A revolution is shaking up the healthcare industry, and if you are concerned about your own health and the health of your family, it’s time you jump on board too. Ayurveda, the science of life, is the revolution now shaking up the world of powerlessness and dependence on drugs and medication and their severe side effects. Not only does Ayurveda give you natural and powerful solutions to problems, Ayurveda also prescribes the most effective ways to proactively prevent ill-health and build immunity.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, literally the ‘science or knowledge of life’, is a 5000 year old Indian medical practice that encompasses a range of treatments, including Herbal Medicine, appropriate diet and lifestyle changes, meditation, massage and Yoga, tailored towards one’s specific unique constitution, or body type, to maintain or restore health.
This system of natural healing that originated in India, has a rich history of oral and written traditions which have been passed down for thousands of years. It is the oldest documented system of medicine in the world.
The word Ayurveda is derived from the words Ayus meaning life and longevity and Veda meaning science or knowledge. Originating in India, founded by ancient ‘seers’ or rishis, it then spread to Egypt, Greece, Rome, Tibet, China, Russia, Japan, and is the cornerstone of many other traditional systems of medicine. But more than just a system of medicine, it is a way to promote longevity and the harmonious integration of body, mind, senses and spirit. Ayurveda is the most senior, continuously practised, complete healing and health care system on the planet.
Ayurveda is wellness naturally.
Ayurvedic principles are based upon the unchanging laws of Nature. As we are part of nature, so the treatments that correct our weaknesses will be found in nature. We are all part of a greater whole. Everything in nature is reflected in each organism and is reflected in ourselves. For instance, according to Ayurveda every person contains a combination of the universe’s five building blocks, the basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth, which in each individual functions as three biological and metabolic types, or doshas. Ayurveda uses the terms Vata (air/space), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth/water) to describe unique psycho-biological make-up which are the components of your body type. Illness arises by an imbalance in one or more of the doshas, which disturbs the tissues and wastes in the body, resulting in toxicity in the body and mind.
Ayurveda itself is a complete, holistic science, encompassing preventative health, health maintenance, health improvement and the treatment of disease. It not only addresses specific health concerns, but also offers explanations as to why one person responds differently to another, both physically and psychologically, in similar circumstances. It can be applied to every activity in life, and for some, becomes a complete way of life. Research has shown that individuals who practice Ayurvedic health are at decreased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and all factors for heart disease, and stress. Herbal remedies within the treatment are considered to help allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue, menstrual cramps, Parkinson’s disease and digestive disorders, including constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Ayurvedic principles are natural. Amongst its basic principles, Ayurveda proposes:
- The microcosm and macrocosm reflect each other
- Every cause has an effect…and every effect has a cause
- For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
- Like increases like
- A quality is decreased by its opposite quality.
- There is no pain in the body without vata, no inflammation in the body without pitta and no oedema in the body without kapha.
- Balance and health for each individual is unique – one size/treatment/medicine/regime etc. does not fit all.
By applying these and other Ayuredic principles to everyday life, Ayurveda helps you create harmony in the body, mind and spirit, thereby prolonging life and eliminating the causes of disease and dysfunction.
Ayurvedic medicines and treatments
Ayurveda is the medicine of nature and the medicine of life. The treatments of Ayurveda are found in the natural world, and most are simply diet and lifestyle. Plant-based herbs help the body get balanced and then the body heals itself. Eating foods that are most beneficial for your body type will keep you healthy. Regular regime is important.
This magnificent system of holistic medicine and living reveals knowledge about life and health after careful observation of hundreds of thousands of individuals, animals, plants, trees and nature in general, over thousands of years. Ayurvedic sages recorded in encyclopaedic writings the strategies that worked and those that didn’t for every aspect of health and way of living. Being over 5,000 years old and having stood the test of time, this science proven true from the time that the early India sages shared their wisdom and knowledge of this science to today.
Ayurveda recommends specific lifestyle routines, foods and diet, medicines and procedures based upon your unique psycho-biological make-up (your body-type, prakruti, which was determined at birth). Ayurvedic diets and treatments are body type specific.
Does Ayurveda complement conventional medicine?
Ayurveda is a safe system of medicine, with an extensive history of traditional use and depending upon the ailment, can be used as a complete alternative to conventional medicine or alongside it as a complementary or integrated medicine for good health and well-being.
The World Health Organisation recognises Ayurveda as a holistic system of healthcare. Ayurveda can be used whilst undergoing conventional medicine treatments. Ayurveda can help restore balance to your body, and may reduce the need for many conventional medicines. Your Ayurvedic practitioner and doctor can work together to maximise your treatment result. Its speciality and strength lie in its individualised approach to your unique requirements.
While orthodox medicine helps to manage the symptoms through prescribed medications, often the cause of the condition is left untreated, and the patient remains dependent upon the medication. On the contrary, Ayurvedic remedies, while managing the presenting symptom, will also aim at treating the root cause of the illness.
What can Ayurveda treat?
Ayurveda is often referred to as Ashtanga Ayurveda, because it has 8 branches.
The eight brances are:
- Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, kayachikitsa.
The word ‘kaya’ represents the digestive fire in the body, agni, which is responsible for the metabolism in the body. Imbalance to ‘agni’ is the cause for many diseases. Kaya chikitsa deals with the treatment of general ailments, such as fever, diarrhea and cough, by treating your agni.
- Gynaecology, Pediatrics and Treatment of Children, kaumara bhritya or baala chikitsa.
There are three aspects that must be remembered while treating children:Children cannot explain their complaintsThe dosage of medicine is different for childrenThe medicines given to children must be palatable to them.Because of these conditions, treating children is addressed in a different manner. Hence a separate study is devoted for them.
- Psychology and psychosomatic diseases, graha chikitsa or bhuta vidya.
This branch of Ayurveda provides treatment for diseases of psychosomatic disorders, including insanity, and also epilepsy and diseases caused by affliction of external factors.
- Treatment of disease of the organs above the clavicle, urdhvanga chikitsa, or shalakya tantra.
This branch of Ayurveda addresses the head, opthalmology, oro-dental, E,N.T., and thus includes the treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, teeth and head.
- Surgery, shalya chikitsa.
This branch of Ayurveda deals with treatment of diseases caused by foreign bodies and diseases that need surgical therapies. It is carried out only for diseases, which cannot be cured by medicines.
- Toxicology, damstra chikitsa or visha chikitsa or agada tantra.
This form of treatment specialises with the treatment of poisoning from animals, such as snakes, insects, spiders, scorpions and also of plants, metals and minerals.
- Geriatrics, rejuvenation and anti-aging, jara chikitsa or rasayana chikitsa.
Treatment for rejuvenation and restoring the youthfulness of an individual, and prescribes various therapies and herbs that have to be taken to restore your youth and vitality.
- Aphrodisiac therapy, vrsha chikitsa or vajikarana chikitsa.
This branch of Ayurveda deals with treatment of reproduction that helps to get good progeny and provides various medicines and therapies to improve the virility and the sexual prowess of a person to help towards this end.
Thus we can see that Ayurveda is effective in treating a wide range of health conditions relating to physical, mental and emotional states. It can be effectively employed in treatment of both acute and chronic diseases. Ayurveda treats the individual by addressing the imbalance in the vitality of a sick person. Thus Ayurveda can help people suffering with any named or unnamed (undiagnosed) illness. Most common, acute and chronic disorders respond well to Ayurveda.
Would you like to deepend your knowledge and study Ayurveda?
Our sister organisation, Health Institute Australasia, runs comprehensive education in Ayurveda. Courses are available at our Gold Coast, Queensland campus. Please visit the Health Institute Australasia website to find out more about Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Wellness Counsellor studies or the Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner studies. Regular short courses are also available – please visit healthinstitute.edu.au or shantiyoga.com.au
I am Shanti Gowans, and I welcome you to contact me at my website here if you would like to learn more and travel down this healing journey with us. I believe in wellness naturally. The natural health practices, methods and education of uniting the worlds of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda both in our urban, city lives, and during our Wellness retreats provide the best options to live a healthy life. These paths share the common understanding that all disease is rooted in the mind’s disharmony with one’s heart. This is a special time for the emergence of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda throughout the health and wellness industry. Leveraging the authentic heritage of these disciplines, from my birthplace, India, with the modern voice of Australian leadership, Health Institute Australia hopes to contribute substantially towards preventative, curative and promotive health care through our education and inspirational programs, and our ministry of healing. Through our work at the Institute and through the efforts of our alumni, we can all contribute to the larger sustainability of our planet’s resource, its people. My goal is to share information and knowledge to help us live our best lives and achieve the highest levels of health, wholesomeness and success possible. Please forward this website and our material to any family, friends and business associates who you think will benefit from it.