Ayurvedic medicine, also known as Ayurveda, originated in India. ‘Ayurveda’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘science of life’. Records of Ayurvedic medicine date back thousands of years. In fact, the Ayurvedic system is believed to be the oldest healthcare system in the world.
Old it may be, but it incorporates a holistic approach that modern medicine has only relatively recently come to recognize as important. This holistic approach to health and wellness is based on the balance between mind, body and spirit.
Ayurveda aims to achieve a balance of your mind, body and spirit with the universe. Furthermore, it is also concerned with the social wellbeing of society. It integrates the environment with its holistic approach to health and wellbeing. When this relationship is not in balance, you can suffer from poor health and disease. Ayurvedic treatments can be prescribed for specific complaints, but the primary focus is on promoting good health through prevention rather than fighting illness. The ultimate aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to enable you to enjoy a long and healthy life.
Although some clinical and laboratory testing has been carried out to determine the efficacy of Ayurvedic medicine, this has not been particularly common or widespread. In terms of Western medical research, there have not been sufficient controlled clinical trials or systematic research reviews of Ayurvedic medicine to gain acceptance by the Western medical community..
Our traditional, allopathic system of medicine is based on science or evidenced results. This means double blind studies and years and years of experimentation. Ayurvedic medicine was found to be utilized as far back as 5,000-10,000 years. Some history shows it existing in 500 B.C. to A.D. 1000. In this massive time frame, Ayurvedic medicine has been called, “The Mother of all Healing.” Why? Because it incorporates a deep way of thinking that sees health in a holistic, constitutional mode. It delves deeply into the core of Life and its relationship to your health.
This model has proven to be effective and proven to be sustainable throughout 1000’s of years.
If you are considering Ayurvedic medicine as a modality for you health, it is best to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner, and avoid self-medicating. This is particularly true if you ingest conventional Western medication.
It must also be noted that there have been some concerns regarding high levels of metals in certain Ayurvedic medicines. Ayurveda massage and other treatments can be very healing and powerful but like all things know the practitioner and the products so you do not incur any disappointment or side effects. Rather than simply ordering products online, seek an appointment with a reputable, professional practitioner.
An Ayurvedic practitioner will determine the exact nature of your treatment based on your body’s constitution, known as your ‘prakruti’, as well as the three life forces known as ‘dosha’. The three doshas, the vata dosha, pitta dosha, and kapha dosha, determine the characteristics of your body and mind. Although we all have all three doshas in our body, we all have one or two that are dominant. This is the underlying pattern of your distinct and individual pattern of energy.
The flow of energy in your being, according to Ayurvedic medicine, can be disrupted, blocked and unbalanced by a variety of these factors. These factors can be physical (such as your diet and nutrition), mental or emotional (such as stress), environmental (such as the weather or pollution), and social (such as tense family and personal relationships). When you consult a practitioner, your treatment will focus on rebalancing the three doshas in your being, according to your unique constitution.
It is important to note that your body and mind are seen as integrated; as a whole. This is one of the significant ways in which Ayurvedic medicine differs from more modern Western modes of healing.
Ayurvedic treats your whole Life System – body, mind, and soul – as one. Modern Western medical traditions tend to focus on the physical, and divide the body into its parts.
The characteristically holistic approach of Ayurvedic medicine takes your unique needs into account in order to specify the exact treatments from which you would benefit. All aspects of your life are taken into account including personal hygiene, diet, exercise, social interaction, and your lifestyle. Your social and environmental contexts are also taken into consideration.
Your custom treatment could include various approaches such as an Ayurvedic diet, Ayurvedic herbs, oils, spices, aromatherapy, meditation, stretching, yoga, lifestyle changes and even Ayurvedic massage. All in all, there are approximately 20 different components to Ayurvedic healing to which you might be exposed. You will be given daily regimens to follow, known as ‘dincharya’, as well as seasonal routines, known as ‘ritucharya’.
- Breathing exercises, known as ‘pranayama’
- Topical application of herbal oils, known as ‘abhyanga’
- Meditation using mantras and herbs, known as ‘rasayana’
- A combination of breathing, movement and meditation, known as ‘yoga’ (bet you knew that one!)
- Body cleansing and purification, known as ‘pancha karma’
- Herbal medicines to restore dosha balance
Ironically, although modern Western medicine is constantly evolving with technological advancements, many people are finding that returning to ancient medical traditions is proving just as beneficial, if not more so.
One just has to glance at the stories dominating the health and wellness media to realize that chronic illnesses as well as mental and emotional dissatisfaction are all too common, and on the rise.
According to Ayurvedic beliefs, the increasing incidence of these maladies can be attributed to our disconnection from Nature – something that is unfortunately associated with the modern lifestyle. Ayurvedic medicine aims to reestablish that connectedness in our lives. It is only by finding this critical balance that we will be able to enjoy a healthier society.
I personally have studied with Deepak Chopra, a well known Ayurvedic M.D. that has written many books on this subject. I have found his work to be very deep, healing and Life Transformational. If you would like to learn more about this subject you can google Deepak Chopra or Ayurvedic Medicine.
When you do, you will find free questionnaires that will define which is your most dominant dosha. When you know this you will be able to understand which personality aspects are related to your dosha and which foods are supportive (or not) for your particular body. Ayurvedic medicine has changed my health and my Life. I really suggest you check it out.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.