This month on the BuDhaBlog, we've been exploring health as a central component of having wealth or being "wealthy." While everyone strives to be healthy, there is not one solution that works for all. Of course everyone needs a healthy diet, exercise and rest, but the type of diet, the kind of exercise, and the amount of rest that a person needs to feel good is about as unique as the individual themselves.
Dallas' very own Michelle Bardwell, founder of Flower Road Natural Therapies, is an expert on the Hippocratic Temperaments - an ancient health system with an evergreen relevance. Similarly to the Ayurvedic Doshas, the Hippocratic Temperament system is a way to "know thyself" so you can make effective, healthy changes to live a balanced life. When you live out of balance for too long, chronic illnesses can occur.
Bardwell explains to us that there are four base temperaments that rest on an axis: Phlegmatic, Melancholic, Sanguine and Choleric. Your temperament can be identified through the shape of your face, the structure of your body, your personality, the touch of your hands and more. Some people have a very obvious temperament, others rest somewhere between two.
Once you identify your base temperament, the idea is to be mindful of when you are in and out of balance. For instance, if you are phlegmatic and have been gaining weight, or you're melancholic and have insomnia, what changes should you be making in your diet or exercise to ease your ailment? Another way to balance your temperament is through carefully selected essential oils.
After years of study and practice, Michelle Bardwell devised Hippocratic Aromatherapy. This modality determines your base temperament, recognizes how it naturally functions, and notices what isn't functioning properly or is out of balance. Next, based on these variables, Michelle selects the correct essential oil formula for you. These formulas use a combination of organic, premium grade essential oils to bring specific temperaments back to homeostasis. Keep in mind that this aromatherapy is not about the essential oil's scent - it's about the essential oil's chemical family and its effect on the body at a molecular level.
As the Hippocratic Temperaments teach us, perhaps the greatest thing we can do to increase our individual health wealth and to live a balanced life is to simply be mindful of ourselves.