What is Ayurvedic Medicine and How It Can Help Me in My Path to Wellness?
Ayur (‘life’) Veda (‘science’ or ‘knowledge’) is a healing system that’s existed for 5,000 years and originated in India. These days, its popularity has grown far and wide. I’m going to do my best to keep it simple, in explaining it and outlining the fundamentals. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll see ways in which its principles can be adopted as your own and implemented into your own health path.
The basic theme of Ayurvedic medicine is balance and interconnectedness. It teaches that everything is connected and that health is a constant balancing act between the environment, the body, the mind and the spirit. There are categories of energies ( known as ‘doshas‘) that everyone has, but there’s two that are typically dominant in our mind and body. If these energies are imbalanced, there are healing tools to use through dietary changes, herbs, aromatherapy, massage, music and meditation.
Vata – People with a predominant Vata nature tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic and changeable. Someone who ‘is’ a Vata is lively and creative but if it’s imbalanced, they will have insomnia, anxiety, dry skin, difficulty focusing and constipation.
Pitta– People with a predominant Pitta nature tend to love life, be intense, be intelligent and goal oriented. Someone who ‘is’ a Pitta is friendly, disciplined, warm, a good leader and speaker. When it’s imbalanced, that person has indigestion or inflammation, is irritable and compulsive.
Kapha– People with a predominant Kapha nature tend to be nurturing, easy going and methodical. Someone who ‘is’ a Kapha is sweet, supportive and stable, but if it’s imbalanced, then they can be sluggish, gain weight and have sinus congestion.
It’s important to realize that there’s no black and white here…again, there are usually two doshas or energies that predominate, and one or both of them can be out of balance at any given time, so getting them in balance will require some tweaking here and there.
The treatment from an Ayurvedic practitioner will depend on the balance of all three doshas within you. The main goal is to purge you of undigested food, because that will reestablish harmony and balance. Some treatments include blood purification, medical oils through the nose, massage, methods to induce vomiting, enemas and laxatives. Other treatments include yoga, plant based oils and spices, stretching, lifestyle changes, vitamins, minerals, breathing exercises as well as the treatments mentioned earlier.
As is when choosing a diet, it’s recommended that you do your own research into Ayurvedic Medicine. Though it has a long history and is widely respected, there are some Ayurvedic products that can be toxic to some people, and some Ayurvedic healing modalities that can have side effects for some people. You may want to consider integrating Ayurvedic medicine with treatments that your regular doctor prescribes. In any case, do your research, examine what seems to speak to you, and experiment with treatments, based on whatever resonates with you.