Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing.” It stemmed from the ancient Vedic culture and was taught for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their disciples. Some of this knowledge set to print a few thousand years ago, but much of it is inaccessible.
Constitution and Its Inner Balance
Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.
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.
Balancing the Three Principle Energies of the Body
Vata is the subtle energy associated with movement
Composed of Space and Air. It governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, pulsation of the heart, and all changes in the cytoplasm and cell membranes. In balance, vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety.
Pitta expresses as the body’s metabolic system
Made up of Fire and Water. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy.
Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure
Bones, muscles, tendons — and provides the “glue” that holds the cells together, built from Earth and Water. Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin, and maintains immunity. In balance, kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness. Out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed and envy.
AYURVEDA AS A COMPLEMENTARY SYSTEM OF HEALING
Ayurveda does not focus on disease. Rather, Ayurveda maintains that all life must be supported by the energy in balance. When there is minimal stress, and the flow of energy within a person is balanced, the body’s natural defence systems will be secure and can more easily defend against disease.
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