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The word ‘Ayurveda’ sounds familiar, but could you actually define it? It resounds with ‘holistic’, ‘healthy’, ‘natural’, ‘homeopathic’, but what does it really mean?
The name Ayurveda is made up of two words. ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge and science, which means that Ayurveda is the science of life.
How did it begin?
The science of Ayurveda dates back 5,000 years ago, with its origin in the Indian subcontinent. Trying to answer the question of what health is, ancient sages realised that health is a composition of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
How does it work?
According to Ayurveda, health and disease are byproducts of all aspects of one's life: nutrition, career, mental frame, social activities and spiritual life. If one area is weakened, all areas begin to suffer. Life is like a web: if you shake one area of the web, the entire web shakes.
Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three “doshas”, or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas. Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals balance the dosha.
Preventive health care and health promotion
Ayurveda places great importance on prevention as it is far easier to maintain health than to restore it once it has broken down.
Ayurvedic treatment goals include eliminating toxins, reducing symptoms, increasing resistance to disease and bringing harmony to one’s life.
Ayurveda is becoming more and more popular, especially among people looking for natural solutions,complimentary to modern day medicine solutions. With the help and expertise of ayurvedic consultants, you can find out your unique body constitution (Prakriti) and dosha (Vatta, Pitta, Kapha). They will take into account your unique physical and emotional constitution and the balance between all three of these elements before giving you a holistic treatment plan, which includes changes in your diet, lifestyle and habits, natural remedies, complimentary herbal supplement and series of massages, yoga and meditation.
Ayurveda has come a long way from its beginnings five thousand years ago, in its timelessness it can be applied in today’s modern world, as much as it was applicable in ancient times. It goes beyond culture, race and geography - every person in the world can use it to improve their health and lifestyle, prevent disease and have a life of prosperity in body and mind.