Ayurveda is one of, if not the, oldest documented healing systems in the world. It originated in India roughly 5000 years ago as the “science of life” and literally translates to exactly that. This “science” is an ancient body of knowledge that utilizes diagnostic methods to determine the unique constitution of each individual to create a blueprint for the body and mind in its current state, which allows us to develop a clear path that leads us back to our own natural state of balance and wellness.
This begins by determining one’s dosha, which is the measure of the physiological energies of earth, air, fire, water, and space, that make up our bodies. From there, an Ayurvedic practice is built upon learning how to take proper foods and herbs that balance the doshas/energies within your body to prevent dis-comfort and dis-ease in the body and the mind. The building blocks to this practice begin with understanding of the doshas and how they operate within our body to flow in and out of harmony.
In Ayurveda there are 5 energies that make up a total of 3 doshas; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Vata is made up of air and space, and is the dosha responsible for movement and circulation of thoughts, nutrients, fluids, and all things that move throughout the body. A vata person is typically thin with a long, narrow build, has small eyes, is prone to dryness, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and has sensitive digestion. Their personalities crave excitement and change, they are very creative, but when out of balance, experience anxiety, worry and overwhelm.
Pitta is made up of fire and water and governs the digestion in the mind and body of food, visual impressions, information, feelings, and in short, is the energy that transforms anything in the body that needs to be broken down for absorption. Pittas usually have a moderate to athletic build, are very sharp, fast, and competitive, and typically experience significant warmth, have excellent digestion, and are great leaders. When out of balance however, they tend towards heated emotions, burnout, and experience things like skin rashes, burning indigestion, and heartburn.
Kapha is earth and water energy that builds a solid foundation for everything in our body that needs protection, nourishment, and lubrication. Kapha, as it is the earth element is much like mother earth in that it holds everything together from our bones and ligaments, to all of our tiny cells, as well as our thoughts and emotions. Kaphas are very loving, thoughtful, and caring, and tend to have larger builds, lustrous thick hair, porcelain skin and perfect teeth. They have slower digestion, are prone to weight gain, and when out of balance develop unhealthy attachments, and become stubborn and depressive.
Each individual has a unique combination of all 3 doshas with no 2 being alike, much like fingerprints. Our constitution never changes from the time we are born, however, what is constantly in flux, is our current state, and the level of imbalance in our doshas. This is called our vikruti, or our state of imbalance. In Ayurveda, we use the the vikruti of an individual as a guide to help us return to our prakruti, which the state of balance we are born with. Someone who is Pitta by nature for instance, may have a significant Vata vikruti or imbalace, which means that in order to balance the doshas, we must introduce things that are nourishing to vata, in order to allow a person to operate as their true pitta selves.
To learn about your own dosha, consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner who can give you a precise measure of your prakruti and vikruti. From there, you can build a practice together that will support your return to a state of balance that allows the inherent wisdom of your entire body to heal itself naturally.
What is the membership program?
Sage’s Community Health Collective Membership program offers trauma informed, body positive and harm reductionist healing services and self care tools to organizations, families, and affinity groups at an affordable group rate.
What are the benefits of purchasing a membership?
The purpose is to give groups an opportunity to invest in self care and the sustainability of their organization and community. Groups who buy a membership receive 10 sessions of a healing tool offered at Sage by professional skilled practitioners. Along with a complimentary self and community care workshop for each organization that becomes a member.
Who can apply?
Any group of 5 or more can apply to become a member. We strongly encourage non-profit organizations, community based organizations and grassroots groups doing community organizing to address systemic injustice in Chicago to apply.
The membership can also be split up among families or a group of friends.
(see information below on rates)
What healing services are available?
Once your organization chooses a membership package and divides it up among the members folks affiliated with the group or organization are then able to access the following services:
- 30 minute bodywork session: Bodywork is a way of referring to Asian Body Therapy, a healing practice based in Traditional Chinese Medicine. At Sage, our bodywork includes various massage techniques, such as shiatsu, tui na, deep tissue massage, Thai massage, cupping, gua sha, and acupressure. You will relax on a comfortable massage table and you may experience a physical and emotional release. Bodywork may include gua sha or cupping.
- 1 hour Community Acupuncture Session: In community acupuncture we are able to provide a quality acupuncture experience in a group setting. You will be seated in a comfortable reclining chair in our community acupuncture space. You will be paired with one of the available acupuncturists. The community acupuncture sessions typically last an hour, which includes a short intake, a discussion about your health goals with the acupuncturist, and your treatment.
- 30 minute nutritional or herbal consultation: Herbs and Eastern Nutrition have been used in Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years and can be used to treat all patterns in Chinese Medicine. According to Chinese Medicine and Eastern Nutrition, everything you ingest has a flavor and temperature, which causes your body to react. During your appointment, we will review your current nutrition practices and make detailed suggestions that you can incorporate to keep your body in balance. An herbal formula and/or an Eastern Nutrition plan may be recommended. We currently offer patent formulas, which are pre-made formulas containing many herbs in the form of capsules or pills. Chinese formulas contain many herbs because they address many organ systems in your body and treat your individual pattern of imbalance as well as your symptoms.
We have a number of workshops available for groups looking to explore self care and community care tools. Workshop range from more hands on tools like guasha, abdominal health, ear seeds, and acupressure and Qi-gong meditation to pop ed style activities and discussion around self care in social justice movements. The self care workshop explores questions like: How do we take care of each other in the movement? And How to we take care of ourselves in order to be sustainable in social justice work?
How much does it cost?
We have different options for different sized organizations.
Please see a list of costs and benefits and choose which size you think best matches your organization:
Small Organization: (5 or less people)
10 sessions (1 hr CA/ .5 hr bodywork /. 5 hr. nutritional or herbal consult)
1 off site workshop
Medium Organization: (5-15 people)
20 sessions (1 hr CA/ .5 hr bodywork /. 5 hr. nutritional or herbal consult)
1 off- site workshop of you choosing
Large Organization: (15+ people)
30 sessions (1 hr CA/ .5 hr bodywork /. 5 hr. nutritional or herbal consult)
1 off site workshop Price: $1050
Unit price: $35 per session. We provide the workshop free as a membership benefit. Our workshop are normally priced at $60-100 dollars for an hour.
Does the membership expire?
All memberships expire within 1 year of purchase.
How do I apply?
If your group is interested in applying for membership please email us at email@example.com to request a short application.
Brrrr! It’s cold outside! Fend off colds and stay internally warm with moxibustion, herbs, and some of our nutrition ideas based in Eastern healing wisdom. For instance, GINGER is a beautiful herb to use internally on cold days as a tea or simmered in soup or stew. Warm and acrid, it expels cold and is considered by traditional healers as one of the “universal great medicines”.
To learn more about using ginger for healing in your home kitchen, check out this great article from The Guardian!
To discuss a strategy customized around your health goals and needs, consider making an appointment for a nutrition and herb consultation! We aim to make our consultations body positive, empowering, fun, and educational! For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a scheduling update: this Friday there will be no NADA drop-in ear acupuncture, however, please join us NEXT FRIDAY for another Community Care Night with the Healing Justice Network when we will be offering ear acupuncture and a variety of other donation-based services! We hope you all have wonderful weekend!
“Today I realized this: Every person who walks this planet (or any planet) today, who comes from communities with historic oppression and trauma, is science fiction. You are the dream your ancestors envisioned, and then bent reality to create.” –Walidah Imarisha