Articles to introduce you to Ayurveda
The word 'Ayurveda' derives from two Sanskrit words; 'Ayu' meaning life, and 'Veda', meaning 'knowledge' or 'wisdom', simply translating as the 'science of life'.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that has been in continual clinical practice for over five thousand years. The worlds oldest health-care system, it is acknowledged and promoted by the World Health Organization as a major contributor to world health.
Ayurveda is said to have developed in the foothills of the Himalayas in response to an increase in disease arising from overpopulation, improper diet, as well as water and food pollution. A situation not dissimilar to the environmental pressures observed today.
Classical Ayurveda encompassed seven branches of medicine namely, internal medicine, surgery, ear-nose-throat, pediatrics-gynaecology, toxicology, psychiatry, rejuvenation therapy, and aphrodisiacs.
It is hard to find a common disease today that had not been described in Ayurveda. For each disease there was a detailed description that defined its symptoms, root cause, pathogenesis, treatment and disease prognosis.
Ayurveda contains a deep understanding of what constitutes health, how to maintain it at the level of both body and mind, and how to restore balance when imbalance leads to disease.
In India today, which is the continent from where Ayurveda originates, there are Ayurvedic hospitals and clinics across the country, with Ayurvedic practitioners servicing all cities, most towns and villages. Contemporary Ayurveda is well-suited to both promoting health and wellbeing, as well the treatment of non-acute chronic disease.
Ayurveda has an ancient lineage, with a clinical history going back thousands of years. It is a health care system which contains a deep wisdom of what constitutes health & wellbeing and is of particular relevance to the pressures of modern society today.
According to Ayurveda optimum health results from a balanced mind, proper digestion, absorption and tissue development, alongside proper elimination, to build a resilient body with strong immunity.
For each individual, there is a unique balance based on their body constitution, diet and lifestyle, and how they interact with the seasonal environment. Where imbalance has led to disease, Ayurveda targets the root cause and never treats the symptoms alone. This is a key difference to modern medicine in approach. Health is not seen as a goal, but a process towards equilibrium tailored to the individual.
The Ayurvedic practitioner is highly skilled in assessing each individual at an elemental level, determining signs of imbalance and implementing an individualized plan to restore equilibrium of both body and mind.
In this sense, Ayurveda is truly holistic in its approach to health and well-being.