Considered by many scholars to be the oldest form of alternative medicine, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health and well-being which originated from India’s ancient Vedic culture. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means life (ayus) and knowledge (veda). It has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years, and has become popular in Western cultures. The basic goal of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illnesses by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper diet, a healthy lifestyle, and natural and herbal remedies.
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Ayurveda is based on the principle that each person has a distinct pattern of energy or doshas. It is believed that there are three types of energy in every individual: vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth).
Vata controls body functions associated with motion (blood circulation, breathing, and heartbeat). When the vata is balanced, there is creativity and vitality; otherwise, the person experiences fear and anxiety. Pitta controls the body’s metabolic system. If it is balanced, contentment and intelligence are achieved. If not, the person develops ulcer and anger. Kapha controls body growth and maintains the immune system. If the kapha in a person is balanced, there is love and forgiveness, instead of envy and insecurity, that exist within.
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Ayurvedic treatment focuses on rebalancing the three doshas. Treatments of this ancient form of healing include:
a. Pranayama – breathing exercises to calm a person
b. Abhyanga – rubbing oil to the skin to increase circulation
c. Rasayana – of the use of mantras and meditation for rejuvenation
d. Pancha karma – cleansing and purifying the body of toxins through sweat, bowel movement, and even vomiting
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Steven Lash is the president and CEO of Satori World Medical, a global health care company which offers various medical services, including Ayuverdic therapy. Satori World Medical’s official website lists the other services offered by its International Centers of Excellence.