Ayurvedic medicine offers weight loss tips

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-119264723513982.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of alkman1.blogspot.com’, ‘Ayurveda means “The Science of Life,” which comes from a branch of the ancient Indian writings called the Vedas.‘);

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—What’s your dosha? That’s what Amrit Devgun wants to know when a person who wants to lose weight walks into her treatment rooms. Devgun, ND, practices both naturopathic and ayurvedic medicine at Northwestern Health Sciences University’s Woodwinds Natural Care Center in Woodbury, Minn. She believes that ayurvedic medicine has a unique approach to obesity.

According to ayurveda, each person has a unique mix of three mind/body principles that create specific mental and physical characteristics. The three principles are called “doshas.” Devgun says that in her practice, she tailors her weight loss recommendations around her patients’ doshas.

“Two people struggling with their weight could have two totally different recommendations based on ayurveda,” says Devgun. “According to a person’s body type [dosha], that determines what type of exercise they should do and what time of day they should exercise.”

According to Devgun, people with the Kapha body type, which is most prone to being overweight, may need to exercise more than once a day at specific times and for longer periods. Additionally, because that body type often has a hard time absorbing liquids, they need to be careful not to consume too much water with their meals. Devgun recommends fewer than 4 ounces.

She also recommends to Kapha patients that they include a large amount of ginger in their diets to improve their digestive fire. However, patients who do not have a Kapha body type would suffer from heartburn if they consumed too much ginger, making it important to have a correct dosha identified.

In addition to making recommendations based on ayurvedic medicine, Devgun offers these suggestions to people who want to lose weight:

Combine food properly. Protein and carbs should be combined with vegetables, but should not be combined with one another. “Proper food combinations are important,” she says. “If you are at a restaurant, order your carbs first, then order your entree with protein and vegetables.”

Eat thoroughly. Never take a bite without completely chewing and swallowing the previous bite.

Be with your food while you are eating. Don’t watch television or work while eating. Instead, says Devgun, focus on being present with the meal. Breathe in its scents, which stimulates the digestive functions, preparing the stomach for the presence of food and ensuring the food will be digested.

Give your body visual clues that you are full. Use smaller plates and wait five minutes after eating before deciding to have a second helping.

For additional resources, go to http://www.nwhealth.edu/nns, a Web site focusing on natural approaches to health and wellness hosted by Northwestern Health Sciences University.

The Natural News Service is a public information program provided by Northwestern Health Sciences University. The University offers a wide array of choices in natural health care education including chiropractic, Oriental medicine, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and integrative health and wellness.

from the Oct. 17-23, 2007, issue

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