Lymphatic Series — Keep It Moving Into Spring
Part 1: Elemental Theory
By Andrea Foster
This is the first in a five part series on caring for the lymphatic system as we move toward spring.
The body is a complex and elegant system. One of the most miraculous things about it is that it often mirrors the world that surrounds us: ever seeking balance, subject to a ripple effect of change when something goes amiss. Our bodies are 60 percent water and, as such, can resemble a greater aquatic biome with bustling worlds interacting below a seemingly calm surface. If our blood is an ocean, our lymphatic system is part of a network of rivers.
Over the course of March, we will take a five-part look at the lymphatic system and how to get it moving. In order to explore the importance of the lymphatic system from the dhyana Center’s perspective, it’s key to learn more about Ayurveda and elemental theory.
Visit the dhyana Center any given day and you’ll inevitably hear someone talking about doshas and elements. As you may know, Ayurveda categorizes the balance of elements in the body into three states, called doshas. These are kapha, pitta, and vata.
Each of the three doshas is a blend of two elements. Kapha is a blend of earth and water. Pitta is a blend of fire and water. And vata is a blend of air and ether. The elements – earth, fire, water, air, and ether – are concepts and substances echoed and validated throughout the globe’s cultures.
Thinking of the body system in terms of a balance of elements can make for a much more accessible vocabulary to describe what is going on with your health and how the physical, mental, and spiritual all interact.
If someone is feeling energized, inspired, and ready to get things done, we say that they’re “on fire” and “in the flow.” This is also a state of healthy pitta, which reflects the element of fire balanced with the flow of water. Or if someone is feeling easy and grounded, nurturing and stable, we might think of them as “earthy” — this is healthy kapha where the earth is made rich and fertile as it’s watered. And someone with a lot of ideas, bright with imagination, reflects healthy vata — air and ether blowing in intangible but vital inspiration, elevating dreams, the ideas through which humans evolve.
This subtle interplay of elements may give us clues about how imbalance can arise. In Ayurveda, it is said that dis-ease in the body develops over six stages. The very earliest hints of disease exist within our emotional state. And of course, disease can move from the energetic to settle into the physical body, growing unchecked to its ultimate conclusion, the complete collapse and death of the body systems.
Catching dis-ease at its earliest signs is the best strategy for health, when fewer systems are affected. This is where stress management, balanced nutrition, moderate exercise, healthy relationships, and other therapies are most advantageous to keep the body and mind running smoothly with vitality.
The most important tool in maintaining the wondrous body you inhabit is knowledge, a map of how to approach your care and how to cultivate awareness of your wellness.
DeAnna Batdorff, founder of the dhyana Center, suffuses education throughout the Center, seeking to empower each client and student with the ways in which they can take charge of their own wellbeing and the tools that can assist. Teachings can be found in the treatment notes you take home after a massage, on the label of a salt scrub in the store, and directly from DeAnna herself in the courses she teaches.
DeAnna’s signature Body Mapping course is designed to give anyone basic knowledge of the body systems, how to develop a map of your body’s own unique needs, and then the self-care tools to maintain that body in the highest health. Consider attending this powerful course as it begins April 6 for a 3-day workshop to get top self-care tips on actions you can take at home. Much of the course centers around care of the lymphatic system and how to better understand it.
Body Mapping will be held April 6-8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of class. To register, call 707-823-8818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.