Practitioner of alternative medicine and editor-in-chief of the Ayurveda Journal
Ralph Steuernagel has dedicated 20 years to the interdisciplinary cooperation of western and eastern medicine. He runs his own Ayurveda practice and academy in Bad Homburg (D). In addition, he is the editorial director of the Ayurveda Journal.
AYURVEDA IN PSYCHOCARDIOLOGY
Ralph steering nail
Our heart is a wonder of nature and has fascinated me in my ayurvedic practice work for 20 years now. The magic that has always emanated from this organ lies in its psychosomatic and somatopsychic intertwining. In fractions of a second, thoughts, memories and feelings can influence the heart's activity - conversely, a powerful and flexibly adaptable heart leads to mental strength and mental clarity.
From a classical Ayurvedic point of view, the heart is one of the three vital organs (Marman) and the seat of paraojas, chetana, manas and prana. It is functionally controlled by Prana, Vyana, Sadhaka and Avalambaka. The connection and interaction of body and mind was already clearly recognized over 2000 years ago. Since heart diseases (Hrdroga) follow the intermediate path (Madhyamarga), they are more difficult to treat and have a comparably unfavourable prognosis, sometimes threatening to vitality. Many Ayurveda therapists therefore hesitate to treat people with heart disease.
In my 12 years of inpatient work from 1998-2009, the heart was the focus of my work. During the last three years of the course I had the great opportunity and honour to work closely with the founder of psychocardiology, Prof. Dr. Jochen Jordan. His former clinic for psychocardiology and my clinic for Ayurvedic medicine were located side by side in the Kerckhoff Rehabilitation Centre Bad Nauheim. Thanks to the connection to the acute care clinic, we were also able to accompany people with severe heart problems.
People with cardiovascular disease often feel a high level of suffering and seek holistic help. Every therapist therefore has a special responsibility in accompanying these patients. Ayurveda diagnostics and therapy in no way replaces necessary cardiological and psychocardiological interventions - therefore cooperation with medical specialists and competent psychotherapists is absolutely necessary. In my experience, Ayurveda medicine can improve the effect of all therapies and at the same time fill a significant gap: to understand the heart in its holistic dimension and to trust it.
In my 75-minute lecture I will take you on a journey through 12 years of inpatient treatment with heart patients and present the possibilities of Ayurvedic medicine within psychocardiological treatments by means of practical examples. I will focus on the synergies of psychotherapy, meditation, relaxation techniques, behavioural medicine, nutrition, phytotherapy, manual therapy, detoxification techniques, yoga and breathing therapy.