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My first experiences of Ayurveda

I spent 6 months living in an ashram in India. It was was there that I first encountered Ayurveda, India’s 5000 year old indigenous healing science. I had mysteriously begun experiencing intense leg pain while standing. An ashram friend advised me to see a particular Ayurvedic practitioner in Bombay. When I walked into Dr. Bhat’s office he sat me down and began reading my pulse without even asking me why I had come. He was focused and silent, lifting his middle three fingers up and down on my wrist as though he were playing a trumpet. When he finished his pulse examination he told me why I had come! He wanton to discuss a problematic condition with one of my organs, attributing its root cause to unresolved emotions which he labelled so accurately it was frightening. I was awestruck at the depth and precision of his diagnosis. He sent me off with a packet of tiny herbal pills and practically overnight the pain in my legs disappeared. Wow!


Seven months after returning to the US a lump appeared the base of my neck and grew to the size of an egg. My doctor tried to get a biopsy, jabbing my neck 4 times without success and without novocaine! He didn’t get a fifth try; I excused myself, and drove home. I longed for the gentle and accurate diagnosis of an Ayurvedic doctor and even considered returning to India to see Dr. Bhat. That proved unnecessary. Miraculously, the next day I walked into my rural Connecticut health food store just as the owner was unpacking a large shipment of books. One of them was, Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing by Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc. I bought the book and finished it by the following afternoon. The back cover showed  Vasant Lad’s photo with a brief bio saying he had recently established an Ayurvedic teaching institute in Albuquerque. Without hesitation I called to inquire if I could come to New Mexico to see him. He told me he would be in Philadelphia in 10 days and suggested I see him there at the close of a weekend workshop. He looked at my face, read my pulse, again with 3 fingers, examined my tongue, and palpated the lump. He referred to it as a 2 inch tumor and reassured me not to worry – he would help me. He suggested several diet and lifestyle changes, sent me a variety of herbs to take orally, and prescribed specific gemstones and jewelry to wear in specific ways. Miraculously, the tumor started shrinking. Within four and a half months it was completely gone! I am eternally grateful that this ancient and effective system of wisdom and healing is still being practiced today. and is gaining global recognition.