Ayurvedic medicine is a five-thousand-year old health system that originated in India. It is essentially a mind-body, holistic approach to health that requires an individual to take personal responsibility for their own state of being by turning inside and becoming more aware of their inner selves.
In the opening to The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda, Michelle S Fondin re-enforces this essential need to take responsibility for your own health and well-being.
She emphasizes how a major shift in focus is required by everyone to formulate a strong personal mind-set—formed around self-empowerment instead of self-victimization.
Ayurveda, which means ‘science of life’ in Sanskrit, is described by the author as
…a complete medical system or science that includes; observation; diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease; detoxification and rejuvenation of the body; surgery and herbal medicine.
In short, Ayurveda is a holistic practice in that it includes diet, lifestyle, massage and practices such as yoga and meditation as a unified approach to improved well-being.
It is also a discipline that focuses more on prevention rather than cure.
Because of this, Ayurvedic medicine diagnoses illness far earlier where it occurs in the human body than conventional Western medicine. In her book, the author identifies six stages of disease and whilst most doctors would into pick up on illness during the latter stages, a good Ayurvedic practitioner would identify the symptoms of imbalance much earlier on… at a point prior to the development of the eventual disease.
Although the author criticizes modern living and blames it for a good deal of society’s health problems, she also states that the single most significant factor in the development of disease is through us not living in accordance with our true life purpose, or Dharma—a word that roughly translates as ‘purpose in life’.
The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda is a book in which the author offers some practical guidance on how the reader can find their own true way in life and teaches us how to unravel your own Dharma for ourselves.
The author looks at various ways of improving our physical lives by exploring the importance of eating correctly as a precursor to sustaining our bodies and our minds. In a series of key-point questions, she challenges the reader to examine their own health regimes before offering a twelve-point breakdown of what makes a diet based around good Ayurvedic principles.
It is not only important to be aware of what we eat but also at what time of the day we consume food as, according to the author, the natural rhythms of the day effect us internally in different ways.
Michelle Fondin also teaches us that spiritual health is an important element to overall well-being. She dedicates a whole chapter to exploring this important aspect of health, including a look at meditation as an important tool in the strengthening of a strong spiritual life.
Before good health can be enjoyed, it is often important to understand that emotional detoxification is also an important key to restoring health to a physical body that is stressed as a consequence of the pressures and pains of life.
Once again, meditation is promoted as a beneficial element in the restoration of emotional equilibrium.
The author explains that an other important area that need to be addressed in the development of good health relates to relationship and occupational health—something that she explains is rather less of an issue if you have a naturally strong sense of Dharma.
Work, career and vocation also impacts upon another area of life that effects our health and that is the important area of personal finances and money.
The author suggests various ways of improving the flow of money-energy into your life using various practices, such as giving generously and demonstrating appreciation.
The author also sees environmental health as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. She advocates the reader makers particular efforts to improve this area of one’s life including removing strenuous noise and other distractions from the home.
The book closes with an appendix that features yogic poses, notes, glossary of terms, references,resources and index.
There has been few greater gifts that the Eastern mystical philosophies have given to the West than that of holistic health, natural medicine and healing.
The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda is a book that seeks to integrate Eastern millennia-old methodologies into the context of today’s hectic and somewhat fractured Western lifestyle—a task which, to my mind, it achieves rather successfully.
The approach that Michelle S. Fondin makes to that of health and healing bridges these two worlds and whilst the information that she offers could not necessarily be considered as pure Ayurvedic, its basic principles have been tailored and adapted so as to be appreciated by those of us who are seeking a more balanced and purposed approach to health.
Sadly, this cannot be obtained in one, easy to digest pill, as Western medicine might prefer to be the case. Instead, it takes hard work, application and a shift in lifestyle in order to bring about the health changes that we all intuitively know that we should take but not necessarily know how to do successfully.
If your intention is to take responsibility for your life and health and to avoid requiring the support of Western medicine to cure your ailments, then The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda is undoubtedly a great place to start.
Crammed with advice and guidance for the journey along the path back to better health, this is a book that explains the central principles of Ayurveda in a non-technical way. As you work your way through its pages, you get the sense of experiencing a strong gravitational pull that draws you in to a more subtle and nurturing world—one in which you feel you are able to make those subtle but important health choices and shifts in lifestyle which will lead to dramatic improvements down the line.
The interesting element to this book is that it presents no one or definitive approach to improving well-being. Instead, it weaves a way through a number of different areas of health-care and allows the reader to work on exactly which areas of their own personal lives they feel needs some attention. In this regard, the rather comprehensive index at the back of the book turns this publication into a useful reference manual that you can consult for guidance on a specific topic.
The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda covers a lot of ground in a very readable and engaging way. My only slight criticism of it is that I would have preferred some of the topics covered in its pages to have been extended and explored a little deeper but its emphasis on practical application of its principles probably means that you can safely explore more fully the subjects under discussion in your own time and in your own way.
This is a book that can, I am sure, help anyone to unlock that all-important door that leads to a renewed and rejuvenated sense of inner and outer well-being.
An inspiring and empowering read that reveals a practical approach to improving personal well-being in all areas of your life.