Ayurveda is one of the very ancient methods of healing. Its roots back to about 5000 years ago when it originated in India. Practitioners of Ayurveda call it “The Mother of Healing.” The historical context behind the discovery of Ayurveda has been such that it passed on as a tradition. The masters of this medicine passed on to their disciples the teachings of Ayurveda orally. Since there were almost no written documents and only a few of them were set to print, much of the Ayurvedic history is inaccessible to us. It must be highlighted that many of the healing systems that now prevail have their roots somewhere in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is based on the belief that the well-being of an individual including his health depends upon the appropriate balance between the mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda as a science does not fight any particular disease rather it emphasizes promoting good health. In some cases, the Ayurvedic treatment is geared towards specific problems. As per the Ayurvedic beliefs, everything in the universe is interconnected. If there is any turbulence among the three entities- the body, spirit and mind a person gets sick. Several things can create an imbalance among these three and they are genetic or birth defects, injuries, climate and seasonal change, age and at times our emotions.
As per Ayurveda, every human being is made up of five elements found in the universe- space, air, fire, water and earth. These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. In the theory of Ayurveda, these doshas control your body. The three doshas namely are- Vata dosha or the space and air dosha; Pitta Dosha or the fire and water dosha; Kapha Dosha or the water and earth dosha. Each person acquires a different form of any of these doshas. Based on the kind of illness an Ayurvedic treatment needs to be done.
The Vata Dosha in Ayurveda
is said to control very basic life functions like how cells divide. It is also responsible for controlling an individual’s mind, breathing, heart function and others. The Pitta Dosha is said to be the life force that in Ayurveda controls your digestion, metabolism and other necessary things. The Kapha Dosha is that life force that controls the immune system, weight, muscle growth, the strength of an individual’s body and the stability of that person too. The disturbances that occur in any of these life forces cause problems in the constitution of an individual. Ayurveda then becomes one of the rescues which people go for.
In Ayurveda, the primary basis of any medicine is the interconnectedness of the body’s constitution and the life forces. The focus is mainly laid on treating the person by eliminating the impurities present in his body, making the person’s body resistive to diseases, making him feel lesser worried about his life and problems, and thereby trying to make the person’s life quite harmonious. In India, the practitioners of Ayurveda undergo institutionalized training which is recognized by the state.
The Ayurvedic treatment given to any person consists of herbs and other oils including common spices. In Ayurveda, many times a dietary plan, massage therapy and sometimes a total lifestyle change is needed to make the constitution of the person harmonious. Ayurveda can have positive impacts when it is used as a complementary therapy when combined with standard and conventional medical care. The practitioner of Ayurveda needs to create a plan of treatment especially designed for the person. They need to take into account the unique physical and emotional breakup, the primary life forces and the balance between all three of these elements.