Ayurveda is an ancient holistic health science originating in India some 5000, or more years ago. It advocates a way of life in perfect harmony with Mother Nature and has evolved down the ages to be an extremely comprehensive and effective way of diagnosing and curing diseases. Naturally, Ayurveda has become hugely popular all around the world and modern research has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the therapeutic effects of its treatments and herbal medicines.
“The body, and that which is called the mind, are both considered to be abodes of disease, likewise of well-being. The cause of well-being is the harmonious or concordant interaction of body and mind”
Ayurveda (a compound Sanskrit word implying both ‘the science of life’ and ‘the art of living’) began in India during the Vedic period. It is a branch of Adharvaveda, one of the four Vedas (Sanskrit for knowledge) or treatises that which forms the basis of Indian Philosophy. Ayurveda was quickly adopted by almost all groups across India and began spreading early on to places such as Persia (now Iran), China and Afghanistan. According to ancient beliefs, Ayurveda was gifted to mankind by the gods to help us lead a healthy and productive life free of disease.
The central goal of Ayurveda is simple… to establish perfect, radiant health physically, mentally and spiritually in every living being.
If the body, mind and spirit are out of balance, either partially or totally, we are likely to feel unwell and experience diseases. However, if these are in harmony, we experience the sensation of deep tranquility, referred to as ‘Swastha’.
Our body is trying to be perfectly healthy all the time through its innate self-healing and self-regulating abilities but, consciously or sub-consciously, we repeatedly interfere with these natural abilities. Ayurveda can help us to create the right internal and external conditions to restore balance to our whole being.
Ayurveda recognises unique constitutional differences of all individuals – even if two people have the same symptoms, different treatment approaches are likely to help. Ayurveda emphasizes upon disease prevention, rejuvenation of the body systems and longevity of life. It provides an integrated approach to preventing and treating illness through lifestyle modification and natural therapies aimed at restoring balance to body, mind and spirit. According to Ayurveda, every living and non-living being in Nature is a combination of five basic eternal elements, called Panchamahabhootas. As the human body is an integral part of Nature it is also created from these elements in various compositions and, in essence, every cell of the body has all the properties of life. The only difference between the human body and the external world is the expression of Chaithanya, also known as consciousness, life spark, spirit or the soul.
Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a particular pattern of energy—an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics—which comprises their own constitution. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same throughout one’s life.
Many factors, both internal and external, act upon us to disturb this balance and are reflected as a change in one’s constitution from the balanced state. Examples of these emotional and physical stresses include, one’s emotional state, diet and food choices, seasons and weather, physical trauma, work and family relationships. Once these factors are understood, one can take appropriate actions to nullify or minimize their effects or eliminate the causes of imbalance and re-establish one’s original constitution. Balance is the natural order; imbalance is disorder. Health is order; disease is disorder. Within the body there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. When one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order.
Energy is required to create movement so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, enabling the body to function. Energy is also required to metabolize the nutrients in the cells, and is called for to lubricate and maintain the structure of the cell. ‘Vata’ is the energy of movement; ‘Pitta’ is the energy of digestion or metabolism and ‘Kapha’ is the energy of lubrication and structure. All people have the qualities of vata, pitta and kapha, but one is usually primary, one secondary and the third is usually least prominent. The cause of disease in Ayurveda is viewed as a lack of proper cellular function due to an excess or deficiency of vata, pitta or kapha.
Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing.
According to Ayurveda, our natural state is one of health, happiness and an inner sense of well-being. Health is defined as the body being clear of toxins, the mind is at peace, emotions are calm and happy, wastes are efficiently eliminated and organs are functioning normally.In a busy, stressful and toxic world, our physical and mental systems accumulate toxins causing deterioration in bodily functioning. This eventually weakens our systems, which opens the door for chronic, degenerative, and non-specific diseases to develop. These can evolve into serious specific diseases, ultimately damaging an individual’s health and wellness.
Panchakarma can help by reversing these negative effects of daily living. It can restore your natural state of health and wellness by cleansing your body of toxins, bringing balance into your system and improving bodily function. It can also help you sustain this process by making positive changes in lifestyle. The Panchakarma therapeutic process appears quite simple in its application. However, its effects are powerful and long-lasting. Panchakarma is a unique, natural, holistic, health-giving series of therapeutic treatments that cleanse the body’s deep tissues of toxins, open the subtle channels, bring life-enhancing energy thereby increasing vitality, inner peace, confidence and well-being.
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