I first heard the word AYURVEDA when I was around 18 years old. I was preparing to go to University and wanted to find a way to improve my menstrual migraines naturally. Having suffered with these severe headaches since the age of 12, none of the doctors had a solution for me. I was told to drink more water, to go on the contraceptive pill, cut out dairy, take beta-blockers, try oestrogen patches…I knew that the migraines were linked to my cycle somehow but no-one could give me any real answers as to why they were happening and how to stop them happening in the first place. So I took the strong painkillers and the triptans and spent whole days and nights in a dark room – occasionally gracing the A&E department when the pain and vomiting became too severe!
So, before heading of to London to study I picked up a book on Ayurveda and started to read. It was informative enough – I learned about words like Pitta ( not just a type of bread it turns out!) Vata and Kapha… I took the quiz at the back of the book to ‘find my dosha’…. But although I found it fascinating, it seemed hard to translate it all into how it could help me and my migraines. And so I returned the book to the shelf and that was my first, rather short, foray into the world of Ayurveda. I had no idea then what a massive part of my life it would later become.
At that time my first love was music. I played the Violin and Piano, studying at King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music and graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree and later a Masters Degree. Music was, and still is, massively important to me. Back then I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew music had to be part of it somehow.
Soon after graduating I was fortunate enough to land a job as a junior for a large Classical Music Agency in London. I worked there for the next 12 years becoming a Senior Manager and representing some of the world’s finest classical musicians. It was a wonderful time: During those years I met my husband, got married, we brought our first home and eventually had our first child ( after some struggles with fertility and IVF…. ).
And then a bombshell hit. Around two years before our daughter was born my mum was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. It had floored us all as she was 61 at the time and had always been fit and healthy. She faced it all head on and was brave and graceful throughout her diagnosis and treatment. Sadly, just 8 weeks after our daughter was born, mum was taken to hospital rather suddenly and died a few days later.
During that time I saw first-hand what suffering and pain looked like - up close and personal…. In the corridors of the ward, in the faces of the families visiting their loved ones and in the eyes of those who knew the end was near. I knew at that moment and in the weeks and months following her death that I wanted to commit to do something with my life that would make a difference, no matter how small, to others – to alleviate just one person’s suffering was now my goal.
After her diagnosis, mum and I had shared recipes and the latest ‘health crazes’ – anything we could try to feel healthier and stronger and like we had some control over what was happening. So it wasn’t long before I remembered my Ayurveda book from all those years ago. Like a lightbulb moment I realised that was it! Ayurveda. Everything flowed so easily from that moment on ( I will always believe mum was guiding me to this moment!) I found myself at the Ayurveda Institute in South London and amongst a community of the most caring and dedicated doctors and professionals who have been quietly and effectively healing people through Ayurveda for the past 25 years. They humbly shared their wisdom and knowledge with us in the form of the true and authentic teachings of the ancient texts and made them relevant for the disorders of the 21st Century. I will forever be grateful to every person I met at the Institute.
And so here I am, forever a student of Ayurveda – but here to offer my help to you and share a small portion of what I have learned from this ocean of knowledge. If you are here and reading this I don't want you to go away thinking - "but how can it help me?" I promise you, Ayurveda has a place in all our lives for healing and balance - and I will guide you through it through the course of our consultations. And in case you were wondering – I decided to be a patient as part of my journey to becoming a practitioner and started seeing one of the doctors at the institute…. 6 months later and those menstrual migraines are finally a thing of the past!