Ayurveda translating from Sanskrit as ‘Knowledge of Life,’is the world’s oldest, time-proven healing science. It originated in India more than 5,000 years ago during the ancient Vedic culture.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine. When translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the science of life” (the word Ayur means “longevity” or “life” and veda means “science”).
While allopathic medicine tends to focus on the management of disease, Ayurveda bestows us with the knowledge of how to prevent disease and how to eliminate its root cause if it does occur.
Theory and Aim of Ayurveda:
"Hitahitam sukham dukham ayurtasya hitahitam"
Manam cha yatroktam, Ayurveda sa uchate''
The science which describes the span of life and tells about useful and harmful, happy and unhappy life and also gives guidelines for what is beneficial and harmful to life.
The treasure and essence of Ayurveda is ……
“Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam, Aturasya vikara prasamanam cha ”
According to the fundamental concept of Ayurveda, a perfectly balanced diet containing all essential nutrients along with a healthy lifestyle plays a vital role in maintaining a perfect state of health.
The W.H.O. objective HEALTH FOR ALL has been the basic concept of Ayurveda ever since the day of its inception and has also been acknowleged by the W.H.O It states:
“Ayurveda aims at not only curing the disease but also enchancing the body vitality to combat the disease and minimise thechances of relapse. Ayurveda epitomises the philosophy of total health care...” (Traditional Medicine & Health Care Coverage - a W.H.O. publication, Geneva, Switzerland, 1983 p.52).
Principles of Ayurveda:
Ayurveda sees everything in the universe, including human beings, as composed of five basic elements (or Panchamahabhutas): space, air, fire, water and earth.
These five elements in turn combine with each other to give rise to three bio-physical forces (or Doshas) within the human body- Vata(air and space),Pitta(fire and water) and Kapha(water and earth). Together they are known as Tridosha and govern all the biological, physiological and psychological functions of the mind and body, both, physical and emotional, as well as effecting how an individual interacts with everything around them.
Every individual has within them all three bio-physical forces, but it is the dominance of any one or two or all three that makes up a person's individual constitution or Prakriti.
According to Ayurveda, each person will be influenced by certain elements more than others. This is because of their prakriti, or natural constitution.
Ayurveda categorizes the different constitutions into three different doshas:
Vata dosha, in which the air and space elements dominate
Pitta dosha, in which the fire element dominates
Kapha dosha, in which the earth and water elements dominate
The dosha affects not just the shape of one’s body but also bodily tendencies (like food preferences and digestion), and the temperament of one’s mind and emotions.
According to Ayurveda, if we are experiencing disease, it means there is an imbalance in our doshas and hence bringing our system back into balance is the key to the cure. Ayurveda has an effective tool for the diagnosis of disease called nadi pareeksha, or pulse diagnosis. By placing their finger on your wrist, an Ayurvedic physician can easily detect the imbalances in the body and prescribe an effective treatment.
Restoring a Balance:
Ayurvedic treatments involve establishing an individual's constitution and the nature of any imbalance and then seeking to return the individuals body to a state of healthy balance.
The treatments consist of the use of:
• Specialist Ayurvedic massages using herb-infused massage oils
• Herbs and herbal remedies.
• Nutritional advice
• Advice on lifestyle habits
• Specially selected yoga exercises
• Advice on appropriate Ayurvedic herbal teas, herbal supplements
Specialist Ayurvedic treatments include:
Panchakarma (the Ayurvedic five step detox treatment) - this highly effective treatment involves a five step programme of internal cleansing. It restores and maintains good health, strengthens the immune system and protects the body against diseases by removing toxins and rejuvenating your body's internal systems
Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle:
Ayurveda places great importance on one’s pathya (dietary habits), lifestyle (Dinacharya and Ritucharya).
Emphasis on healthy dietary habits and lifestyle habits are important for an healthy individual to improve resistance against disease and increase longevity.Those with certain health conditions need to focus on these habits even more precisely.
Always remember to consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician for any advice