Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine which originated from India over 5000 years ago.
Ayurveda is a health model that provides the knowledge of how to live your life in harmony with the world around you.
Translated as “the science or wisdom of life” – “Ayur” means life and “Veda” means knowledge. Ayurveda provides a holistic approach to create balance on all levels of body, mind and energy/spirit which translates into a healthy body, mind and fulfilled life. Balance and health in the body in connected to how you live in the world – through your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings which lead to your actions. When your actions and habits are in harmony with your inner core self and the rhythms of nature, health and balance is enjoyed. When out of harmony with your inner self and the outer world, disease is created. Ayurveda, then, assists in developing greater harmony with your environment through all of your senses.
Ayurveda uses a unique energetic model which looks at everything in the world and your body through the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) and three primary life forces called the Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). Each of the elements and the doshas have certain characteristics and energetics that not only allow you to recognize them but also know what creates balance and imbalance within them. Using this knowledge of the energetics of life, Ayurveda then has the ability to help you as an individual walk your unique path of balance and health.
The basic rule in Ayurevedic healing is that whatever you can do yourself to improve your own health is more effective in the long run than what another person can do for you. It is in balancing the Doshas that the roots of the disease are cut off and you can live in health and harmony. And the fundamental treatment for the Doshas is not something clinical done by a practitioner but rather it is your own right living methods – in other words, the self-care you give yourself on a daily basis.
Ayurveda assists you in journeying back to optimal health by balancing the five elements in the body and mind through the use diet, herbs, massage, exercise, pranayama, mantra or sound, colors, aromas, meditation and life-style changes. Body therapies are also used including 5 Sense Treatments, Shirodara (head oil treatment), Abhyanga (oil massage), and the rejuvenative and detoxifying techniques of Panchakarma which help nourish and calm you from the stresses of modern life.
In Ayurveda, your core self is called your constitution or prakruti and is your unique blend of the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. You have all of these doshas but in a unique balance which was determined at the moment of conception and is what makes you YOU – your physical characteristics, mental patterns, and personality traits. The different individual dosha also means that each individual has his or her own special set of challenges and gifts in life. The unique nature of each individual is the reason no two treatment programs are identical – each person’s path to optimal health is unique.
This constitutional doshic balance remains the same your entire your life. It also provides the roadmap to what will keep you in harmony with your nature and what will cause you to become out of balance, sick, and diseased. Therefore, knowledge of your constitution is essential to living in optimal health.
Beyond the physical body, Ayurveda strives to help you live to your fullest potential including spiritually. Being the sister science to Yoga, both disciplines work to re-connect you to your true universal nature through direct life experience. Together, they provide a holistic approach to your total health – body, the mind, and the spirit.