All About Ayurveda
Ayurveda – Live Life at it`s Best
We live in a fast-paced world, flooded with impressions and information and have barely any time to stop, therefore we crave more and more for a natural and balanced lifestyle. If only in the form of a time-out to find and restore balance again.
Inner peace and harmony and paying attention to our own body and mind will let us keep our balance in the long term and remain healthy.
Ayurvedic medicine defines health as a harmonious unity of mental awareness and physical function, reflected in the individuals way of life.
Ayurveda is fast becoming the trend of the time. It is versatile applicable: prevention of diseases and healing, revitalisation as well as rejuvenating.
The focus lies in the origin of the problem and the impact and consequences and not on the treatment of symptoms. Ayurveda considers all aspects of life such as the body and mind, emotion, social environment as well as the interaction and impact of the seasons.
- physical and psychological diagnosis holistically
- relaxing and healing massages and treatments
- cleansing and rejuvenation treatments
- Diätplan tailored to individual requirements
- medicinal herbs and Ayurvedic medicin
- relaxation, self discovery and meditation (Yoga)
The basic principles of Ayurveda can be found in the school of the Three Doshas.
The Doshas control the physical and mental functions and are named: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All three are necessary to keep body and mind in balance.
These three characters, which in turn are made up of five basic elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth, determine the personality, physique, emotions, tendencies, strengths and weaknesses = the whole constitution of the human being. Connected in pairs, these five elements shape the Three Doshas.
Mostly one or two Doshas are dominant, however they can also be present in equal parts.
The basic constitution of the human being (body type) is determined by the genetic influence of the parents.
Activity and Movement made up of the elements of air and ether characterised by following features: movement, easy, fast, cold, dry. It controls all the movements, the muscles building, the spiritual capacity and sensory organs.
Metabolism made up of the elements of water and fire, characterised by following features: hot, spicy, fluent, liquid and light. It controls your metabolism, digestion, skin / glowing appearance, intelligence and emotional expression.
Structure made up of the elements of earth and water, characterised by the following features: cold, heavy, smooth, oily, stable, sound and sluggish. It is responsible for the cohesion and structure of the body as well as its disease-resistance.
The very delicate balance of the three Doshas, which by nature is different in every person, can be disturbed by lifestyle, diet, emotional state, and environmental factors. The human being then no longer corresponds to its inherent constitutional type and reacts accordingly with disorder and disease.
Characteristic of constitutions-types
Vata-Type: more delicate and light physique, low weight; cool and dry skin and dry, coarse hair; physically very active and agile, but no endurance; quick learner, enthusiasm, fast decision maker, but also short memory span; very creative, aversion to wind and cold; tendency to worry, insomnia and digestive problems (constipation).
Pitta-Type: medium and well-proportioned physique; soft skin, tendency to freckles and birthmarks; fine slightly greasy hair and early loss of hair colour; average learner, good decision-making skills and assertiveness; bold character with a tendency towards impatience and easily excitability; good speaker. Is organised and systematic, physically powerful and sporty; aversion to heat. Radiant appearance, good digestion, always hungry and does not like to skip meals.
Kapha-Type: strong and stable physique, good health and strong sexual power; thick, cool and smooth skin; voluminous, strong and rather dark hair and wavy and long eyelashes. Slow learner, excellent memory – especially long-term memory, stamina, balanced personality, working methodically and slowly. Prefers the known; tendency to slow digestion, not very hungry, deep and long sleep and finds it difficult to get out of bed.
If the Three Doshas are out of balance:
If all three Doshas are fully functional and in balance: the body and mind is healthy. However, if the Doshas are out of balance, because of different influences, the body and mind responds with mood disorder and later illness.
Vata-Type: reacts impatiently, is jumpy or nervous and tires easily
Pitta-Type: reacts quick tempered, skin and digestion problems
Kapha-Type: reacts stubborn, lethargic and weight increase
The aim of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore the lost balance of the three Doshas. The more the person is out of balance, the more intense the Ayurvedic treatment should be.
In case of slight disturbance, changes in the diet and simple treatments such as Ayurveda oil massages are satisfactory.
In case of advanced disorder, the original Ayurvedic medical treatments focusing in Panchakarma are recommended.
Only doctors and specially Ayurvedic trained doctors should diagnose and treat patients.
Ayurveda is taught both in Indian as well as Sri Lankan Universities. After graduation one has to complete practical training for a couple of years in order to complete the training.
The other training option is studying with a traditional Ayurvedic physician. These physicians originate from a long traditional and over generations practicing Ayurvedic Family. After practical teaching and studying in very small groups over many years, students also have to pass a practical and theoretical exam to qualify.
The Original Ayurvedic Panchakarma Treatment:
Panchakarma Treatment is an Ayurvedic cleansing of your body from toxins, bringing balance into your system and improving bodily functions. A quintuple-cleansing – derived from the word Pancha, which means five. The toxins and waste are efficiently eliminated through natural ways (bowel, urine, sweat glands and blood vessels), and thus the balance of the Doshas restored.
This method applies to: rheumatic diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, psychosomatic problems such as, anxiety and insomnia, burnout, stress, chronic headaches, skin and respiratory diseases, after chemotherapy and major surgery.
For a successful treatment, at least two-weeks or even better three-weeks programmes are recommended.
The applications are pleasant and beneficial: oil massages, herbal steam baths, oil treatment of the head, tapping the body with rice sacks soaked with specifically selected natural oils for each individual. Ayurvedic medicines and nutritional supplement applications.
The three steps of the Panchakarma Treatment:
- Purvakarma: Oil-massages and steam bath to dissolve the toxic and waste externally. Ayurvedic medicinal plants, spices and nutrition dissolve the Ama (metabolic waste products) internally.
- Panchakarma: the dissolved toxic and waste from the tissue will be excreted
- Vamana-therapeutic regurgitation
- Nasya-cleansing of the sinus
- Raktamokshana-cleansing of the blood
- Generally, the therapeutic vomiting and blood purification will not be applied at Western patients.
- Pashatkarma: After-treatment for manifestation of the treatment results
Agni and Diet:
Nutrition plays a very central and important role. The diet should be well balanced and appropriate to each individual type. In the Ayurvedic sense this means, that all the flavours -sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter are covered respectively herb astringent.
The digestive power, also known as a biological fire – called Agni, regulates the metabolism. With the help of Agni, the food is digested and the tissue rebuild. Agni is also responsible for the removal of waste products and toxins.
The Doshas and Agni interact with each other. A reduced Agni causes an imbalance of the Doshas, in return an imbalanced Dosha creates a negative Agni.
We live without any health problems as long as Agni fulfils its function correctly. Agni converts not only the food, but also emotions, life information and impressions (= exogenous) into well being. Health, life, charisma, enthusiasm, energy, inner balance, immune system and respiratory function depend on the biological fire. For this reason it is important that each person eats according to their type and thus the power of digestion (Agni) is kept intact.
If the Agni is weakened, even emotional problems will create toxins in the body.
A trauma that has not been processed digested probably, as well as undigested (unsuitable) food will impact on the feeling of well-being. A weakened immune system with all kinds of diseases such as allergies, flu and other is the result. On the psychological level, it can also induce mood disorders and other disease (depressive behaviour).
Ama and Illness:
If the Doshas due to poor diet, bad behaviour and other influences (environment, stress, etc) are out of balance – Doshas duplicate at the expense of each other – they then accumulate at a special point in the body, according to the constitutions-type and form Ama (energy blockage)
Excess of Vata: Ama accumulates in the form of gases in the colon
Excess of Pitta: Ama accumulates in form of acid in the small intestine and in the liver
Excess of Kapha: Ama accumulates in the form of mucus in the stomach and lung
All the above mentioned excesses will lead to type related illness.
Yoga and Meditation
Ayurveda is a holistic approach, therefore inner peace and harmony must not be neglected. Yoga activates the self-healing powers. Breathing exercises increase the flow of energy and supply all cells with sufficient oxygen. The flow of the breath ensures tranquility and relaxation of the mind.
Lad, Vasant: Das große Ayurveda-Heilbuch 2003
Scherer, Dieter: Ayurveda für Gesundheit und Schönheit 2007
Schrott, Ernst: Ayurveda für Gesundheit, Glück und langes Leben 2005