SoulBeing Blog

News, information, and resources to help you understand and improve your health.

What is Ayurveda?

Jun 19, 2024 | Blog, General, Practitioner, Wellness | 0 comments

When one hears “health system,” especially in America, they’ll think of standard health care. This usually entails for the average American a visit to the doctor or just grabbing some over-the-counter prescription medication from the nearest drugstore. And yes, for many issues, diseases, or illnesses, that is a necessary component of healing/abating some issues, but in a way, society has also become too dependent on these medications and some of them possibly have effects that could create more health issues down the road.

Enter Eastern medicine, specifically, the topic for today, Ayurveda. Ayurveda (Sanskrit for “science/knowledge of life”) is an Indian ancient holistic healing system that’s origins trace back to 3000 years ago. Now, like many Eastern healing systems, Ayurveda focuses on overall health and achieving balance or “universal connectedness” through what is called doshas, which can best be described as energies relating to the mind, body, and soul, and creating a balance between those can prevent diseases and illnesses, rather than most western systems of healing medicine which focus on curing or fixing the issues rather than preventing it.

The Ayurvedic concept of health revolves around three main concepts, known as ‘doshas.’ These doshas are as follows: Vata (“water and air”), Pitta (“fire and water”), and Kapha (“water and earth”), with each one containing qualities that they believe reflects those elements. Now, for many who are familiar with Ayurveda will tell you are ‘categories of life force/energies’ or ‘components of the soul,’ but for someone who is just living in modern-day, technologically advanced, and purely logic-driven America, this may be a little confusing. Fortunately, there is a research article on doshas themselves that clearly defines doshas as ‘brain types,’ which should make it easier for someone living in a place like modern America. The said research article says that the difference between doshas is that people who are of a certain type have certain notable personality characteristics compared to someone of a different dosha type.

Nowadays, Ayurveda is a practice that contains countless different treatments, ranging from acupuncture to yoga to sound therapy along with other treatments as well. While the others are common treatments associated with Ayurveda, one seems to stand out as the most common, and that is dieting and dietary changes. This would fall in line quite well with Ayurveda’s philosophy, as eating healthy and balancing one’s diet will give positive physical and mental health benefits. And like many eastern types of health systems ayurveda is not meant to just help one lose weight, but to keep that weight off as well by creating that mindset, helping people fall into that healthy pattern of healthy dieting. To support this idea is the understanding that the execution of some of these practices into one’s daily life and specific steps to do so. For example, Dinacharya, or ‘daily routine’ in Sanskrit. Well, if one wants to live a positive life of good health and wellbeing according to Ayurvedic principles, they’ll engage in activities such as tongue scraping or oil pulling, and even more universal things like meditation. For something like dieting, Ayurvedic practices usually entail eating seasonal and natural foods, and being mindful of what you’re eating. Put simply, the dietary philosophy for Ayurveda is ‘be cognizant of both what you’re eating, and how much you are.’ This same dietary aspect of Ayurveda when combined with other aspects also has been shown to help chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and hepatic cirrhosis. This is because while Ayurveda is a practice, it’s a mindset. Ayurveda is not meant to be a quick or easy fix. One comparison that comes to mind is the phrase ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day: teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ That, simply put, is the comparison of Ayurvedic, and for the most part, Eastern medicine when compared to Western medicine. Now, will it work for every issue? No, but it can certainly prevent the onset of certain chronic illnesses and more importantly, will help patients to live happier, healthier lives because of it, rather than just taking countless medications that may help them physically but psychologically and mentally may take a toll on them.

Now, this is not to say Ayurveda or any type of Eastern health and wellness system should be the end-all be-all for healing and replace Western medicine. Many types of illnesses and diseases require the expertise, knowledge, and medicine/health care that only Western medicine can manage simply because of the incredible scientific and technological advancement of many Western wellness systems when compared to Eastern ones like Ayurveda, but what it should be is a balance. Just like the philosophy of Ayurveda itself: all things must be balanced to work together as a cohesive unit and create a positive and healthy outcome.



Submit a Comment

Please rate*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *