Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic Medicine

The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayus, meaning life or lifespan, and veda, meaning knowledge. Ayurveda originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It is a form of Alternative Medicine that emphasizes the importance of balance in the body as a way to prevent disease. This is accomplished through diet and exercise, lifestyle changes, cleansing programs, and also by cleansing the mind and spirit as well. Similar in some ways to traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda is holistic in its approach. It emphasizes prevention of disease as well as treating health conditions that arise with natural herbal remedies not pharmaceuticals.

Ayurvedic teaches that each person has a distinct energy pattern or an individually unique combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. According to Ayurveda, everything is composed of five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and space. These elements combine to form the three doshas: vata, kapha, and pitta, which are metabolic types:

  • The Vata dosha is a combination of space and air. This energy controls bodily functions associated with movement and is responsible for breathing, blinking, heartbeat, cell division and blood circulation. Vata body areas are the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears, and thighs.
  • The Pitta dosha combines fire and water. It is thought to control hormones and the digestive system. Pitta energy controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and temperature. Pitta body areas are the small intestines, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood, and eyes.
  • The Kapha dosha represents the elements of water and earth. This energy controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system. Kapha is believed to be responsible for strength, immunity, and growth. Kapha body areas are the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid.

An imbalanced dosha is believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana, or vital energy. The disrupted energy flow is then thought to interfere with digestion and allow the buildup of waste in the body, or ama, which further impedes energy and digestion.

Your first visit to an Ayurvedic practitioner may last an hour or longer. The practitioner will ask detailed questions about your medical history, overall health, diet and lifestyle. The Ayurvedic practitioner will also examine your tongue as the tongue is believed to provide further insight and clues into the health of the body and areas of imbalance. The Ayurvedic doctor will usually also observe the appearance of your nails, eyes, lips and ski. Additionally, the practitioner may order blood and urine tests, a cardiogram and other modern diagnostic tests depending on the situation.

Probably the most famous Ayurvedic practitioner in the US is Deepak Chopra who combines Western and Ayurvedic medicine in his practice and centers in California and Florida.

Natural MD Search can help you locate a qualified Ayurvedic provider in your area.

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