Ayurvedic Medicine Can Bring Your Body Back Into Balance
Ancient holistic medicine still has its place in today’s modern medicine world. With its x-ray machines, MRIs, and life-saving surgical procedures, modern medicine is good at isolating the problem and finding a cure. Ayurvedic medicine looks at the body as a whole system and treats it as such.
Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years. It is a holistic practice that believes in the delicate balance of mind, body, and spirit. It is the oldest medical practice that is still practiced today. It focuses on the balance and understanding of natural laws. It is centered around the 5 elements: earth, fire, air, water, and ether or space.
Ayurveda is a type of prevention that calms these systems and brings harmony based on a person’s individual dosha combination.
What is a Dosha?
Dosha is a Sanskrit word that means life-body constitution. There are 3 types of doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. In traditional modern medicine diseases like ulcers, or diabetes would be diagnosed and treated. Whereas in Ayurvedic medicine these diseases have a personality and are treated based on the dosha that is out of balance. The dosha is like a journey of how you get that disease. The disease has a physical, mental, and spiritual component. With the dosha as a summary of that journey, how it can come out of balance and what needs to be done to bring it back into balance.
The majority of the time a person has multiple doshas with one dosha being predominant. And that predominance also depends on the time of year. How your individual doshas are proportioned determines your physiology and personality traits. As well as the most appropriate ayurvedic treatment when your doshas are out of balance. Each dosha is associated with 2 of the 5 elements Ayurvedic medicine is centered around.
The 3 Types of Doshas
- Vata Dosha (air & space) — The most powerful of the three doshas It controls how cells divide, blood flow and heart functions, circulation, and breathing. If vata dosha is your main life force you can develop anxiety, lack of sleep, intolerant of the cold, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.
- Pitta Dosha (fire & water) — It controls digestion, metabolism, and absorption of nutrients. It is also linked to hormones that control your appetite. If it’s your main life force, you may suffer from crohn’s disease, IBS, infections, and high blood pressure.
- Kapha Dosha (earth & water) — It controls body strength, muscle growth, weight and immune system. If it’s your main life force, you may develop breathing disorders like asthma, sleep apnea, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
How these doshas interact within a single individual gives Ayurvedic physicians a roadmap to find out what treatment is best when bringing them back into a harmonious balance. And they do this with a detoxification regimen called ‘Panchakarma.’
What is Panchakarma?
It is a Sanskrit word that means five actions or in Ayurvedic terms five therapies. It is an elegant form of detoxification that uses a specialized diet, herbal-oil deep tissue massages, and specialized regimens to treat the different types of dosha imbalances that have caused toxins to accumulate causing different illnesses.
The 5 Therapies
Panchakarma Diet — This is the first treatment, an individualized diet to help aid digestion as well as the 5 types of panchakarma treatments. It is a detoxification diet that is monitored and adjusted. It starts with consuming a medicinal tea called ghee which is clarified butter with immunity and digestion benefits.
- Vamana — Is basically medical vomiting to get rid of mucus associated with the kapha toxins. It will clear the sinuses, and offer relief from congestion, wheezing, and breathlessness. Afterward the patient shouldn’t eat any heavy foods and should fast.
- Virechana — Purges the body of pitta toxins that accumulate in the liver and gallbladder. Uses herbal laxatives and a light restrictive diet afterward.
- Basti — The main treatment that uses medicinal herbs, oils, and decoction as an enema to cleanse the body of vata toxins through the rectum. It helps rejuvenate the body from backache, common colds, hyperacidity, and a number of other ailments.
- Nasya — This treatment is using medicinal oils through the nose, and can help improve many ailments centered in the head. From improving eyesight, insomnia, headaches, and premature greying of hair.
- Raktamoksha — This is blood letting through the gastrointestinal tract. Too much pitta will increase the toxicity of the blood. Blood-letting stimulates the spleen to produce anti-toxic substances that boost the immune system.
These types of treatments have different specialized components to them including steam baths, and oil massages to help direct the toxins away and out of the body. All of these treatments are concentrated to keep the three doshas balanced within your body. Depending on what ails you, and which of the three doshas is out of balance determines which treatment is best suited for you.
We can rely too heavily on the orthodoxy of modern traditional medicine. Occasionally that type of medicine is too rigid to listen to what our bodies are telling us. It is a testament to the longevity of Ayurvedic medicine still being practiced today. Ancient Indian wisdom has always known what western medicine is just now discovering about the body and how it functions. The French philosopher Voltaire once said “I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”
At Ascends Natur'l Medicine, we believe our bodies are a delicate system that needs to work in unison to function properly. That’s why we can suffer from various ailments and infections. When we get treated by medication or surgery it only focuses on one thing. Ayurvedic medicine treats the body as a whole through cleansing and detoxification so the three doshas can work in unison.