Introduction to Ayurveda

shiro abhyangaAyurveda, the “science of life”, or longevity, is the holistic alternative science from IndiaIt is the oldest healing science in existence (more than 500 years). The science of life or, science of longevity, promotes health, prevents disease and helps in achieving long life. It is well established scientific medicine with full pledged methodology for the treatment of all the ailments. Ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine based on the principles that disease is caused by an imbalance of the life forces or the humors (viz. vatha, pitta and kapha). Ayurveda incorporates all forms of therapies including yoga, aroma, meditation, herbs, diet and astrology. Those are used comprehensively in treating patients.
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Even though Ayurveda is originated in the East, it is perfectly suited for our Western society where fast paced lifestyles have seen an increase in stress related conditions which conventional medicine has been unable to remedy. Traditional Ayurveda fits quite well in to latest models of holistic healing, concerned with a broad view of the complete health of the individual; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. What Ayurveda offers to these models beyond its own techniques is deeper awareness of how the human individual and our experiences are microcosm of the greater universe and the relationship in the interaction between our inner and outer worlds

Ayurveda deals with the various principles and therapeutic panchakarma procedures which are essential for the constant maintenance of health throughout the life span as well as to combat the suffering in a comprehensive way. The preventive and curative aspects of Ayurveda includes principles of positive health and wide range of therapeutic measures to attain physical, mental, social and spiritual. Ayurveda with its understanding of life and consciousness becomes the medicine of the future.

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WHY AYURVEDA?

This spiritual science of Ayurveda offers numerous unique benefits:

  • It looks at people as individuals, not as a generic group.
  • It heals from the root-cause of an illness, not merely treating the symptoms.
  • Only natural therapies are offered.
  • No side effects develop from the therapies.
  • Therapies are inexpensive and effective.
  • Rare chance recurrence of the disease.
  • Diet regime is part of the treatment and it is always being advised according to the personal body constitution of the patient
  • It is  life style , rather than a treatment and this life style protects human beings from getting diseased
  • A complete system of medicine which offers treatment for almost all the known diseases, through its preventive, curative, palliative and detoxification measures

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The basic of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is having a set of practical, simple guidelines for long life and good health, with the regular practice of these guiding principles you can bring your body and mind to perfect balance. According to Ayurveda the human body is composed of four basic fundamentals

  1. Dosha (Vata, pitta and Kapha),
  2. Dhathu ( seven basic tissues),
  3. Mala (Waste products of metabolism)
  4. Agni (Digestive fire)

A healthy person

The aim of Ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. In Ayurvedic philosophy, people, their health, and the universe are all thought to be related. It is believed that health problems can result when these relationships are out of balance.

Achieving equilibrium of the basic fundamentals is the aim in order to be a healthy person. Imbalance to this equilibrium will cause diseases. The three vital principles of doshas are vata, pitta and kapha, which together regulate and control the our metabolism. The main function of the three doshas is to support the digestive system throughout the body, which helps in nourishing up the body tissues. Any malfunction in these doshas causes disease.

By following the specific basic guidelines regarding attitude to nature, relatives and friends, diet, work, physical exercise, sexual activity, sleep, personal and hygiene, Ayurveda helps to achieve balance and provide a healthy life to the individual. If a person observed the code, he could expect to live his full span of life. Similar to a well maintain machine, a well maintained body and soul will extend and improve your life as a person.

Why is each treatment in Ayurveda uniquely created for you?

Ayurveda explains the body constitutions based on the predominance of biological bodily humors (doshas) and concept of seeking harmony by balancing these doshas, i.e. vatha pitta and kapha in our body. These three doshas are contained in every cell of the body as they governs the three principles necessary to the maintenance of life; kapha is responsible for the physical and the fluid balance of the body, vatha controls the motion and movements throughout the body and pitta manages the digestion and metabolism. All three are equally important to our mental and physical wellbeing, but they are not present in equal proportions within us. It is our unique blend of doshas that create our individual constitutions. We are a blend of all three doshas – but that blend is completely unique- a blueprint for our innate characteristics and qualities and knowing that blend can help us understand how to live appropriately for our unique nature and its needs.

Ayurveda also has some basic beliefs about the body’s constitution. “Constitution” refers to a person’s general health, how likely he is to become out of balance, and his ability to resist and recover from disease or other health problems. An overview of these beliefs follows.

  • The constitution is called the prakruti. The prakruti is thought to be a unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics and the way the body functions. It is influenced by such factors as digestion and how the body deals with waste products. The prakruti is believed to be unchanged over a person’s lifetime.
  • Three qualities called doshas form important characteristics of the constitution and control the activities of the body. Practitioners of Ayurveda call the doshas by their original Sanskrit names: vata, pitta, andkapha. It is also believed that:
  • Each dosha is made up of one or two of the five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
  • Each dosha has a particular relationship to body functions and can be upset for different reasons.
  • A person has her own balance of the three doshas, although one doshausually is prominent. Doshas are constantly being formed and reformed by food, activity, and bodily processes.
  • Each dosha is associated with a certain body type, a certain personality type, and a greater chance of certain types of health problems.
  • An imbalance in a dosha will produce symptoms that are related to thatdosha and are different from symptoms of an imbalance in another dosha. Imbalances may be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or diet; too much or too little mental and physical exertion; or not being properly protected from the weather, chemicals, or germs.

In summary, it is believed that a person’s chances of developing certain types of diseases are related to the way doshas are balanced, the state of the physical body, and mental or lifestyle factors.

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