Ayurveda, the “science of life” and longevity as it translates from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, is a holistic medical system from India that withstood the test of millennia. Some modern medical techniques, especially in plastic surgery have their roots in Ayurveda. Ancient sages perceived directly in their meditation that Ayurveda is an expression of the perfect wholeness of Cosmic Consciousness. Therefore Ayurveda is timeless and does not depend on ever-changing research data.
Ayurveda teaches that every living being consists of a unique combination of the 3 “Doshas” (“vata, pitta and kapha” – similar to the bodily humors), which are a combination of the 5 elements (ether or space, air, fire, water and earth). Ayurveda often refers to the 5 great elements (Mahabhutani) as building blocks of life. The 5 elements and their characteristics and qualities are useful in understanding conditions in the human body and the environment. The Five Elements can be thought of as states of matter, with specific qualities such as: hot or cold, rough or smooth, moving or static, etc.
Ayurveda recognizes that we are influenced by our environment, whether it is dry, hot, cold or rapidly changing. What we ingest, both as food and impressions from our senses, affects our health!
A disturbance in any one of the Doshas can lead to anything from digestive disorders and skin rashes, to more extreme illnesses or psychological imbalances. Through various diagnostic methods (such as taking the pulses, checking the tongue, etc.), Ayurveda helps us to learn what our natural state of being is (how these “Doshas” were at birth). It also helps us to understand what foods, exercise routines or what daily lifestyle may be contributing to the particular imbalance.
Ayurveda can offer practical diet and lifestyle suggestions that will help bring body, mind and soul back to a state of balance. The wonderful part about Ayurveda is that it is very individualized and treats the client as a whole being, always making sure the recommendations are realistic, not overwhelming, and are easy to incorporate.
During an Ayurvedic Assessment the practitioner determines how the Doshas work in the seven bodily tissues or Dhatus (plasma, blood cells, muscle, fat, bone, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive system), determines the condition of the Malas (urine, stool, and sweat) and finally the balance of the trinity of body, mind, and spiritual awareness.
Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbad are three great Ayurvedic physicians from ancient days whose texts are still studied today! The study of Charaka’s texts can help people with diseases and imbalances of modern times.
- Ayurveda the Science of Self-Healing, by Vasant Lad, 1984 ©
- Textbook of Ayurveda by Vasant Lad M.A. Sc.2002 ©