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5 Benefits of Practicing Daily Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is now a common practice by persons targeting deep tissues including ligaments, tendons and joints. This involves limited movements where a person stays in one position for an extended period of time, usually between 3 and 5 minutes. The poses involved work great for parts of the body with more connective including thighs, pelvis, spine and hips among others. Most of the poses involved are practiced when lying or sitting on the floor, and these are usually held for around three to five minutes. It is, therefore, important to wear comfortable clothing. As a beginner, you should not aim to hold the poses for long, but you should start with what you can handle without overstretching your limits. It will only be a matter of time before you start noticing some improvements.

The major benefits that you will enjoy when practicing Yin Yoga include:

1. Strengthening connective tissues: There are numerous functions associated with the body’s connective tissues with some good examples being promoting mobility, maintaining posture and promoting the proper function of blood vessels among others. By practicing Yin Yoga, you will be strengthening these tissues, and they will be performing their functions more efficiently. This will also help to reduce cases of injuries.

2. Improved energy flow: You can rely on Yin yoga to enhance the flow of energy through various body channels and this helps to boost the health functions of different organs. These exercises are also known for boosting the body’s immunity and slowing some signs of aging like wrinkles and receding vision among others.

3. Improved flexibility: Most people only come to learn of connective tissues after being involved in injuries like a blown out knee, strained spine and sprained ankles among others. Yin yoga helps to gently stretch the limits of tissues like tendons and joint ligaments, therefore, helping to improve flexibility in such areas. This means that your body will now be prepared for more challenging situations.

4. Reducing stress: Due to our current lifestyle, most of us are stressful which greatly affects our performance, feelings and even thoughts. These leads to health problems like hypertension, heart ailments and diabetes among others. You can reduce stress by practicing Yin Yoga since the deep exercises are known to calm the mind. This prepares the body to handle even more stressful situations.

5. Increased circulation: Poor blood and fluid circulation in the body can contribute to numbness and tingling in various parts like hands and toes among others. Holding some of the poses involved in Yin yoga will greatly help you to improve circulation in vital body organs like the spine and glands. This also promotes better flow of synovial fluids thus improving mobility in joints like knees and pelvis.

You should take the time to find reputable Yin yoga trainers to ensure that all poses involved are safe and that these are practiced the right way. This will help to enhance effectiveness and limit cases of injuries.

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Anusara Vs Iyengar Yoga – Are They the Same?

Yoga has branched out into many categories based on the different philosophies behind them. Some are rapid paced and better suited for individuals looking for a fast track program, while other are slow paced and suit the needs of people doing yoga for meditational purposes only. Most are a combination of both, creating a well balanced mind and body workout for the overall well being.

Here we will compare the similarities and differences between two popular forms of yoga; Anusara and Iyengar. They both have a lot of similarities, as the founder of Anusara; John Friend was initially a pupil of the founder of Iyengar, B.K.S. Iyengar. John studied under Guru Iyengar for a number of years and was a certified Iyengar instructor in USA before introducing Anusara. After practicing Iyengar for a number of years, John Friend realized that his philosophies were not completely consistent with B.K.S. Iyengar’s. So he developed the Anusara with the basic structure of both being similar to each other in terms of focusing mainly on proper alignment.

Even though Iyengar is alignment oriented, it endorses strength building whereas Anusara is more fluid and promotes heart opening poses. Anusara also differs from Iyengar because of its use of Tantric teachings. These reflect the Hindu or Buddhist religious ideas to improve the mind and body in a positive way. Another difference is that Iyengar leads the yogi through a series of poses that are held for a longer duration, whereas Anusara follows a flow of postures with smooth transition between each change. This creates a very fluid yoga session and relaxes the mind to focus on the heart.

The Iyengar practice and Anusara follow the same foundation about alignment, but because of the different philosophical views, Anusara is more detail oriented towards the subtle body and the energetic body which are called energy spirals and Iyengar is more inclined towards the technical orientation.

The word Anusara means to move with the flow of grace, so it leans towards opening each and every part of the soul and viewing it as something sacred or as a supreme consciousness. Unlike the Iyengar, Anusara does not divide the body into two different systems; the spirit and body; instead the body is disciplined to penetrate the spirit and view the whole as something beautiful, worthy and divine.

So if someone has attended both Iyengar and Anusara classes, they can easily point out the similarities as well as the differences. People who are more laid back prefer to follow the Anusara path whereas people who are more rigid in their lives tend to pursue the Iyengar method of alignment as it provides a certain set of rules for them. It is all entirely up to the student to choose between the two, and some end up following both alternately.

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Yoga, Good Luck, and Positive Energy

Are Yoga, Good Luck, and Positive Energy, connected? In one word, the answer is: Absolutely! Yoga creates positive energy, and positive thinking, within your mind. If you practice Yoga, you will develop a passion for life. Due to continuous Yoga practice, you look forward to each breath of fresh air and each morning’s bird song.

Every form of Yoga develops your holistic health to be the best it can be. Yoga helps you to develop better health habits. Many people ignore the cumulative effect of habits. This is a shame, because mildly destructive habits can be “headed off at the pass.”

At the same time, if you institute good daily habits such as: Drinking good quality water, eating wisely, exercising, reading, praying, and meditating, you will notice a profound change within you. You are also likely to live a longer, healthier, and happier life.

When you make profound, positive changes in life, your self-image will also change, and you will notice your self-confidence “comes to light.” When you have a positive view of yourself, this will become your positive outlook on life. Your view has changed because of the changes within you.

You will begin to see opportunities that occur each week. With your new found self-confidence, you begin to take a calculated approach toward these opportunities. None of this is mere chance, but a measured formula for success.

Was any of this luck? If you wish to count on luck, contemplate “good luck,” at all times. Learn from mistakes and move on. The images you create, within your mind, will determine your path in life. Envision good luck, take calculated steps toward it, and do not quit. Yoga is a science of life, which can make positive changes in your life – and the lives of those around you.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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How to Make Yourself Taller Naturally – Sure Shot Ways to Grow Taller and Gain Height Quickly!

Good height is an additional factor to your personality. People try hard to gain a few inches in case they are not satisfied. Though there are several ways that may help you get taller, natural ways are always advisable over the artificial ones. In case you are looking for some sure shot ways to get taller naturally then these details may help you.

How to Make Yourself Taller Naturally

* Proper diet: The best possible natural ways to make your self taller is the right diet. You need to take the right amount of nutrients. Take plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables every day. In order to get taller, you need to take good amount of proteins as they are responsible for the proper growth and development of your body. You may also take some vitamin supplements.

* Exercises: Exercises are considered to be the safest way to make your self taller. Stretching exercises alone can help you add around 3 inches to your actual height. In order to enhance the results combine some cardio drills with these stretching exercises. 30 minutes of daily work out may prove really beneficial to you. This height increasing method is recommended by the medical experts and trainers as well.

* Yoga: Yoga also helps you in getting taller naturally. Asanas like the Tadasana and suryanamaskara help in adding some extra inches. These are also very easy to do and can be done without any trainer.

* HGH boosters: You may also gain some extra height by boosting the human growth hormone naturally. This is possible through the right diet. You may also take some natural supplements that help you do this.

These natural ways are inexpensive and do not have any adverse effects. On the other hand some measures like limb lengthening, HGH pills and chemical supplements may cause some side effects. They are also very expensive. So, you must always consult your physician before trying any of them.

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Five Benefits of Wearing a T-Shirt Bra

Most of the women still don’t know the difference between an ordinary bra and a t-shirt bra; the latter is quite in demand in the market because those women, who know about it, don’t wish to get out of it. No matter what kind of an innerwear you wear, if you are not comfortable in it, you can’t stand the thought of living without it.

But are there are benefits of wearing a specific type of bra?

Yes – I am here to tell you about the top five advantages of wearing the famous t-shirt bra. Read below to know about them:

1) They don’t make you look bulky at all: Even if you belong to the plus size category, you deserve to look slimmer and prettier. But how can you look good when you are chubby? Don’t worry – all you need to do is select the right kind of bra to wear inside those t-shirts that you wear, casually and regularly. Once you wear such innerwear, you know that there is absolutely nothing that you need to be worried about, with regards to your figure.

2) You can wear them to gym as well: It is quite difficult for you to buy sports-bras, for they are quite expensive. Also, the worst thing is to decide which innerwear to wear when you want to go to the gym. After all, you can’t expect yourself to be bouncing while working out! Thus, you need an innerwear, which keeps you firm and comfortable to workout in any way that you wish to. Such bras help you with the same.

3) You can do your jogging, brisk walking and even your regular Yoga in them: It doesn’t matter if you want to jog, brisk walk or simply perform your early morning Yoga Asanas in your t-shirt bra, if you are wearing one, there is absolutely nothing else that you need to feel stiff and at peace. Run as much as you want to – no one would dare look at you because you are in the most appropriate clothing, when you wear a nice t-shirt bra!

4) They are not wired at all: If you are aware about the causes behind breast cancer, you surely know that wired bras are contributing factors to this illness. If you wish to fight the symptoms, switch to t-shirt bras and notice the development in your health.

5) They keep you away from breast cancer: As mentioned earlier, since these bras have no wires under them, you feel comfortable, without having any support from artificial things. When you wear such an innerwear, you do your part to keep yourself away from this terrible illness.

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Denial of Marriage in Astrology

Around the world the marriage plays a vital role in every society. Generally, everybody thinks how, when and where the marriage take place. Unlike other important factors of human existence, marriage is an indispensable issue. But in some cases the individuals live without marriage at all.

Factors responsible for denial of marriage

· The planet Venus, which is the significator of marriage for males

· The Jupiter which is the significator of marriage for females

· The 7th, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and the 8thlords are responsible for married life.

· The placement of other planets and the aspects of the planets to the above houses are to be studied

· Denial of marriage is possible where there is strong malefic influence to the 7th house, 7th lord, Venus, Jupiter, 2nd house, and 2nd lord

Different combinations for denial of marriage

· If the 7th lord/planets present in 7th house are infant/old age/debilitated/combust/afflicted/weak/in inimical sign

· The lord of 7th house is situated in 6th, 8th or 12th house [inauspicious houses] or in inimical sign without the association of any benefice planet

· The lords of 6th, 8th and 12th houses are in the 7th house

· The lord of 7th house is also the lord of 6th, 8th and 12th house

· Venus combines with Saturn and Mars and situated in 7th house from Moon.

· If the ascendant and 7th lord combines in an inauspicious house the native will not marry at all

· Saturn in Scorpio and Moon aspects it, no marriage

· In male horoscope Moon/Venus occupies Capricorn and Saturn aspect it from an inauspicious house, denotes no marriage

· In the case of female horoscope, Sun/Jupiter occupies Capricorn and the Saturn aspect from an inauspicious house denies married life.

· A very practical combination has been watched over a pretty long time for extremely delayed and denied of marriage is – if Moon-Mars-Ketu [dragon tail] are in a line in a horoscope without having any planets between them

· Two malefic planets in 7th and 12th house and Moon occupies the 5th house

· Venus and Mars combines in 5th/7th/9th houses

BY GEETA JHA [SPIRITUAL HEALER] – INDIA

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Tantric Male Sexual Energy – Understanding Ancient Occult Sexual Teachings Using Modern Revelations

“Sexual energy” is one of the most important energies people have. This is based on Tantra and other teachings. Surely, such energies can be imagined to exist in our minds; however, what kind of modern “scientific” explanations might we be able to use to help identify this “energy” and its importance?

Let’s look at the composition of sperm and seminal fluid. These exotic substances, while seemingly easy to create (as they are created constantly in the male) are some of the most difficult substances for the body to actually manufacture. Apart from its “spiritual” presence, the human body is a huge chemical engineering plant. Food stuffs enter this facility, plus oxygen and liquids, and our body converts these raw materials into substances that allow the body to survive and properly reproduce and function.

Manufacturing, for the human male, these substances excreted during orgasm with accompanying ejaculation, deprives the body of these substances and their valuable ingredients. As was mentioned earlier, these substances are very expensive and difficult for your body to create. Some estimate that to manufacture a teaspoon of seminal fluid uses more energy and substances, by the body, than to make what is required to manufacture ten liters of blood. This is hardly surprising when we learn that cerbro-spinal fluid is made up of similar chemical elements as seminal fluid. Cerebro-spinal fluid is the substance which feeds your brain and spinal cord. It also provides a cushion for the brain (inside the bony skull) and the spinal cord (inside the bony vertebrae).

Once we understand that these male orgasmic fluids have exotic and much-needed ingredients and that it takes an enormous amount of energy to create/replace such substances, this helps us understand a little bit about the importance of these ejaculated substances.

This is why, in certain Tantra practices, it is ill-advised for the male to waste such substances. In Tantra we learn about recycling sexual energy and employing this sexual energy with orgasm; without the loss of these valuable and precious body commodities through ejaculation (orgasm without ejaculation).

Sperm, too, are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. Scientists are now understanding that sperm actually are quite intelligent little critters who are ready for the battle of their lives. What does this mean? It means that if one man’s sperm is ejaculated inside a woman’s vagina that has sperm from another man (that has recently been deposited), that the two tribes of sperm will go to war with each other. Sperm are so smart that they form blockades and formations to stop the other man’s sperm from reaching the egg. They will also attack and kill enemy sperm with deadly enzymes. It’s truly survival of the fittest and the man with the strongest sperm will win.

Modern science has revealed to us that sperm are a little more than just a microscopic entity in a man’s ejaculate. They think. They know. They are alive. They are Intelligent. They are an extension of our “complete” being and existence. Indeed, this clearly implies that there is a strong and potent energy that resides within them and that they are an integral part of this energy; an energy that is our own and taps into the life-force of all living things. Lucky for us, this energy is the primordial basis of our entire existence; it is the most primal form of energy that man can easily understand and exploit (if desired). And why not? It’s the genomic cornerstone and harbinger of what we will be and are.

Need we even go into the fact that the sperm in a man’s ejaculate is the precursor for creating life (with the female egg, of course)? Real life. You know, the kind of life that the most brilliant scientists in the world can’t create, from scratch, in a laboratory or test tube. Sperm are infused with an energy and life-force that is a direct link to the God-force of Nature.

Is it the sperm, alone, who possess such energy? Not entirely. This “energy” is also embedded in the seminal-fluid composite. The seminal fluid is a reductive-patterned state of our etheric: A spermal etheric. The seminal fluid is the protective and comforting amniotic fluid of the sperm. Without it, the acidity of the vagina would be so intense that it would kill these sperm; it helps insulate the sperm against thermal threats in/from the vagina; it allows the sperm a makeshift ecosystem/environment in which to survive while in the vagina; and this fluid also provides food and nutrition for the sperm. Without all of these things, the sperm will perish soon after entering the vagina and fertilization will not occur.

The wasting of a man’s ejaculate has been criticized and condemned by many “groups” over the years. It’s no wonder, as this fluid is truly priceless to the body. Could there be even more evidence to back this up, apart from some philosophical and religious teachings?

The answer is: “Yes.” Unless a woman irrigates her vagina after a male has ejaculated inside of her, these fluids (if they do not “leak” out) will be absorbed by her [body]. The best method of absorption is to fall asleep directly after sex. Without the presence of an axial-gravity-defined force, these substances will be trapped inside of her. These fluids actually have an opiate affect on women; and women, believe it or not, can actually become addicted and reliant upon their influence. These fluids have proven to decrease pain, decrease the frequency and intensity of menstrual cramps, decrease the intensity and frequency of headaches, decrease the length and degree of insomnia, and to help give her a sense of warmth and relaxation. Women who have been under the chronic influence of ejaculate, from vaginal absorption, will negatively respond if these materials are removed and her access to such materials is further prevented.

Clearly this shows that even a man’s sexual partner can put these fluids to wonderful use. These items are so valuable to the female partner, even if she doesn’t utilize them for fertilization purposes, that she absorbs them (and their nutrients) because of their ability to make her feel stronger, happier, and physically healthier.

Note, too, that sperm that are not ejaculated by the male — once they die — will be re-absorbed (naturally) by his own body for breakdown and [their elements] will be used for future sperm manufacturing or usage(s) in helping other bodily functions and/or the manufacture of other chemical compounds the body needs.

Surely, this makes one wonder if seminal fluid is as fantastic as it seems…

Well, yes: This fluid contains the “life force,” is filled with thriving and intelligent sperm, is an extremely valuable commodity (from a raw material point-of-view), its waste robs the nervous system of much needed and valued nutrients, it takes enormous amounts of energy for the body to manufacture these substances, and will even be absorbed by the female partner for private use instead of being discharged from her system as useless waste.

But, wait, there’s more: Scientific studies have proven that women are more attracted to men with a higher quality and quantity of sperm. These are men the test subjects have never met, touched, smelt, seen naked, had sex with, or have even heard their voices. Amazingly enough, healthy sperm emit an energy that women, both innately and unconsciously, are drawn to. But not only does this “magnetism” play a role, but may also influence whether she finds a particular male partner attractive or not.

Tantric study teaches us to respect and appreciate these amazing sexual fluids. This is why a man uses Tantric sex to recycle internal sexual energies to conserve this energy for internal-personal use and not waste it through ejaculation. However, when the time is right to share these energies, with the right partner, he gladly gives his energy to her. In return, she completes the balance and gives her energy to him.

So, just as is depicted with the architectural reliefs at the Khajuraho Tantric temples in India, we notice many different forms of sexuality that were purposely depicted to forever remind the future of the past; so that such ideals and teachings would never be lost. Of those Tantric forms of sexuality that are so indelibly displayed, to share and preserve, was the act of autofellatio and autocunnilingus.

Good luck in exploring your Sexual Energy.

Exploring unconventional methods of sexuality; methods that our ancestors enjoyed and impassioned themselves with, is one of my interests. Those men and women who are interested in autofellatio should read Yogafellatio. It is a book that helps guide men down this sexually exciting and interesting path.

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4 Stages of a Proper Workout Session

4 important steps in a proper workout.

Step One: Start with a warm up.

Warm-up is not stretching, as what we have been taught in schools. Start with light cardio work to warm up those muscles. Take about 5 to 10 min of lighter workout at the bike or treadmill.

When you stretch when your muscles are cold, you may end up spraining it.

After the warm up cardio, you may stretch if you wish.

Step Two: Actual Workout

You may now start with more intensive cardio workout. You should not do intensive cardio for more than an hour as it will deplete the critical glycogen storage in your muscles. After cardio, you may perform a bit of weight training.

Step Three: Cool-down- (light cardio)

When you do intensive cardio or weight lifting, lactic acid may accumulate in your muscles. The only way to get rid of it from your muscles- is by movement & circulation- so, just like your warm-up, you do light cardio for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step Four- Stretching.

Experience sore muscles or stiffness after your workout? Or having to endure sore muscles for few days after workout? I strongly recommend that you incorporate stretching in your post workout. Do not underestimate the power of stretching. Incorporate stretching after your workout and you will feel great- you’ll walk easier and it will lessen your muscle sprain or injury. I speak from my personal experience- this really works. For a good cool down, spend about at least 10 minutes.

Start with some leg and hamstring stretches. Do some sun salutation, triangle post, spinal twist, followed by waist and arms stretch. Or else, you can skip Step Three and Four and replace it with yoga/ Pilates class. Warmed muscles work extremely well with yoga and Pilates- you will find yourself sweating like you have never been before.

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Iritis, Inflammation of the Eye

Uveitis (Iritis) Explained

Uveitis defined is inflammation of the Uvea’, the middle layer of the eye. This consists of 3 structures the Iris, Ciliary body and choroid. Inflammation occurring in any of these structures is termed Uveitis’. Inflammation of the Iris is termed Iritis.

Iritis is an auto-immune disease to which symptoms can include redness of the eye, light sensitivity, floaters, blurry vision and pain.

Treatment for Iritis may include steroid drops, injections or pills as well as eye drops to dilate the pupil and reduce the pain.

An attack of Iritis may happen unexpectedly and can be linked to a myriad of conditions such as the Auto-Immune Diseases IBS, Arthritis, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Crohns, Colitis to name but a few. However in the majority of cases of Iritis the cause is still unknown and doctors can only test for the above to rule out any significance.

Prevention of Iritis is impossible to pinpoint as no one knows why people have recurrent attacks at particular times. However there is scientific evidence that stress may be a key factor.

The side effects of taking steroid drops can be an increase in pressure in the eye to above normal levels. Your Ophthalmologist will measure the pressure in your eye to discover if it normal. Complications can arise from high pressure such as Glaucoma, Cataracts or new blood vessel formation.

My Story

I was diagnosed with Iritis 5 years ago. Arbitrary attacks plagued me, resulting in severe pains around the eyes, photo-sensitivity,’ red eye’, debilitating fatigue and general malaise. My eyes became addicted to the steroid drops that I was prescribed and every time I tried to discontinue the drops another attack would occur.

Frustrated by the lack of support from doctors who could not diagnose an underlying cause I felt I had no choice but to investigate matters myself.

After much research I was lucky enough to find a Naturopath (A person who practices naturopathy, a therapy of natural remedies, who looks at the body as a whole to treat the underlying cause of illness.) that specialised in Iritis; they worked on the premise that most itis’ conditions are linked in someway to a toxic bowel.

I undertook numerous blood tests which diagnosed an imbalanced endocrine system, extremely low cortisol levels and low functioning adrenals. I also endured a full dental clean-up (I had a lot of mercury-based fillings), followed that up with chelation (removal of heavy metals from the body).

Throughout the last couple of years I have consistently cleansed my system of parasites, fungi (Candida), and other harmful pathogens; maintained a healthy low GI diet; consumed numerous herbal tinctures, vitamins and detox products. I have practiced yoga, received massage, Acupuncture and Reiki to combat stress and reduced high-impact exercise.

To conclude, I think the underlying cause to my Iritis was the mercury toxicity, systematically causing acute Candida; an imbalanced hormonal activity, toxified bowel, leaky gut and a tense, stressed body which all contributed to inflammation.

I am no means cured but I do feel vastly improved. I am weaning myself gradually off the steroid drops and feel that I have finally turned a corner from this debilitating disease. Through all my research I now understand how my body works and treat it with the respect it deserves; overcoming my anxiety of Iritis’ I am no longer fearful of the next attack.

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The Ayurvedic Approach to Breast Health

The Ayurvedic Approach to Breast Health

Like all tissues and organs in the human body, the female breasts are multidimensional in function. Their most recognized function is as exocrine glands, producing breast milk for the newborn, a function common to all mammalian species. Given the multidimensional functions of the breasts, a discussion of breast health approaches could be complex. Therefore, in this article we will limit our discussion to what women can do from the Ayurvedic perspective to reduce their chances of developing the most dangerous of breast diseases: breast cancer.

First let’s briefly review some simple breast anatomy. Mammary glands are basically highly modified and specialized sebaceous glands which derive from embryonic ectoderm. The adult breast consists of glandular tissue, adipose tissue (fat cells), nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics. Anatomically it overlies the pectoralis major muscle and is anchored to the pectoralis fascia by suspensory ligaments known as Cooper’s ligaments (not shown). The breast contains about 15 to 25 lobes formed by groups of “milk glands”, or lobules. Each lobule is composed of hollow milk producing acini (also called alveoli), and feeds into a milk duct leading to the nipples. The ducts converge near the areola, the darker area round the nipple, to form ampullae or milk storage cavities. Around the areola are small glands known as Montgomery’s glands which secrete an oily substance that protects the nipples during nursing. Lymph nodes within the breast drain into the axillary lymph nodes in the armpit-the first place to which breast cancer will typically metastasize.

What Is Breast Cancer? The Western View

Cancer is fundamentally a disease of failure of regulation of tissue growth. In order for a normal cell to transform into a cancer cell, the genes which regulate cell growth and differentiation must be altered. A gene is a specific sequence of DNA at a specific location within a specific chromosome. Only 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited; the vast majority is due to sporadic, acquired mutations.

The affected genes are divided into two broad categories. Oncogenes are genes which promote cell growth and reproduction. Tumor suppressor genes are genes which inhibit cell division and survival. Malignant transformation can occur through the formation of abnormal oncogenes, the inappropriate over-expression of normal oncogenes, or by the under-expression or complete arrest of tumor suppressor genes. Typically, changes in many genes are required to transform a normal cell into a cancer cell.

Large-scale mutations involve a deletion or gain of a portion of a chromosome. Gene amplification occurs when a cell gains many copies (often 20 or more) of a small chromosomal locus, usually containing one or more oncogenes and adjacent genetic material. Translocation occurs when two separate chromosomal regions become abnormally fused, often at a distinct location. Disruption of a single gene may also result from integration of genomic material from a DNA virus or retrovirus, and resulting in the expression of viral oncogenes in the affected cell and its descendants, but this is not the case in breast cancer.

The transformation of normal breast cells into cancer is akin to a chain reaction caused by initial errors, which compound into more severe errors, each progressively allowing the cell to escape the controls that limit normal tissue growth. This renegade-like scenario causes an undesirable survival of the fittest, where the natural forces of evolution become distorted and work against the body’s design and harmonious order. If the rate of DNA damage exceeds the capacity of the cell to repair it, the accumulation of errors can overwhelm the cell and result in early senescence, apoptosis, or cancer. Once cancer has begun to develop, it uses the body’s own design to serve its own destructive and invasive purposes.

What Is Breast Cancer? The Ayurvedic View

The female breasts are predominantly Kapha organs, having a fatty nature and producing milk, a Kapha fluid. Breast cancer is a tridoshic (involving all three doshas) disorder of breast tissue. Causes are both hereditary and acquired; the acquired causes being physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental. Breast cancer is ultimately caused by blockage and flow irregularities at both the gross and imperceptibly subtle levels of several srotamsi (channel systems).

Dietary and other physical factors can help to cause breast cancer, or to trigger the disease in one who already has the hereditary tendency. Breast cancer, like any malignant or degenerative disease, may be the result of prolonged wrong diet, wrong lifestyle, or prajnaparadha (mistake of the intellect). Wrong regimen leads first to accumulation of doshas, then in time to acute illnesses. If those illnesses are treated improperly, that is, if the excess doshas (the three body humors) are not expelled and ama (toxins) is not purified, then the imbalance is driven deeper, resulting in chronic complaints. If these chronic complaints in turn go untreated or are treated by suppressive methods without expelling doshas or cleansing ama, then the excess doshas will localize in the most toxic or most vulnerable tissue, in this case breast tissue, to create sannipatika gulma, a malignant tumor.

Cancer in Äyurveda is not seen as a discrete disease, but a milestone on the continuum of doshic aggravation, ama (toxic waste) accumulation, and srotodushti (channel blockage). A pernicious energy gains access to the individual through the diet, the emotions, the environment, or even the karmic-influenced internal momentum of one’s life. Although modern medicine has disproven any appreciable connection between fibrocystic breasts or fibroadenoma to breast cancer, Ayurveda considers both of these benign conditions to be stages in the breast cancer samprapti. Cancer is a deepening pattern of internal disconnection from the body-mind’s greater intelligence which eventually begins to exhibit its own warped purpose, momentum, and direction.

Importance of Srotamsi (Channels of Circulation) in Breast Cancer

The entire fifth chapter of the Vimanasthana Section of the Charaka Samhita is devoted to the detailed description of the srotamsi and their importance in health and disease. The body and mind contains a large number of srotas or channels through which the basic tissue elements, doshas, and malas circulate. These channels are called srotas (plural srotamsi). Srotas, meaning channels or pores, are present throughout the visible body as well as at the “invisible” or subtle level of the cells, molecules, atoms, and subatomic strata. It is through these channels that nutrients and other substances are transported in and out of our physiology. It is also through these channels that information and intelligence spontaneously flow. When the flow of appropriate nutrients and energies through these channels is unimpeded, there is health; when there is excess, deficiency, or blockage in these channels disease can take root.

The channels are, to a certain extent, similar to the different physiological systems of Western medicine (e.g. arteries, veins, nerves, digestive tract, etc.) but also contain subtler energies comparable to the meridian system of Chinese medicine.

The movements of energy in all srotamsi are directly influenced by stimuli that arise in the mind, which are conveyed by the Vata energy. Hence mental disturbances, both conscious and unconscious, can cause disorders in any of the channels.

Excessive or deficient mental activity can cause excess or deficient flow in the channels of the body. Emotional outbursts or lack of mental control have effects that are analogous to surges in the channels of the physical body and can produce such conditions as in strokes, heart attacks, hyperventilation, tremors, etc.

Stanya vaha srota, which consists of the milk-producing apocrine cells of the lobules, the related pituitary hormones (i.e. prolactin), the ducts, ampullae, and nipple, is the main srota involved in breast cancer.

Artava vaha srotas, which consists of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, their hormones (i.e. estrogen, progesterone), secretions and connective tissues and related pituitary hormones (i.e. FSH, LH) all belong to artava vaha srotas–the channels carrying out female reproductive functions. The breasts are also included in this system.

Each lunar cycle between menarche and menopause, the proliferation of epithelial cells lining the breast’s lobular acini (increasing from one to two layers) occurs during the luteal phase. The breast epithelium, unlike the endometrium of the uterus, cannot be shed at the end of the cycle; regression at the end of the cycle is by apoptosis (self-programmed cell death). The apoptotic residue (ama) is plentiful within the lumens toward the late luteal phase of the cycle. Efficient removal of this material is essential for the breast tissue to remain healthy and vital.

Samprapti (Pathogenesis)

Due to uncorrected exposure for a sufficient period of time to nidanas–internal and external causes of doshic vitiation–(a few common examples described below), the doshas can become aggravated and begin a sequence of pathological steps culminating in the creation of a disease state. The term “samprapti” (from the root “Ap” to cause, arrive, reach or obtain; “sam” conjunction, union, intensity, completeness) refers to this sequence of doshic-related pathology triggered by one or more nidanas (causes). Let us consider a brief explanation of this sequence.

First, one or more doshas begins to accumulate somewhere in the body and soon becomes vitiated (aggravated). Next, the aggravated dosha spills over and begins to spread. In the case of breast cancer, it may enter the stanya vaha srota or another associated srota. When it reaches a vulnerable or somewhat weakened area or organ of the body, it will stagnate there and begin to mix with and disturb the structure and function of the local tissues including sometimes cellular DNA. The tissues of the body, when spoken of in their healthy state are of course called the dhatus; however when we speak of these same tissues with regard to their mixing with vitiated doshas, we always refer to the tissues as dushyas.

This dosha-dusyas sammurcchana is the actual disease process (sammurcchana means “interaction”). The interaction of the doshas and dushyas, together with the specific effect from the site or organ involved (adhisthana) leads to the development first of specific prodromal features, and then of the main symptoms, of a disease. Involvement of primarily Kapha might result in a fibrocystic breast condition; predominantly Kapha-Vata vitiation might lead eventually to fibroadenoma; Pitta-Vata can be associated with mastitis and other inflammatory states; Tridoshic vitiation can ultimately produce cancer. Left untreated the disease will evolve its unique set of complications and can reach a stage where it is no longer curable by any means.

Ayurvedic Prevention and Treatment Approach

The essence of the Ayurvedic approach is beautifully summed up in one of its well-known statements, “Avert the danger from illness before it arrives”. This terse directive emphasizes the importance of correcting imbalances while still in their earliest stages and hence very remediable. Ayurveda accomplishes this goal through health programs uniquely tailored to the idiosyncratic characteristics of each individual. It celebrates our individual uniqueness while recognizing our universal Oneness. It is through our uniquely developed human consciousness, which among other capacities, affords us the enormous power of choice, that we can influence our health. The positive and negative health effects of those choices have been understood by Ayurvedic sages for thousands of years.

It must be stated at the outset of this section that, based on current level of available Ayurvedic knowledge, Ayurveda has no place as a primary treatment for any form of breast cancer. Ayurvedic treatment for breast cancer are useful as complementary therapy in order reduce side effects and sometimes bring about a more comprehensive response to conventional treatment. Ayurvedic medicines main strength is as a strategy to prevent the initial disease or its recurrence and to prolong survival.

That being said, current research is advancing towards a rational use of Ayurveda as a primary intervention. Specifically, the methanolic leaf extract of Ashwagandha leaf (Withania somnifera) was demonstrated to restore normal p53 function in tumor cells bearing mutated copies. p53 is a tumor suppressor protein which causes either the complete destruction of cells which have irreparably damaged and abnormal DNA or to temporarily arrest cell replication so that the DNA repair mechanisms can repair the damage. Once repaired p53 then allows the cell to duplicate. How p53 chooses cell destruction or arrest is unknown; it is commonly called the “guardian angel” of the cell.

It should be noted that today all breast cancer patients should be under the regular care and supervision of a medical oncologist.

Practical Choices That Matter

The Ayurvedic approach to breast health centers on diet, detoxification, lifestyle and exercise, mental health, environment and herbal preparations. Additionally, both ancient and current Ayurvedic physicians also emphasize early detection. Self examination of breasts, regular breast examinations by health care professionals and mammograms if clinically warranted are the methods.

Diet

One of Ayurveda’s great recognitions is that the body and mind naturally proceed in the direction of balance and, in fact, are designed to achieve and maintain balance and vibrant health. The systems and organs that make possible this remarkable state of physical and mental well-being, and the intelligence which directs them all, exist in all of us from birth. Cancerous changes show that, despite this inherent healthy tendency, there is an imbalance of the tri-dosha with toxins. Food is the foundation of the tissue formation process and health itself. Here are some of the more important Ayurvedic recommendations.

i. First and foremost, choose foods according to either your constitutional type or your primary doshic imbalance, if known. This will help match your diet to your agni (digestive fire). Your physician may alternatively instruct you to eat according to the seasons if you are already in a balanced state of health. Eat organic foods whenever possible.

ii. Construct a diet which reduces ama formation. A predominantly vegetarian diet of foods that are light, warm, and cooked will do this. Freshly prepared dals and soups, organic vegetables prepared with fresh spices, whole grains such as basmati rice, barley, and amaranth, and freshly made flat-breads are ideal.

iii. Include organic cooked prunes, figs, apples, pears, pineapple, papaya, and cooked leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage (cruciferous vegetables) in your diet. These foods provide fiber, antioxidants, and detoxifying effects.There is also a burgeoning body of evidence that curcumin, a component of turmeric, has breast cancer protective effects.

iv. Avoid foods that create body ama, including leftovers; packaged, canned, and frozen foods; foods grown with chemicals, GMO’s, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

v. Restrict the intake of alcoholic beverages of all kinds.

vi. Visceral (abdominal) adiposity contributes to the risk for estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer in premenopausal women.

Detoxification

As discussed above, ama-along with agni and the srotamsi–has tremendous importance in the manifestation of breast cancer. Ama is principally the result of the initial ahara rasa (nutrient juices) not being completely digested in the amashaya (small intestines) due to abnormal jatharagni. Ama then enters the srotamsi where it causes srotodushti (pathology of the srota) leading to srotorodha (obstruction). This results in an abnormal or arrested flow of doshas, nutrients and wastes.

The doshas thus retained can extravasate out of the srota and penetrate the surrounding dhatus (now called dushyas). The site where this interaction occurs (dosha-dushya sammurcchana) is the site where disease is initiated. If the impairment to the srotas can be prevented or reversed, disease will be averted.

In Ayurveda breast cancer primarily involves the channels of the female breasts and of the reproductive system and are called the Stanya Vaha Srotas and Artava Vaha Srotas, respectively. They include all the reproductive tissue, breasts, hormones and all secretions including breast milk. Keeping these channels clear of ama and all toxins is essential. The Mano Vaha Srotas, channels of the mind, are also involved. Proper diet, lifestyle, exercise, emotional health and select Ayurvedic herbs all help however a regular comprehensive detoxification procedure is also advised. It forms the foundation of preventive health in the Ayurvedic view and is often an important part of the treatment protocol for diseases which have already occurred.

Vulnerable Breasts on a Chemical Planet

Besides the assault from endogenous toxins (ama), exogenous toxins also have a grave effect on breast health. As a consequence of decades of uncontrolled environmental pollution with persistent organic pollutants (POP’s), the contamination of human milk has become widespread. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites, dioxins, dibenzofurans, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and heavy metals are among the toxic chemicals most often found in breast milk. Whether she is pregnant or not, these and many other chemical pose a tremendous risk to the female breast. This is because POP’s are fat-soluble “lipophilic” (i.e. affinity for fat) chemicals which undergo bio-accumulation and concentration over time in the breast fatty tissue. The positive news is that POP’s can be significantly removed from their sites of accumulation through regular periods of panchakarma detoxification therapies.

Ayurveda states in the Ashtanga Hridayam Sutrasthanam IV/25-26:

“Exhaustive effort should be made to radically expel the malas (doshas and metabolic wastes) at the right times. Uncorrected accumulation will verily result in aggravation and cut short life itself.” “Doshas which are subdued by langhana and pachana therapies can inevitably become re-aggravated, but those which are radically expelled by samshodhana (purification) therapies will not become deranged again.” (italics added)

Lifestyle and Exercise: Balancing the Doshas

Scientific evidence suggests about 30% of all 572,000 cancer deaths (39,500 due to breast cancer) expected in 2011 will be related to being obese or overweight, inadequate physical inactivity or errors in nutrition and thus are preventable.

It is clear that only about 30-40% of all breast cancer cases can be traced to identifiable genes or a familial tendency. Of those, 5 to 10 percent of women have inherited defective breast cancer genes, the most common being BRCA1 or BRCA2. The remainder have forms of breast cancers in their families that involve several genes.

That leaves 60-70% caused by unknown factors. Some are environmental–toxins we breathe, drink, touch or are exposed to in some way. The biggest risk factors are simply being a woman (<1 percent breast cancers occur in men) and getting older (risk increases after age 50). We can’t change that, but we can change our lifestyles. The best recommendations are these six:

-Avoid hormone replacement therapy -Improve your diet -Exercise regularly -Follow good detection strategies -Maintain good body weight -Consume less or no alcohol

Mental Health

The state of one’s mental health is a direct reflection of how we think, feel and act as we face different life experiences. Our mental health determines how we handle emotional stress, relate to others and make choices. It is the emotional and spiritual resilience (atati shakti) which enables us to achieve happiness and to survive pain, sorrow and disappointment. Normal mental health instinctively creates an underlying belief in one’s self-worth, and in the dignity and worth of other human beings and all life forms. Psycho-social-spiritual stress can play a role in breast health. To refresh the mind Ayurveda suggests the classical mental balancing and rejuvenation techniques described in Patanjali’s system of Raja Yoga. Because there are eight aspects in the Raja Yoga path to enlightenment, it is also known as Ashtanga Yoga (eight-limbed). Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras begins with the statement yoga cittavritti nirodhah (I/2), “Yoga is for the restraint of the activities of the mind”. They proceed to describe the ways in which mind can create false ideas and understandings, and details the eight steps that can taken to escape from the unreal.

Meditation techniques have been shown in numerous research studies to positively influence the physiology. The regular practice of yoga postures (asanas), breath control techniques (pranayama), and dhyana (meditation) is the most effective way to relieve anxiety, depression and emotional stress, according to Ayurvedic tradition. Although the mechanism by which meditation helps re-establish mental health is not clear, we do know that these techniques provide periods of profound sensory and cognitive rest. The regular dissociation of the senses from their sense objects and the withdrawal of the attention within appears to release deep-rooted stresses that have lodged in the structure, chemistry and energetic matrix of the mind-body.

Herbal Medicines

Ayurvedic herbal medicine regimens are not conceived using the model of a specific drug to neutralize or suppress a specific symptom or disease (allopathic model). In fact, successful treatment depends on rational and logical actions of a mixture of plant substances coupled with the incomprehensible healing intelligence of Nature. The intention of herbal treatment, like all forms of Ayurvedic therapies, is to up-regulate the innate healing capacity of the human being. Herbal treatment may be categorized according to the following scheme which forms a sequence for the prevention of any disease including breast cancer and also for the treatment of many diseases.

1. Separation of Dosha and Dushya (Sammurcchana Bhanga)

2. Autodigestion of Ama (Ama pacana)

3. Clearing of the Srotasmi (Shroto Vishodhana)

4. Optimization of Agni (Dipanagni)

5. Strengthening of Immunity (Vyadhi Kshamatva)

Separation of Dosha and Dushya (Sammurcchana Bhanga)

The initial action which must be taken in the treatment of disease is the separation of the vitiated dosha from the dushya. Since many on the subsequent steps in treating disease are strong measures aimed at the doshas, if separation of the healthy tissue is not achieved first, these treatments can and will harm the tissues and the associated srotas and vital organs. The degraded dosha and the affected tissue or organ becomes joined together like the milk fats and ghee are joined together in milk. And just as we heat the milk in order to separate the ghee from the milk fats, the herbal substances which accomplish the separation of dosha from dushya (a process called sammurchana bhanga) have the following gunas: hot (ushna), sharp (tikshna), penetrating (sukshma), rapid onset (vyavam), purifying (punanam), destructive (nashita), and separating (viyujate).

The following herbal and herbomineral medicines have the action of separating dosha and dushya. This list is by no means complete. Please note that many of these medicines can be toxic and cause

adverse reactions. They should therefore only be given for short courses and only under expert supervision.

Terminalia arjuna

Trailokya Rasa Chintamani

Datura metal Boswellia serrata

Aconitum ferox Tamra Bhasma

Strychnos nux vomica Heerak Bhasma

Semicarpus anacardium Holarrhena antidysenterica

Abhrak Bhasma Embelia ribes

Autodigestion of Ama (Ama pacana)

The operative principle behind the reversal and removal of ama is to temporarily stop providing nutrition to those parts of the body which we wish to purge of ama. In clinical application, this is achieved most readily, not with herbal medicines, but rather through fasting. Fasting is advocated as a bona fide approach for the removal of ama when found to be present or to prevent its formation. Like any other therapy, it is prescribed and supervised by an experienced physician.

During the fasting period, no new nutritive substances are available to the digestive system. Therefore the jathara agni and various dhatvagnis are utilized for the digestion of the accumulated ama. The fasting period can be as short as one or two days, or may extend for up to two weeks under medical supervision. There are several herbs and formulations which have been found to be effective in supporting and augmenting ama pacana:

Zingiber officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Tinospora cordifolia, Terminalia bellerica, Berberis aristata, Coriandrum sativum, Piper longum, Alpinia galangal.

Clearing of the Srotasmi (Shroto Vishodhana)

Whereas ama pacana is effective in transforming and liquefying the waste materials in the tissues,

the process known as shroto vishodhana draws these substances out of the tissues and into the appropriate channels of elimination (i.e. Stanya Vaha Srota). In addition, this process initiates movement in the proper direction in the srotasmi for the expulsion of the wastes. This stage requires that no matter what the primary doshic imbalance may be (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha), the Vata dosha needs to be in a balanced state. Thus is because Vata dosha is what creates movement of the wastes. A balanced Vata dosha moves the wastes in the proper and natural direction.

Medicines which act on the rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, and sukra dhatus and their corresponding srotas are used in promoting breast health. These medicines will promote the elimination of doshas from the tissues without harming the tissues and include:

Holharrhina antidysentrica, Cissampelos pareira, Tricosanthe dioica, Cyperus rotundus, Picrorrhiza kurroa, Azadirachta indica, Hemidesmus indicus, Triphala, Piper nigrum, Acorus calamus, Curcuma longa, Aegle marmelos.

In addition to these herbal medicines, anuvasana bastis (oil-based enemata) or often administered during this phase to promote the proper flow of Vata dosha in the srotas. Also there are specialized techniques of breast massage which are performed with specific oils (i.e. Narayana, Vishagarbha, Chandanbala Laxadi) and can be taught to patient to perform at home.

Optimization of Agni (Dipanagni)

There is not a single biological process occurring within our bodies and mind which does not depend on agni. Our intelligence, awareness, energy, appearance, perception, immunity, and life itself is kindled by its power. There are thirteen forms of agni as we have outlined earlier. The most important is jathara agni–which presides over and creates all the others. Any disturbance in jathara agni will result in incomplete and improper digestion and the formation of ama. Some of the herbal medicines which help to stimulate and balance the jatharagni and, indirectly, all the agnis of the body are as follows:

Gingiber officinalis

Piper longum

Piper nigrum

Cayenne pepper

Plumbago zeylanica

Strengthening of Immunity (Vyadhi Kshamatva)

The capacity to resist disease depends prominently on a substance known as ojas. Ojas is formed from the best and purest parts of each of the seven bodily dhatus; it is said to be the quintessence of human tissue metabolism. Like bees make honey by gathering the essence of several species of flowers, ojas is formed from the saptadhatus. There are certain plant-medicines which increase ojas and are therefore called jīvanīya gana aushadhi, medicines which sustain Life. Some of these include:

Withania somnifera, Curculigo orchiodes, Asparagus racemosus Phaseolus trilobus Hemidesmus indicus Ocimum sanctum Tinospora cordifolia Eclipta alba Emblica officinalis Shilajitu

Glycerrhiza glabra Terminalia chebula

In addition, medicines like Triphala Guggulu, Kanchnaar Guggulu, Arogyavardhini, Maha-manjishthadi kwath, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) as well as the two most renowned Ayurvedic compound preparations Triphala and Chywanprash are used on a long term basis to prevent recurrence.

Medicines like Medhohar-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, and Trivang-Bhasma are also used according to the presentation of symptoms.

To prevent or reduce side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Kamadudha, Shankhbhasma vati, Laghu sutshekhar vati and Shunthi (Zinziber officinale) can be used.

Patwardhan and Gautum5 summarize the results of preclinical studies on the cytoprotective potential of W. somnifera and its constituents. They include reports on the inhibition of breast and colon cancer cell lines compared to doxorubicin after the administration of withaferin A and an increase in the response to radio-resistant tumors when radiotherapy is combined with withaferin A treatment, among others studies.

Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal rasayana formula consisting of equal parts of three myrobalan fruits: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Rasayana preparations are adaptogens and can be taken for life without fear of side effects. Triphala was recently found to dose-dependently induce apoptosis in human breast cell cancer lines (MCF-7) and mouse thymic lymphoma (barcl-95). Treatment did not affect neither normal human breast epithelial and peripheral blood mononuclear cells nor mouse liver and spleen cells. Direct oral feeding of triphala to mice (40 mg/kg for 13 days) resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) reduced tumor growth and more than three times higher levels of apoptosis in excised tumor tissue. According to the researchers, increases in intracellular reactive oxygen species appeared to be involved with induced cytotoxicity, supporting the hypothesis that the antioxidant effect of triphala fruits is at least partly responsible for this anticancer activity (Sandhya et al.)6.

Chywanprash

Oxygen radicals are continuously generated within our cells. This is a result of normal breathing which creates something called hydroxyl radicals. These molecules damage your DNA, producing the mutations that initiate and sustain health issues later on. Studies suggest that a diet that is rich in antioxidants may help to support breast health. This has led to the current nutritional recommendation that we all should consume at least five portions of fruits or vegetables each day.

Chyawanprash is significantly more powerful than other single antioxidant; it is up to 1,000 times more effective per dose than comparable amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in scavenging free radicals and preventing damage to the body. It provides full-spectrum, super-antioxidant power. Traditional literature states that Chywanprash improves cardiovascular and neurological functioning, reduces toxicity of the dhatus, improves immunity, balances emotions, and improves mental clarity.

Conclusion

All matter is energy vibrating at different rates. The fundamental state of the universe contains all possible forms of undifferentiated matter (i.e. energy) vibrating in coherent harmony. Human beings, because we are a part of the natural universe, also have a fundamental vibration that harmonizes with the rest of the creation. Illness, including cancer, is a manifestation of disharmony which arises in the individual’s core vibration due to stress, environmental changes, emotional distress, physical injury, dietary indiscretion, or an infinite number of physical, mental, or spiritual factors. Healing is therefore initiated by restoring the normal vibratory state to the individual as a whole and to the vulnerable or diseased body part. The Ayurvedic therapies mentioned in this paper are not the only methods available from this comprehensive science, but will help us begin to understand how our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can keep their bodies free from toxins and impurities and their immunity high even in modern times and thus avert the scourge of breast cancer.