What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
What Is It?
Ayurveda, practised in India for the past 5,000 years, is a system
of holistic medicine that focuses on the union of body, mind, and spirit.
The term Ayurveda is literally translated as the “Science of
Life.” This system focuses on the individual and how a particular
illness uniquely manifests in that individual. It uses a wide variety
of treatments and lifestyle measures, including diet, medicinal herbs,
meditation and yoga.
At the root of this medicine is the concept of prakruti, an individual’s
unique constitution determined at the moment of conception. An individual’s
prakruti is the specific combination of the three life forces or elements
(doshas), which control all physical and mental processes; vata, pitta
Vata is responsible for all movement; the physical
movement of body parts, mental movement of the mind in the form of
thoughts, feelings and emotions, and the process of respiration.
Pitta is responsible for digestion, absorption and
assimilation of nutrients. It also digests thoughts and feelings and
transforms them into understanding, comprehension and perception.
Kapha functions to provide the body with structure,
stability, support and strength. It aids in the retention of memory,
lubrication of joints, and repair of body parts.
All three doshas are present in varying degrees in everyone, but one
or two usually predominate. When doshas are in balance, good health
is maintained. If imbalance occurs, health problems can arise.
How Does It
The aim of Ayurvedic treatment is to balance the individual’s
constitution or prakruti, so the doshas are in harmony. Five factors
that cause aggravation are: diet, lifestyle, emotions, exercise (including
too much, too little, or the wrong kind), and external influences of
the seasons, weather, or trauma. However, diet is the principal cause
of disease, and therefore, one of the primary methods of treatment.
Ayurvedic treatment entails a comprehensive personalised approach
to balancing the doshas through diet and lifestyle that is tailored
to each individual. Instead of emphasising treatment of acute conditions,
Ayurveda focuses on chronic illnesses. By teaching the individual how
to manage diet and lifestyle, it takes a preventative approach instead
of waiting to deal with illness after it has already manifested. This
may involve exercise, yoga, pranayama, meditation, dietary changes,
fasting, oleation through massage, sweat baths, nasal medications,
purgative therapies, medicated enemas and herbal tonics.
What Happens During
Ayurvedic practitioners generally begin by asking about your medical
history, lifestyle, and diet to determine your constitutional type.
All treatments are based on this constitution. The practitioner may
also examine your tongue, skin, eyes, and three pulses on the wrist
which convey information about the three doshas.
A range of treatments may be prescribed, including changes in diet
or lifestyle, herbal remedies, massage, meditation, breathing exercises,
yoga postures and cleansing and detoxifying practices such as enemas,
herbal saunas and nasal douching.
The frequency and duration of visits to an Ayurvedic practitioner
varies widely. Many Ayurvedic practices, such as dietary choice, meditation
and yoga can be self-administered at home.
What Is It Used
Ayurvedic therapy may benefit anybody as a preventative measure which
enhances general wellbeing. Ayurvedic practices such as yoga and meditation
can relieve stress, anxiety and depression, and lower high blood pressure
and cholesterol. Yoga also helps to improve strength and muscle tone
and may help with arthritis. Ayurvedic herbal remedies may be useful
for ailments such as asthma, eczema, digestive disorders, arthritis
Take care when using Ayurvedic herbal medicines - some are very potent
and can have unpleasant effects if overused.
Be wary of the cleansing and detoxifying treatments sometimes recommended
by practitioners. Overuse of laxatives and enemas can lead to serious
chemical imbalances in the body.
If you have a condition which requires a special diet, such as diabetes,
consult your doctor before adopting an Ayurvedic diet.
an Ayurveda Practitioner
Prices are in US Dollars
Textbook of Ayurveda
Bringing forth the mysteries of Ayurveda from the classical
Sanskrit texts, Dr. Lad presents this ages-old science in
a framework that is clearly accessible to the modern student
while remaining true to its ancient roots. In these pages,
you will open the doors to this timeless, profound wisdom
of the human body, mind, and consciousness. Dr. Lad describes
the historical philosophies of Ayurveda and their application
to human existence. He explains the basic structures and
functions of the body, mind, and spirit, how they are formed
and integrated, and their ultimate role in nourishing consciousness.
Filled with illustrations, tables, charts, and practical
examples, this book will lead the reader to a full understanding
of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda.
The Ageless Woman: Natural Health and Beauty After
Forty with Maharishi Ayurveda
Nancy, M.D. Lonsdorf
Inspiring, informative, and empowering, The Ageless Woman*
weaves timeless wisdom and the latest medical discoveries
into a unique, highly-effective anti-aging guide for women.
Natural medicine expert, Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, presents a highly-individualized,
practical handbook, rich in health tips, weight-control strategies,
and treasured beauty secrets from Maharishi Ayurveda, the
complete system of natural medicine from the Vedic tradition
of ancient India. With the insightful guidance of The Ageless
Woman, every woman can grow in health, beauty, and fulfillment
Essential Ayurveda: What It Is and What It Can Do
Outlining the basic elements of the ancient system of Ayurveda,
Shubhra Krishan teaches readers how to recognize their energy
and body type, and to use Ayurvedic principles to create
a balanced diet and lifestyle for their optimum health. She
offers tips and suggestions for finding the best products
or for creating your own with her recipes for food, beauty
care, and other healthcare items. Illustrations are included.
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