Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical systems, originated in India. It is a form of alternative medicine and is one of the oldest forms of holistic medicine dating back over 5000 years and is currently followed by over a billion people throughout the world, making it more popular than the orthodox, Western system of medicine.
‘Ayurveda teaches that everything in the universe, including the human body, is made up of five great elements,’ says Dr Arjita Kumari, of the Beach House retreat, in Goa. ‘These elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth, interact and combine to form three internal energies, or doshas which are called vata, pitta and kapha.’
According to Ayurvedic belief, everyone has a unique combination of doshas that are determined by their parents at the time of conception. The doshas you inherit determine your physiological, emotional and physical strengths and weaknesses
The balance between the relative levels of your doshas rises and falls according to the time of day, season, the food you eat, the level of stress you are under, and is also influenced by repressed emotions. When your doshas are unbalanced, your body’s flow of life force energy, or prana, is affected, leading to ill health.
‘Vata’ imbalance can result from irregular meals and working long hours, leading to anger and exhaustion. ‘Pitta’ imbalance can result from alcohol, cigarettes, hard work, overexertion and over heating, leading to negative emotions, indigestion and rashes, while ‘Kapha’ imbalance can result from lack of exercise, leading to feelings of heaviness, overweight, depression and high cholesterol levels.’
One of the main doctrines of Ayurveda is that ‘prevention is better than cure’, and Ayurvedic practitioners use a variety of techniques to balance the doshas and maintain wellness.
Ayurvedic foods : As with everything else in the Universe, foods contain a balance of the three doshas, and nutritional changes can help to normalise dosha imbalances in the body. A pitta deficiency, for example, is treated by recommending foods that are predominantly pitta in nature to help prevent disease and strengthen well-being.
Ayurvedic foods are selected according to the season and the focus is on eating wholegrain, high-quality protein sources, vegetables and fresh fruit
Ayurvedic massage : Massage is an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine, as it is used to help herbal medicines penetrate your body. Therapeutic oils are produced over a period of one to three months by boiling a selection of medicinal herbs in sesame or coconut oil.
Treatment:yurvedic treatment is tailored to each person’s requirement. Practitioners expect patients to be active participants because many Ayurvedic treatments require changes in diet, lifestyle, and habits.