What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, the science of life, is the oldest healing methodology, which incorporates the use of food, herbs, and lifestyle techniques to resolve health related issues. This modality is based on ancient traditions that are being widely accepted in the Western World today due to the powerful impacts a balanced diet and lifestyle can have on our health and vitality. Ayurveda focuses on attuning people with their unique make up along with the natural rhythms of nature around them to maintain health. It is time tested, all encompassing, empowering and intuitive in simplifying health, balance and clarity.
The three goals of Ayurveda are to preserve the health of a healthy person, to prevent disease, and to promote longevity by improving the quality of life in mind, body, and spirit. The definition of health is more than just the absence of disease. Prevention and wellness has increasingly been practiced in recent years in response to ever increasing incidence of chronic diseases. Sushruta, one of the great scholars of Ayurveda, defined health as, “Health is the state of equilibrium of doshas (biological humor), agnis (transformative physiological system functions), dhatus (tissues and organs), and malas (metabolic byproducts), along with sensorial, mental, and spiritual well being” (Susruta Samhita 15:38).
As a society, we have become increasingly disconnected from our True Self. We are rapidly moving away from our essence, which is “mother nature.” Our senses are heavily influenced by constant stimulation from computers, cell phones, videogames, television, radio and other electronic devices. Besides these stimuli, the pace at which we live is very demanding on the nervous system and leaves us with no time to relax or eat food properly. Poor nutrition, this hectic lifestyle and the departure from our natural rhythms have overwhelmed our coping mechanisms.
Modern medicine primarily focuses on treating the disease and not enough on prevention, while Ayurveda goes to the heart of the problem treating the cause in order to remove or prevent the disease. When dealing with an illness or an imbalance, treating the symptoms and physical body alone will not cure the problem. The heart of the problem goes beyond the symptoms or results seen in a scientific lab test. Ayurveda effectively treats chronic conditions by removing the cause, which is often related to the habitual patterns of our diet and lifestyle.
This approach offers a solution to the crisis of unaffordable and unsustainable healthcare costs and unmanageable chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Ayurveda looks to get to the root of a disease. It focuses on not simply masking or temporarily relieving symptoms, but getting to the origin of the cause and really healing people. This difference between Allopathic and Ayurvedic medicine is what makes Ayurveda stand out as a healing system. Although western medicine has a time and place and can be wonderful in saving lives in times of acute ailments, Ayurveda looks at the person as a whole and strives to heal conditions that are often times labeled as “chronic” by western medicine.
The goal of Ayurveda is to get you in back in tune with the essence of “who you are” to bring out your souls purpose. Breathe deep and ground down. Wishing you a smooth transition filled with health and vibrancy. The spectrum of people that can be helped with Ayurveda is truly limitless. Whether you are suffering from a long lasting “disease”, minor ailments, or are just curious about furthering your health, Ayurveda can help you.
By: Manish Chandra, MA, Ayurvedic Medicine