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Ayurveda in the 21st Century
By Kerry Harling, Ayurveda Practitioner, M.Ed., CAP.

We have reached a tipping-point moment in our health. I see it reflected in our statistics and in my practice at UPMC. We are a world of sick people. I hear the despair in my clients’ voices as they complain of a losing battle with weight gain, insomnia, low sex drive and fatigue.

The daily rigors of life today create tremendous stress on our bodies and take a serious toll on our health. This problem is compounded with unhealthy foods, sedentary careers and a culture of medicine that treats the symptoms and not the underlying causes. And sometimes it takes a wake-up call—and sadly, for many of us, that wake-up call is an illness. You know, when the body says, “I can’t do this anymore” and just throws in the towel as my body did.

I spent most of my life unhealthy and chronically fatigued. This always surprises people when I tell them, considering my profession, but I spent years being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, depression, Lyme disease, anxiety and chronic fatigue. I was taking medication for all of them. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

It was at this time that I was introduced to Ayurveda, a system of medicine that treats each person as unique. I learned I was fatigued because my digestive fire was too low and I had built up toxins. So, I underwent an Ayurveda cleansing process. Just one month later, I found my vitality and energy improving. It was amazing!

It’s so simple as Ayurveda is based on the simple principles:

  • There is no “one size fits all.”
  • Food can be used as medicine to achieve health and should change with the seasons.
  • You are what you digest. I frequently see people complaining of fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and depression. Often, they are eating a very clean diet, but they aren’t able to digest and absorb their food.
  • Nutrition is anything we take in through the senses.
  • Health is a well-balanced mind, a well-formed body and good elimination. When the metabolic types are in balance and the mind and body are in harmony, health naturally follows. (World Health Organization).

I was so astounded by the power of this simple yet effective method of health that I decided to study Ayurveda. As an educator, I wanted to give back in the best way I knew how: by teaching others. This is the premise for my book the 25-Day Ayurveda Cleanse. In this book, I give you the tools needed in order to feel full of vitality, and energy. Your goal may be weight loss, or you may wish to understand how food can heal or maybe you’re done with waking up sick and tired. Whatever your personal goal, this book was written for you.

You can order 25-Day Ayurveda Cleanse on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM and Independent Booksellers as well as my website www.theholistichighway.com.

Kerry Harling practices at the UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine. She can be reached at (717) 508-4011 or kerry@theholistichighway.com.

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