Ayurveda, the word originates from the words Ayur = long life and Veda = knowledge. So, Ayurveda literally means ¨science of life¨ and is considered to be the traditional system of medicine in India. It is 5.000 years old, which makes it the oldest health care system in the world!
Ayurveda is a holistic philosophy and system, which considers body, mind and soul as an entity which creates an equilibrium with nature. In simple terms, Ayurveda is a holistic system which guides us, so that we can live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. It recognizes that we are all unique and focuses on food, lifestyle, massage, yoga and herbal remedies to suit our individual make-up.
Ayurveda offers specific recommendations to each individual on lifestyle, diet, exercise and yoga, herbal therapy, and even spiritual practices to restore and maintain balance in body and mind.
The composition of the world consists of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and space, which are reflected in our body. The connection of those elements creates three completely different basic constitutions, the DOSHAS, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are supposed to harmonize with each other to ensure our health.
Vata regulates movement and is represented by the nervous system.
Pitta is the principle of biotransformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body.
Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids.
Together, these three Doshas determine the physiologic constitution of an individual. Ayurveda provides us with a model to looks at each individual as a unique makeup of the three Doshas and thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person’s health challenges. When any of the Doshas become imbalanced, Ayurveda will suggest specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in getting the Doshas back in balance.
Ayurveda is used as an effective system of medicine in India, but since years when Ayurveda has been introduced in our Western culture, also just parts of this philosophy are applied. You will read about this in part 2…
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