What is Perfect Health?

GardenGateIf you find yourself battling with illness, emotional anguish, imbalance in your life/work or a dysfunctional relationship, Perfect Health could be your next step towards healing. The Perfect Health program will help you recuperate your balance and reestablish your inner peace, your physical wellbeing and your happiness. This course was created by David Simon and Deepak Chopra (Founders of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California) in 1985, and has led thousands of people through the transition from pain to relief, from desperation to hope, from constant stress to the realization that the decision to be happy is in our hands.

Perfect Health uses the knowledge of the Vedic traditions in natural healing and integrates them to any type of treatment that Western medicine might be recommending for you. If your life is at a crossroads, if you are facing a stressful situation, or if you simply want to feel good without having to take pills, Perfect Health will teach you a new lifestyle that will help you rediscover your happiness, your wellness and your inner silence, giving you a new perspective on life.

At the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, the Perfect Health course is integrated with a Panchakarma treatment. Panchakarma is a regenerative treatment that detoxifies your body, mind and soul. It consists of a series of massages done with essential oils and herbs in special formulations based on your mind-body configuration, or Dosha, to extract toxins that have accumulated not only from what we eat and breathe, but also from our repressed emotions and other sensorial input. These massages are complemented with internal cleansing with herbs and oils that are administered via pills and enemas. The process may last from 5 to 10 days and it revilatizes and rejuvenates.

In Puerto Rico, we are only prepared to teach the Perfect Health course without the Panchakarma. This course teaches you the Ayurvedic lifestyle. It consists of five classes that last about an hour and a half each. I usually teach them during one week-end — three classes on Saturday and two on Sunday. If you desire a different schedule, you may form groups of three or more and solicit a specific schedule for the group.

The first class is mostly about doshas (your mind – body configuration). We find each student’s dosha and teach you how to recognize what your imbalances are. The second class is all about healing with food. Ayurveda establishes that you should always include the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent) in all of your meals, but depending on your dosha and your particular imbalance, you should favor some tastes over others. The third class is about your daily routine and how you should plan your day in order to be in harmony with nature and the cycles of the Universe. The fourth class is about emotional cleansing and detoxification. The student is taught how to get rid of accumulated emotional toxins which are the major cause of our illnesses. We also teach non-violent communication techniques so that we can learn to communicate the needs that we have and are not receiving with the greatest possibility of being able to transmit our message, be heard, and receive that which we are asking for. The fifth class is about learning to activate our interior pharmacy by stimulating our five senses. In addition to these classes, there is an introductory instruction on meditation.

What Is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a whole medical system that is based on various theories about health and illness and on ways to prevent, manage or treat health problems. The aim in Ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness. Ayurveda also has treatments for specific health problems.

The word Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words — ayur, which means life, and veda, which means science or knowledge. Thus, the word Ayurveda means “the science of life.”

Ayurveda is based on ideas from Hinduism, one of the world’s oldest and largest religions, and ancient Persian beliefs. In India, Ayurveda has long been the main system of health care, although conventional (Western) medicine is becoming more common there, especially in urban areas. Ayurveda and variations of it have been practiced for centuries in some other countries as well.

In the United States, Ayurveda is considered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Many therapies used in Ayurveda are also used on their own as CAM, such as herbs, massage, and yoga. NCCAM is supporting some research studies on Ayurvedic therapies.

Looking at Health and Disease

Ayurveda has some basic beliefs about health and disease that might be described as follows:

People, their health, and the universe are all related. Health problems can result when these relationships are not in balance.
A person’s constitution is called his prakruti. The prakruti is thought to be a unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics and the way the body functions. Three qualities called doshas form important aspects of the constitution and control the activities of the body. They are known as vata, pitta, and kapha in Sanskrit.
Every person has a unique balance of doshas, with one usually the most prominent. Each dosha tends to correspond with a certain body type and personality type, and a greater chance for certain types of health problems.
An imbalance in a dosha can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or diet, too much or too little mental and physical activity, or not being properly protected from the weather, chemicals, or germs.

In Ayurveda, health and disease are believed to be related to the way a person’s doshas are balanced, the state of his physical body, and mental or lifestyle factors.