Ayurveda is growing in popularity in the Western world, with many people curious about their dosha (individual composition) or learning about Ayurveda through their yoga practice. A universal system with it’s roots in India, this ancient science encompasses the entire natural world; nature, the body, mind and spirit. It involves a holistic approach to health and healing that is in harmony with nature. Ayurveda translates to the “science of life”, ayur meaning life and veda meaning knowledge or science.
In Ayurveda, the theory of five elements helps us to understand health and disease. These qualities of nature exist inside of us. It is the 5 elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) that compose everything in the universe, including the human body.
Based on the ‘levels’ of the 5 elements within a given situation, whether it be human, plant or animal, Ayurveda will accordingly adjust diet & lifestyle factors to not only profoundly prevent disease but also teach one how to live in tune with nature and its cycles – for maximal health, longevity and to elevate ourselves into the higher realms of happiness – the ultimate goal in life.
In order to live in harmony with nature, ayurveda guides you to tune in and get to know yourself. We each have a unique constitution that matches up with different aspects of nature, in ayurveda there are three constitutional types:
- Vata: likened to winter – cold and dry. Your nervous system and body are dominated by air.
- Pitta: likened to summer – hot, fiery, competitive and driven.
- Kapha: likened to spring – retaining water, easy going, heavier set, mellow.
Ayurveda as Preventative Medicine
Intervening on the path of disease before serious manifestations of it occurs is at the foundation of Ayurvedic medicine. This involves mapping symptoms and tracing them back to their root cause.
Ayurveda has 6 stages of disease. The first stage is where toxins start to accumulate due to hampered bodily function or intelligence. Through certain Ayurvedic diagnostic methods, such as pulse diagnosis, this can be recognised early. Some Ayurvedic doctors can even detect hereditary factors by feeling the pulse, and from here implement diet, lifestyle and herbal measures to prevent this weak spot in the body from becoming vulnerable to disease.
If we look at western medicine, it usually will not step in until manifestation has happened. This is the 5th stage of disease according to Ayurveda, and has happened after 1. the toxins (Ama) has accumulated (sachaya) – 2. aggravated (prakopa) – 3. overflown and became more severe (prasara) – 4. relocated within the body (sthana samsraya) – 5. then it has has reacted and manifested (vyakti).
After diagnosis, there are a number of treatments that can begin to work on the root cause of disease and ultimately enliven and maintain vitality. This can range from simple dietary and lifestyle advice to advanced body treatments and herbal preparations. To explore which treatments we have available, view our therapeutic menu, herbal remedies or contact us.