An Ayurvedic practitioner and world traveler, Noah Volz is the owner of Rhythm of Healing, an Ayurvedic and massage clinic located within Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio. Noah’s unique and personalized approach to healing offers three modalities in one: Massage, Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine. This triad allows him to personalize his approach as he spends quality time with his clients in order to facilitate a dynamic and complete recovery from disease. With an extensive background and training in Ayurveda, Noah has many years of clinical experience. His thirst for wisdom guides him to follow his passion by travelling around the world learning and collecting knowledge. His focus ranges from prevention to chronic pain and adrenal fatigue to digestive health. Coming up this this fall Noah will be leading a two week Ayurvedic Cleanse, teaching a six week Ayurvedic yoga class and co-teaching the Radiance . Method yoga teacher training with Melissa Cooley. As a devoted student to the art of Ayurveda he will be returning to India next year to undertake additional studies.
Noah, thanks for speaking with us today. Can you please introduce us to your practice, Rhythm of Healing?
Rhythm of Healing is the only Ayurvedic Clinic in the Rogue Valley. We provide personalized medicine for healing common and complex conditions. The modalities that are utilized in order to bring about health and harmony are Ayurvedic Medicine, yoga, and massage. This trinity provides a patient-centered approach through the integration of these modalities. It is like creating a great meal. You need the right ingredients, the right appliances, and the right cookware and voilà you have an amazing meal that will last in your memory for years. Each modality that I practice allows me to spend adequate time with each client in order to offer them the most comprehensive care possible. Each of our lives has a pattern, a cadence, or a rhythm like a playlist or a music album. It is this rhythm that creates the perspective and beliefs that predispose us toward health or disease. At Rhythm of Healing I can precisely identify this pattern and apply effective measures for restoring balance. I also love to teach and offer many educational seminars on Ayurvedic nutrition, Ayurvedic massage, and Ayurvedic yoga throughout the year.
Please give us a little history and overview about Ayurvedic Medicine.
A lot has changed over the years, but the principles of Ayurveda have stood the test of time and they are the perfect remedy for many modern diseases. Today Ayurveda is considered to be the premier form of mind-body medicine in the world. It recognizes the complexity of balancing physical, mental, and emotional health and defines health as balance in all three areas simultaneously. There are three primary components of Ayurveda: 1) prevention 2) detoxification and 3) treatment of disease. I specialize in all three and predominantly use diet, exercise, and herbs to restore balance to the system. However, everything that we experience through the senses can be used as medicine so in some instances meditation, color, sound, aroma, or visualization are the preferred forms of treatment. Ayurveda is the original personalized medical system. It has an advanced technique of determining one’s unique nature and developing a treatment program based on each individual’s needs. It is such an honor for me to practice this ancient and profound form of medicine.
How does being an Ayurvedic practitioner compare to being a regular medical practitioner?
While many alternative and complementary healthcare approaches have become standardized based on research that applies to the general population and follows a one-size fits all approach, Ayurveda has maintained its integrity as a truly “patient centered” practice that does not subscribe to a reductionist model. Rather, Ayurveda engages the art of medicine to develop a one of a kind treatment program for each patient. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, what I do is very similar to what a naturopathic doctor or an acupuncturist does. The main difference is that Ayurveda comes from a different cultural background based on Vedic sciences such as astrology, yoga, and Sanskrit.
This means that Ayurveda’s primary purpose is connecting us with the source of intelligence and energy that is ever-present. When we are healthy we become more capable of connecting with our soul’s purpose and the meaning in our lives. Ayurveda treats the whole person and that is what distinguishes it from regular medical practice.
Please give us an overview of the services you provide.
Rhythm of Healing is an integrative care center offering a full spectrum of therapies designed to restore balance and maintain health. The primary services offered are:
• Ayurvedic Initial Consultation- This 90 minute session involves an in-depth health history to determine the cause of disease. A treatment program utilizing diet, lifestyle, exercise and herbs will be personalized to the client.
• Follow-Up Visit- This 60 minute session involves continued assessment of the body’s response to treatment. Most programs last 6 months.
• Ayurvedic Massage- A medicated warm oil massage.
• U- Soft tissue and joint injury prevention or treatment with manual therapy.
• Ayurvedic Yoga Classes- Ongoing yoga classes geared towards health and wellness on Mon. and Wed. at 6:00pm at Om Sweet Om Yoga studio.
• Wellness Seminars and Workshops- Ongoing learning opportunities at various locations around the valley.
What are some the most frequent health conditions you end up treating?
This list is as diverse and varied as the people who come into the clinic. If I were to pick a few I would say: autoimmune disorders, weight management, adrenal fatigue, menstrual health, low back pain, joint injury, digestion, and hypertension. Each of these conditions can have a completely different underlying cause that is determined through pulse and tongue diagnosis. Through treatment I maximize the energy that can be used for healing and the symptoms of these conditions resolve themselves permanently.
Can you share a recent success story with us?
I recently had a patient who came to me for help in managing a variable thyroid condition. We created a simple and effective treatment program that included diet, yoga and massage therapy. During her first massage session she mentioned that she suffered from long term upper-neck and shoulder tension that caused her a great deal of discomfort. Although she had received massage and acupuncture in the past, after her first session the chronic pain in her neck completely resolved. This inspired her. She became more motivated to follow the herbal and dietary strategies that I prescribed to treat her thyroid. With this, her weight stabilized and she began to feel more awake and focused during the day. Within a few months she was experiencing a new and remarkable quality of life. Although it is relatively uncommon to have conditions like this resolve so quickly, the body is wired to maintain health. When given the correct input it will gladly re-establish health and vitality.
Is there any one area of your work that you are especially skilled in?
My integrated approach lends itself well to the treatment of pain anywhere in the body. I work with a lot of musculoskeletal problems such as neck and shoulder pain, back pain, headaches, tendonitis, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, neuropathies, and jaw pain. I support my massage treatment with Ayurvedic suggestions such as dietary strategies for decreasing inflammation and maximizing cellular nutrition. Postural imbalances that create repetitive stress and lead to chronic pain can be eliminated through the yoga classes that I teach, so that clients can learn a new way of being in their bodies that is more integrated and alive. As I am a preferred provider with most major insurance companies such as BCBS, Lifewise, and Pacific Source, I am often working with patients who have been in an accident and have a prescription for massage therapy from their doctor.
What are some of the primary tenets that lead your practice?
Our modern lifestyle promotes a state where we are overworked, overscheduled, and overextended. One of the primary tenets of my Ayurvedic practice is quality over quantity. While completely changing your lifestyle and diet will bring a cascade of changes, sometimes just making one really essential change can have lasting benefits. This essential change is what I look for and recommend to my clients. Then, I support these recommendations with herbs that will increase the benefits of change. I also keep people accountable and engaged in their healing process through massage and yoga. Another of the primary theoretical tenets is one that I learned from my mentor, Scott Blossom. By NOT recognizing our true nature we experience unfulfilled desire and we set up a perspective that limits our responsiveness to stress to only a few options. Both yoga and Ayurveda allow us to align with our life’s compass and our internal intelligence which will give us multiple ways to respond to stress, healing our body and mind.
What have you enjoyed the most about working with your patients here in the Rogue Valley?
The Rogue Valley is unique in that it is very progressive when it comes to health and wellness. There is every kind of healing modality imaginable offered here. Patients in the Rogue Valley are extremely well informed and many of them take responsibility for their health and do research in order to get the best results from their treatment. I am glad that I can be a detective for them helping them to wade through all the information that is out there so that they can choose the best possible approach. This is a vibrant community and I find that many of my patients are doing amazing things and I am often inspired by them. I am grateful to be a part of such a thriving community.
In your own studies, travel and experience what has captivated you the most with your work as an Ayurvedic practitioner?
I believe that a lot can be said about a profession by looking at its current masters. My personal mentors Dr. Sarita Shrestha, Dr. Paul Dugliss, Zander Remete, Dr. Vasant Lad and others all are healthier than they were twenty years ago. Each one is not only a remarkable healer and clinician in their own right, but they have developed skills that I don’t hesitate to call superhuman. These skills: awareness, intuition, and their ability to heal with their hands defy the realm of modern science. I don’t know if I will have the good graces to reach such mastery in my lifetime, but to be in contact with true Masters is a captivating gift.
You lead a fall cleanse. Will you please tell us about it and the benefits one might receive by participating?
As one of last year’s participants said, “The following have decreased: stress, anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, guilt, and negative self-talk.
They have been replaced by confidence, gratitude, patience, motivation, clarity and a calm mind.” In our modern world we are exposed to carcinogens and other chemicals at an accelerated rate. The prevalence of smoke this summer is a perfect example. The natural detox pathways of the body can only do so much and the cleanse gives people a chance to reset their system. What is unique about this cleanse is the level of support that participants receive. In addition to a cleanse manual, classes and cleansing recipes they also receive a free 15 minute Ayurvedic assessment and daily emails during the cleanse. I am also available by email and phone to answer questions that arise. This level of support allows participants to really achieve the goals they have set for themselves. The cleanse begins Oct. 21st and will last two weeks. You can sign up for the cleanse book and your 15 minute assessment online at www.rhythmofhealing.com/fall-cleanse.html. I also offer individualized cleanses for people who are not able to attend this season’s classes.
Noah, you have had an opportunity to travel to some interesting places. Can you tell us about some of your most interesting travel experiences?
I have had the rare opportunity to mentor with Dr. Sarita Shrestha an Ayurvedic MD from Nepal who specializes in Women’s Health. She is a remarkable woman who was first written about in David Crow’s book The Medicine Buddha. She has taught me that how I interact with the client is equally as important as what you recommend and has encouraged me to cultivate awareness through meditation and yoga. As I began to practice meditation and yoga consistently when I was 16, I continue to grow in this way. When in Nepal, I did a 21 day trek through the Annapurna mountain range of the Himalayas. I went on this trek with a Nepalese city boy that I met on the bus from New Delhi, India to Pokhara, Nepal. It was late August so the monsoon rains were still ravaging the countryside, washing out roads and causing landslides. More than once on the three day bus ride it was recommended that we take a plane to Nepal to avoid the danger. We must have been blessed because our bus was able to make it across rivers in the road while other buses were turned sideways and passengers helped each other crawl out of the windows. Also on this bus ride, a long line of traffic formed behind a landslide that had fallen on a steep mountain road covering a bus in rocks and mud. We all helped to dig the bus out with our bare hands in order to continue the journey. It was on this trip that a strange event occurred. We were three quarters of the way through our trip and we stopped at a small mountain town called Poon Hill which means paradise. Early in the morning we climbed a steep traverse up to a mountain peak where you could see a panorama of mountains all over 24,000 feet in the distance. Spectacular does not do this view justice. It was through that experience that I reaffirmed my commitment to supporting this amazing planet and it’s inhabitants through medicine.
All in all, what do you enjoy most about the work you do?
There are two aspects of my work that I really love. One is encouraging clients to tap into a part of them that facilitates healing and watching them realize their health goals.
The other is coordinating with amazing practitioners. I have had the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with some outstanding members of this community. After finishing massage school, I was able to work with Siskiyou Massage’s Phillip Whitmore (http://siskiyoumassage.com/). Besides being an incredible massage therapist who was extremely generous with his knowledge, I was inspired by his integrity and bedside manner. I have also had the opportunity to work in the office of a remarkable naturopathic doctor who specializes in Oncology, Dr. Nasha Winters (www.namastehealthcenter.com). She has developed state of the art cancer retreats to help cancer patients wade through all the conflicting information that is out there. She has been an inspiration on my journey towards becoming the best practitioner I can possibly be. My practice of massage relies heavily on the work of Frank Lowen as it has been taught to me by Shawn Flot (http://movingintoharmony.com/). His approach to manual therapy is remarkable. It relies on in depth assessment of compensations and restrictions within the tissues, physiology and underlying energetic flow that compromise aliveness and fluid movement. His guidance has helped me identify these patterns to restore balance through massage and yoga.
Please talk about your new practice location and work with OM Sweet OM in Talent?
Om Sweet Om is the premier yoga studio in Southern Oregon that focuses on bringing high quality education about all the yogic arts to the Rogue Valley. I teach a yoga class called Ayurvedic Inquiry into Yoga where I gear every class towards health and wellness and I explore the ways in which yoga can be used to encourage and maintain long term health. The themes for the class can be found at www.rhythmofhealing.com/yoga.html. Om Sweet Om also houses my Ayurvedic Clinic, where I offer massage and Ayurvedic services. This is a great location because the atmosphere created by yoga and meditation is extremely conducive to the healing work that I do in my practice.
Noah, how can readers go about working with you?
If readers are interested in setting up an appointment with me for massage or Ayurvedic services they can schedule online on my website www.rhythmofhealing.com. There is also a lot of information about health and wellness on the website. I love to write and send out informative articles in my eNewsletters. To sign up for my eNewsletter visit the homepage. Readers can also connect with me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/rhythmofhealing or subscribe to my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/RhythmofHealing.
Noah Volz – Rhythm of Healing