One of the world?s oldest systems of medicine, the word Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit terms for life (ayur) and knowledge (veda). A key tenet of Ayurveda is that of interconnectedness and balance. Ayurveda views health holistically and is designed to prevent disease and maintain good health through careful balancing of the mind, body, and spirit.
How Does Ayurvedic Medicine Work?
Ayurveda is based around the fundamental concept of individualized treatment.
Because no two people are alike, in Ayurveda, each person is recognized as a unique, self-healing being with respective needs. Ayurvedic medicine seeks to restore health and promote wellness by correcting imbalances in a person?s bodily energies, which are called doshas.
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What Is a Dosha?
In Ayurvedic methods, it is thought that each individual?s body type or bodily energy determines their mental and physical character and vulnerabilities. These bodily energies are referred to as doshas. Most people will possess characteristics of each of the three basic doshas, but will most likely favor one as dominant. Doshas interact with one another within each person as well as with environmental doshas. It is believed that an imbalance in these energies is what causes disease and illness.
Vata dosha is considered a winter energy and is linked with the element of air. Vata energy regulates bodily functions such as circulation, mobility, and breathing. Vata dominants are known to be energetic and creative types. When imbalanced, they may be easily stressed or appear flaky or scatterbrained.
A summer energy, the Pitta dosha is associated with the element of fire and is thought to be linked to the endocrine and digestive systems. Pitta dominants are often intelligent, hard workers who may be quick to anger when imbalanced.
The Kapha dosha is a nourishing spring energy that is associated with the elements of water and earth. Kapha energies maintain regeneration and immune function. Kaphas are often known for being grounded, easygoing, and supportive, but they may become lazy, jealous, or depressive when not in balance.
Ayurveda is one of many different holistic health practices that can help improve your mind and body balance. The key here is to focus on whole health and wellness, not just spot treating one problem or another. It works similar to acupuncture and changing your diet where you are focusing on balance with your body?s energies. It is also good to try meditation and mindfulness, along with other natural practices for healing.