practitioners combine ground herbs and spices on an individual
basis for her clients to eat with their meals.
Jamie Durner, a
Brookfield-based Ayurveda natural health practitioner, is all about
getting to know yourself.
traditional system of medicine that began in India more than 5,000
years ago, is a health model that provides the knowledge of how to
live your life in harmony with the world.
is an energetic model; it looks at the world in a different way than
our current medical system," she says. "At its base,
everything is made up of five elements — earth, fire, water, air and
ether (space). Ether is the container that holds everything
Durner became a
certified Ayurveda practitioner through the Kanyakumari Ayurveda
Education Center in Glendale and the American Institute of Vedic
Studies in Santa Fe, N.M. She is also a certified massage therapist,
life coach and Kundalini yoga teacher. She says our bodies possess
these elements that combine in a way that create three life forces,
called the doshas. These doshas represent:
•Vata — Like
the wind, individuals recognize these continuously through coldness,
wind and constant movement.
Made of fire and water, these are recognized by heat in the body and
Made of earth and water, it is stable, soft and cloudy.
meets with a client, she looks at the person from an Ayurveda
perspective by studying constitution and imbalance.
the genetic imprint of the life forces that makes each of us unique,
"Is what makes every one different, and your constitution never
changes," she says. "Each person has all three doshas, but
we have them in different amounts." It is the Ayurveda
practitioner’s job to help their client find balance within their
Durner is an Ayurveda practitioner who helps patients restore
balance to their bodies.
visualizes a person’s dosha levels as three tubes at different
levels, with each tube representing a dosha. It is her job to help a
person find balance within their doshas. For instance, if the dosha
levels are uneven, it can aid in projecting where in our bodies and
mind we will get sick.
guide people as to where their vulnerabilities are," she says.
"If people get out of balance, that’s when they start to have
symptoms. Your constitution is your road map to staying healthy. Once
you’re in balance, it acts as your guide to long-term self
For example, an
Ayurveda practitioner looks at food and how it affects the body by the
doshas. Carbohydrates are considered heavy foods that keep you full.
When Durner became a vegetarian 25 years ago, she ate a lot of carbs
so her kapha "tube" was filling up. The result was a buildup
of mucous. Once she regulated her carb intake, that level was lowered.
It can also cause weight gain, and feelings of becoming lethargic,
weighted down and heavy.
level, imbalance, reflects what’s going on in the person’s life
right now. It examines at an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
practitioner’s break it down into symptoms instead of a diagnosis.
"We don’t have the power to diagnose someone in the Western
tradition," Durner explains. "We use those symptoms to guide
us but we treat the underlying doshas."
When a new
client comes in for a consultation, Durner asks them to fill out
paperwork, which she uses to evaluate their doshas.
Ayurveda as a facilitated form of self care," says Durner, who
generally works with a client from three to 12 months. "When
someone shows up in my office, I help them get back into balance. I
explain why they are out of balance and how they can get back in
information, visit Durner’s website at www.ayurvedawellness.org
follows two main treatment philosophies?
Creates More of the Same.
example, Vata is very drying, so dry saunas or eating dry foods
like crackers, granola or toast would only add to your vata.
a dehydrator, so it is essentially drying the body. Cold, such
as drinking ice cold liquids, is also drying.
says someone with a vata nature is going to do much better with
cooked foods over raw foods.
food is a notorious problem right now, as we eat a lot of dry
foods like dry, cold cereal." Durner suggests eating cooked
cereal, like oatmeal, which adds moisture.
Opposites Decrease the Imbalance and Restore Health.
will work on introducing the opposite of a problem area for a
person in order to achieve balance. For example, if your vata is
light, she introduces a heavy element; if you have a lot of cold
in your dosha, she introduces something hot.
never make any claims that we can cure a disease," she
says. Instead, she looks at the person as a whole and where they
are out of balance.
explains that Western medicine compartmentalizes by symptoms,
treating symptoms separately.
uses symptoms as markers or cues as to where the imbalances are
at the root level.
to Durner, imbalances are constantly changing, so the tools she
utilizes are changing also. "Our health is not static, and
our approach to health should not be static."
will tell you right away that she is not about the "quick
fix." It takes time to learn about your own body’s needs.
helps people find the answers from within," she says.
"It will teach you how to come into balance and realign