Ayurveda - A Basic Introduction (continued)

Ayurveda uses a constitutional model where each person is viewed as a unique individual made up of five primary elements (Ether, Air, Fire, Water and 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 (Ether & Air)           Pitta (Fire & Water)         Kapha (Earth & Water)

Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three dosha’s and to thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person’s unique health challenges. When any of the dosha’s (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) become out of balance, a person’s health and homeostasis may be affected. If left unrecognised, ultimately illness or disease could follow from this imbalance. Ayurveda recommends specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the dosha that has become excessive. It may also suggest certain herbal supplements to hasten the healing process. If toxins in the body are abundant, then a cleansing process known as Pancha Karma is recommended to eliminate these unwanted toxins. Body therapies like massage, oil pouring, herbal steam baths may also be prescribed. Massage is an integral part of Ayurvedic tradition and Indian culture in general and starts at childbirth. Both mother and baby receive daily massages during the first 40 days following childbirth. Meditation is another powerful tool the ancient Ayurvedic physicians prescribed for balancing the mind and body. Yoga is often called the sister-science of Ayurveda and yogic poses and practices are prescribed to build and maintain balance. Ayurveda is not just a medical system. It sees human beings as an integral part of nature. It believes that you should live in harmony with nature just as the animals and plants do, and utilise the laws of nature to create health and balance within.