Conference Code: 902716

www.shaktiveda.com Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta Grass Valley, CA 95945
Ayurvedic Herbal Products – Ayurvedic Consultations – Ayurvedic Cleansing Programs

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.

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Ayurveda Health Topics

Through her years of experience helping patients with their Ayurveda Consultation in her Northern California Ayurveda Clinic and with Ayurveda Phone Consultations, Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta has written these articles so that you may look at specific health concerns with an Ayurvedic perspective.  New articles are added on a regular basis, so please check back on a regular basis.

You may also wish to check out the articles on our Yoga website – www.awakenwithinyoga.com

Would you like to sign up to receive our free  monthly Newsletter?  Please contact us either by email or phone with your email address.  We do not share email addresses.

www.shaktiveda.com Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta Grass Valley, CA 95945 – 530-273-8716
Ayurvedic Herbal Products – Ayurvedic Consultations – Ayurvedic Cleansing Programs – Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.

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Ayurvedic Conscious Eating Habits

Through the years of practice in our Northern California Ayurveda Clinic, we have recognized that eating in a conscious manner is integral to achieve a level of optimum health.

A properly functioning digestive system is crucial to having a healthy body. Since every single cell within our bodies is made up of the food which we have ingested, the health of those individual cells is dependent upon our digestion. Therefore, it is important to eat healthy food to begin with and to set up the conditions to facilitate the digestive process.

Only eat when hungry.
This may sound obvious, but we often eat due to our emotions–anger, stress, sadness, or boredom.

Focus on the food.
Do not watch TV, do not read, do not work on the computer, do not drive your car and do not talk excessively while eating. If we are doing other things while we are eating, then our energy is not in our abdominal area, but up and out and not able to help with digestion. Doing two things at once is also dividing to the mind. Then we are in our heads and not in our bodies. It becomes difficult to know when to stop eating. It could be those one or two bites too many which could affect digestion.

Always eat sitting down.
Apana vata, the downward moving vata located in the lower abdomen is disturbed if we eat standing, moving, or if we get up in the middle of the meal. It will then flow upward and blow out our digestive fire.

Avoid cold food and drinks with meals.
We want a sharp digestive fire to burn our food. Putting cold
foods into our bodies will dampen or put our the digestive fire.

Have some warm water or ginger tea with your meals.
There is a proper balance of having enough liquid with our meals and having taken too much liquid with our meals. If the food you are eating is dry or dense, you will need more fluid with your food. Drinking ginger tea with meals aids digestion.

Lunch should be the main meal of the day.
The digestive fire is at it’s highest between noon and 1pm. We will more easily digest our food at this time. If you feel sluggish after a big lunch, it may be because you ate too much or ate heavy food and aggravated kapha.

www.shaktiveda.com Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta Grass Valley, CA 95945
Ayurvedic Herbal Products – Ayurvedic Consultations – Ayurvedic Cleansing Programs – Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.

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Ayurvedic Lifestyle Increases Ojas / Consciousness

One of the Primary reasons that we should incorporate Ayurveda into our lives is to increase the flow of consciousness in our Mind/Bodies. Consciousness is manifest within us through Ojas.
Ojas is the most subtle, refined level of our physiology. In the Manifest Creation it is known as Ojas. On the level of Consciousness it is know as Soma.

Soma (or Ojas) is the sweet Bliss of Divinity — the Nectar of the Gods.

  • A Sattivic Lifestyle will increase the ojas within you.  This is a Life Supporting Lifestyle.
  • A Tamasic Lifestyle will decrease the ojas within you.

Ojas will be increased by:

  • Regular Meditation
  • Positive Thoughts
  • Sattvic Foods: Ghee, Dates, Rice, Fresh Fruits (especially sweet grapes, figs, melons), well cooked fresh vegetables, foods that are not processed, foods free of chemicals, foods cooked by a conscious cook (with the attention on the food while in preparation)
  • Following an Ayurvedic Daily Routine – with attention to the Times of Day
  • Ayurvedic Cleansing will assist Ojas in flowing freely throughout the body
  • Quiet time in the day – free from excessive noise and talking

Alcohol is the direct opposite of Ojas. Here is a quote from Charaka Samhita:

“Madya (wine) having entered into the heart counteracts the ten properties of ojas with its corresponding ten properties and thus upsets the mind. Wine prosesses ten properties such as light, hot, sharp, finely entering, sour, quickly absorbed, quick-acting, rough, depressent, and non-slimy. (On the other hand), ojas possesses ten properties of heavy, cold, soft, smooth, viscous, sweet, stable, clear, slimy and unctuous. Wine counteracts the properties of ojas by its own properties. . . Thus disturbing quickly the mind dependent on ojas produces narcosis.

The first stage of intoxication starts when the heart is stimulated but the ojas is not affected; the second stage comes when ojas is damaged and the third stage comes when ojas is damaged severely.”

Ojas is also disturbed by Pungent & Sour taste. The ojas of Pitta constitution will be particularly affected by these two tastes.

People of Pitta Constitution will have a greater tendency to “burn” their ojas. When the ojas is “burned” within an individual, the sweetness is less. There will be a harshness or somewhat of a difficult nature.

Holding on to old negative emotions, old angers, old resentments, and old criticisms will also have their effect on the amount of ojas within you.

It is so very important for spiritual growth that one be mindful of the old patterns that may be pulling one into ways of thinking an behaving that may not be in one’s best interest.

www.shaktiveda.com Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta Grass Valley, CA 95945
Ayurvedic Herbal Products – Ayurvedic Consultations – Ayurvedic Cleansing Programs – Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.

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Basics of Ayurveda

In this section, Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta of Shaktiveda has written a series of Articles designed to assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of Ayurveda.

Be sure to check back frequently, as new Articles will be posted on a regular basis.

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being in our Berkeley, CA or Grass Valley offices. If you are not in Northern California, you may have your consultation by either phone or by Skype.