Ayurvedic Rehabilitation Center
The Ayurvedic Rehabilitation Center provides Ayurvedic constitutional Analysis, yoga classes, bodywork and counseling, based upon a system of healing that orignated in India thousands of years ago. In Ayurveda, there are five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) which are combined into sub-systems called doshas. These are Vata, (ether,air), Pitta (fire), Kapha (water, earth). Every person is a unique combination of these three doshas and will have different requirements in terms of diet, herbs, yoga practice and lifestyle.
Profile and Credentials
Director Loretta Levitz is a rehabilitation specialist from the Boston area. She received her Bachelor's degree (magna cum laude, 1970) in group work and community development from Springfield College, and her Master's degree in rehabilitation from Northeastern University (1973). Ms. Levitz completed the basic Touch for Health course through Landmark Chiropractic in 1979. She has studied Therapeutic Touch with Dr. Deloris Krieger (of New York University School of Nursing) and has received certification through the American Spiritual Healing Association. She has studied yoga and nutrition with a wide variety of teachers, including Dr. Vasant Lad of Poona, India (former Director of the Tarachand Ayurvedic Hospital) since 1979. Loretta Levitz has been in private practice for more than thirty years. During this time, she has lectured and/or done consultant work at various institutions and agencies including Tufts University, New England Baptist School of Nursing, Harvard Medical School, Northeastern University, Beth Israel Hospital, the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Boston City Hospital, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Association to Overcome M.S., and the Yoga Teachers Association. Loretta has also been a guest speaker on WRKO, Disability Directions, WBUR, WXOX, WBCN and WMJX & St.Elizabeth's Hospital. She has taught at the Boston Center for Adult Education. St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Simmons College, The Center for Fitness East and West, the Institute of Applied Metaphysics, The Boston Self-Help Center, community schools in Allston and Cambridge, the Carroll School for the Blind, the Theosophical Society of Boston, and Whole Life Exposition, and the Boston Food Co-op. Loretta has published several articles about the use of yoga in The Archives of American Rehabilitation and The Yoga Journal. Articles about her work have appeared in The Whole Life Times, The Boston Globe, The New Age Journal, and The Yoga Journal. She was named "Best Alternative Healthcare Practitioner" by Boston Magazine. Assistant Director David Liberty has studied yoga with Loretta Levitz since 1978, and has studied Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad since 1979. During that time he completed a three-year teacher training program, and he has been the assistant director of the disabled students program since 1981. He studied polarity with both Dr. Lad and the Polarity Wellness Center of Cambridge from 1986-88. In 1988 he received his certification in hypnotherapy from the Hypnodyne Foundation.
Work Hours and Fee Schedule
Loretta Levitz has over thirty years experience in the fields of Ayurveda and yoga, working with healthy individuals and physically challenged people as well.
AYURVEDIC CONSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS is the traditional yogic approach to health which recognizes that each individual is different because of the unique constellation of elements (earth, air, fire, water) within his/her physical and emotional being. Once this is clearly understood, an appropriate diet, specific meditation and yoga postures can be formulated to help restore balance within the person as a whole.
NUTRITION is a way of cleansing and building the body according to the principles of Ayurveda. Because of one's constitution, certain foods may help or hurt the body, depending upon how they affect the overall balance of elements. Suggested dietary practice is also adapted to the lifestyle and tastes of the individual.
Personalized HATHA YOGA programs likewise address the particular imbalances present in each case. The postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and relaxation exercises (meditation, visualization, self-suggestion) are learned gradually, and each student progresses at his/her own pace. The emphasis is on rhythmic breathing, controlled stretch and counterstretch, isolation of muscle control, release of vertebral compression, and direction of blood and energy flow. Classes are small (5-8 people) allowing for maximum individual attention and safety.
THERAPEUTIC TOUCH or Laying-on-of-Hands is sometimes included as part of an overall health plan that may facilitate the body's own recuperative process. COUNSELING is offered as emotional issues surface during yoga practice. Meditation may be included if stress management is needed.
REHABILITATION services include intensive whole health training and coordination of additional health care services such as chiropractic, acupuncture, polarity, or massage.
HYPNOSIS is state of deep listening, rather than some mysterious trance; this is a state of deep relaxation and body-mind communication where negative conditioning (the cause of many addictions) can be re-programmed. All hypnosis is self hypnosis. Therefore, nobody can be made to do anything harmful to themselves or others. The purpose of hypnotherapy is to change negative programming to positive.
POLARITY is a powerful bodywork system that can help clients to relax and release emotional blocks, through the use of touch to specific points along meridians or pathways of the body. Polarity is effective by itself and as an adjunct to both traditional and holistic modalities. For example, polarity in conjunction with chiropractic care may facilitate better holding of the adjustment.
The Ayurvedic Rehabilitation Center offers regular yoga classes Monday through Thursday, 7:00-8:00PM and Tuesday mornings, 11:15AM-12:15PM. Seminars on Ayurveda are offered periodically.
TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM
The Center provides a 2-year teacher training program which includes 6 hours of class, supervised clinical experience, and 1 hour of individual supervision plus homework weekly. The course also covers the principles and practices of Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda, therapeutic touch, the relationship of yoga to diet and nutrition, and an overview of common disability states. (Students who are not well versed in anatomy are expected to complete this aspect of their study independently). Teacher trainees learn not only how to do yoga, but HOW TO TEACH YOGA, and how to work with contraindications present in sciatica, arthritis, and other common health problems. The cost of $4,800 includes approximately 500 hours of class time plus clinical instruction. A discount is available for full payment in advance. Two exams must be completed for certification.
The basic rate for individual 50-minute sessions is $60-$75. Classes are $45 a month. Loretta is available for lecture, and/or consulting work by arrangement.
WHOLE HEALTH TRAINING is the blend of Western rehabilitation therapy and AYURVEDA, the Indian Science of Life. This training is used preventively with healthy individuals, and also to assist in the management of specific disease or trauma for patients under the care of a physician. The student, rather than the teacher, takes primary responsibility for the growth process by working with his/her program on a daily basis. The purpose of training is to teach lifestyle skills that we believe promote good health. No particular or specific results are guaranteed. Whole health training does not treat or prescribe for any illness, and does not substitute for medical advice and treatment. Clients are urged to share their whole health plan with their physician. If pain or unusual symptoms persist, or arise, it is the client's responsibility to consult a qualified doctor.
The New Life Center Scholarship Fund accepts donations for the purpose of purchasing yoga classes and holistic health care services for individuals with disabilities on fixed incomes. These services may improve the quality of life for many handicapped individuals. Read through our testimonials to find out more about the "little victories" that you can be part of. (We are a tax exempt, 501-C3 charitable organizaton.)
FEEDBACK FROM STUDENTS
"Thank you for all your help with my back problem (lower, middle and neck). I tried so many approaches (bed rest, corset, chiropractors, aspirin, heat, ice, massage, etc.) to get over a very painful condition which took me away from doing every activity I'd always done. Everything helped a bit but also made me even worse. Yoga is the only approach which surely helped without bad effects. In fact, looking over all the things I tried, I feel it is yoga plus some specialized muscular therapy and strengthening exercises (from Ben Benjamin) which ended up helping me. I've been doing the yoga now for a year, 3-4 times a day. Though not back to 100% of my functioning yet (and I expect I will be), I am now functioning closer to normal if I avoid lifting and other over-straining activities. Judy Einzig
"Four years ago my back started aching. I tried to put that nagging pain out of my mind. It didn't work. Three months later I went to a hospital, X-rays were taken. Arthritis in my lower back. A prescription for Motrin was given me. The pain became worse. I went to another hospital. This time acupuncture, massage and exercise were used. The pains till persisted. Many nights I could barely turn over the pain was so severe. Then I came to the New Life Center. Loretta Levitz showed me gentle exercises. She gave me a new diet with the elimination of nightshade vegetables as the main culprit of my old diet. After two months, I was free of medication for the first time in four years. I am working nine hours a day. I even went dancing for the first time this weekend. I am a new and vital woman. I am eternally grateful to Loretta and speak in praise of her wherever I go." Patricia Garrity
"Since seeing Ms. Levitz, I no longer have headaches: I no longer need oxygen delivered to my home to help me breathe; I'm losing weight; with my doctor's approval I reduced my steroids and my insulin. I can ride my exercise bike more than six miles. I have returned to work. I've been helped tremendously." Rosalee Williams, client with multiple chronic diseases
"Loretta Levitz is a wonderful yoga teacher. She helped me with my asthma. But even more importantly, she taught me how to enjoy being me." Patrice W. Wallace
"I had a stroke in 1971 and lost the use of the left side of my body. I began working with Loretta in 1983. In three months I was able to open my left hand completely. (It had been tightly closed before this). In four months, I was able to raise my arm above shoulder level. (I couldn't raise it at all before). I am developing muscles in my left arm, shoulders, and back. I am able to do more things for myself. After less than a year with The New Life Center, my doctor told me to throw away my brace, since my 'sleepy' leg was functioning so well." Maudy Yancy
"I have been working with Loretta Levitz since October of 1996. I searched her out because I was curious about the diagnostic and prescriptive powers of Ayurveda. I have been so profoundly changed by my experience with Loretta and so inspired by her that I was curious to hear the stories of others who have worked with her. The following is one such story... Today I spoke with a business man named John who started working with Loretta in November of 1996. He had been suffering with ulcerative colitis for about three years. His experience of ulcerative colitis included the significant discomfort and inconvenience of frequent bloody diarrhea. He had seen all of the top gastrointestinal medical doctors in Boston. The steroids used early in his illness had provided some temporary relief but symptoms had returned. Acupuncture, which John had found helpful for a bad back, was "no help" for the colitis. During the initial 4½ hour consultation, Loretta worked with John to understand his experience, to answer all questions that he had regarding ayurveda, and to craft a strategy for getting well. The basic prescription was a new diet. The first step was to stop irritating the colon and to determine if any foods were particularly aggravating to the disease. John's recovery was swift. Within three weeks 80 % of John's symptoms were gone. Within five weeks, 100 % of John's symptoms were gone." Edi Pasalis
"I sought help when my skin broke out in a severe case of adult cystic acne. I had suffered for years with adolescent acne that had been controlled with antibiotics, then birth control pills. When I made the decision to go off medication, the condition reappeared.In one evaluative session, Loretta assessed my condition according to Ayurvedic principles, and suggested minimal vitamin supplements, dietary changes and inexpensive topical applications. My dermatologist said I could only choose between various drugs for my condition. Yet within one one month of my Ayurvedic consultation, I was 75% better. In two months, the cystic acne had cleared completely. I now feel like an equal participant in my own health and have grown to know and trust my body." H. B.
"The combination of yoga and polarity helped me to become more grounded and allows me to experience my body in new, positive ways. I am now able to breathe deeply when stressed. David understands how my energy works and he helps me to deal with it positively. The philosophy of Ayurveda helps me validate myself — body, mind, emotions — in a way that I have rarely gotten before." Laurie Rosenbloom, client with nervous system disorder
"Since I have served on the Harvard University Group Health Consumers Board, I have observed many aspects of health care. Based on my personal experience, I highly recommend the work of The New Life Center and Loretta Levitz." Althea Aschman
"Loretta combines her expertise with a patience worthy of praise. She is diligent and loving with those willing to create miracles in their health." Beth Busch, Acupuncturist
"The Ayurvedic approach to my rosacea has proved remarkably effective. Within two weeks I was flushing less andthe skin eruptions were greatly reduced. Within a month, my complexion was smooth. The diet isn't hard to follow. My digestion is improved. For the first time in my life I am not gassy and constipated. I seem to be doing fine." Phyllis Fisher
"I appreciate your commitment to health, your support of individuals' paths, your steadfast vision, and your love. I appreciate your delightful and unique teaching skills and your ability to see theobscure and to incite change. You are making extraordinary contributions, for you are profoundly touching many people's lives. You are a master at transforming despair into hope." Margo Pierce, Polarity Practitioner, RN
"The year-long training was a goldmine of information. It gave me the background I needed to become an Ayurvedic practitioner, using constitutional analysis, nutritional advice, therapeutic yoga, and lifestyle counseling. Since we practiced the disciplines ourselves, each of us went through some powerful transformations in our lives. The hands-on work with clients was invaluable, giving me the experience I needed to work on my own since 1986." Carrol Demorest, MA, Ayurvedic Practitioner
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