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Interview

Ayurveda & Healing with Marie Viellard

Viellard’s holistic approach to healing clients finds its roots in compassion.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And when doctors prescribe you medication for life, you begin to explore healing in new ways. When Marie Viellard learned that she had Hashimoto’s disease and would be taking medication indefinitely, she began to explore her options. Along her own personal wellness journey, she discovered Hatha Yoga. During her teacher training, she learned more about Ayurveda as a means of alternative medicine. Soon after, she would provide a space for others to learn, heal, and develop their own Ayurvedic wellness journeys.

Enter: the UMA Center. Specializing in women’s health, fertility, stress management & auto-immune disorders, UMA Center is a wellness hub for people striving to reclaim their health. Viellard’s holistic approach to healing clients finds its roots in compassion. Her therapeutic treatments skillfully combine dietary changes, traditional Ayurvedic massages, meditative yoga and energy healing. Join us as we explore wellness in a whole new way through Ayurveda with UMA’s very own, Marie Viellard.

Tell us more about the UMA Center. What does a day with your clients look like?

Since the moment I began studying Ayurveda, I had wanted to open a holistic healing center for women’s health. Today, I offer my services as an Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher at the center. In addition, I incorporate other practices, such as quantum healing, meditation classes, Reiki, osteopathy, family constellations, health coaching etc.

I dedicate half of my time to seeing clients in consultation or for an Ayurvedic treatment. Further, I also teach a couple of yoga classes a day (mostly privates). During the rest of my time, I develop new material or group programs. I am currently working on short courses that people can buy online and do at home at their own pace. A few basic changes in our diet and lifestyle go a long way in terms of benefits. So, my goal is to share these tools with a many people as possible.

What are some of the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine?

Ayurveda is India’s traditional general medicine, so by nature, it can really treat everything. The most appealing part of Ayurveda is the preventive aspect. Further, the patient understands what they can do to feel better. It is very empowering. In my practice, I chose to focus more on vitality, stress and hormonal issues. Some of my clients come because they deal with chronic fatigue, depression or digestive issues. In addition, I also work with pregnant women and women suffering from PMS, infertility or menopause.

How did your personal wellness journey lead you to discover Ayurveda?

Fifteen years ago, I used to work as a lawyer in Paris. After a few months of poor diet and increasing amounts of stress, I noticed some changes. For example, I started to suffer from skin rashes, irregular menstrual cycles or constant frustration. These small things became chronic, and a couple of years later, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroidism).

Instead of becoming dependent on medicine for the rest of my life, I started looking at alternative medicines. Even though medication made sense at the time, I knew I could be doing other things. Further, I wanted to understand the impact of my own behavior on my health.

Spring is the time for new beginnings. What would be a good kickstarter to improve our wellness regimen?

Spring is really an interesting phase of the year. Just like nature around us shows signs of renewal, our body has the same needs. It wants to get rid of the extra weight accumulated during winter and to feel more energetic. If people do not adapt to the season, they may experience some kind of chronic fatigue or congestion in the body.

The first thing to do is to rehydrate the body. Most, if not all, clients I see are not drinking enough water, so the lymph gets congested. I suggest starting the day with a large glass of warm water (up to 500ml). Then, you should try to drink up to 2L per day. Reducing coffee and tea will also help decrease accumulated internal dryness.

Most, if not all, clients I see are not drinking enough water, so the lymph gets congested.

Another thing I recommend is to reduce the amount of fats you consume. Instead, you should increase the quantity of cooked green vegetables (ideally half of your meal) in your diet. This helps increase fiber intake and promotes regular bowel movements.

Last but not least, is to try and have a regular exercise routine. Thirty minutes per day is enough to help your metabolism burn the toxins located in the fat cells. Of course, spring is the best time of year to do a gentle cleanse. Clients who have done it in the past usually can’t wait to do it again, as they really feel fantastic right away and most of the year after.

When working with new clientele, how do you approach the first consultation?

A few days before the appointment, I e-mail a very detailed intake form. It helps me get as much information as I can about the client’s medical history. Further, it helps the person see the areas they want or need to work on.

On the day of the consultation, I conduct my own diagnosis based on Ayurvedic principles. For example, I combine a physical exam (with tongue and pulse), an evaluation of the person’s metabolism (digestive strength), and a psychological trait analysis. We review their diet and routine together, and I suggest a protocol the person is comfortable following. Forcing someone into doing something won’t work, so it is a very important part of the consultation. A plan usually combines some dietary changes, lifestyle improvements, Ayurvedic body treatments and/or herbal formulas.

Your dos and don’ts when it comes to building healthy habits?

It really depends on the person’s psychological profile, so it is important to go along with their nature when working with someone. While some people thrive on variety and change, others might need competitiveness or community support. Overall, based on my experience working with clients, I see tremendous results when incorporating changes one step at a time. In other words, it is important to keep in mind that this is a longterm process.

So, I always suggest changing one or two things over a week or more. Once it has become a habit, you can progress to change something else. This process nourishes the mind’s need to see some results fairly quickly. It also helps build confidence and patience for longer term goals. If the person follows their protocol, we can see amazing and long lasting results after only three months. They usually do not have to come back unless for a yearly checkup.

Where can our readers find you?

You can find me on my website, as well as on Instagram as @umacenternyc and @marie_viellard. You can also contact me by email at marie@umacenternyc.com, and I am always available for a complimentary 15-minute call!

If you’re feeling sluggish, experiencing digestion complications, or bloating more than usual, I highly recommend the 14-day detox program. The package includes a 60-minute consultation, three follow-up calls with myself throughout the cleanse, a personalized cleanse manual, an herbal formula, as well as an Ayurvedic detox kit delivered right to your home!

Click the button below and select the “BWB Cleanse – Special Offer” for 15% off!

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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