Ayurveda is an ancient system of Traditional Medicine that has its origin in the region that today is known as India. It can be considered the oldest healing system in the world that is still active, with more than 5000 years of historical use. The word Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit language, which is the language that was spoken in that region at that time. It is formed by two words: Ayu which is translated as Life or Existence, and Veda, which means Knowledge or Science. We can then translate Ayurveda as "The knowledge or science of life" or "The knowledge of the right way of living", which is considered the right way to maintain and prolong health and longevity by living according to and in harmony with natural laws. Ayurveda gives us the knowledge of these natural laws and thus allows us to harmonize with them every day.
Ayurvedic diagnostic techniques include Nadi Pariksha (analysis of the pulse at different depths), Jivha Pariksha (analysis of the tongue), Akruti Pariksha (analysis of the face), Drig Pariksha (analysis of the eyes), Nakha Pariksha (analysis of the nails), Akruti Pariksha (analysis of the posture and general appearance), and other holistic techniques. These are used to help determine a person’s Prakruti which is their original constitution based on the Doshas (energetic patterns of the body) and their Vikruti which is the current state of their Doshas.
Ayurveda is a complete healing system that can effectively help you maintain, improve, or regain your health naturally.
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Therapeutic nutrition from an Ayurvedic point of view is not necessarily determined by the nutritional content of the food, but by its gunas (qualities). In this way Ayurveda will recommend foods and their combinations based on the needs of specific gunas, or qualities, for each person, at that specific time of the year, according to their age, and according to the current state of their doshas, as well as the original nature of the person or his Prakruti. In this way by consuming the food recommended for each person according to their constitution and needs, the person gets harmony in their digestion, greater peace and mental lucidity, and higher levels of energy, as they will be consuming what the body and mind really needs from the Ayurvedic point of view.
Ayurveda has a very rich repertoire of medicinal herbs. Ayurveda is a healing system of more than 5000 years, during which it has developed an enormous knowledge on the uses of medicinal plants to help restore harmony in people and combat different ailments. In Ayurveda there are medicinal plants of proven efficacy for practically all therapeutic needs.
Ayurveda uses different types of massage, with or without oil, as part of its treatments to harmonize the doshas in people and thus maintain, prolong, or regain good health. The type of massage recommended is determined according to the state of the doshas of the person, and the type of treatment recommended for that person through either a strengthening / tonifying treatment or detoxification / elimination treatment. It can be of a relaxing or pacifying nature or of a stimulating nature (such as those recommended for Kapha dosha). In Ayurveda, massage is a very important part of the recommendations. It is said in Ayurvedic texts that massage keeps the person healthy, young, and helps the person live longer.
Ayurveda has its own system of energetic points very similar to the ones used in Acupuncture, which is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This system of energy points distributed throughout the body is called Marmani or Marma Points. In fact, it is considered that Chinese acupuncture comes from these Marma points, and that it was taken to China and the Far East as part of the teachings of the first Buddhist monks, such as Bodhidharma and many others, who spread Buddhism in those regions. In Ayurvedic treatment, the Marma points are chosen according to the type of ailment and the area to be treated. They are stimulated by means of massage, light puncture or in some cases with needles similar to those of acupuncture. Essential oils of aromatherapy are also used to stimulate the points according to the doshic needs of the person. It is a complete healing system by itself and is used in Ayurveda to effectively treat different ailments such as migraines, headaches, muscle aches, anxiety, insomnia, arthritis, and digestive problems, and many others.
Ayurveda and Yoga are sister sciences that complement and support each other. Yoga is one of the 6 philosophies that are accepted in Ayurveda and that give Ayurveda its foundation. In Ayurveda, Yoga asanas (postures) and other techniques such as Pranayamas (breathing exercises) and meditation techniques are typically recommended. Each of these Yoga techniques are selected and recommended specifically for each person according to the condition or treatment being carried out. That is to say, Yoga in Ayurveda is a Therapeutic Yoga, selected in a personalized way according to the needs of each person. The postures that are taught and recommended are always part of the comprehensive treatments that Ayurveda promotes and recommends.
Meditation is also a very important part of Ayurvedic treatments. In Ayurveda it is said that meditating pacifies Vata dosha and harmonizes the three doshas at the same time. It is also an activity that is considered at the mental level to promote Sattva, or the state of balance, harmony, generosity, and inner peace. The different Ayurvedic meditation techniques are recommended as part of Ayurvedic treatments. They help to calm the mind, develop attention, balance the three doshas, pacify and harmonize mainly the Vata dosha, increase levels of consciousness, improve sleep, have more peaceful behavior, and many other benefits. The meditation techniques are part of the repertoire of resources that Ayurveda possesses and are considered therapeutic treatments.
Pranayama is the science of energy flow management. It is often defined as breathing exercises but has a deeper meaning. In Ayurveda the different breathing techniques that are recommended are intended to improve the flow of vital energy or Prana in the body and thus help to regain harmony in the body. Pranayama consists mainly of breathing techniques, since in Ayurveda it is taught that the Prana or vital energy is acquired mostly through breathing.
The recommendations for an Ayurvedic lifestyle are given with the objective of creating favorable behavior and thought patterns for good health and harmony of the person. They can include routines and activities to be carried out every day, and that when carried out in a constant way improve the habits in the person. These favorable habits that a person has gradually created each day will allow a gradual transformation of that person while laying the foundation for an improvement in health and the development of their consciousness for a happier and more harmonious life.