Ayurveda teaches by empowering each individual with the knowledge they can use to be more aware of their bodies.
By being more aware of your body you can discover what foods work best for you, what lifestyle habits are helping or not helping, what you should be doing for each season to maintain health, what climates will bring health to your physical body and what it feels like or looks like when you see excess elements in the system.
But most importantly, Ayurveda teaches you to tune into your body to know what you need when you need it to give you continued health and longevity.
*Note that Ayurvedic practitioners are not restricted to use only certain therapies or treatments. If it exists and can benefit a client then the practitioner can suggest it.
An Ayurvedic consultation will most likely result in any of the following being recommended based upon the condition of the client:
Lifestyle recommendations will be made to help bring about a more balanced health-promoting lifestyle so that a state of inner harmony is achieved.
A food program will be given to you to guide you to make the right food choices for your unique constitution. These guidelines will empower you to recognize how it feels to be eating foods that agree with you and that are easy to digest.
In the cases where specific illnesses are present, the Ayurvedic therapist may recommend Ayurvedic herbs, based on your constitution and the illness.
Ayurvedic Body Treatments
Usually part of Pancha Karma, ayurvedic massage can aid in many illnesses that include promoting weight loss (especially when included in the steam therapy) and reducing or eliminating stress.
Colour affects the mind and body and can aid someone in changing their state of awareness and outlook on life. Colour can be used as a tool to bring about the desired mood an individual wants to be in. Colour therapy is a very powerful therapy.
Pancha Karma (Detoxification Therapy)
In today’s world, we almost always have some level of the buildup of toxins, called Ama, this is not only physical (undigested waste/toxic byproducts) but can also be undigested emotions.
Panchakarma therapies can range from gentle home detoxification to a more intense thorough month-long supervised program that involves daily Abhyanga (full body massage), medicated oil/ghee consumption daily, eating a specific detox diet, Swedhana (sweat therapy), Shirodhara (oil poured on the 3rd eye) and cleansing enemas.
As Ayurveda therapists, we will also examine the 5 pillars of health and how they are represented in your life. These 5 pillars are:
- Your sleep patterns
The 5 Pillars of Health
The first place to start is to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle that supports optimum vitality and health, with this in mind there are 5 pillars of health I would highly recommend to get your life on the right track.
The mother of all healing, not too much and not too little, Ideally It is best to get to bed before 10 pm as this is when your digestive fires/ metabolism kicks in and can lead to a second wind of mental alertness.
Postponing to past midnight damages the liver as it is the time your body cleanses the liver if you are awake this cleansing does not occur. Do not sleep past sunrise, it will
1. Slow your metabolism quicker than anything and make you put on weight.
2. Sleeping during the day can lead to depression over time.
If you suffer from insomnia,
- Disengage from any work or entertainment that takes your attention off thinking(eg TV/Computers/Work at least 2 hours before bed, sit alone for a while and process your thoughts, Contemplation is neglected art in a society that has to be on the get-go constantly.
- Meditation a half-hour before going to sleep helps me.
- In extreme cases or when you are still battling to meditate, you may take half a teaspoon of nutmeg (put it on your tongue) and then swallow it down with a glass of water, do this about an hour before sleep.
Eat according to your constitution (Dosha ie, Pitta, Vata, Kapha) and limit your portion size to about a palm size of protein and a palm-size of good carbohydrates. Allow 5 to 6 hours to pass between meals, without snacking at all, and not having sweetened drinks such as tea, coffee, or soft drinks.
Moderating your sex life is crucial for immunity and health; too much sex can deplete your reserves of vitality and compassion, peace of mind. Have the correct amount of Sex for your constitution.
Be aware that it is still very cold outside and dress appropriately, yet it is still a good time to begin a daily walking routine with some friends, or join a Yoga class.
Ayurveda suggests that you exercise until you have perspiration appearing on the forehead back and arms and chest- this is easily achievable with a gentle amount of exercises such as yoga, or a brisk walk.
This is one of the most overlooked principles of the body, You are designed to clean out toxins in one of 3 ways (urine, feces, sweat) if you do not perspire you put an unnecessary burden on the kidneys and liver.
In this modern world, meditation has become a vitally important tool in overcoming stress and stress-related illnesses, it is well known to lower blood pressure and heart rate, the benefits of a calmer more balanced outlook on life are obvious, you treat other people better and can deal with life in a more effective manner.
Meditation also brings great insight and presence, try to meditate twice a day(morning and evening), which can also be effective before going to bed. (around 9 pm)
Ayurveda Treatment Options That Can Help Improve Your Health
If you have been going to the doctor recently, trying to resolve a certain chronic condition that you have, and you have not been able to find relief, you might start to think about alternative forms of medicine that have been used for thousands of years, perhaps those that have originated from different countries.
Oriental medicine has been making quite a comeback, even recommended by medical doctors today. Treatments such as acupuncture, acupressure, and even reflexology have their place, helping people to unblock energy blockages in their body by tapping certain points on the human body which can cause the flow to resume as normal.
There is another form of medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years, potentially the oldest known to mankind. It is called Ayurveda, a word that means life knowledge, something that is thought to have originated in prehistoric times in India. Let’s go over some of the Ayurveda treatment options that might be able to help you feel better once again.
Origins Of Ayurveda Medicine
According to historians, in a place called the Indus Valley, the origins of Ayurveda medicine came into being. Passed down for centuries, stemming from what is called the Vedic period, it is a form of medicine that is practiced not only in India but all over the world.
There are actually eight different components to this type of medicine, each directly addressing certain ailments that can affect both children and adults.
The goal is to resume balance within the body, similar to what Oriental medicine also teaches, and this is accomplished through many different means.
Treatments Involving Ayurveda Medicine
Some of the treatment options that will be utilized will include herbal medicines. They will also recommend taking certain metal and mineral supplementation, and sometimes surgical procedures.
Opium, probably the most prescribed drug in the United States, if not the world, which is used to control pain, is a large part of what is recommended for conditions such as fibromyalgia in order to get your body back into balance.
Finally, they will also recommend certain oils that are used during massage therapy that may be necessary. The combination of all of these treatments can lead to rebalancing the energy in your body, eliminating discomfort and disease.
Diagnosing Using Ayurveda Treatment Methodologies
Unlike a regular doctor that will ask you several questions about your current condition, and then based upon that questioning, and a physical exam, recommend a certain course of action which almost always involves pharmaceutical treatments and medical surgery, those that practice Ayurveda has eight different ways of diagnosing what is wrong with you, utilizing the five senses to their advantage.
Once the diagnosis is complete, they will recommend a treatment that will either involve nourishing or depleting. Depleting will involve either some form of purification of the body, or something to pacify what is occurring which may involve changing your diet, doing enemas, or getting more exercise.
Although medical science has yet to fully embrace the idea that all things are connected, something that is at the core of Ayurveda treatment options, they do understand that their goals are the same, helping people to resolve physical and mental ailments that they may currently be suffering from, and in this sense, modern science and ancient Ayurveda teachings can come together helping people to resolve medical problems on a regular basis.
You might want to find someone in your community that can offer Ayurveda based options for you. Always use these in conjunction with what your regular doctor is recommending so that you can tackle your condition using the best of both solutions coming from different areas of the world.
Read also: The Wisdom of Caraka