Category:Ayurveda

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Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurvedic medicine -- also known as Ayurveda -- is one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. But treatments may be recommended for specific health problems.

Contents

Tradition

Ayurvedic medicine has a rich history. Originally shared as an oral tradition, Ayurveda was recorded more than 5,000 years ago in Sanskrit, in the four sacred texts called the Vedas: the Rig Veda (3000-2500 BCE), Yajur Veda, Sam Veda, and Atharva Veda (1200-1000 BCE).Ayurvedic theory states that all areas of life impact one's health, so it follows that the Vedas cover a wide variety of topics, including health and healthcare techniques, astrology, spirituality, government and politics, art, and human behavior. Ayurvedic medical books, available by the eighth century BCE, provide not only procedural instructions but also a history of how Ayurvedic medicine evolved over time. Current knowledge about Ayurveda is primarily based on "the great triad" of texts called Brhattrayi, which consists of the Charak Samhita, Sushurta Samhita, and Ashtanga Hridaya. These books describe the basic principles and theories from which modern Ayurveda has evolved.

Ayurvedic Concepts

According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe -- living or not -- is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness.For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Some things that can cause a disruption include:

  • genetic or birth defects
  • injuries
  • climate and seasonal changes
  • age
  • emotions

How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body's constitution, or prakriti. Your prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. However, how you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it. Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:

  • space
  • air
  • fire
  • water
  • earth

These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. The three doshas are:

  • vata dosha (space and air)
  • pitta dosha (fire and water)
  • kapha dosha (water and earth)

The three Doshas

Vata dosha (space and air)

Vata dosha is thought to be the most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your:

  • mind
  • breathing
  • blood flow
  • heart function
  • ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • eating dry fruit
  • eating too soon after a previous meal
  • fear
  • grief
  • staying up too late

If vata dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • anxiety
  • asthma
  • heart disease
  • nervous system disorders
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • skin problems

Pitta Dosha (fire and water)

The pitta dosha (fire and water) controls:

  • digestion
  • ability to break down foods (metabolism)
  • certain hormones linked to appetite

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • eating sour foods
  • eating spicy foods
  • fatigue
  • spending too much time in the sun

If pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • anger and negative emotions
  • Crohn's disease
  • heart disease
  • heartburn a few hours after eating
  • high blood pressure
  • infections

The kapha dosha (water and earth)

controls:

  • muscle growth
  • body strength and stability
  • weight
  • immune system

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • daytime sleeping
  • eating after your stomach is full
  • eating or drinking items that have too much salt or water
  • eating too many sweet foods
  • greed

If kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • asthma and other breathing disorders
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • nausea after eating
  • obesity

Double Doshas

When you are a double-dosha type, two doshas are presenting themselves strongly in your constitution. This means that you can have qualities of each of the two doshas. These qualities do not "blend" together, but rather show their influence individually, either one trait or the other will present itself at a time.

The first thing to do is to look at which dosha is dominant in each section, mind and body. You may be one dosha in mind and another in body. If this is the case, you can follow one routine when it comes to the physical and another when it comes to the mental issues. If you have both doshas in both areas, you need to use the remedies that are appropriate for that particular condition at the time.

  • Vata-Pitta :
    • If Vata is dominant in the body, then you are likely thin like a Vata dosha dominant person. You are also quick, humorous, and talkative, but since Pitta is present, you may be more ambitious that pure Vatas. Pitta lends some stability and strength, but also may bring a tendency toward anger. You may have a stronger digestion because of Pitta's fire, which also improves circulation.
    • If Pitta is dominant in the body, you'll look more like the muscular Pitta type. Vata's influence may make you a little more prone to get stressed-out, and nervous.
  • Pitta-Kapha : Kapha is so strong structurally that most likely you will have a heavier physique, even if Kapha is not dominant in the body section of the test. Pitta's influence makes you more muscular than pure Kapha types, though.
    • If Pitta is more dominant in the mind section, you will have more drive and ambition, but that may also mean more of a tendency toward anger and criticism.
    • If Kapha is more dominant in the mind section, you will be more laid-back, but are more prone to laziness. You need motivation to get active.
  • Kapha-Vata : This is a pretty rare type because Kapha and Vata seem to be opposites in so many ways.
    • If Vata is dominant in the body section of the test, then most likely you will be thin like a Vata, yet relaxed and kick-back like a Kapha. You can be quick like a Vata, yet procrastinate like a Kapha. Both Kaphas and Vatas dislike the cold.
    • If Kapha is dominant in the body, you are more solidly built, and may display Vata in your creativity and zest for life. Because of Vata's digestive sensitivity, watch your diet carefully.

Treatments

Treatment depends on your unique prakriti, your primary dosha, and the balance between all three of them. A main goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to cleanse your body of undigested food called ama, which can stick to the inside of your body and make you sick. This cleansing process is called panchakarma. It is used to reduce any symptoms and reestablish harmony and balance.

Panchakarma may include:

  • blood purification (either by removing blood from the body or with special teas)
  • massage
  • medical oils given through the nose
  • methods to make you vomit
  • use of enemas, laxatives, or purgatives to cleanse your intestines

Other treatments may also be recommended to:

  • restore balance
  • improve spiritual healing
  • boost your immunity
  • reduce symptoms

The treatments may include:

  • aromatherapy
  • breathing exercises
  • diet changes
  • herbs, vitamins, minerals, and metals
  • plant-based oils and spices
  • lifestyle changes
  • meditation
  • stretching
  • yoga


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