Ayurveda or Ayurvedic Medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, established more than 3,000 years ago in India. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda is the considered the science of life. Both Ayurveda and the practice of yoga developed together and have influenced the other through history.
Ayurveda’s purpose is based on physical and mental disease prevention versus the Western view of treatment of the disease. In Western society, we are accustomed to taking medications to mask illness that already exists. Ayurveda outlines actionable steps to prevent illness and disease before its onset.
An Ayurvedic practitioner views disease as a state of imbalance in the body, mind, or spirit. The goal of Ayurvedic medicine combined with a yoga practice promote physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being.
Ayurveda consists of three constitutions or “doshas”
- Vata = element air/ether
- Pita = element fire/water
- Kapha = element earth/water
The first step in Ayurveda treatment is determining one’s dosha or constitution. According to the Ayurvedic belief system, our dosha is determined at the moment of conception called “prakruti.” As we age, imbalances occur due to diet, life stages, stress and season. Therefore, our “vikruti” refers to the balance of the dosha in the present moment, and thus defines the nature of imbalance or illness. The goal is to rebalance the dosha using an Ayurvedic approach and restore a state of well-being.
An Ayurveda practitioner looks at all aspects of the individual. A unique understanding of one’s constitution is taken into consideration, and a treatment plan that includes diet, herbs, exercise, and lifestyle routines including yoga and meditation are carefully executed to bring about wellness and balance in the individual.
Ayurveda practitioners believe their approach is effective in treating a variety of illnesses including:
- Digestive problems
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Rheumatoid arthritis
According to practitioners, Ayurveda teaches us the value of our connection to our ancestors, our interaction with the earth elements, and how we can affect change, balance, and connection with self to achieve and maintain health and well-being.