A Balanced Life

Alternative Medicine Ayurveda Explained

By Gracie Pasterski

Ayurveda, an arrangement of traditional medicine, as well as a form of alternative medicine that is claimed to balance the body, is explained in depth in the Multicultural Lounge in the Union on Monday by Carrie Van Kempen, a certified Ayurvedic educator.

It is said that by practicing and following the ways of Ayurveda, “one will live a balanced life,” said Kempen. What most people don’t understand, or do understand, yet bluntly chooses to avoid, is the fact that by “incorporating organic foods and herbs into the diet,” said Kempen, “your body will naturally balance itself.”

Kempen, encircled by approximately 15 audience members coming and going from time to time, announced that this speech, although practiced in front of her daughter and mirror many of times, was her first public speech on Ayurveda.

Within Ayurveda, balance of the mind and body is the most essential aspect known explains Kemper. “Without the stability of one’s mind and body,” said Kempen, “many people suffer from arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, clogged arteries, ulcers…” Kempen assures that Ayurveda followers insist that these diseases can be bypassed and cured.

“I don’t know if I believe that it (Ayurveda) can cure diseases,” said Christopher Christensen, a UW-Whitewater graduate now residing in Milwaukee, “but I think that eating organic foods and taking in herbs is a natural way to keep your body in tune and healthy.”

“Though the use of Ayurvedic medicines have not been proven scientifically,” said Kempen.” “Early research suggests that certain herbs can offer therapeutic value.”

Kempen dissects and explains the information on her PowerPoint that explains how Ayurvedic medicines contain herbs, minerals, metals and sometime’s animal products. Practitioners of Ayurveda may combine special diets, Ayurvedic medicines, cleansing, yoga, meditation, massage, breathing exercises, and visual imagery to treat their patients. It is believed that “illness results when a person’s spiritual focus is out of balance with the natural environment that surrounds them,” said Kemper. Some claim that by practicing Ayurveda, it is through certain combinations and methods that bring people into harmony with the world; they also believe these therapeutic combinations can prevent and cure disease.

Some people, especially in the United States, beg to differ. Kempen shows graphs on her PowerPoint explaining that Ayurvedic medicine contains extremely high levels of metal including lead, mercury and arsenic; other concerns relate to the use of herbs containing toxins. Two studies done on this concern have found that 20% of all Ayurveda medicines do contain the extremely high levels of metal.

“The diet following Ayurveda is the easiest way to nurture one’s self,” said Kemper, “if you add in all natural herbs, your body will maintain this balance,”

The medicine is available through Ayurveda practitioners, yet different herbs, juices and oils are available at Whole Foods, Holistic Healing (a Holistic Healing treatment center in Milwaukee), Outpost Natural Food and any organic market. The audience was encouraged to taste and test Aloe Vera Oil, Rosewater Eye Drops and more herbal supplements throughout the presentation.

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