Hear From Our Students:
Lakshmi Tracy Cunningham
Lakshmi's Powerful Journey of Transformation
When Lakshmi Tracy Cunningham learned about Ayurveda, she was experiencing a mental and physical low. For years she had issues with hives that wouldn’t respond to treatment from standard western medicine. And worse—as the hive breakouts lasted longer and longer, starting every few months and lasting weeks, the doctors could not explain how or why they were happening. Her immunity was at an all-time low and she was in and out of the emergency room to drain large, painful facial abscesses -- some of which were caused by a type of bacteria called MRSA that is resistant to several antibiotics.
Lakshmi felt the doctors did not take the time to explain or understand her condition, and instead suggested monthly allergy shots and sent her on her way. “I continued to do what I could do,” says Lakshmi, “but the medicine and exhaustion left me feeling like I was constantly in a zombie state. I knew western medicine couldn't get me to the root cause of what was happening—and that was what I wanted to know.”
On top of these health trials, she was working in graphic design—a field she loved—but at an over-demanding job with twelve hour days, heavy deadline pressure, and where vacations and time off were frowned upon. All of that stress and long days led to unhealthy emotional eating.
“I finally decided to be my own advocate,” says Lakshmi. “I knew I had to inspire myself.” Lakshmi started reading about Ayurveda, which led her to a seminar where she met students of Acharya Shunya. She shared her story and finally felt understood. “They started connecting the season I was in—the stress I was under,” says Lakshmi. “They gave me a beautiful summary of what I knew intuitively but didn't understand how to put into words. I just started crying in the middle of the seminar. They hugged me, told me there was hope, and invited me to the school.”
Lakshmi started taking classes and knew immediately it was exactly what she sought. “After about six months of learning about diet and lifestyle and taking herbs, my hives started reducing. I started to lose some weight. Over time applying Ayurveda, I didn’t even have outbreaks anymore. Also, while I came in for help with hives, my ‘side benefits’ have included lowering my high cholesterol, reversing pre-diabetes, and finding relief from painful menses.”
An Amazing Journey
“It is an amazing journey,” says Lakshmi. “With Ayurveda I have made more progress in two years, than I had ever experienced in the five years of western medicine."
“It was an amazing journey,” says Lakshmi. “I made more progress in two years, than I had ever experienced in the five years of western medicine. Once I followed what they told me to do, I naturally wanted to know more. I started consuming every bit of wisdom they gave to me.”
It wasn’t just about the body—it was also about the mind. “It taught me about the situations I kept putting myself into. I had to learn to stand up to my own mind to say “no, I can't do that," as well as "no" to others' demands or desires that I could not fulfill,” says Lakshmi. “I had to learn to calm the stressful mind that was kind of addicted to anxiety and anger—I had a lot of anger built up. That wisdom was really important in my healing journey. Not just the food, the mind medicine.”
“My whole life after beginning Ayurveda changed,” says Lakshmi. “I did a 180.” She changed her daily habits in increments to really understand what she was doing with each day. She got her sleep in order, and she learned a breathing technique to calm the nervous system. She eliminated some foods from her diet and added others. She grew in her understanding of when her body is talking to her.
She also found a new job, still in graphic design, but at a company that valued a work and life balance and wants employees to thrive. She started her own business, spiralhearthealing.com, that uses intuitive readings, Ayurveda, and reiki to help other people along on their journey with her own version of soul, mind, and body medicine. She loves mother nature and on her half-acre homestead in California she is a beekeeper, has an amazing pollinator garden, and even grows some of the herbs that she learned about in the Ayurveda classes. She is thriving.
In addition, because of her love of helping others along on their journeys, she is an admissions counselor for the Awakened Health Foundation. She loves doing this because she believes anyone will benefit from Ayurveda. “It really only takes a few lifestyle and dietary changes to see the difference in your body, have more energy, and feel lightness in your mind,” says Lakshmi. “You will feel more grounded and happy in your life. You will make better choices. You become an inspirational light for others to see what balanced health and happiness looks like. Once you begin healing, you won’t want to go back to where you were.”