On this episode of Anti-Aging Hacks, Dr. Marc Halpern and Faraz Khan discuss a 3,000 year old eastern holistic medicine known as Ayurveda. We discuss what it is and how to use ayurveda to live longer.
Dr. Marc Halpern, D.C., AyD. (Ayurvedacharya) has played an important role in the development of Ayurvedic medicine in the West. He is considered to be a preeminent practitioner and teacher of Ayurveda in the United States and continues to develop the programs at the College.
Dr. Halpern is the author of two important textbooks in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine as well as the popular book, Healing Your Life: Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda and the audio recording, Yoga Nidra and Self Healing. He has published articles in almost every major journal and magazine of Yoga or Ayurveda, and in 2005 was interviewed by Mike Wallace on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Dr. Halpern’s own remarkable story of personal healing was featured in the national magazine Spirituality and Health. He has been quoted in many major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald.
01:53: How did Dr Halpern get into ayurveda?
Marc’s background originally was as a doctor of Chiropractic but his interest was always in understanding the root cause of disease. That let him pursue deeper studies of Chinese medicine, herbalism, and homeopathy. All of these studies led him to ayurveda.
He felt like everything he was looking for in a system of healing was encapsulated within Ayurvedic medicine. Dr. Marc has been practicing Ayurvedic medicine for the last 30 years and I ask him how to use Ayurveda to live longer.
03:46: Dr. Halpern’s message for skeptics of Eastern medicine
A lot of people say that there isn’t enough scientific evidence for the eastern system of medicine. That is not true at all.
When you go through the medical databases, you can find more than 1000 articles about Ayurveda.
06:57: What is Ayurveda at a high level?
“Ayurveda is a science of life.” It looks at every aspect of our life and lifestyle, and the impact that it has on our well-being.
Ayurveda exists not only to promote health but to promote longevity. The idea is that we’re living a harmonious lifestyle then we’ll live our full lifespan.
09:09: Could you explain three types of doshas?
It is often a misunderstanding that there are only three types of doshas. These three types are Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. In fact, there are infinitive combinations and permutations, and no two people were ever created alike.
Dosha is a physiological force of a human. That is a motion that is taking place inside the body and inside the mind.
A physiological force in the body is pitta (fire) dosha. Pitta dosha is responsible for metabolism and digestion in your body. It is the principle generator of heat.
Kapha dosha is the physiological force of structure. It determines the type of body structure you have.
15:29: What happens when your constitution gets imbalanced?
You can get an imbalance in any dosha according to your lifestyle or diet,. For example, dry lips, dry eyes, and constipation tend to represent dryness in the body That tends to create too much gas in the body as well.
That person will also tend to be a little cold. When you have a certain set of sensitivities and a certain set of symptoms, like the mentioned ones, typically, you have a Vatta imbalance. All of the dosha imbalances can be combined together.
20:05: Could you have a different dosha in your body than in your mind?
We have the same tendencies in our bodies and in our minds. They can be your right arm and your left arm.
What really causes the problem is the imbalance created by the bad lifestyle. One or another dosha is usually out of balance due to this problem.
Some people are stereotypical, and for them, it is easy to determine which dosha imbalance they have. Other people cannot do that.
For them Ayurveda uses many factors like pulse diagnostics, understanding of body structure, long term patterns, digestion, sleep, menstrual patterns if they are women.
There are three things to focus on: constitution, the current state of doshas in the body, and the nature of the disease that affects your body.
23:58: When you do figure out your dosha, how do you put yourself back to balance?
We use opposite qualities in order to restore the balance about the dosha.
For example, a pitta person has too much heat, so they need cooling inside their body. For example, milk has a cooling effect. Kapha imbalance has a quality of being too heavy.
28:08: Why is digestion and the gut so important in ayurveda?
Ayurveda says that disease begins when we forget our true nature spirit. That causes to the mind to become stressed and causes our behavior to become disharmonious. The first effect we see is a disturbance in our digestive system and the changes in our gut.
To have good digestion, you need to take care of the microbiota.
30:49: How do we balance the gut from an ayurvedic standpoint?
The key to balance in your digestive system is the health of the Agni. In Ayurveda, agni is fire. Fire is the power of our digestive system. One of the keys to balancing in the digestive system is to eat at the same time every day. It comes back to regularity. Regularity means lack of variability. Variability is mobility.
The best way to balance these meals is to eat every three hours, 5 times per day.
36:14 How does ayurveda think of extended periods of time without eating, for any of these doshas?
As a society, we eat too much. Fasting is one of the best remedies available for overeating. The main benefit of fasting is that you make a reset in your body.
It is great for people with Kapha imbalance. For people with Vata imbalance, they tend to be on the lighter side, so they should avoid fasting.
38:33: How can people use ayurveda to live longer?
Ayurveda says that there are two types of aging. Your chronological age and your biological age. Both of these are based on movement.
Ayurveda says: The way in which you live your life affects your biological age.
The faster the body moves, the faster the body ages. The idea of reversing aging is to live in the current moment. Not in the future. Not in past.
42:30: What about other techniques that ayuverda recommends for external aging?
We waste too much energy on looking good. And we want to reduce that. Ayurveda suggests similar techniques as western medicine.
Avoid the wind, sun, and toxins (especially alcohol and smoking). Wind dries the skin. Dry skin will produce less and less collagen over time. Also, it is critical to keep your skin oily and smooth.
46:39: Are there certain foods that slow down the internal aging of our body?
The first thing you want to do is cleanse your body. With that cleansing of your body, you will completely cool down your body.
After cleansing, the next step is the rejuvenation and that is the re-kindling of your kidney. That makes your digestive system healthy. When you optimize all of the things, then it is time to take certain herbs like ashwagandha, as an example.
Dr. Math Halpern: “If you really want to slow down your aging, this is going to sound silly. It is very important… Tell the truth, and be honest.”
So those are some of the key tips on using ayurveda to live longer.
51:42: Where do people can learn more about ayurveda and about you?
Check out Ayurveda College
Dr. Marc’s Halpern book: Healing your life lessons on the path of Ayurveda
Facebook group: Ayurveda Yoga, Ayurveda Yoga Nidra, and Ayurveda Yoga therapy with Dr. Mark Halpern
Dr. Halpern’s email: drh at ayurvedacollege. dot com
Bonus tip: check out this interview with Josh Trent on how to use your own breath to connect to your emotional self and live longer.