What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, often referred to as the sister science of yoga, is an ancient healing approach whose roots have their origin some 5,000 years ago in India. Widely practiced throughout India today, many scholars consider it to be the oldest healing science known to mankind.
The word “ayurveda” is a Sanskrit term meaning “Science of Life”. Ayus is life and veda is knowledge. The purpose of ayurveda is to balance the body in a holistic way using diet, herbs, yoga, meditation and other restorative techniques. According to ayurveda, true health can only be achieved when the body, mind and spirit are in balance. With a discerning eye, an ayurvedic practitioner seeks to discover the root cause of illness, not merely address the symptoms.
Our Connection to Nature
A key premise in ayurveda is the belief that we are all connected to nature. Everything that exists in the greater macrocosm exists in the microcosm, or self. What we see in the natural world manifests in our bodies. The five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth provide the fundamental operating principles of ayurveda. The elements combine to create the 3 doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas are present in each of us to varying degrees depending upon our individual constitution, lifestyle and dietary habits. When the doshas are out of balance health is compromised. Just as nature is in a constant state of change, so too are our bodies. Ayurveda teaches us to pay attention to our bodies on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level so that we may make the necessary adjustments.
Balance is our Natural State
According to ayurveda balance is our natural state. Imbalance occurs when we allow our senses to take over. What we take in through the senses influences our emotional, physical and spiritual state. Ayurveda encourages self-inquiry and the art of paying attention to our interaction with the world around us. When we begin to notice the details of our habits and tendencies we can begin to alter our lifestyle and bring the body and mind to a more harmonious state that is free from illness and disease.
An Ancient Tradition with Modern Day Application
Today ayurveda holds an important place in the growing alternative health care industry. Its individualized and natural approach to healing is appealing to those who wish to embark on a more personalized and hands on healing experience. Its focus on overall health and stress reduction through lifestyle practices makes it an accessible and practical means to true health.
The National Institute of Health currently considers ayurveda a form of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States. In the state of California, ayurveda is a non-licensed profession. Its practice was formally legalized under the passage of Senate Bill 577 in January 2003. Ayurvedic consultations are considered alternative or complementary to medical practices that are licensed by the state of California.
What Does an Ayurvedic Program Entail?
Your ayurvedic program will be tailored to meet your specific health needs. Ayurveda holds the belief that the five senses are key in bringing about balance to the whole body. Taste, touch, sight, sound and smell will be addressed in your treatment. Your sense of taste will be the first focus of treatment. Based on your body’s imbalances and tendencies you will be given a food program that supports healing and balance. Food modifications will be introduced gradually so that there is less overwhelm and more opportunity for success. Herbal formulas created with the highest quality organic herbs will be recommended along with daily rituals around eating that will support positive eating habits and a healthy digestive system. Abhyanga, ayurveda’s approach to massage, aromatherapy, color therapy, sound therapy along with yoga, meditation, and breath techniques may be employed along the way. Throughout the process I am by your side to offer encouragement and assistance. The cost of herbs and formulas are not included in the fee schedule, but are nominal in price. Depending on a client’s needs I will prepare a customized formula, or provide premade tablets from a quality herbal dispensary.