The Maharishi Ayurveda Approach to Beauty and Skin Care with Nancy Lonsdorf M.D.
"Every person is born perfect. Inferiority is a mistake of the mind, a cloud covering the light. Dissolve the clouds by observing a balanced life with healthy habits. Nourish your mind and body. Connect with your own inner self. Celebrate your own magnificence and your beauty will always shine through." -Dr. Rama Kant Mishra, renowned Ayurvedic physician and dermatologist
The Three Pillars of Beauty
Maharishi Ayurveda (MAV), the modern, consciousness-based revival of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine tradition, considers true beauty to be supported by three pillars; Outer Beauty, Inner Beauty and Lasting Beauty. Only by enhancing all three can we attain the balanced state of radiant health that makes each of us the most fulfilled and beautiful person we can be.
Outer Beauty: Roopam
The outer signs of beauty - your skin, hair and nails - are more than just superficial measures of beauty. They are direct reflections of your overall health. These outer tissues are created by the inner physiological processes involved in digestion, metabolism and proper tissue development. Outer beauty depends more on the strength of your digestion and metabolism, the quality of your diet, and the purity of your blood, than on external cleansers and conditioners you may apply.
General Recommendations for Outer Beauty
As we will discuss, the key to skin care is matching your diet and skin care routine to the specific skin type you have. Meanwhile, there are some valuable recommendations for lustrous skin, hair and nails that will be helpful to everyone, regardless of skin type.
1. Diet: Without adequate nourishment, your collagen layer thins and a kind of wasting takes place. Over time, your skin can shrivel up like a plant without water from lack of nourishment. To keep your skin plump and glowing:
A. Eat fresh, whole organic foods that are freshly prepared.
Avoid packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods and leftovers. These foods have little nutritional value and also they are often poorly digested which creates impurities that localize in the skin. The resulting buildup of toxins causes irritation and blocks circulation depriving the skin of further nourishment and natural cleansing processes.
B. Favor skin nourishing foods.
Caring for outer beauty through knowledge of skin type
Besides these general recommendations the key to Outer Beauty is to understand the difference in skin types so you can gain the maximum benefit from your individualized skin care regimen. MAV identifies three different skin types based on which of the three main metabolic principles (doshas)- present in everyone, but to different degrees- is most dominant in your body.
* Description: Vata is composed of the elements of air and space. If you have a vata skin type, your skin will be dry, thin, fine pored, delicate and cool to the touch. When balanced, it glows with a delicate lightness and refinement that is elegant and attractive. When vata skin is imbalanced, it will be prone to excessive dryness and may even be rough and flaky.
* Potential problems: The greatest beauty challenge for vata skin is its predisposition to symptoms of early aging. Your skin may tend to develop wrinkles earlier than most due to its tendency to dryness and thinness. If your digestion is not in balance, your skin can begin to look dull and grayish, even in your 20's and 30's. In addition, your skin may have a tendency for disorders such as dry eczema and skin fungus. Mental stress, such as worry, fear and lack of sleep, has a powerful debilitating effect on vata skin leaving it looking tired and lifeless.
* Recommendations for care
With a little knowledge, you can preserve and protect the delicate beauty of your vata type skin. Since your skin does not contain much moisture, preventing it from drying is the major consideration. Eat a warm, unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil are best) and favor sour, salty and sweet tastes (naturally sweet like fruits, not refined sugar) as they balance vata. Avoid drying foods like crackers. Drink 6-8 glasses of warm (not cold for vata types!) water throughout the day and eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits. Going to bed early (before 10 PM) is very soothing to vata and will have a tremendously positive influence on your skin. Avoid cleansing products that dry the skin (like alcohol-based cleansers) and perform Ayurvedic oil massage to your whole body (abhyanga) in the morning before you shower.
* Description: Pitta dosha is composed of the elements of fire and water. If you have a pitta skin type your skin is fair, soft, warm and of medium thickness. When balanced, your skin has a beautiful, slightly rosy or golden glow, as if illuminated from within. Your hair typically is fine and straight, and is usually red, sandy or blonde in color. Your complexion tends toward the pink or reddish, and there is often a copious amount of freckles or moles.
* Potential problems: Among the many beauty challenges of pitta skin types is your tendency to develop rashes, rosacea, acne, liver spots or pigment disorders. Because of the large proportion of the fire element in your constitution, your skin does not tolerate heat or sun very well. Of all the three skin types, pitta skin has the least tolerance for the sun, is photosensitive, and most likely to accumulate sun damage over the years. Pitta skin is aggravated by emotional stress, especially suppressed anger, frustration, or resentment.
* Recommendations for care
Avoid excessive sunlight, tanning treatments and highly heating therapies like facial or whole body steams. Avoid hot, spicy foods and favor astringent, bitter and sweet foods which balance pitta. (Again, naturally sweet, not chocolate and refined sugar!) Sweet juicy fruits (especially melons and pears), cooked greens and rose petal preserves are especially good. Drinking plenty of water helps wash impurities from sensitive pitta skin. Reduce external or internal contact with synthetic chemicals, to which your skin is especially prone to react, even in a delayed fashion after years of seemingly uneventful use. Avoid skin products that are abrasive, heating or contain artificial colors or preservatives. Most commercial make-up brands should be avoided in favor of strictly 100% natural ingredient cosmetics. And be sure to get your emotional stress under control through plenty of outdoor exercise, yoga and meditation.
* Description: Kapha dosha is composed of the elements of earth and water. If you have a kapha skin type your skin is thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch. Your complexion is a glowing porcelain whitish color, like the moon, and hair characteristically thick, wavy, oily and dark. Kapha skin types, with their more generous collagen and connective tissue, are fortunate to develop wrinkles much later in life than vata or pitta types.
*Potential problems If your skin becomes imbalanced, it can show up as enlarged pores, excessively oily skin, moist types of eczema, blackheads, acne or pimples, and water retention. Kapha skin is also more prone to fungal infections.
* Recommendations for care
Kapha skin is more prone to clogging and needs more cleansing than other skin types. Be careful to avoid greasy, clogging creams. Likewise, avoid heavy, hard to digest foods like fried foods, fatty meats, cheeses and rich desserts. Eat more light, easy to digest, astringent, bitter and pungent (well-spiced) foods as they balance kapha. Olive oil is the best cooking oil and a little ginger and lime juice can be taken before meals to increase your characteristically sluggish digestive fire. Take warm baths often and use gentle cleansers to open the skin pores. Avoid getting constipated and try to get some exercise every day to increase circulation and help purify the skin through the sweating process.
Inner Beauty: Gunam.
Happy, positive, loving, caring individuals have a special beauty that is far more than skin deep. Conversely we all experience the quick and deleterious effect on our skin from fatigue and stress.
Inner beauty is authentic beauty, not the kind that shows on a made-up face, but the kind that shines through from your soul, your consciousness or inner state of being. Inner beauty comes from a mind and heart that are in harmony, not at odds with each other, causing emotional confusion, loss of confidence, stress and worry. Inner peace is the foundation of outer beauty.
Maintain your self-confidence and a warm, loving personality by paying attention to your lifestyle and daily routine and effective management of stress (I highly recommend the TM technique for its scientifically-verified benefits on mental and physical health and reduced aging.) You will also be healthier and feel better through the day if you eat your main meal at midday and make a habit of going to bed early (by 10 PM is ideal.)
Remember, kindness, friendliness and sincerity naturally attract people to you. On the other hand, being uptight or tense makes people want to walk the other way, regardless of your facial structure, body weight, or other outer signs we associate with attractiveness.
Lasting Beauty: Yayastyag
In order to slow the aging process and gain lasting beauty there are two additional key considerations beyond those already discussed,
1. Eliminate toxins and free radicals in the body: The main deteriorating effects of aging come as toxins and impurities (called ama in Ayurveda) accumulate throughout the body. These toxins may begin as free radicals in the body, or over time may become oxidized into free radicals, all of which contribute to premature aging in the body. For lasting health and beauty it is essential to avoid and neutralize free radicals, to prevent impurities of all kinds from accumulating and to remove those that have already become lodged in the body.
The most powerful cleansing therapy in Maharishi Ayurveda is "panchakarma" therapy, a series of natural treatments ideally performed twice yearly, that involves 5-7 days in a row of massage, heat treatments and mild herbal enemas. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of undergoing this cleansing program once or twice a year to prevent impurities from accumulating, localizing and hardening in the tissues. Just as we change the oil in our cars regularly for optimal performance and lifespan, Ayurveda recommends that we cleanse the "sludge" from our tissues on a regular basis through panchakarma treatments.
Best of all, panchakarma treatments are luxurious, blissful, and make you feel (and look) completely rejuvenated in just a few days time. I have had many a patient who told me that friends asked them afterwards if they had gotten a facelift, they looked so fresh and youthful!
Other free radical busters include: reducing mental stress, eating antioxidant foods like leafy green vegetables, sweet, juicy fruits and cooking on a daily basis with antioxidant, detoxifying spices like turmeric and coriander.
2. Add rejuvenative techniques to daily living:
The daily activities of life in the modern world systematically wear us down and speed up the aging process. Ayurveda maintains it is crucial to practice daily rejuvenative regimens to counteract the stressful wear and tear of everyday life. According to Ayurveda the most important rejuvenative routines for your life are:
Everyone's unique beauty shines forth when they have radiant health and personal happiness. Beauty is a side effect of a balanced, fulfilled life. Supreme personal beauty is accessible to everyone who is willing to take more control of their health in their day-to-day life through time-tested principles of natural living.
For most of us, beauty is not a gift but a choice. Every woman can be radiantly beautiful simply by beginning to lead a healthier life. You will be rewarded by the glowing effects you will see in your mirror each day and the powerful, bliss-producing effect your special beauty has on everyone in your life.
About The Author
Nancy Lonsdorf M.D. received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins and did her postgraduate training at Stanford. She has studied Ayurveda with some of the world's most renowned Ayurvedic physicians in India, Europe and the U.S. Dr. Lonsdorf has 17 years of clinical experience with Ayurveda and is currently the Medical Director of The Raj Ayurveda Health Center in Vedic City Iowa.
Dr. Lonsdorf has authored two books on Ayurveda and women's health:
A Woman's Best Medicine (Penguin/Putnam 1995 ; ISBN 0-87477-785-2) describing the Ayurvedic approach to the major issues in women's health
A Woman's Best Medicine for Menopause (Contemporary/McGraw Hill 2002; ISBN 0-8092-9335-8) describing the Ayurvedic approach to menopause
Doctor Lonsdorf's contact information is:
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Our search for the best pimento cheese recipe begins with not one cheese but three. And wow! What a rich and flavorful combination it is: Extra-sharp cheddar, ...
Joy Bauer makes 3 healthier ice cream sandwich recipes TODAY
When Superfood Friday falls on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, we celebrate by making (what else?) superfood ice cream sandwiches. Get ready to beat the ...
Hereâ€™s the Secret to Making the Best Apple Pie Real Simple
Follow our advice for an apple pie so good, you'll swear Grandma baked it.
Walmart cooks up 'shoppable recipes' with BuzzFeed's Tasty videos Mobile Marketer
Walmart partnered with BuzzFeed on shoppable recipes that let customers buy ingredients seen in the digital publisher's Tasty cooking videos. Viewers can add ...
The skin has a defence mechanism against sun-damage, in the form of melanin. The production of melanin is accelerated on sun-exposure.
Contact Lenses - A Beginners Guide To Inserting & Removing Them The Right Way
I must admit that putting contact lenses in for the first time is a bit awkward. The natural reflex when any object comes close to the eye is to automatically close the eye.
Cellulite Clinical Study results
A clinical study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and benefits of Vital Science's Cellu-System products which consist of the following four items:Cellu-System Toning Tea Cellu-System Toning Capsules Cellu-System Toning Cream The study looked for effectiveness of these products in reducing the visible appearance of cellulite over an eight week trial period.Selection of Participants34 participants were recruited through a community posting.
Neuropeptide - Amino Polypeptide Skin Care Comparison
To determine why neuropeptide products are different from other effective antiaging skin care treatments on the market, we first have to determine the difference between neuropeptide and amino polypetide ingredients.Neuro- and pentapaptides are both peptides but "neuro" refers to the very specific functions of this peptide group, while "penta" merely refers to the size of certain peptide molecules.
Synthetic Fiber Hair Extensions Create Choice Hair Styles for Hair Loss and Fashion Clients
From the beginning of time, women have cared for their hair. As 2005's Most Popular Hair Extensions far back as 4000-300 B.
Brow Lift Information
As you age, your skin becomes slack and loses its luster. You develop wrinkles and your face can look sunken in.
Knowing Your Skin Type
People can spend years searching for their perfect skin care solution. Finding the right products can be a constant struggle.
Make Your Own Brown Sugar Body Scrub
To promote radiant, shiny skin tone it is advisable to exfoliate on a regular basis at least every 15 days. It removes dead cells and clears your skin.
What is Botox and Whats the Use
Botox is an injectable substance that is a medical grade form of the botulinum toxin, most often used to soften and relax forehead/scowl lines as well as crows feet around the eye area.Botulin toxin or botox is the toxic compound produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
Wear For Fun Colored Contacts
Wear for fun colored contacts are exactly what they sound like. Wear for fun colored contacts are cosmetic contacts and are available throughout the world.
Theatrical Contact Lenses: An Insight into the World of Cinema & Special Effects
Ever wonder how stage actors or movie characters get that eerily captivating look in their eyes? Sure, there is always the CG and special effects route in the movies. Certain lighting schemes can invoke various feelings on the stage.
A Cheap and Natural Way to Healthy Skin
Healthy skin happens when we eats good foods, have enough exercise, minimize stress and protect our skin from the harsh environment.Certain foods are especially beneficial to the skin.
What is Your Hair Type?
Everyday you see people with all color and style of hair. But did you know that you have a hair type? Yes! Not all hair has been created the same.
Achieve Great Beauty Naturally And Win The Fight Against Aging
I usually smile with gratitude when friends (and even strangers) sincerely guess my age to be 15 years younger.When they learn the truth about my fight against aging, they take notes and become converts.
Deep Skin Moisturizing
When it comes to skin care, moisturizing is usually one of the more popular, and though it's hard to believe, more controversial topics. Some experts swear by moisturizing as the best way to keep your skin youthful and healthy while others feel a bit more suspicious of its benefits.
Have You Done Your Hair Care Correctly?
Love your hair like you going to lose it. Hair is delicate, growing stuff which need to be handled with care.
What the Peat Bog People Can Tell Us About Beauty
Over the past centuries, remains of many hundreds of people-- men, women, and children--have come to light in peat bogs in northwestern Europe, especially in Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Denmark. Peatlands are most extensive in northern regions.
How to become a Dental Assistant
Becoming a dental assistant offers one of the fastest educational paths to entering the rapidly expanding healthcare field.Dental Assistant Job DescriptionDental assistants provide support functions for dentists including assisting with dental procedures, lab work and office functions.
The Skin Care Benefits of Azulene
Azulene is a constituent of the volatile oil obtained by steam distillation from Chamomile, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), or Tanacetum anuum (Blue tansy), and it is distinguished by it's spectacular blue colour. Azulenes are unsaturated blue hydrocarbons, isomers of naphthalene.
The Exotic Origins of Hyaluronic Acid Treatments
While hyaluronic acid has exploded in popularity among the cosmetics community, most people are unaware of the molecule's exotic history.Hyaluronic acid, also known as HA, naturally plays an important role in tissue hydration and lubrication.
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