MY JOURNEY WITH AYURVEDA
© Jaisri Lambert, Ayurveda Doctor (NAMA)
July 2023, Surrey, BC
How I Became an Ayurveda Doctor
Becoming an Ayurveda Doctor wasn’t an ambition of mine, but by good fortune and ‘digging one's well’ of following my passion, I turned around years later and saw that my adult life had led me there by itself. In 2017, the degree was conferred on me by the National Ayurveda Medical Association, culminating some 35 years of study.
Of course, I had to learn business skills along the way, such as contract writing for engaging with seminar sponsors, heart-centred marketing for filling events, client satisfaction skills for ensuring enduring relationships and delegating tasks where my skills are weak, such as administration, accounting, social media, etc.
Creating and maintaining the websites have been the most challenging for me, in my generation. The websites are teaching me how to express myself and Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the ancient Science of all of Life, which has been practiced in India for over 10,000+ years and written down for an estimated 5,000 years. Ayurveda is the oldest recorded healing science still existing today and connects to yoga philosophy and the harmonization of body, mind, and consciousness.
In 1965, after graduating high school in Vancouver, BC, I moved to France to pursue education in Classic Studies at the University of Paris, the Sorbonne. Becoming bilingual helped open learning pathways to bring a life-long appreciation of how language informs and expresses belief systems, lifestyle practices and so much more.
After living and learning in Paris from age 17-20, I returned home to Vancouver. My son was born in 1967 and my daughter in 1973, shifting my focus of attention to their childhood needs. Following a genetic pattern and not having stress-management skills, I developed hormonally-related migraine headaches. The debilitation led me to search for effective solutions.
By the 1970s, I had begun my studies in natural healing, eventually becoming a self-taught herbalist and nutritionist, mainly out of the necessity of raising my two children. Later, I enrolled in Polarity Therapy training, a hands-on healing science based on ancient Ayurveda, completely unknown to me at the time.
Soon after graduating, I began offering healing sessions professionally in my home office in Vancouver, BC and found that somehow my weekend teaching seminars were always filled. At that time, the phone was the medium of communication, long before the internet of today.
Word-of-mouth ‘phone trees and fliers posted at libraries and health food store bulletin boards were our methods of enrolling interested people in the events. Fortunately, in our vegetarian, health-oriented community, there was high interest in the topic of hands-on healing sessions for building awareness of unresolved emotional patterns and issues of the past. We were discovering meditation, spirituality, and our Selves!
Polarity Therapy practice led me to develop a keen interest in its parent science of Ayurveda, the world’s oldest holistic health science. I was at a time of needing to heal two failed relationships with the fathers of my son and daughter and gain deeper insights into forgiveness of all wrongs, real and imagined. It was a time to introspect and discover All is within the inner stillness.
I needed to apply the knowledge of chakras, meridians and marma points (Ayurveda vital life points) with breath awareness and postural alignment, to develop a deeper emotional intelligence about life as a gift, and that purpose relates to service.
It was a time of an entirely new discovery of anatomy and physiology, from what I’d learned from my study of Western health sciences and took me into what I came to call the Invisible Anatomy™ of the inner spiritual journey.
At last, I had insights into rising above old karmas and co-creating or re-birthing a new self-identification. The creation of five elements was unfolding its truths.
As the learning progressed, so did the depth of commitment and inner calm. I saw that healing techniques are ancient, and even today we’re able to revive the hidden secrets of Ayurveda, still available to the seeker. Then later with the time and grace of the guru, I somehow became a memory keeper, too.
Over the next forty years or so, based on continuous clinical dedication and ongoing study, I became blessed to innovate healing techniques into an evolution called by my teacher, Dr. Lad, ‘Turiya Therapy’, meaning the transcendent state of self-realization, existing within everyone, and allowed to express in the stillness of body and mind.
Ayurveda is the sacred holistic understanding of human balancing, practiced throughout history by seers of old whose vision was subtle and sophisticated. I feel my success is due to primarily to my mentor’s skillful transference of the classical theory and practice of Ayurveda assessment through pulse reading and related techniques, and to the public’s sincere search, like my own, for holistic health through natural methods.
Earlier Adult Life
Fluency in French opened professional doors in teaching, broadcasting, and government service. I became a French teacher, Public Affairs broadcaster, and Administrator to help support myself as a single mother of two growing children, especially as they came to school age.
From my teens, I experienced debilitating migraine headaches, and finally in my twenties began researching the possible causes of the intense pain. Allopathic medicine could neither explain nor treat my condition effectively. Drugs prescribed not only did not work but also had intolerable side effects.
Many people come to natural therapy only after modern methods fail. I discovered the side effects must be corrected before the now long-standing problem can be rectified. I realized that natural healing is slow but effective. It took years to understand my psycho-physiology from a classical perspective.
I came to feel that education and understanding held the answers to my search. Now, individual consultations, group seminars, and the new online programs empower people to access ancient principles of wellness from Ayurveda for daily living, at home.
The discovery that Ayurveda is for all humanity, not just one nation or group, changed my life perspective. Though it is a very sophisticated and subtle science, simple and effective ways of self-healing can be easily applied in our modern stressful lives.
A skill I had to learn was how to distill complex and inclusive science into individual, practical tools for the immediate need at hand. As a young mother in my twenties, I began studying naturopathy and herbology to manage my own family’s health. I became a vegetarian after studying the food industry and began participating in food coops.
Ayurveda does not specifically prescribe vegetarianism but does describe the qualities (e.g., thick, light, astringent, etc.) of food substances. Thus, we can distinguish between foods that are suitably health-building for everyone such as fresh, pure foods, and how to avoid ‘slow poisons’ such as stale items, improperly combined foods, or those not suited to one’s constitution, weather conditions, age factors, etc.
Ayurvedic dietetic science revealed itself through my principal teacher, Dr. Lad, as most logical, beyond fads, and has stood the test of time. The basic, simple pharmacological principles of the ‘Shad Rasa’ or Six Taste Science of the effects of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent flavours unfolded through day-to-day experience.
This universal and inclusive concept was much beyond the isolated science of vitamins and minerals I had learned prior. I began to understand that for satisfying nutrition towards healthy living, all six tastes are needed daily, adjusted seasonally, in taken in suitable combinations and permutations for everyone.
Prevention is of course more cost-effective than treatment. Ayurveda looks at each person as unique and helps us to understand imbalances and learn to restore our own innate constitutional balance.
In my thirties, as the children grew older, I began taking every possible seminar and workshop on health, coming to Polarity Therapy, the science of touch healing from Ayurveda. It began an exploration of many bodywork techniques and schools of thought for hands-on healing such as Rolfing, Shiatsu, Ortho-Bionomy, Trager, Feldenkrais, etc., and many practices such as 20/20 Beyond Vision, Groff Breathwork, Applied Educational Kinesiology, etc.
The works of Sondra Ray, Barbara Brennan, Randolph Stone, and Louise Hay conveyed insights into the mind/body direct relationship and brought an awareness of the subtle intimacy of cause and effect on our Light Body and the link between breath awareness and our psychobiology. The experience of wholeness, oneness, indivisibility and belonging to the unified field somehow came to me by grace.
Of course, ancient Ayurveda had taught about Prana from time immemorial and summarized these modern ‘discoveries’ while revealing that the pure science of Ayurveda is alive and accessible now, as always. Ayurveda is a timeless science, whose principles remain unchanged since time immemorial. Only context changes with time.
During those years, I wrote, “The knowledge of classical meridians and trigger points is beneficial in alleviating pain conditions, and I go further to acknowledge the psycho-spiritual aspects of health and disease. For example, I have observed that those with chronic fatigue may not be in alignment with their life purpose, digestive needs, and even simple sleep.
Psycho-emotional causes are not separate from the outward symptoms, but by careful consideration of individual misunderstandings behind the ‘evidence’, these subtle root influences are seen and realized. By addressing the symptoms and the root causes together, understanding becomes more comprehensive and more lasting healing is possible.”
Continuing Education in the Maturing Years
After becoming certified in Polarity Therapy in 1985, demand for hands-on healing classes began to increase. The Westcoast Polarity School and later the East-West Polarity School became the frameworks for travelling and teaching Polarity Therapy, as founded by Dr. Randolph Stone, D.O., D.C., N.D.
I felt one day I would continue Dr. Stone’s innovative, but incomplete, contribution to understanding the effects of Pranic energy on whole health. Dr. Stone did not include an in-depth understanding of Ayurvedic medicine, or its Sanskrit language of origin.
In 1988, my teacher of Ayurveda, Vaidya Vasant D. Lad, M.A.Sc., came on a tour to Victoria, B.C. an event that deeply influenced my life. Now, the unfolding of the world’s oldest and still most comprehensive holistic healthcare science has begun. “Healing is love plus intelligence”, Dr. Lad taught. Intuitively, I had always known that spirituality and physical life are not separate.
Along the way, I learned that self-evidence is a valid method of conclusion according to Vedanta, one of the important philosophical schools of thought through influencing the evolution and development of Ayurveda, the world’s oldest holistic medical science, which has been continuously practiced and is still extant today.
At last, in my thirties, the migraine syndrome became understood and managed; the study of the broader philosophies of Ayurveda began, as well as the Vedic culture of its origin, which emphasized that human and divine experiences are one and that as we achieve balance individually, we also arrive at more harmony with the divine, a state of unity and integration that feels natural.
“Happiness is a symptom of health in Ayurveda. We cannot exclude spiritual considerations from a health program. The emphasis is on individual lifestyle and constitutional balance. We can learn much today from ancient texts, specifically drugless therapies, modalities, and treatments, I wrote as a developing student.”
As time unfolded, I saw that the coming Light and Sound Therapies would surpass the technologies of today, to reduce harm and increase the efficacy of diagnostics and treatment. Light and sound are the two primordial essences of human existence, indeed existence.
With this background in holistic studies, I still see people today, presenting with a variety of complaints such as chronic spinal stress, headaches, fatigue, arthritis, depression, digestive and hormonal disorders, sleeplessness, and many more unusual complaints.
Turiya Therapy Development
Gradually developed throughout my practice, a science of body-based counselling rooted in the philosophy and trigger point (“Marma”) science of Ayurveda, named ‘Turiya Therapy’ by my mentor, Dr. Lad. He chose the name to denote the power of stillness for transcending the root causes of disease in the psycho-spiritual matrix, to naturally rise above the unresolved emotional factors into a clear mind state of auto-realization.
Touch therapy is one important bridge for re-establishing our mind-body relationships. Natural methods of breath awareness, stretching, dietary science, herbal supplements, meditation, massage, bodywork and Panchakarma (classical healing programs) are more gentle, free of side effects, and empowering to the individual to promote natural cleansing and rejuvenation. Most importantly perhaps, these time-honoured measures are effective in regaining one’s health.
During more than twelve years of direct study and practice of Ayurveda with Dr. Lad, which continues to this day, I gradually developed a deep knowledge of Pulse Assessment, individualized herbal formulations, wellness programs, classical bodywork techniques and counselling. I feel blessed to teach Ayurveda at all levels, and delighted students somehow continue to come. I’m still fluently bilingual in both French and English.
Role of the National Ayurveda Medical Association (NAMA)
Living in the San Jose, CA area in the nineties, the need became evident for a national organization to help transition Ayurveda from India to the United States. I was invited with four others to volunteer to come together and co-create the National Ayurveda Medical Association as a professional association to represent the interests of practitioners.
My natural committee affinity at the time was the Standards of Practice. I advocated for equivalent to the Indian B.A.M.S. standards at the time, and still do at present, and espoused the need for international standards, now set by the Indian A.Y.U.S.H. Ministry some twenty years later.
With my extensive experience with non-profit organizations in Canada (my parents had modelled volunteerism at every phase of life), helped with the actual administrative work to co-create such an organization on a federal level. Being a founding member, I really had no idea about the momentum that membership would take in the US, and though I left the organization’s leadership, I remain a faithful member.
In 2017, I was encouraged to apply for grandfathering of the Ayurveda Doctor designation. With much help from Jolynne Flores, Membership Coordinator, I was able to qualify and today I continue to serve NAMA as a volunteer member from time to time.
Coming to my late sixties, my focus of attention shifted from livelihood, which had by necessity dominated my daily single-parent family life since my twenties, I began to withdraw from the daily clinical practice of hands-on healing and grew to give more attention to educating the next generation of healers.
Now in my mid-seventies, I’m continuing to learn and grow with Ayurveda in Canada and abroad.
In 2017, the Canada Ayurveda Research and Education Foundation came into being as a federally registered non-profit corporation. Currently, work is focused on four important inaugural projects as follows:
To develop an Ayurveda Elder Home Care-Aide Training Program in BC
To complete the Multiple Sclerosis & Ayurveda Self-Care Program Manual
To create an Internet Portal for Ayurveda Research Worldwide for Canadian physicians
To compile a Materia Medica of Local Indigenous Medicinal Plants according to the classifications of traditional Ayurveda herbal science
For individual health consultation appointments, regarding individual presentation topics for your group, or to contribute to the C.A.R.E. Foundation, please contact me at
9 am to 5 pm Mon. to Fri., Pacific Time