What is Ayurveda?
“Ayurveda”, originating from Sanskrit and meaning Science of Life, is the world’s oldest system of preventive health care and self healing. Ayurveda is an ancient system of health guidance that developed in India over 7000 years ago.
It is a natural approach to create balance within the body and strengthening the bodies own healing abilities. Not only does Ayurveda encompass a holistic approach, but a philosophy and lifestyle as well to balance the five bodily elements Either, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. It is known as the “mother of all medicine” and what sets Ayurvedic medicine apart from Western medicine is that it is a complete, holistic health care system, working simultaneously on the mind, body and emotions. Ayurvedic medicine and western medicine are not conflicting, however, Ayurveda has been proven to be far more effective than western medicine when dealing with chronic conditions.
Ayurveda has three basic aims:
- To Promote and Preserve Health
- To Prevent Disease
- To Cure Disease
What is an Ayurvedic Consultation?
An Ayurvedic Consultation involves your unique body type analysis (= Prakriti) and diagnosis of present imbalances through Pulse diagnosis, Nail Diagnosis and Tongue Diagnosis (= Vikruti) to select specific herbs and natural remedies, dietary and lifestyle changes, exercise, yoga, pranayama and meditation.
Ayurveda then offers treatments tailored to each individual’s Prakriti and Vikruti. In this way, imbalances are removed by focusing on the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. Its natural treatments strengthen the body’s self-healing abilities.
Basic Principles of Ayurvedic Philosophy
Ayurveda encompasses three primary energies (Tri-Doshas). Vata, Pitta & Kapha. All life is made up of five elements contained in these three energies: Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth and water). This law is known as "The Panch Maha Bhoota".
Together they regulate every physiological and psychological characteristic from basic cellular processes to the most complex biological functions.
Vata – represents knowledge and movement. It is responsible for all the bodily activities and sensations. It controls the movement of blood through the circulatory system, breathing, the delivery of nutrients to the cells and the removal and excretion of waste products.
In balance it promotes flexibility and creativity. Out of balance it produces fear and anxiety.
Pitta – represents Metabolism and Transformation. It governs digestion and metabolic transformation of nutrients into biologically usable forms. It also imparts the capacity to absorb ideas and impressions and bestows intelligence and an enthusiasm for life.
In balance it promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance it produces anger, hate and jealousy.
Kapha – provides the power of healing, growth and reproduction. It gives strength and stability, both physically and psychologically. It enhances resistance to disease and promotes the healing process.
In balance it promotes love, calmness and forgiveness. Out of balance it produces attachment, greed and envy.
Whenever there is any disorder these elements become imbalanced and they affect bodily channels (Strotas) and tissues (Dhatus) and can create various illnesses in the system. According to Ayurveda a weakness in the digestive fire (Agni) creates toxins (Ama) in the systems and these toxins travels into tissues and lead to disorders in the vital organs. So it is very important to properly detox and purify (Panchakarma) the body regularly to avoid further ongoing disease processes.
Ayurveda has been helpful in resolving many difficulties including:
1. Arthritic conditions (joint pain, low back pain, disc bulges, neck pain)
2. Stress related conditions (insomnia, tension headaches, irritability, anxiety, depression)
3. Digestive disorders (chronic indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, hyperacidity)
4. Obesity, excess weight, edema, water retention
5. Respiratory Disorders (cold, cough, asthma)
6. Skin diseases (eczema, psoriasis)
7. Men & Women Health (menstrual difficulties like heavy flow, pain, irregularity, scanty flow, PMS, infertility)
8. Detoxification (= Panchakarma)