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Ayurveda: Promoting Balance between People and Their Environment

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Ayurveda is a complex and ancient East Indian system of holistic living, preventive medicine and healing that seeks to promote health by creating a balance in the subtle energies (doshas) within and around us.

Ayurveda is a complex and ancient East Indian system of holistic living, preventive medicine and healing that seeks to promote health by creating a balance in the subtle energies (doshas) within and around us. Ayurveda teaches that a lifestyle that maintains the doshas in balance with the individual's constitutional type will maintain health in mind, body and soul. Illness is caused by an imbalance in the doshas due to poor diet, emotional trauma or an accumulation of toxins. Ayurveda tailors lifestyle and treatments according to the uniqueness of the individual's physical, mental, lifestyle and environmental conditions. Ayurvedic philosophy is based on the premise that we must take responsibility for our own health.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as the "science of life" or "knowledge of how to live." Classical Ayurveda texts include comprehensive lifestyle guidelines comprising diet, exercise, sleeping, cleanliness, oiling the body and partaking in religious devotions of your faith.

History

This healing system is was developed by the great rishis (seers) and was passed on through oral tradition. Ayurveda is at least five thousand years old but ancient texts only exist from about 1000 BC. Ayurveda is only now becoming popular in the West.

The lotus is an Ayurvedic symbol and each of its eight petals represents one of the eight Ayurvedic disciplines: internal medicine; surgery; treatment of ears, nose, throat, eyes, jaws and teeth; toxicology; psychiatry; gynecology and pediatrics; geriatrics; and sexology.

How Can It Help Me?

Ayurveda is a preventive discipline that seeks to recognize and eliminate disease before it can become entrenched in the body. Ayurveda is used to maintain health by promoting understanding of lifestyle and eating habits that are beneficial to a particular constitution and situation.

With the self-knowledge gained through diagnosis and treatment options, you learn how to take responsibility for your health and well-being.

How Does It Work?

Ayurveda is based upon the principle that we heal from within. It assists nature in a positive way by supporting beneficial processes to reinstate and maintain proper balance of doshas. Decreasing excess doshas hastens the elimination of wastes and improves resistance to disease

How Is It Done?

Diagnostic tools include taking an analysis of body (pulse, tongue, iris, face, skin, urine and stools), mind, spirit and environment. The pulse diagnosis is highly refined and in some cases may be the only form of diagnosis used.

Treatment

Treatments consist of medicinal plants (fresh, dried or naturally extracted), strict dieting and exercise.

What Can I Do?

Take responsibility for your health by maintaining balance and harmony in all areas of your life: physical, mental and spiritual. When illness does strike, follow the recommended treatment of the practitioner to hasten your recovery

Where Do I Go Next?

It can be difficult to find a qualified Ayurvedic physician or practitioner. Check with the nearest holistic/natural healing or naturopathic organization, or ask at your health food store, which should carry Ayurvedic formulas.

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