Based on the quality of my tone, the words that come out of my mouth, the expression on my face and the subject matter, my husband can pretty quickly tell if my most truest, balanced self is manifest and speaking or if one of the more dysregulated versions is active. The version of myself that can be dysregulated is not at all like my true self. Instead, she is usually protective and fierce or biting and critical. None of these qualities are energies that are balanced, calm or peaceful.
In Ayurveda, we would say that the balanced calm energy is sattva, the agitated dynamic energy is rajas, and the negative, lethargic energy is tamasic. These energies are referred to as gunas or qualities. Understanding one’s mental state, or energetic tendency, can help usher in clarity, balance, and calmness. No energetic quality is bad in and of itself, and it’s also important to understand that the three energetic gunas are present in everyone and they vacillate at different times of the day. By noticing and understanding one’s guna type, one can better understand one’s mental state of being, as well the depth and path of one’s soul….ultimately, one can be more evenly aligned with their most perfect self.
Sattvic Energy is aligned with harmony, awareness, and the universe. Contentment is pure and present, attachments to others and material objects is minimal, love is universally connected, and there is the presence of not being “bound” to the cycle of life and death nor karmic ties. There is purity in action and thought and an accuracy in perception. Sattvic qualities can be encouraged through a vegetarian diet, a daily meditation and/or prayer practice, practicing the Yama of Ahimsa (non-violence), practicing the Yama of Satya (truthfulness), connect daily to earth and nature, and eating fresh fruits, steamed vegetables and including ghee in the diet.
Rajasic Energy ushers in a high level of energy and agitation within the body and mind…a sense of restlessness, there is a low level of contentment with others, there is often awareness of sensations like pain, displeasure, and suffering, there is minimal connection to a spiritual source and there is a tendency to action, movement, and stimulation. They tend to be very self-centered and focused on their own needs, but to those who are helpful and loyal, rajasic people are faithful loyal in return. They like to be in control, and can be controlling, they may have fits of anger, jealousy or rage, they tend to work hard, endure alot of stress, but they are also afraid to fail. Rajasic energy can be calmed through movement, being energized through active breathwork, practicing yoga, and using mudras and visualizations. Rajasic foods are spicy and fermented, and can include grains and legumes.
Tamasic Energy feels heavy, slow and uninspired, there is a tendency towards inaction both in thought and form, and there is an overall disconnection of awareness. One’s perspective is obstructed when this energy is present, they can’t see truth, hear truth, perceive truth or feel connected. There may be an unwillingness for basic cleanliness and self-care and there is a desire to just stop trying and sleep. Tamasic foods are heavy and grounding and include eggs, meat, mushrooms, garlic, and leftover food. Breathwork is quite slow paced with extended exhalations and yoga that is restorative and slow.
Chart out your mental tendencies in regular language, then label them as sattva, rajas, or tamas. Draw clarity by listing out opposite practices to balance the energy of your gunas, and then actively follow and implement these practices into your waking life….check-in with yourself, and after two weeks re-assess yourself to become aware of any natural shifts that are moving you closer to creating a more balanced, regulated, version of yourself.Read More
One of the Integrated Modalities we offer at Integrated Care Concepts is EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique. It utilizes the principles of energy therapy, acupressure and neuroplasticity to help modify and regulate emotions, thoughts and feelings. The tapping sends a calming message to the body, retrains the limbic system and reprograms the brain to interrupt the fight or flight response so the body can come into a deeper balance.
Following is video presentation on using EFT in working with feeling worried and scared.
The meridian points and script that I use in the video can be downloaded to accompany the video. They are below the video. (Please note that I flipped the eyebrow point with the side of the eye. You can follow along with the visual order in the video, or with the named point.)
Yoga Sequence with Meditation
Here is a child-friendly yoga sequence for kids and adults alike to allow for what is present and to activate rest and empowerment.
The meditation is in the form of guided meditation with progressive muscle relaxation. It can be used at the end of the yoga sequence while the body is supine and resting, or it can be used while lying in bed to ease into sleep.
Yoga Sequence as PDF Download: Teach-Your-Body-To-Rest,-Teach-Your-Mind-To-Rest-by-Integrated-Care
Meditation as a Download: Meditation Teach Your Body To Rest
Mudra is a Sanskrit word that can mean seal or gesture. Mudras are used as gestures made with the hands, face or body to promote health and balance and to evoke a specific psychological attitude or sense of spirituality. In this Integrated Practice, I introduce and speak about Mira Mudra, which means gesture of the ocean. Mira Mudra can help evoke a sense of ease and harmony in the body by regulating the breath and reducing anxiety.
Mira Mudra Instructions and Visual: mira-mudra as printable PDF.
Mental Health Disorders, Depression & Anxiety:
Integrative Treatments Compared to Prescription Drugs
If you’ve ever considered your options for treatment of depression or anxiety using pharmaceuticals and/or integrative approaches, we wanted to offer an educational essay on some of the comparisons of consideration from the perspective of what happens chemically and biologically in the body.
“Depression’s treatments have morphed over time, as has the disease itself, reminding us that suffering is never stagnant, that even discrete illnesses take the shape of the culture’s currents.” Lauren Slater
Mental healthcare in our society has become a touchpoint of awareness through not only self-awareness of individual mental health, but also through family influences, friends, colleagues, peers, and even through the increase in social influence through media and social platforms. Mental health effects a sense of self, relationships with others, physical health, and also an individual’s ability to maintain and balance stability, resilience and coping throughout one’s life. According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” (WHO)
Mental health, as an attribute of the state of health, can branch into many conditions, disorders, and disturbances with a very broad number of diagnoses. The clinical definition of a mental health disorder according to the Diagnostic & Statistic Manual (DSM) is, “a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.” (DSM) An individual’s diagnosis of a mental health disorder can evolve throughout an individual’s life, but overall, the most common diagnoses for mental health conditions fall into the categories of depression and anxiety. The World Health Organization has announced that Depression is now the #1 Illness, with 300 million people worldwide suffering from this condition. (Depression) Clinical symptoms of depression include a depressed mood on a daily basis, a diminished sense of pleasure in activity, weight loss or gain, lack of sleep, agitation, feelings of restlessness, fatigue, feeling unworthy, and recurrent thoughts of death.Read More