What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the 5,000-year-old system of natural healing from India. It is a holistic system focused on wellness and balance.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that can be broken down to its roots to understand its meaning. The word ayur means life and longevity; the word veda means pure knowledge. In fact, the Vedas are volumes of sacred texts almost 3000 years old in which many different teachings were moved from the oral tradition to the written, including Ayurveda. Together the two parts of the word mean science of life or longevity.

To create balance and wellness in an every changing world, Ayurveda uses a unique energetic model. This model allows one to assess their unique individual internal biochemistry with the continuously changing external factors in life.

In this model there are three life forces or forces of nature (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) called doshas that exist in all things including your body. Each of the doshas plays a vital role in health but the key to maintaining good health is keeping these life forces in balance. When you know how each life force is increased and decreased, you can take action to keep these forces in balance.

Ayurveda is believed by many to be the oldest healing science still known to man and as such is referred to as the “mother of all healing”. It covers every aspect of the human mind, body, and spirit, with its focus on happy, healthy longevity. From when to wake up, all the way to how to take care of your skin, it is all included in the teachings of Ayurveda as this is all part of the knowledge of life.

Ayurveda has two goals: to keep the body in a state of health and free from disease, and to use that physical health as a foundation for health in the emotions, the mind and the spirit. Beyond caring for the physical body, it recognizes the more subtle aspects of your being and sees your spiritual enlightenment as the ultimate health goal. It is also not merely a science of disease treatment but a science of longevity and life with an equal focus on disease prevention and wellness.

To restore your natural optimal health, Ayurveda uses natural, non-invasive methods of treatment including dietary and herbal support, lifestyle and activity modifications, yoga, meditation, subtle therapies including aroma, gem, sound and breath; and detoxification. The practitioner provides professional assessment of your constitutional dosha balance as well as your current state of imbalance and guides your process back to health. You as the individual are responsible for implementing the changes – with the support of your practitioner. To make these changes successfully, recommendations are given in small steps so that you build healthy habits for the long term.

While symptoms are monitored and often given direct treatment, the real work is aimed at the underlying balance of the doshas. Symptoms are the body’s way of communicating that there is a problem – similar to the red warning light on a car. In Ayurveda, the symptom reflects an imbalance in one of the three doshas or life forces which exist in the body. By looking at the whole picture of what is happening in your life, the Ayurvedic practitioner assesses the balance of these three forces and sets a course to bring them back into healthy balance. When the doshas are balanced, the symptoms will naturally resolve over
time.

On the other hand, if just the symptom is treated in an isolated way, there might be short-term relief but the underlying cause will not be cured. As a result, not only will the same or connected symptoms return but the underlying condition will continue to build in severity and spread bringing possible other problems. Using the car analogy, if you simply reset the warning light in the car without actually fixing the problem, not only will the red light come back on but the motor blow up or the car stop working.

Begin your journey to optimal health today with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Call Jamie at 262-389-5835 to schedule.

©2011, Jamie Durner, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner & Wellness Educator at Ayurveda Wellness in Pewaukee, WI