Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. It is the sister science of yoga. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years.
More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life,Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.
Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.
For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.
An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to reestablish balance.
Ayurveda unambiguously declares that every cell in the living being is representative of the entire universe, and that every aspect of the external universe can be seen in each cell of the living being. AYURVEDA’S DEFINITION OF HEALTHsama dosha sama agnischa sama dhatu mala kriyaaha| Prasanna atma indriya manaha swastha iti abhidheeyate - Sushruta Sanhitha
Meaning: One is in perfect health when the Three doshas ( vata, pitta and Kapha) Digestive fire ( digestion, assimilation and metabolism) all the body tissues & components (07-Dhatus) (the entire physical body) all the excretory functions (the physiological functions of urination and defecation) are in perfect order with a pleasantly disposed and contented mind, senses and spirit
Explanation: Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the threefunctionalities, which govern all the physiological, psychological and spiritual aspects of one’s life.They each have five subdivisions, delicately intertwined. Ayurveda describes in great detail as to how they function and how to keep them in balance and also how to bring them into balance when they are out of balance. Agni:It is the digestive fire. It is otherwise called Pachaka Pitta. ‘Agni’ word is equated to metabolism which includes functions such as absorption, assimilation and digestion. Derangement of digestive fire leads to a metabolic state called ‘Aama’. Thus correcting the Agni is given prime importance in Ayurveda therapies. Dhatus: Seven Dhatus of Ayurveda Dhatu is originally a Sanskrit word which means ‘that which enters into the formation of the body’; the root “Dha” means ‘support’ or ‘that which bears’. It is thus said to be the base of growth and survival. According to Ayurveda, there are seven basic types of dhatus in a human body. Rasa (Plasma) Rakta (Blood) Mansa (Muscles) Meda (Fat) Asthi (Bone) Majja (Bone marrow) Shukra (Reproductive fluid or Semen) Excretory functions: Ayurveda puts great emphasis for the excretory functions to be in perfect order to be in perfect health. This would prevent diseases. Keeps one in good health, spirit and gives long life. Ayurveda elaborately describes how one should maintain one’s lifestyle. Pleasantly disposed contented spirit, senses and mind: Ayurveda’s definition of health is all encompassing. Social well being can only be possible when all these criteria are met.