The Ayurvedic Approach to Calming Anxiety and Your Nervous System with Dr. Jay [Episode #399]
Welcome to the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder. Our goal is to help you be your most healthy, confident, beautiful and joyful! Our topics focus on health and wellness (physical, emotional/mental and spiritual), holistic nutrition, medicinal plants, natural rhythms and cycles, beauty, meditation, self care and rituals, spirituality and personal empowerment.
Feeling Good means we are healthy, balanced, peaceful, confident and joyful, right in the midst of our perfectly imperfect lives. Feeling Good requires us to tune in and nourish our whole selves, which is made up of the four Solluna Cornerstones: our food, our bodies, our emotional well-being and our spiritual growth. Feeling good naturally leads to also looking good, in a much more powerful way from glowing skin created from within, a beautifully healthy body, radiant energy, and a greater level of overall well-being and personal growth.
Every week, we provide you with interviews with top experts in their field to support you in living your most beautiful, inspired and joyful life, with a focus on physical health, wellness, meditation and spirituality and personal empowerment.
I’m your host, Kimberly Snyder, founder of Solluna, New York Times best-selling author and nutritionist. I’m so grateful and honored we found each other!
I am so excited to have my very special guests, Parla Jayagopal, B.A.M.S – or Dr. Jay as many know him here on the podcast, who is a renowned Ayurvedic professor and vaidya (Ayurvedic practitioner). Listen in as Dr. Jay shares his Ayurvedic insight, tips and tricks into ways you can start calming anxiety and your nervous system. In addition, he shares a self-massage technique he uses daily, and how we can implement this into our daily lives.
Dr. Jay explains the Ayurvedic approach to anxiety…
Why anxiety is a function of modern society and so much input…
We discuss the Ayurvedic perspective on what goes on in our bodies when coping with anxiety…
Ways the break down of our bodies affects us long term…
Some foods and spices to help calm the body, and get the Veda more balanced…
Which foods to avoid for Veda/anxiety…
What switching over to calming the nervous system actually means…
Ayurveda and grains – to be or not to be…
Self-massage and your nervous system, and how to implement this into your daily lives.
About Parla Jayagopal, B.A.M.S
Dr. Parla S Jayagopal BAMS, MD (Ayurveda), MAOM (C)—or Doctor Jay as we affectionately call him—received his Bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery (BAMS) after completing five and a half years of training from Bangalore University. He also pursued three years of education to receive a Masters degree in Ayurvedic herbology from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Bangalore.
In addition to his twelve years of clinical experience, Dr. Jayagopal has traveled to Europe and Japan to propagate the science of Ayurveda. Currently he is teaching as chair and associate Prof. dept. of Ayurveda at American University of Complementary Medicine.
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Kimberly : Hi Beauties. Welcome back to our Monday interview podcast where we have the one and only D Jay back with us on the podcast. One of my favorite people, my personal ayurvedic teacher, he is a renowned aryuveda professor and physician. He has his own clinic. I’ve learned so much from him and today our topic with Dr Jay is going to be on overcoming anxiety and calming our nervous system and we are going to be talking about all aspects of how this really applies to our health, our wellbeing, our vitality. Something we don’t talk about in the West as much is the nervous system, but it’s something that’s very much emphasized in aryuveda, so I’m really excited to have Dr Jay back on. Before we get into it, I just want to give a little shout out to our fan of the week.
Fan Of The Week
Kimberly : Her name is JustFeld89 and she writes, “What I love about the feel good podcast is the variety of topics that are all relevant to what I’m experiencing. It seems like every time I push play, it’s exactly what I need to hear at that moment. Besides his podcast, I’ve been blessed to use all of the amazing tools Kimberly offers from her supplement line and yoga series to her 30 day roadmap and each of her books. With each experience I’ve had another level of transformation. I cannot thank you enough from the work and light you’ve brought to my life, you one of the greatest teachers in my life and from the bottom of my heart, Kimberly. Thank you. Thank you.”.
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Kimberly : And JustFelt89 thank you so much for being our fan of the week. We appreciate you so much. We love you, sending you a big virtual hug and beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week. Please just take a moment or two out of your day, leave us a review on iTunes. It uses a really great way to support the show and it helps other beauties find this material which could really help their lives.
Kimberly : So thank you so much in advance and I also want to give you a reminder. If you haven’t yet subscribed to our podcast, please go ahead and do so, so you don’t miss any interviews, any questions, you stay tuned in, which is really great for ongoing motivation and really living this lifestyle and getting the most benefit.
Interview withDr. Jay
Kimberly : All right, Beauties. All that being said, we have Dr Jay with us on the line. Hi, Dr Jay.
Dr. Jay: Namaste, Kimberly. How are you?
Kimberly : I’m doing great, Dr.Jay, as always. I am so thrilled to have you back. I love you. I love all this information. So thank you for being our aryuvedic expert.
Dr. Jay: Oh, same here. I really enjoy being on the podcast. And the questions that you get for all your listeners are amazing.
The Ayurvedic Approach To Anxiety
Kimberly : It’s true, it’s true. Dr Jay. So the topic today is anxiety and calming the nervous system. And in this day and age, we all know anxiety is a huge issue with a lot of people. There’s insomnia, there’s just a lot of IBS that comes with anxiety. There’s a lot of prescriptions, a lot of medications out there. So first of all, before we even get into the nervous system part, I’d love for you to explain the ayurvedic approach to anxiety, what that means with Vata and all that. So we just kind of have a good foundation.
Dr. Jay: Okay. Right on. So Kimberly, what we need to think about is for either way, experience, what we call it, the experience is very important. The experience for us and ayurvedic, we have it decoding experiences as sensory input and how our mind perceives this sensory input. So it’s something like if we see something or listen to something, we smell something or we touch something or we taste something, it is a sensory input. So once it goes into our body, I mean, sorry, into a mind … In the mind we have three sections in which it gets categorized, it goes into memory or it goes into intellect or it goes into willpower. And then you know, swings between the two. One of them picks it up. So the sensory input is very important for us.
Dr. Jay: We know undoubtedly unprecedented amount of sensory input is what we experience on a daily basis. There’s no question that all of our sensors, what we call a sensory overload is what is coming in. And our mind doesn’t know how to segment these into either … This information needs to be held onto or let go. It doesn’t know. So the mind slowly starts accumulating too much of information that will lead to confusion. And then [inaudible 00:05:40] and that’s the root cause for anxiety that builds up in a person’s mind.
How Anxiety is a Function of Modern Society and so much Input
Kimberly : So are you saying, Dr Jay, that anxiety is a function of modern society and so much input? But truly, there was anxiety in the past as well, like before technology. So are you saying it’s worse with technology or what do you mean by it exactly?
Dr. Jay: The hygiene, I would say the mental hygiene has reduced. It’s no doubt that every time we had stress, there was no time. That was no time, there was no stress. But it has increased relatively and our hygiene, how to keep our minds healthy, has completely deteroriated. That’s why we are more prone to anxiety nowadays, rather than in those days where people knew how to address the anxiety in their own way of being mindful or doing things on a daily basis, where would they would slowly move away from that intense state of anxiety.
The Ayurvedic Perspective On What Goes On in Our Bodies When Dealing with Anxiety
Kimberly : Okay. And from the ayurvedic perspective, what goes on in our bodies when anxiety and the Vata Dosha?
Dr. Jay: Okay. So the mind, when it picks up … So yeah, I would say the mind is a state of vibration, right? Mind has a channel that pervades every cell of our body. It’s exactly how our physical body is. But it’s more subtle, more perceiving these sensory inputs. That’s what it’s doing. So [inaudible 00:07:12], the mind is not just the nervous system. That’s what I wanted to say.
Kimberly : Oh, okay.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Most people think that mind is nervous system. No.
Kimberly : Yes.
Dr. Jay: I would say that mind that might exist in every part of our body. And the nail. Where my nail is, it’s the same place where the mind’s nail is also. Right? You know, just like a superimposition of our body is our psychic body. So when the sensory inputs come from all directions, the person is just like constantly adjusting to this simple data input. So mind gets into a hyper mode.
Kimberly : Right.
Dr. Jay: Into that hyper mode. What happens is the mind will trigger what is called as the vital life force, which we call [foreign language 00:07:57]. So the mind vibrates in certain way. The wide force or widely energy that vibrates in a certain way. So they feed on each other and as a result, the body gets accumulating. [foreign language 00:08:14] the wind energy.
Kimberly : Okay. And what does that mean for us?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, I know I need to simplify it for all our listeners. So it means that the energy that’s responsible for a mobility.
Kimberly : Like digestion?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, the mobility, the ability to think big things into action. The body has an energy that is responsible for bringing everything into action. So it’s responsibility … Like I just said, moving the digestive system is one function of this movement energy which we call us Vata. We have talked about Vata so many times.
Kimberly : Yes.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. It’s that energy that makes the body to move in a rhythm. So there is a rhythm to our digestive system that’s called [inaudible 00:09:04], has a rhythm, the stomach has a rhythm, it has to hold the food for, depending on the type of food, anywhere between 90 minutes to about close to almost two hours of time. And then it moves a little faster in the duodenum. So there is a rhythm to it. So this hyper vibration that’s happening in the mind starts influencing the wind energy or the mobility energy of our body and everything. Like your biggest nerve from your brain starts shooting much faster than what is required.
Kimberly : Right? No. So that makes sense. Like the Vata is the energy of mobilization of movement. So when we have more anxiety it messes up our digestion, in other words.
Dr. Jay: Correct. So it not only messes up the digestion, heart rate changes, the breathing changes, which are all like physiologically maintained in a way that is to support health. So gradually what they do is from this normal vibration that they have, they pick up the vibration, the mind, coming from and they become hyper.
Ways the Break Down of Our Bodies Affects Us Long Term
Kimberly Snyder: Dr. Jay, we talked about the mobility of the body being impacted by Veda. We talked about digestion and heart rate. What does this do for us from an aging standpoint? Every time we’re off balance. The sensory is coming in, the Veda’s getting off, which is a major energy in the body, how does that break down our body? What does it do to us long term? Again, I hear it’s not a good thing.
Dr. Jay: It is not a good thing. The first thing that our audience has to know about if you have more Veda in you, you age faster.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, okay. Overall?
Dr. Jay: Overall, that’s the bottom line.
Kimberly Snyder: Why is that Dr. Jay?
Dr. Jay: Because the tissue viability comes down. The last of that tissue wide rates has less Veda in it then the tissue sustain them longer and their longevity increases. So [inaudible 00:02:25], a person is aging means he’s going towards the Veda phase of life. In other words that dry, cold, hyper mobile state. That’s why people become shaky and their muscles all become emancipated. [inaudible 00:02:44] and it absolves all the tissues, and makes the person age faster. So whatever we do, we don’t want this Veda to again, get aggravated in our bodies. So, we have to get onto it.
Foods and Spices to Help Calm the Body
Kimberly Snyder: Okay. So tell us some, first of all, start with food and spices. What are some foods and spices to help calm the body, to get the Veda more balanced?
Dr. Jay: So it could be a thing that we want to say here is seek onto the qualities. Like what does… when you’re in a very windy climate, how do you feel? You feel dry, you feel your skin being rough and then you’ll become every, you know, like shivery [inaudible 00:03:29]. So those qualities are the quality of this energy called Veda, which definitely picks up the anxiety and makes the person to go into that dry, you know, almost in a nonvital mode.
Dr. Jay: So why would we want to do is do opposite [inaudible 00:03:47]. So the opposites are the qualities of food that are capable of increasing, right, [inaudible 00:03:56], moisture. Right? And lubrication. Very good quality that you want to think about is lubrication. If the anxiety keeps on increasing, what happens is the anxiety will start slowly drying out. The closest system that is related to water is the nervous system. So when you’re saying, you know, patients, the greens inside drive it out. Well when it dries out, what happens is the water that is increased will go towards the deeper tissue first. That means it’ll attack the skin. It will make the skin dry, but it’ll go deeper into the tissues. When you say deep tissue it’s like nervous system, and that’s what it goes into. Then, it starts drying out the nervous system, you know? In a way, that it is responsible for losing memory, for example, or a person becomes very listless, or a person may feel like they’re are not present in the moment because this dryness does not hold them together, right?
Dr. Jay: So, that’s why the food that we more concentrate here is the same food that balances out the water, which is having something moist. Something that is lubricating, which will seal the tissues and make them firm.
Kimberly Snyder: So when you say moist, are you just talking about fatty food?
Dr. Jay: Fatty food, but also something that’s lubricating, you know?
Kimberly Snyder: So what is that exactly?
Dr. Jay: So I’ll give you examples. We have, you know, oils, right?
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: Oils are lubricating, but the moist food is something that you need to have some fluid in it, like hydration in it.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s soup.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, brutally important.
Kimberly Snyder: Soups and stews. I see.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, so there’s moisture, but also lubricant together.
Kimberly Snyder: I see.
Dr. Jay: That’s why in ancient cultures they had food that is… In the beginning it would start with something that’s liquidy but had a little fat on top, you know?
Kimberly Snyder: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Jay: So, that’s the great food to balance out your water, and also your mind, to settle you down into a healing process.
Kimberly Snyder: Dr. Jay we always talk about comfort food, and soup and stew feels hot, and just grounding. So, is that the reason it feels so comforting because it’s helping the Veda balance, do you think?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. See, [inaudible 00:07:17] qualities are so important Kimberly, believe it or not, they’re so important. So, you look at one quality, right? This quality is dry and rough and mobile. Anything that is-
Kimberly Snyder: [Rucsha 00:07:29]. Rucsha. I remember some of my [inaudible 00:07:33]. San script.
Dr. Jay: Rucsha, Rucsha means separate. Rucsha means break.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh. What’s the word for dry again?
Dr. Jay: [inaudible 00:07:46] that is Rucsha.
Kimberly Snyder: Right, right.
Dr. Jay: That is Rucsha. So, [cada 00:07:48], cada means rough.
Kimberly Snyder: Right.
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: So, we want liquidy food, we want oily food. What about herbs and spices? What is helpful for balancing Veda?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, so you definitely have to do something that is on the same line. The cumin seeds, turmeric, ginger, things that are warm, but also are somewhat that make the person to be a little more uplifting. Right? That type of spices that are warm, but also have a little bit of fixed oils. Like turmeric has a fixed oil, and ginger has a fixed oil, cumin has a fixed oil. So, things like that which have fixed oil in them. Those are important, very important for us.
Kimberly Snyder: You know, sometimes people say that you need to have the black pepper [inaudible 00:08:42] for absorption. Black pepper oil isn’t fixed, it’s more volatile isn’t it? So, why doesn’t black pepper help turmeric?
Dr. Jay: Because see, turmeric has an ability to bind into the body, right? But it has no ability to stimulate the digestion.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Jay: So, two actions [inaudible 00:09:04]. One is digesting the metabolic toxins, and the other one is increasing the digestive power. So, the turmeric has very less ability to increase the digestive power. If you eat a bunch of turmeric, you’re going to feel suddenly hungry. But if you eat a bunch of black pepper, you feel really hungry.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Dr. Jay: Right? That’s because once the turmeric is administered with black pepper, you will stimulate the digestive tract to absorb and to assimilate the black, I mean the turmeric, because turmeric by itself has no ability to penetrate into the digestive system.
Kimberly Snyder: So, if you don’t use black pepper with turmeric will cumin do the same thing or other spices?
Dr. Jay: Absolutely.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Jay: [inaudible 00:09:48]. There are no studies done, but I’m 100% sure because if you look at curry spice, it has just not [crosstalk 00:09:55]. It has black pepper, it has cumin, it has coriander, it has clove powder. All this put together. There was a study that was done by Kingston Institute in UK to study that curry powder. They saw that the curry powder is amazing for Alzheimer’s because they looked, and they said it was not just the black pepper. It’s the curry spice as a mixture is capable of stimulating the brain tissue, improving the blood supply to the brain tissue. So, people who eat curry powder have less chances of developing Alzheimer’s because it stimulates the brain blood supply.
Which Foods to Avoid for Veda/Anxiety
Kimberly Snyder: Right, right. Interesting Dr. Jay, thank you. So, let’s go to the reverse, which foods do we want to avoid? And I know we talk a lot about avoiding really icy cold things here in our community, in our Soluna community, Dr. Jay as you know, we drink a lot of green smoothies. We say not to put in a bunch of ice if possible. I like to warm mine to room temperature. So, besides, in general, if you just have those smoothies in the morning I always think it’s okay because we’re having warm foods, we’re balancing it the rest of the day, but would something like refined sugar be really bad? What are the big food groups that RU Beta says is bad for Veda/anxiety?
Dr. Jay: So, that’s unanimous. If Veda increases the anxiety comes up, if anxiety increases Veda increases-
Kimberly Snyder: Then, you age faster.
Dr. Jay: Both means you’re aging faster. [crosstalk 00:11:23]-
Kimberly Snyder: Right, that’s right.
Dr. Jay: So, yeah. Coming back to what you said in terms of like, yeah, the type of diet that we want to do in order to bring down the anxiety is something that grounds a person.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Jay: So, what we say is reversal, what to avoid, will be something that gets digested very quickly.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Jay: Say, give me an example. That a low glycemic index, right? Gets burned like this in your body, that increases water.
Kimberly Snyder: You mean, high glycemic index, like fast food?
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, like a refined flour, like a doughnut, and something sugary would probably pass through that, and spike, and create all sorts of imbalance.
Dr. Jay: That’s right, thanks for correcting me.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, I know what you meant, Dr. Jay.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, you’re paying [inaudible 00:12:24] attention. So, it is really high glycemic index substances that break down. We don’t have a substance, it doesn’t make your body to work the nutrients to get the nutrients out of them are all Veda aggravating.
Kimberly Snyder: What about honey Dr. Jay because I know we use raw honey, and I’m okay with honey in bee products. I’m vegan except for that, but with ethically sourced bee products, and I’ve been to the bee hives and I see how a lot of the bee keepers talk about the qualities of bees, and they’re meant to work. So, taking the honey in ethical ways, I don’t think hurts the bees. That’s my personal opinion. So, I’m okay with raw honey, I’m okay with bee pollen. But that is high glycemic food traditionally. Why is honey okay to consume and pacify? You know, I think you taught me in class the sweetness, the majora, the sweetness of it is actually good for Veda. So, why is that the exception?
Dr. Jay: So, look at the quantity. When it comes to sugar, man, we get so much of sugar when it comes to one serving of sugar, right?
Kimberly Snyder: Sure.
Dr. Jay: So, that’s what is, again, detrimental for people. A good sugar, like I would say think about maple syrup, or molasses, or jaggery. Something like that is much more heavier or low [inaudible 00:13:45] than the sugar.
Dr. Jay: Now, honey is a class apart because honey, the quantity that is recommended is very less than I would… Honey needs to be taken on every day basis, every day, regular basis. But the quantity is very less. A person has to take close to a teaspoon and a half of honey on a daily basis. So, it’s a very small quantity.
Dr. Jay: So, we don’t use honey for baking, cooking-
Kimberly Snyder: No, no.
Dr. Jay: No honey. So small amounts definitely triggers a lot of enzymatic actions because honey has any enzymes and it’s raw honey. [inaudible 00:14:21] ethically taken and a good quality honey, which is not pasteurized, has a lot of enzymes in it. So, our body needs those enzymes.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: Those enzymes are introduced into you, so by this your metabolism goes up. If your metabolism goes up, it helps to break toxins in your body. That [inaudible 00:14:44] takes a different role in Ayurvedic diet.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s amazing. Well, I definitely have a lot of honey Dr. Jay. Maybe sometimes more than a teaspoon and a half and that’s why you hear, we also talk about our digestive enzymes so much because taking digestive enzymes is really helpful as well.
Kimberly Snyder: So Dr. Jay. Okay, so anything high glycemic is imbalancing, you know, voiding excessive cold. We want the warm soups and stews. Is there any spices that every day foods that may be beneficial other times, but when we feel anxiety growing in our system, we’re going through a tough time that we actually want to avoid?
Dr. Jay: To a [inaudible 00:15:23] will be like if you want to, anything that doesn’t allow you to stop. This is a caution that people have to have. So, once they start eating something, like they took a chip, and they can not stop it, that is not a good food for you. If you’re anxious don’t have that habit of opening a bag of chips and then you start eating. They’re very dry, light, they feed on to this pattern of mind being hyper and the body being hyper. So, you don’t want that habit.
Dr. Jay: So, first thing, do not open a bag of chips when you are anxious.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay. Okay. But in general, are there any spices that you think are not helpful?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, so very good question. Anything that is more towards chilies, [inaudible 00:16:12] paprika.
Kimberly Snyder: Onions, garlic.
Dr. Jay: Onions and garlic, that are spicy. That means penetrating and spicing. Those need to be avoided because they also don’t have a substance to them. They can really aggravate the water, and also make the… For the time being, when they eat it, because the heat, they feel a little bit of relief from their anxiety but it will leave them more vulnerable for much more anxiety later.
What Switching Over To Calming The Nervous System Means
Kimberly Snyder: I see, I see. So, Dr. Jay, switching out over to calming the nervous system. As you mentioned, it’s not just the mind when we’re talking about Veda, and all this imbalance but nervous system has a big part that it can be very helpful in quelling anxiety. So, can you tell us a little bit about the Aryuvedic approach of working with the nervous system, why it’s so emphasized in RU Beta and the impact on anxiety?
Dr. Jay: So, nervous system is somewhat considered as a tissue that is like a bone marrow. It is covered with an envelope in a bone, hard tissue, and the brain, as well as the spinal cord is completely covered with a hard bone. So, that’s why it’s called… Anything covered with a bone is called bone marrow in Aryuvedic.
Dr. Jay: So, brain tissue is very essential for maintaining the rest of the body tissues because it’s the deepest tissue, one of the deepest tissue. So that gets depleted, Aryuvedic says that is not a good situation. Depleted here in the sense, not that tissues are getting shrunk or withering away. But it is because the quality of these tissues, because if you research you may know, Kimberly, that the nervous system has… A large amount of nervous system is made from fat cells.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes. Yes.
Dr. Jay: We call them a Schwann cells on the [inaudible 00:18:23]-
Kimberly Snyder: Yes. The whole lining is fat, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Jay: Exactly, exactly. So, to hold the impulse you need this insulation, right?
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: So, when Veda increases it takes away that insulation of fat because Veda is dry, it is cold, it is [inaudible 00:18:40] and light. So, it takes away the lubrication.
Kimberly Snyder: I see.
Dr. Jay: When the fat tissue starts depleting, then the nerve impulses starts falling. They don’t continue to the, or target area, they start falling. That’s why people become clumsy, and then their ideas are not carried. Plus, it’s [inaudible 00:19:01] the brain, and then they’ll start noticing its symptoms in the body too. They feel tired, they wake up tired. They feel like they can not carry out the complete day of activity. They’ll start working out, two days later the whole body hurts.
Dr. Jay: Such things happen because the nervous system is not nourished.
Kimberly Snyder: I see. So, again, back to healthy fat as a primary aspect. What else Dr. Jay, for nervous system?
Dr. Jay: So, nervous system, again the nervous system needs healthy grains too. Fermented food is great for the-
Kimberly Snyder: Did you say grains, Dr. Jay?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, grains and fermented grain. It’s like fermented food.
Ayurveda and Grains – To Be Or Not To Be
Kimberly Snyder: And yeah. So, let’s talk about that. We’ve talked about it before. There’s all these modern diets like KIDO and paleo, which say no grains, no grains. And you know, we always talk about, I eat gluten free but I eat grains every day. Can you talk about, why Ayurveda says grains are, should be, and are part of the diet, because I feel like there’s so much misinformation out there. All these healthy cultures sustain on grains.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. [inaudible 00:20:11] read this story to all our listeners. These diets, when they come out, I feel like there are four blind people, right? So, there’s four blind people here that there is an elephant that is coming to us-
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: Remember that story that I told [crosstalk 00:20:28]-
Kimberly Snyder: Tell us again.
Dr. Jay: So, these four blind people go, and they say, “Oh, I want to see the elephant.” So, they all decide. They go to the elephant and then, one stands near the tail, and [inaudible 00:20:42], which is just wagging. Then, he will just hold onto this tail. Then, he feels, oh there’s a [inaudible 00:20:49]. He thinks, “Oh, then the elephant is like a broomstick or a brush.” And then, the other one goes in and then, holds one of the legs of the thing. He says, “Oh, elephant is like a pillar. Elephant is like a pillar.” Another one holds its ears and says, “Oh, elephant is like a fan, a big fan that moves back and forth, back and forth.”
Dr. Jay: So, all of them come back, and they start, you know, discussing. They say, “Oh, elephant is a-“
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah.
Dr. Jay: … “broomstick. Elephant is a fan. Or elephant is a pillar.” None of them are wrong but they don’t have a complete picture.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: Right?
Kimberly Snyder: What does it mean with the grains?
Dr. Jay: The grains is that we need to eat grains. Grains have been in our diet for so long.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: That we are dependent on them. It’s like this. Yeah, about 50 years ago, the research stat showing that formation of plaques inside the cardiac heart, in the coronary arteries is because of the cholesterol or fat that is being consumed by us. So, they started completely cutting down on the fat. Then, so nowadays they say, “Oh, that was not the right thing to do because we need to define what the cholesterol is.”
Dr. Jay: It depends on the person, and their calorie intake, and et cetera, et cetera. So, now they are generalizing. So, same thing will happen to all these diets that are so strict that there’s one way of eating. Otherwise, how would we have so many types of cuisines with so many varieties of grains in it. Let’s talk about the blue zones. We have blue zones, right?
Kimberly Snyder: Oh yes.
Dr. Jay: All blue zones eat some kind of grain, period. Either it’s rice-
Kimberly Snyder: It’s across the board. And also, this whole caveman argument is something that Deepak and I wrote about in Radical Beauty, our book together. It was very conjectural when they created this. There’s actually been a lot of back and forth about, you know, they found a hand tool. I’ve seen that hand tool, the British Museum, it was actually says it could have been used for animals or it could have been used to break up tubers in the roots of trees. And you know, there’s just a lot of conjecture. They found ancient fossils with grain in their teeth.
Kimberly Snyder: So, this whole idea that cavemen didn’t eat grains at all, it wasn’t meant to be. We started cultivating it and farming much later. It doesn’t mean that it’s like a really healthy food that came about as we evolved. So, Dr. Jay, you and I very much share this philosophy where it can be part of the diet, it should be part of the diet. Healthy diets have a lot of grain. I’ll be… It can be sprouted and lectins can be removed, and they can be gluten free, but to eat a carb free life, that can also be… Tell us what that does to your brain, to your Veda Dr. Jay. Anxiety, right?
Dr. Jay: I’m laughing because we have evolved from a caveman long time ago. We want to go to-
Kimberly Snyder: No. Exactly.
Dr. Jay: Our philosophies have evolved. The caveman was always killing, hunting and all that. We are not that kind of people anymore. Our thoughts are evolved. We are much more a peace loving people nowadays, right? So, [crosstalk 00:24:10].
Dr. Jay: So, telling about the grains, grains are essential for the gut.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: So, for the proper functioning of the… No, the question about all these, you know, what happens with the grains, it is what we are doing with the grains. It’s not something that is happening. What the grains are, but it is how it is processed.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: Right? Once a grain is processed in a certain way and if your body doesn’t recognize it, that’s when you get reactions to it.
Kimberly Snyder: Right, right, right.
Dr. Jay: And then, if you eat whole grain versus processed grain, right, there’s a big difference because your body has a natural way of breaking down these grains. Nowadays what we do, we interfere with everything. That’s the thing, the storage, the combining, big time combining. Nobody knows why rise Keenwah. Never in human history, the Keenwah was cooked with wild rice and then eaten.
Kimberly Snyder: Right, right.
Dr. Jay: The body things, okay, this is not something that’s normal to me. This, I would alert my immune system because it’s not normal. Then, you will react to it forever. Whenever you eat wild rice, your body will react because your system is not recognizing it. It’s not-
Kimberly Snyder: It’s better to be simple and eat each, like one grain at a time.
Dr. Jay: Absolutely. You’ll have to stick on. There is… In cultures there was never a combination of four types of rice, three bags of Keenwah. We are just making it in a way that it is never before.
Self-Massage and Your Nervous System
Kimberly Snyder: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay, so Dr. Jay, thank you for that. Going back to the nervous system again to close out. So, we know fat is important, grains are important. Fermented foods, probiotics, and practice wise, we talk about self massage as being a huge, hugely important thing. Do you do Abiyanga every day Dr. Jay? Do you self massage?
Dr. Jay: Every day.
Kimberly Snyder: Every day?
Dr. Jay: Don’t you see oil on my head, on the hair?
Kimberly Snyder: So you leave it in? You don’t wash it out of your head?
Dr. Jay: Yes. I don’t-
Kimberly Snyder: Really?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, I just leave it on because [inaudible 00:26:22] says that if you have a little bit of oil on your hair, it slowly diffuses on to your facial skin, and the facial skin has more collagen.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. Well, Dr. Jay, what’s your secret for keeping your hair so black?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, simple as that. Just putting oil on the hair on a daily basis.
Kimberly Snyder: On your scalp? Or what if you have really long hair like me?
Dr. Jay: You don’t have to put all along, because nothing gets absorbed into the hair here.
Kimberly Snyder: Just here?
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Only the hair follicles. So, what you can do is put a few drops of the oil, maybe coconut oil, or sesame oil, or even herbalized oil, which is with some herbs that help hair, you know help. So, you put it on, you apply it only to the scalp. This also reduces anxiety believe it or not.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay.
Dr. Jay: When I was studying medical school I used to get headaches because you would-
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: … spend long hours studying, going to rounds with the teachers, with the clinicians. You don’t get enough sleep. One of the things that I discovered at the time when I was a student is putting oil on my scalp helped me tremendously to calm down my nervous system. And I was not feeling a sense of dryness, lack of a better word, in my brain.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, wow.
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: And you also do your whole body in the morning?
Dr. Jay: Correct.
Kimberly Snyder: I like doing it at night Dr. Jay because I feel like it calms me down at the end of the day.
Dr. Jay: Doesn’t matter. Either in the morning or in the evening, doesn’t matter. You have to do on a daily basis because what happens is it’s like a bank account where from your, you know it’s 401K for you. So you take a little bit away from your day to day things. You are deposit, deposit, deposit. And then you age, it prevents neurological diseases, joint diseases, it will make you look younger and age graciously.
Kimberly Snyder: How long does it take you to do the whole Abiyanga routine for yourself?
Dr. Jay: Six minutes.
Kimberly Snyder: Six minutes?
Dr. Jay: That’s it.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s just warming the oil, putting it all around your body, and then rinsing it off?
Dr. Jay: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: Amazing.
Dr. Jay: I hug myself. I have a way of doing it because I’ve done it so many years now. I have simultaneous massages on my elbows, my wrist, like this. So, I go one step at a time, starting from the neck and face. Yeah, I would recommend oil for the face, oil for the hair. Different oils.
Kimberly Snyder: And then, all the [inaudible 00:28:55]-
Dr. Jay: And entire body, yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, this is great. This motivates me Dr. Jay to get back on my daily routine. I have not been doing it every day. I’ve been doing it once in a while. So now, I want to do it every day. And so, rounding this out,
Dr. Jay, I’m interested in the herbalized oils. There’s one specifically for Veda and your company, Let’s All Be Healthy, also has these oils. Am I right?
Dr. Jay: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: For Abiyanga.
Dr. Jay: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: For all sorts of things.
Dr. Jay: Absolutely. Thank you for bringing that up because you know, people have to do this as a daily practice. So, your group that is so beauty oriented, inside out beauty, right?
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Dr. Jay: They can do an oil massage on their body. This is something that they can… I can bet and say [inaudible 00:29:42] has done this for 5,000 years. If it is recorded, the benefits of it, it’s such longstanding benefits that one can definitely count on to age slowly. So, they have to put… The oil that I can tell you is Maha Maraya Thailand. So, I can spell it out. We can put it on our notes here.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, well why don’t you send it to us Dr. Jay? We’ll add a direct length in the show notes if you beauties want to check it out. Dr. Jay also has amazing herbs, I take Shatavari, which I’ve gotten from Dr. Jay. I’ve taken Brahmi. I’ve also taken Amalaki, Dr. Jay. I have all these herbs, and I rotate them. Shatavari is a wonderful herb for women, which is something you can take pretty much long term, right Dr. Jay?
Dr. Jay: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. There was herbs that you take internally for maintaining health. They are called as health promotional herbs and they’re anti-aging in some way. Brain health from Brahmi, for example, can be excellent for anxiety. You know, that’s one of the great herbs to take for calming down the mind. Keeping the mind in its own rather than hyper vibration, you know?
Dr. Jay: So, that is one that you referred to, Brahmi, which is also can be taken as a tea, or can be taken as a honey paste. Your day of honey, you can mix it into the spoon. And in a teaspoon you can mix it and take it either in the morning or in the night really, or any period of time. It starts slowly benefiting your brain function.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow, wow.
Dr. Jay: Right? Amalaki is good for heart health and skin health.
Kimberly Snyder: Skin health, anti-aging.
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Shatavari is the deep female tonic that we recommend [inaudible 00:31:33]. So, what I wanted to tell our listeners is that go for an organic source. That’s the best way to… Buy it from our company or [inaudible 00:31:45] else or [inaudible 00:31:46] organic company. The demand on these herbs are so vastly increasing, if we don’t source it from organic then they go into extinction because people can extract it from the natural source, or in the wild. Then, they go into extinct. So, if you are [crosstalk 00:32:02]-
Kimberly Snyder: Right, you’re supporting it.
Dr. Jay: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, Dr. Jay, when you say… Go back to Shatavari for a second, it’s a tonic for women. It is good for women going through hormonal issues, fertility, all the way up through menopause, or is it more… Is it certain periods of a woman’s life that it’s more beneficial for?
Dr. Jay: No, you’re right Kimberly. All life long female can take Shatavari because there’s a word that we use in [inaudible 00:32:31], it’s called adipogenic. The adipogenic herbs will work according to your situation. Let’s say if somebody has hormonal imbalance, it will work on [inaudible 00:32:43]. Somebody has a lack of nutrients to meet the cycle. This will bring in the nutrients. If somebody has PMS symptoms, like they are going through emotional issues, it’ll balance the emotional issues. That’s one of the best qualities of Shatavari.
Kimberly Snyder: So, Shatavari is a female adaptogen?
Dr. Jay: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: Well we will lead to that in the show notes as well. Dr. Jay’s site is AtrayaAryuveda.com. We will link to it as well. As I mentioned, I trust Dr. Jay so much and, any and all Aryuvedic herbs that I personally use, that I’ve tried, have come from Dr. Jay. I’m going to get the Abiyanga oil too Dr. Jay. I have not tried that from you, but I’m excited to. So, Dr. Jay, thank you so much for being here with us today. Thank you for your infinite wisdom around Aryuveda and I just feel like there’s endless topics we could talk about.
Dr. Jay: Absolutely. Thank you for having me, and then, I think our listeners will start doing something external now. All these days we’ve been talking about internally [inaudible 00:33:43], now this is something that can calm down the nervous system that’s as simple as just applying a herbal oil on their body and taking shower.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s incredible, incredible. Well, thank you again Dr. Jay, so much, and I really appreciate you. I have so much gratitude for everything that you’ve taught me and all these amazing products you offer. So, beauties, I hope you too have enjoyed this interview with our incredible community resident Aryuveda expert, Dr. Jay, my personal teacher.
Kimberly Snyder: Thank you so much for logging in, tuning in. We love you so much. We will be back here Thursday for our Q&A podcast. Until then, please make sure to subscribe to leave us a review. Remember we had daily inspiration for you as well on Instagram, which is @_kimberlysnyder. Til then, take care, go start those oil massages, and we will be back here with you on Thursday.