Ayurveda is an Indian form of functional medicine dating back almost 5,000 years. Ayurvedic treatment focuses on preventing diseases by balancing a person’s spirit, mind, and body using digestive cleanses, herbal medicine, yoga, massage, and more. Here’s what you should know about Ayurveda and the various forms of Ayurvedic treatment.
What is Ayurveda?
Translating to 'the science of life,' Ayurveda (Ayur is life; Veda is knowledge or science) is the Sanksrit term for an ancient Indian healing system that's been practiced for close to 5,000 years. Ayurveda focuses on the prevention of diseases and its various methods of treatment work to restore the balance between your body—mind and spirit included—and the natural environment.
According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, the universe is made up of five earthly elements—air, fire, water, earth, and ether—which combine uniquely to form three doshas (life forces):
- Vata, made up of air and ether
- Pitta, made up of fire and water
- Kapha, made up of earth and water
These doshas can express themselves physically, emotionally and mentally, and control everything from your emotions and breathing to movement and digestion.
What Are the Benefits of Ayurveda?
Every person exists as a combination of these three doshas, though aspects of one dosha typically tend to dominate. Balancing the doshas leads to the creation of a positive relationship between body, mind, and the universe and can result in:
- Increase in mental wellbeing
- Decrease in stress
- Increase in energy levels
An imbalance in any one of these doshas, however, results in disease.
What Are Some of the Different Ayurvedic Treatments?
Instead of concentrating on healing disease, Ayurvedic practitioners focus on restoring the balance between the three doshas, which in turn will help you recover. An Ayurvedic treatment plan to re-establish harmony within the patient’s body and mind can include:
- changes to diet and nutrition
- digestive and bowel cleanse (panchakarma)
- use of herbal medicines
- massage (abhyanga)
- yoga and breathing techniques
What to Expect During Your Ayurvedic Treatment
Determining your doshas is the first step in any Ayurvedic treatment—James To, DMD will ask a series of thorough questions about all aspects of your life. Expect to discuss in detail your diet, medical history, mental health, current relationships, job, and more. Along with a physical examination, emphasis is also placed on the health of your speech, pulse, tongue, and nails. This allows Ayurvedic practitioners to identify the root cause of disease and prescribe treatments specific to your needs.
For more information about Ayurvedic treatment options contact James To, DMD at (425) 743-2999.