A decade ago, Awais Spall experienced muscle cramps and digestive issues that weren’t explained by his doctors. Later, everything got worse when he was exposed to black mold. Today Awais uses Functional Medicine and Ayurveda to help people with their health worries and live their best lives.
Find out what happened in the meantime and what Ayurveda, Functional Medicine and detoxing can do to help your body in the interview below for MysticMag’s blog.
Please share your journey with our audience
My journey started in 2011, when I was a student who took a lot of classes, worked full-time and did not sleep very well. I started having muscle cramps that got worse and worse, and then digestive issues, irritable bowel, loss of weight and other symptoms that I tried to address with many doctors. I was finding different direct treatment modalities like massage, acupuncture and a chiropractor, which were helpful but never really not effective.
I kept going on with my life and around 2017 I was exposed to black mold, which made me very sick with various infections and worsened muscle pains. I also started having chronic headaches, which made life very challenging. I’d already started functional medicine and this was when I took it on very seriously and started to go deeper into that topic to figure out what was going on with me.
I ordered lab testing and became aware that I suffered from heavy metal toxicity and mold damaging my gut lining. I was shocked because no doctors ever tested any of these things, so it gave me clear directions of things on which I needed to work, in order to properly detox and restore my gut health.
Then, I started to feel tremendously better. A colleague of mine told me when I started going to health conferences this was something I should pursue full-time. That’s when I started my current practice.
Can you explain to us what is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is one of the oldest forms of medicine that originated from India. It means to live your own unique truth. I like to explain it as being about me understanding what the unique constitution of a person is.
For example, if I was working with you, I’d figure out what your unique elemental constitution is between Vata, Pitta and Kapha or a blend of those. Dysfunctions in our bodies also have an elemental composition.
For instance, if there’s too much acidity somewhere in the body, it’d be fire, or high Pitta. If you are a Pitta (Fire element) constitution person, too much acidity would be very harmful, whereas if you are Vata (Air element), you can be prone to dryness, and if you have a Vata dysfunction on top of that, like anxiety, that could compound things.
I love Ayurveda because it gives us a toolkit to rebalance people’s constitutions and provide them direction. It comes equipped with botanical interventions that also have a constitutional component. So, even if functional medicine can be profound, I like combining it with Ayurveda because it lets us be targeted to the individual for their unique makeup.
Do you believe they are complementary?
I think they are complementary, but at the same time I tend to verify things with scientific background from modern medicine. Certain toolkits in the Ayurveda tradition, like vomit therapy or oil massage therapy can be profoundly helpful but I think we evolved in certain capacities with integrative medicine.
However, I think there’s a way to merge the two and that’s by using integrative medicine as the toolkit, and then Ayurveda lets us have a guiding mechanism for that.
What do you offer to your clients in the first session?
When somebody comes to me, I have a very intensive intake in the diagnostic process. People usually tell me that it’s the deepest they’ve ever gone about who they are. Some of the questions seem to come out of the blue, but I try to get a clear picture of when the symptoms started and the person’s unique challenges.
Then, if someone is local, I offer using applied kinesiology, an autonomic response testing for muscles. I have found that the combination of intakes, lab diagnostics and muscle testing does provide a really good picture of what is going on with somebody. I tend to prioritize lab testing because of their validity, however I found muscle testing very helpful in understanding what sort of toxins or pathogens manifest energetically.
How can people know if they have a parasite inside them? What should they do about it?
I think there’s a simple test they do in Germany for parasites: take 2 fingers and put them right here (in the neck). If you have a pulse, then you have a parasite. It’s a cheeky reference, obviously. It means that, if you are on this planet, you have parasites, because they have found mammals and other organisms as hosts for millions of years.
The question becomes then: are parasites always problematic? Do they exist in us and serve our bodies’ needs? This is a very interesting question that people raise, because maybe we don’t really need to get rid of them and they are serving a purpose in our bodies.
I have consistently found, by working with people, that they feel extremely better after excreting parasites. Some symptoms will go away, and sometimes they are not even aware of them.
The thing about humans is that we are extremely adaptive. We adapt and often forget about ways we have adapted. A lot of clients tell me that they adapted themselves not to consume dairy for a long time, for instance. Often, when they go through a parasite cleanse for 3 to 6 months, their dairy allergies will go away.
Personally, after going through a parasite detox, I have not found myself getting bloated after meals. My stomach became a lot flatter. I found it very beneficial to help people detox parasites, since their health generally improves when removing these bugs from their bodies.
What type of things people can do at home to improve their gut health and well-being in general?
The number one thing that we don’t often do, is to follow our circadian rhythms. Eating within a certain window is profoundly important. Not eating after dinner time, going to bed on time. Drinking water when waking up. Seeing how far you can push out before eating your first meal. Having a whole routine within that is really important.
A second thing is getting lab tested. Figure out where your body’s baseline is. The baseline function you feel may not be your body’s actual position. Getting a stool panel to see what your microbiome looks like; getting blood panels to see what your inflammatory markers look like. They can be very important and I believe these are the best preventive tools I’ve seen.
Sometimes somebody feels fine, even though they have a lot of inflammation that can be addressed. And when they address inflammation and don’t deal with any problems in the future, the brain starts to work a lot better without stressors.