An Introduction to Ayruveda

  • We are living is an age of turmoil, tension and transition. The old is collapsing and the new is struggling to be born. Even in this fast age, there are of course new hopes and fresh aspirations and a tremendous quest for inner health. Ayurveda can be a good source of healing and inspiration and to go forward into the future with health and confidence. Our organism is a unique laboratory nature purposed for the timely and efficiently cleaning itself from decay products and recovering energy used for that assuring health and happiness to its owner.BUT it was not foreseen by the nature that the owner of this organism would use it on rims of ability, as well as pollution of environment, corrupted air and water were also non predictable factors for the nature. It was not even suspected that natural nutrition could be replaced with nutria chemical industry preserved and genetically modified food. Three times daily consumption of meat food with beer, tonics and other colour beverages afterwards was not probably planned by the nature. Work during the nights resulted to the burning and filling with different kinds of stimulators, like coffee, vitamin bombs, and even alcohol were persuaded by the owner of the body, not the nature. Our organism become full of toxins and poisons and our rhythm and harmony is invaded by them. This stage may be a just staring of a serious sickness. Determination of the right diagnosis revealing not only the damaged system or organ, but also the reason of this damage is the way to recovery. Our scientific approaches and understanding of the reasons or the root cause of diseases as well as a body friendly treatment makes ayurveda a complete system of medicines.

Introduction to Ayruveda

Ayurveda is sanskrit for "knowledge of life". Ayurveda recognises that everything in the universe consists of the five elements Ether (space), Air, Fire, Water and Earth. It recognises that nature exists in harmony with the universe due to its elements being in balance. Ayurveda is an aincient tradition or way of life that has existed for over 10, 000 years and, believe it or not, is the origin of all other healing practices natural, traditional and modern. The purpose of Ayurveda is to restore and maintain the balance of the elements within our being in accordance with our unique constitution or Prakriti . The basic principle is that health and happiness is our birthright. One's body can heal itself with natural measures. Ayurveda is not only a system of medicines but a natural way of living in harmony with ones existence. Ayurvedic treatment does not only complement modern science but it can completely eradicate certain serious sicknesses.

The image of Ayurveda has been distorted by glossy pictures of seaside resorts, oil being poured over a forehead, beautiful hands massaging a back, healthy looking vegetarian dishes and colourful Indian herbal spices. All of the above are to be found as posters and brochures as Ayurvedic supplements in health shops and on the internet.

Is that Ayurveda though? Is that all that this oldest living healing science means?

These images present a very limited view of Ayurveda as a short detox holiday. Very few people realize just how incomplete this picture is. Ayurveda is a highly specialized and scientific form of ancient medicine. It is about various aspects such as healing, energy, kindness, compassion, cooking, music, beauty and colours. In India a VAIDYA (Ayurvedic doctor) must complete a six-year university degree. All Ayurvedic graduates are trained in both Ayurvedic and medical hospitals. A 3-year post-graduate MD degree is offered to the most successful graduates. We are living in an age of turmoil, tension and transition. The old is collapsing and the new is struggling to be born, we find ourselves adrift on a turbulent ocean with no established landmarks between the vanished past and an indeterminate future.

Ayurveda is a product of experiences of Vedic civilizations that occurred thousands of years ago. Ayurveda was created for human well being and Vedic philosophy and is not based on any specific text or on the teachings of any particular person or any specific point in time. There is a pluralism which is built into the very structure of Vedic thought, because it is based on the collective wisdom of seers and sages referred to as 'Rishis'. The great utterances of the Rishis have come down to us over many thousands of years and remain a source of great inspiration

An Ayurvedic doctor is taught to honour and accept the individual, regardless of religion. It is the aim of the Ayurvedic doctor to guide each patient on his or her personal spiritual and philosophical path. This means that an Ayurvedic treatment is by definition intensely personal, and consequently, the strictest confidence is a feature of the doctor-patient relationship.

Ayurvedic Prakriti and Doshas

The term Prakriti is derived from a Sanskrit word that means, 'nature', 'creativity' or the 'first creation'. Prakriti is the physical and psychological constitution of an individual, which is determined on the basis of three doshas. One of the very important concepts of Ayurveda is that one's basic constitution is fixed throughout his lifetime. But some pathological changes affect this. The Ayurvedic physician's role is to treat these changes and to bring a person on to his/her basic Prakriti. Knowing our Prakriti is helpful as it not only helps us know our self better but also helps us in getting rid of diseases. It helps in understanding certain important characteristics.
We must understand that our basic constitution is decided at the time of fertilization of sperm and ovum (Condition of sperm-ovum) and is affected by our upbringings.
According to Ayurveda, everything in this universe is made up of five elements, namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether (space). These elements combine to form the three doshas: Vata, Kapha, and Pita, or metabolic types and are represented in the human body in different forms. For instance, bones and teeth are earth, blood and lymph are water, the metabolism is fire, oxygen is air, and ether is the spaces found between matter, represented best by vibration or sound.

Three doshas Vata, Pita and Kapha collectively known as Tridosha :

The meaning of the word Vata is "wind, to move, flow, direct the processes of, or command." In Ayurveda Vata is one of the Tridosha that is believed to be the combination of air and space (ether). It is also thought to be the controlling energy in the body and influences all forms of movement in the mind and body. Hence it is believed that the initial cause of diseases in the body and mind is Vata imbalance. Vata also facilitates the other two doshas to be expressive. Vata governs many basic functions of the body like breathing, heart pulsation, blood flow, all expansion and contraction, movements in the muscles and tissues, the movements of cytoplasm and the cell membranes, and the movement of the single impulses in nerve cells, blinking of the eyelids, waste elimination, and the way our thoughts cross our minds. Vata also controls feelings and emotions such as freshness, anxiety, fear, nervousness, pain, tremors, and spasms. The prime location of Vata in the human body is colon but it also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. Thus if Vata is excessive in the body it accumulates in these areas.

Pita is known as the Energy of Digestion and Metabolism. The Pita Dosha (bio-energy) is a combination of water and fire elements and formulated by the dynamic interplay of both. These elements are transformative in nature; thus they constantly modulate and control each other. In the human body Pita represents the fire element; it includes gastric fire or digestive fire, action of enzymes and amino acids that play a major role in metabolism, and the neurotransmitters. Pita is hot, sharp, light, oily, liquid, and spreading in nature. It is sour, bitter, pungent to the taste, and has a fleshy smell. All these characteristics are revealed in the body of the pita person. The main centres of Pita in human body are small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin. Pita governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, and skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. It gives the person appetite, vitality, and the capacity to learn, understand and determine what is right or wrong. The imbalanced Pita can cause many physical and psychological problems like anger, criticism, negative emotions, acidity, ulcers, heartburn, rashes and thinning hair.

Kapha is an alliance of water and earth elements. Kapha represents the Energy of Lubrication and Structure in Ayurveda. Kapha comprises all our cells, tissues and organs. Kapha molecules act as glue that holds the body together and provides the basis for physical structure. Water is the main constituent of Kapha and provides biological strength and natural tissue resistance. Kapha is heavy, slow, cool, oily, liquid, hard, smooth, dense, soft, static, viscous, and cloudy. It is white in color and has a sweet and salty taste. Kapha provides body resistance, lubricates the joints, moisture the skin, heals wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity.