The doctor’s simple prescription: “Go play with kids!”
How a simple behavior change can turn your life around!
At the recent 3rd Annual Sivananda Ayurveda Conference, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar gave a workshop on Achara Rasayana, or behavioral medicine. The concept of Achara Rasayana is unique to Ayurveda, and emphasizes behavioral patterns as the method to naturally rejuvenate the body and mind.
This is the highest form of preventative and curative medicine, and involves no consumption of any remedy or recipe. Simply live in ways that allow for optimal health!
Dr. Kshirsagar told a brilliant story that illustrates this concept beautifully. Early in his career, Dr. Kshirsagar worked as an assistant to Dr. Brihaspati Dev Triguna, a highly revered Ayurvedic Doctor.
One day, a man came to see Dr. Triguna. He was sharply dressed in a business suit, and came with a carefully prepared, labeled, organized file which explained in careful detail all his ailments. According to Dr. Kshirsagar, he was clearly very pitta – or as some would say, a “Type A”, high-strung personality. Upon entering Dr. Triguna’s office, the doctor looked him over briefly, said simply “go play with kids” and dismissed him.
The man was first puzzled, then outraged. “What do you mean, go play with kids?! What else? I took time off work, traveled a great distance to see you, prepared this extensive file, and all you tell me is to GO PLAY WITH KIDS?!”
“Yes,” replied Dr. Triguna. “Go play with kids.”
The man stormed out of the doctor’s office, headed to the reception desk, and asked Dr. Kshirsagar and others who worked there just what the doctor meant by that. “He meant, go play with kids,” said Dr. Kshirsagar.
The man left, clearly very upset and disappointed.
A short while later, while on his way back home, the man called the office. Again he asked, “what did the doctor mean?”
“He meant to go play with kids,” the receptionist responded. The man hung up.
A few weeks later he called back. “OK, I decided to do what the doctor recommends. I found a preschool near where I live, and have made arrangements to spend time there everyday before work.”
“Great,” said the office staff.
A few months passed, and the man called back. “I’ve been playing with kids every day since I visited you, and my life has completely turned around! I no longer need my blood pressure or ulcer medications. I am sleeping better and enjoying my life more. My assistant told me today that she doesn’t know what it is that I’m doing, but to keep it up, because I’m a lot more pleasant to be around and seem much happier! I can’t believe how something so simple has changed my life so dramatically.”
This is a perfect example of how a change in lifestyle can be all that is required to restore health and happiness.
Are there behavioral changes that you could make in your own life to enhance your quality of life?
By Marisa Laursen, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda