Ayurveda is the oldest holistic science of healing in the universe. With more than 5000 years of history and practice in the Indian subcontinent, it is referred to as the “Mother medicinal system”, in that all medicinal systems are born out of Ayurveda and flow out of Ayurveda. Ayurveda’s teachings are both timeless and time-tested.
Ayurveda was first mentioned in the Vedas—the oldest manuscripts in human civilization. Vedic knowledge has been preserved in India, and so Ayurveda is also called the Indian medicinal system. It is a holistic system of healing, the art of living, plant-based medicinal system, the art of being, and much more.
I would define Ayurveda as the Ocean of Knowledge. Since we know the depth and the volume of water in an Ocean is not measurable, we can then define Ayurvedic Knowledge as being as deep and profound as the Ocean. However, while the water in the ocean may taste salty, the knowledge in Ayurveda is very sweet. You will want more and more!
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term, composed two words “Ayur” and “Veda”. Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge, science, and study. Combining these two different words together we can say Ayurveda is the study of life, knowledge of life, or science of life. Simply put, Ayurveda is everything about life. Our life begins from our date of birth and ends at death. The question of life is all about: How to have a healthy, joyful, and balanced lifestyle during our life span? Ayurvedic knowledge provides the answer.
“Ayurveda is the knowledge of a happy and unhappy life, a good and bad life, and that which contributes to those four aspects. “ —Charaka
Ayurveda is a way of living. It’s about being healthy from moment to moment. As you wake up in the morning, as you eat your meals, as you schedule a time for exercise and play, Ayurveda teaches you to consider what nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.
What you eat, what you watch on Netflix, how much time you spend exchanging the energy of love with others—everything you do, say, think, and feel has an impact on your body, mind, and energy system.
Each moment you make a choice. You can choose to do something that helps create balance in yourself or that may bring you out of balance.
Ayurveda gives you knowledge about yourself and your relationship to the external world so that you can make informed choices each moment, each meal, each day, and each season.
As a holistic practice, Ayurveda creates overall wellbeing and health, recognizing that body, mind, and spirit are interrelated. So, its objectives are two-fold:
- Swasthasya Swathya Rakshanam – To bring you into balance protect and maintain the health of a healthy person (Prevention is better than cure)
- Aturasya Vikar Prashamanam – To alleviate the discomfort and giving relief to sick people (Therapeutics)
Branches of Ayurveda
- Kaaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine)
- Baala Chikitsa (Treatment of Children/Pediatrics)
- Graha Chikitsa (Microbiology/Psychology)
- Shalakya Chikitsa (Treatment of disease above the clavicle/ENT)
- Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery)
- Agad tantra (Toxicology)
- Jara Chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation)
- Vrsha Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy)
The following therapies are among those, which your Ayurvedic practitioner may recommend. These therapies are all natural, have been used for thousands of years, and are used to restore your body by helping to circulate blood and lymph, support digestion, and boost immunity.
THERAPIES USED IN AYURVEDA
- Panchakarma: a fivefold detoxification treatment involving massage, herbal therapy, and other procedures.
- Herbal supplements: ingesting natural, whole herbs and spices in powder, liquid, or capsule form to enhance the body’s ability to detoxify, absorb nutrients, and regain equilibrium
- Bodywork: massaging herbalized oil over the entire body in rhythmic strokes
- Marma therapy: applying pressure to specific points on the body to help energy flow
- Diet and lifestyle approach: to prevent disease as well as gaining quick relief from the disease
- Mindfulness practice: becoming aware of what you are.
Experiencing in each moment, which allows digestion, sleep, and other important physical and mental functions to occur naturally and easefully
- Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama: cultivating mental equilibrium; promoting energy flow throughout the body, and enhancing physical strength, stamina, and health
- Healing modalities with metals, gemstones, aromas, and colors: using the energetic vibration of metals, gemstones, aroma, and colors to positively affect your energy system and overall health