Ayurvedic medicine was developed over 5,000 years ago in India and is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. It is translated as Ayur = Life, Veda = Science or knowledge, meaning the science of life.
Ayurveda teaches us that good health is the delicate balance between our environment, body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda aims to train individuals to evade disease instead of waiting for a disease to develop and then treat it.
Your treatments may include diet and nutritional changes, exercises, herbs, daily routines, massage and meditation to calm the nervous system.
Ayurveda sees that the body is made up of a mixture of the five elements (earth, air, space, fire and water) in varying proportions. These proportions are what makes us all individual. These elements are split into three basic types of functioning principles or energies called the doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
What are Doshas and why are they so important?
Each of us are made up of a unique combination of the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) although most people have an abundance of one or two of them which define your physiological and personality traits. Your unique combination is defined at the moment of conception and in Ayurveda this is called your prakruti (meaning nature or first creation). There are many reasons that can cause the levels of our doshas to become out of balance throughout our lifetime. These could be stress, age, climate, diet, the seasons and many more. When our doshas move in and out of balance it can affect your health and well-being. When your doshas are out of balance and you are experiencing illness we call this vikruti. Each dosha responds differently to what it is exposed to so it is vital for our well-being to know what dosha or combination of doshas we are so that we can be doing the right things for our health. Constantly going against this can cause us to feel unwell and over time lead to disease.
Vata is a mixture of the elements Space and Air. Vata is the dosha associated with movement and activity in the body. This can be related to the amount of thoughts you have in your mind to physical movement such as breathing, blinking and heart pulsations. Physically a Vata person can be light and flexible. They love to move and travel. In their behaviour they have good imaginations, are creative, and find that they struggle to sit still and relax as there is so much going on in their minds. An out of balance Vata can suffer from anxiety, nervousness, cracking joints, dry skin, premature wrinkles, constipation and feeling spaced out. Their thoughts, appetite and sleep patterns can fluctuate greatly. As you can imagine with all the air and space element, a Vata person needs to work on not letting themselves get dried out and will benefit from oiling their bodies, eating warm and wet foods and calming their nervous system by slowing down.
Pitta people are dominated by the fire element with a little water. With all the fire element Pitta people can be hot, fiery and intense with a sharp mind. They have a good strong digestion relating to food but also emotions. They have a great ability to be able to cut to the truth in tricky situations. Their metabolism is great and their appetite is strong as they burn off their food quickly. An out of balance Pitta can suffer from loose stools, heart burn, skin rashes, acne, anger and frustration. They can get over critical and compulsive. With all this heat a Pitta person needs to keep themselves cool. Eating cool and sweet foods, staying out of the hot sun and reducing the amount of coffee and alcohol they consume would all help to balance a Pitta person.
Kapha people are influenced by the earth and water elements. This gives them a strong stable frame and they are compassionate and loyal in nature. They are well lubricated, have beautiful eyes and skin and lovely thick hair. They have a calm way about them and are very loving. When out of balance they can struggle with feeling heavy and have stubborn weight gain. They can feel slow, sleepy and lethargic and lose their get up and go. They can have too much mucous in their system making them feel blocked and congested. Emotionally they can become greedy, attached and sentimental. They can be described as hoarders as they struggle to let go of things. To help a Kapha imbalance they would need to get more exercise into their routines to counteract the sluggishness and a lighter more warming diet to help with weight gain and heaviness.
The first step to achieving a balanced life is to find out your doshic combination (your unique quantities of each Dosha). Knowing your constitution is your key to feeling great and staying healthy.
In an Ayurvedic consultation we would first discuss any symptoms you are suffering from and your main health concerns. We would then go through all areas of your life and medical history. This will give us a clear idea of what we need to work on and the best treatment for you to enable you to regain health and stay balanced.
It is important to find out what dosha or combination of doshas you are in order to find balance in your body, mind and spirit.
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