Ayurveda is an ancient life philosophy and medicine originating from India that encompasses all the areas of the human being as well as his/her surroundings, taking into account aspects such as physical constitution, mental condition, diet, lifestyle and habits, climate, etc. In today´s hectic Western society I feel that we can learn a lot from this alternative point of view.
ORIGINS OF THE AYURVEDA
It is told that Ayurveda was established by a group of sacred wise men that abandoned their villages in different parts of India to dedicate themselves to the study of the root causes for disease in the Himalayan region. The so called vedic philosophy that they created was transmitted through the sacred scriptures, written around 1700-1100 B.C., and divided into The FourVedas. Still today it is considered the primary medical option within the country.
PERCEPTION OF HUMAN HEALTH
Ayurveda perceives the body, mind and spirit as a whole, as opposed to modern medicine. In this way of thinking, one should always look for the root cause of the illness instead of just treating it, as the different aspects of the human being affect each other. In other words, Ayurveda does not focus on treating illness but rather on avoiding its appearance by preventive methods, or freeing us from an already existing illness through a healthy lifestyle.
THE FOUNDATIONS ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
The universe, the human beings and everything surrounding us is composed of the five great elements (mahabutas): space (Aaskash), air (Vayu), fire (Agni), water (Jala) and earth (Pithvi). These elements exist together butin different proportions, creating a distinct balance within each person. This can be compared to the genetic code: all of us have a unique genetic code, making us different from the rest.
According to the Ayurveda, the three bodily humors or vital energies (doshas) that form the constitution of each individual are obtained through combining the five elements. The doshas determine the condition, behaviour, constitution, temperament, possible diseases, and even the physical aspect of each person. They are called: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Everyone of us contain a part of each of the doshas. When the doshas are in balance we are healthy, while an imbalance between them generates disease.
In order to stay healthy, Ayurveda recommends us to follow a daily routine, (dinacharya).This way we take care of ourselves and prevent any diseases. The routine consists of following the natural cicle of each constitution, in this way creating a natural order. Some of the recommendations are as simple as controlled sleeping hours, regular physiological activities such as yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, etc.
HARMONY THROUGH MASSAGE
In India, massage is very commonly used and is often practiced from birth to death, during the entire lifetime of an individual. Massage is believed to create harmony and balance between the body, mind and spirit and to help maintaining us healthy. The multiple massage techniques in India are being taught in Ayurveda schools throughout the country. The most popular Ayurvedic massage techniques include the Abhyanga massage, Indian Head massage or Champi massage and the Herbal ball or Herbal bag massage.
We will write more in detail about the individual massage techniques in the following posts, so stay tuned!
Wishing you a meaningful day ahead,
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