Written by John Immel,
The Symbol of Western MedicineHealing demands that we find and clean our wounds and disordered behaviors. The subtleties of healing, to the ancients, was symbolically represented by a snake. The cunning and devious nature of the snake may represent the manipulation of the truth, the true nature of the disorder in our psyche. Our fear of snakes represents the subconscious part of ourselves we are unable to examine.
The first step in healing is to "look at the snake", an act of bravery that brings light to overcome the darkness, affirms your physical health, and psychologically unveils the true nature of disorder. The healing that arises from your ability to look at the snake is biblical. The Israelites, in exodus, stared at the snake on the staff of Moses in order to escape the poisonous snakes of the desert. The image of the subtle snake survives into modern times as the symbol of modern medicine: two snakes wrapped around a staff. The symbol was borrowed from Greek medicine, an ancient system of healing that shares many similarities with Ayurveda.
Body ScanningBody scanning is one of the easiest ways to reconnect with your body. Some of the things you might experience when you start scanning your body include warmth and cold, tension and relaxation, a throbbing pulse, pain, rawness, pressure, emptiness or fullness. Note each of these sensations. A complete list of sensations can be found in the article, Improving Your Bodily Awareness of Food.
General Method of Body ScanningWork from top to bottom, periphery to the center, surface to interior. Pause for a moment on all structures in the body. For each structure, repeat the process of top to bottom, periphery to center, surface to interior. Generally, consider skin, muscles, joints, bones, organs in that order. Having an order, you will ensure comprehensive results with your scanning each time.
Interpreting Your ResultsThere are many ways to interpret your experiences and the underlying causes. Generally, Ayurvedic counselors note the following for each sensation:
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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