Pure Wellness Healthcare's Goal
While Tina Cunningham Dip Ayu Med.,DNM, MPH is Canadian-born, she has spent most of her adult life overseas in New Zealand and Australia. She is the proud mother of her lovely daughter. At seven months and eleven days her beautiful baby girl was diagnosed with cancer. It was devastating news and she knew she had to do everything she could to fight for her little girl's life.
This difficult experience taught her how to unequivocally weave knowledge, experience and passion to help others. Her daughter’s health has fostered Tina's passion for helping others, especially those with health issues. She learned the importance of different systems of medicine and how they could complement each other. Which is why she works within the medical model or the pathway particular to the individual's choice, focusing on changes such as adapting different eating habits –targeting food sensitivities, lifestyles changes, exercises (yoga/breathing techniques/meditation), and working through other personal issues that could be causing undue stress.
She incorporates the Ayurvedic system of medicine in treating digestion pertinent to an individual’s unique constitution and by using a particular enzyme to treat your food before it enters your body to address food intolerances. In her experience the combination has been helpful to reduce the signs and symptoms of food intolerances. And there are no known contraindications with most chemotherapy medicines. However it’s important to consult with your oncologist before using any integrative treatments.
Passionate about working with people with food intolerances, she is a health coach and serves her clients by conducting in-depth consultations and providing individually tailored programs regarding lifestyle, nutrition, herbal medicine, yoga, and general body fitness. Knowing the link between food intolerance and chronic conditions such as cancer has been Tina’s focal point in research as well as clinical practices.
Education: Tina Cunningham Dip. Ay Med., DNM, MPH
I am a board certified Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM). I have a Diploma of Ayurvedic Medicine (Dip. Ay Med) from New Zealand and a Masters Degree of Public Health (MPH) at the University of Queensland in Australia.
My education was enhanced by study and practice at the SDM Ayurveda hospital in Hassan, India. In New Zealand, I gained extensive clinical experience, and taught Ayurvedic nutrition at the university level.
I am a health coach and serve my clients by conducting in depth consultations and providing individually tailored recommendations regarding lifestyle, nutrition, herbal medicine, meditation, yoga and hair analysis testing. My intention is to work with you in a continuous effort to support and guide you with your wellness goals. Check out my packages under products and services.
My particular interest is working with people with food intolerances. The link between food intolerances and autoimmune conditions such as cancer is a major focus of my research and clinical practice. Ayurveda is especially well suited to treating food intolerances as a major tenet of Ayurveda is ‘'Roga Sarvepi Jayante Mandagnou' - All diseases arise from impaired digestion.
What is Ayurveda
Ayurveda [traditional Indian medicine] is one of the oldest whole medical systems still practised today. The word ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words ayur, which means life, and veda, which means knowledge. It is a comprehensive system of knowledge and practices whereby it integrates the body, mind and spirit with the environment. 'Ayurveda teaches that we are not passive victims of pathogenic forces, but can substantially impact our quality of life through the choices and interpretations we make. By reducing the toxins and increasing the nourishing influences we ingest, we can transform our minds and bodies.
Ayurvedic medicine practitioners believe that illness occurs when a person's physical and emotional state are in disharmony. ROGA SARVEPI JAYANTE MANDAGNOU all disease arise from impaired agni (the digestive system). Thereby one of the main goals of Ayurvedic medicine is to restore balance and strengthen the body's biological framework.
Ayurvedic medicine uses a combination of therapies to restore this harmony. When these particular methods are applied to the persons unique constitution it enables the body to restore, strengthen and rebalance. Each constitution or [dosha] is related to certain body functions and is associated with a certain body type and personality type. The dominant dosha describes a person's physical, emotional and metabolic characteristics and their daily lifestyle practices. A person's chances of becoming ill are related to the way the doshas are balanced. Ayurvedic practitioners consider the state of the person's doshas, when planning a treatment program. Practitioners attempt to bring all these factors into balance to help the person achieve their optimal health and wellbeing.
A typical consultation:
Ayurvedic medicine practitioners will observe the body such as the skin, mouth, nails and eyes; listen to the person's lungs and checking their pulse, take a health history, family history and ask about diet and lifestyle practices.
A combination of approaches will be suggested such as yoga exercises pertinent to the individual, herbal remedies, meditation, breathing exercises, massage, diet and lifestyle modifications, and where necessary a detoxification program to restore and balance the doshas.
Remedies imported into Western countries are made from herbs, plants, oils, and spices.
Studies and research:
Most of the clinical trials done on Ayurvedic medicine have been done in India. Researchers in the West have not scientifically tested the efficacy of Ayurvedic medicine; there are indications that certain methods may have potential health benefits. For instance certain Ayurvedic practices may be used to relieve cancer-related symptoms and improve the quality of life for people living with cancer.
Ayurvedic preparations consist of a combination of herbs, so it is difficult to know the particular one that may be beneficial or cause side effects. There are herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine that have demonstrated some antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and possibly anti-tumour properties, and they may also boost the immune system.
Individual herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine are being studied in the laboratory. Human testing is also in practice to discover safety and efficacy of using the herbs to prevent or treat cancer. There is no scientific evidence to date that shows that Ayurvedic therapies are effective in treating cancer. Randomized clinical trials in humans are needed before any conclusions can be made about the role Ayurvedic medicine treatments may play in cancer prevention and treatment.
Studies have shown that yoga helps improve sleep and can help reduce stress in people with cancer.
A qualitative study involved 60 participants diagnosed with either breast or prostate cancer for a duration of 8 weeks. The method was to observe and question the participants about how they felt before and after. The class was a stress reduction program that included instruction in relaxation, meditation and yoga. The results found that the quality of sleep improved and symptoms of stress decreased.
Another small study involved people with lymphoma who were enrolled in weekly yoga sessions for 7 weeks. Results showed a significant improvement in the quality of sleep in the participants and the used sleep medications was reduced.
Studies have shown that meditation helps reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and improve overall well-being.
Potential side effects and risks
Practices such as yoga and meditation are generally considered as safe. Ayurvedic medicine treatments that involve the use of herbs could have adverse reactions with certain prescribed medications. It is important to inform your prescribing doctor and Ayurvedic practitioner about any medications, supplements or herbs being taken.
Heavy metals such as gold, silver and lead are traditionally used in Ayurvedic preparations. However these medicines are not used in the west. Ayurvedic medicines with natural product numbers (NPNs) meet Health Canada's new natural health product manufacturing practice standards and therefore may be safer.
It is important to have Ayurveda treatments and herbal recommendations by a qualified Ayurvedic medicine practitioner.