Ayurveda is an ancient practice developed in India 5,000 years ago and is one of the world’s oldest systems of natural healing. It continues to be one of the most refined and robust mind-body, holistic health systems globally. It teaches that one’s health and wellness depend and rely on a delicate balance between the spirit, body, and mind. The importance of possessing a conscious awareness of one’s lifestyle, diet, and thinking is emphasized. The use of herbs is promoted for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease. Ayurvedic practices include proper rest, yoga and meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), and Ayurvedic massage.
According to Ayurveda, each person has a unique pattern of energy which is a combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics determined at conception. This is considered to be your balanced state: your natural order.
Each Dosha is governed by two of the five master elements; space, air, fire, water, and earth. Vata is made up of the space and air elements, Pitta is governed by fire and water, and Kapha is derived from the water and earth elements. Doshas can be related to the basic biology of the body: Vata is movement and change, Pitta is transformation and metabolism, and Kapha is structure and fluidity.
Ayurveda teaches that each person is born with a varying amount of each master element but that each person has elements that are more predominant than others. This is what determines your most primary Dosha.
Each Dosha manifests itself in our physical body and emotional characteristics. How they manifest differs depending on if the elements are balanced or imbalanced. Many internal and external factors including trauma, diet, and relationships can result in the governing elements in our Doshas to become imbalanced. Ayurveda views the cause of disease as a lack of proper cellular function resulting from an imbalance of one or more of the three Doshas.
Treatment of imbalances
If imbalances occur, practitioners evaluate signs and symptoms of illness, and arrive at a diagnosis through a physical exam, questioning, observation and inference. After diagnosis, practitioners may recommend; palliative and cleansing measures, lifestyle changes, starting or maintaining a suggested diet, and the use of herbs.
Ayurveda is not a substitute for Western allopathic medicine but can be used in conjunction to improve or strengthen the body to prevent disease or to rebuild the body after drugs or surgery.