Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical Ayurvedic medical texts dating back several thousands of years.
More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.
Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body.
Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our Ayurvedic Consultation system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.
For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.
Naturopathy is a system of working towards the cure of diseases without using medicines. It is an ancient and traditional science which integrates the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our natural constitution. Naturopathy has the capacity to prevent and in some cases also cure the disease. The main principles of Naturopathy are astounding. First, the reasons and remedies of all diseases are the same; ailments develop due to the presence of intoxicants which are removed. Second, the intoxicants cause diseases, not bacteria and viruses which simply feed off them. Third, nature itself is the best ‘doctor’, the patient is cured, not the ailment. All levels of the body are treated simultaneously and holistically. Finally, no medicines are used because Naturopathy is a superb medicine in itself. The principal aim of Naturopathy is to teach people the art of healthy living by changing their daily routine and habits—this not only cures the disease but makes our bodies strong and glowing. o, what are the techniques that are involved? There are four classifications: food, mud, water and massage therapies. In food therapy, the idea is to consume what we eat in its natural form as much as possible as it is by itself a medicine. This mainly includes fresh fruit, fresh leafy green vegetables, and sprouts; and there are different combinations of purifying, strengthening, or pacifying foods. These must be consumed in the correct proportion, and the stomach left a little empty. To extract intoxicants from the body, both mud baths and mud packs are used, particularly for ailments such as high blood pressure, tension headaches, anxiety, constipation, plus gastric and skin disorders. There are several main types of water therapy using clean fresh and cool water; and after this type of a treatment, the body feels refreshed and energized. The methods we use have efficacious results for a wide variety of ailments: a hip bath improves the efficiency of the liver, large intestine, stomach, and kidneys; a full steam bath opens the skin’s pores drawing out harmful intoxicants; a hot foot bath helps with asthma, knee pain, headache, sleeplessness, and menstrual irregularities; in addition, there is a full body water massage, a spine bath, hot and cold wraps, and enemas, all of these to get rid of the toxins we do not want. Finally there is a massage therapy which increases the blood flow, removing stiffness, weariness, and pain from muscles and this can work in conjunction with some of the other naturopathic therapies. It is true that Naturopathy can be used to help cure and relieve many of today’s illnesses and diseases. It can also be used by anyone who wishes to simply enjoy the feeling of relaxing. This, no doubt, is therapeutic in itself. Naturopathy is always helpful for whatever be the reason.