Ayurveda: Using The Body’s Wisdom To HealApr 28, 2023 09:31AM ● By Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
Ayurveda, the oldest medical system in the world, believes in the body’s intelligence and the healing power within. Its aim is to assist the natural wisdom of the body to heal itself.
Ayurveda defines health as a balance of body, mind, and spirit—a balance that includes being in harmony with one’s environment and the cosmos. The goal of Ayurveda is to achieve this balance so that one lives life to its fullest. When imbalance occurs, ones outlook and approach to life suffers. And, illness can result. To restore balance, Ayurveda combines natural therapies with a highly individualized regimen. As we are all unique, Ayurveda’s approach is to evaluate the whole person to uncover and treat the cause of the health concern, not just symptom.
To determine whether an imbalance is present, Ayurveda uses the patient’s body constitution (dosha) to make an assessment. In Ayurveda our dosha is composed of the five universal elements: space, air, water, fire and earth. Space and air is called Vata, fire and water is Pitta, earth and water is Kapha. Each person contains elements of all three doshas in a unique balance with one predominating.
Doshas affect various aspects of the body’s functioning. Vata governs movements such as nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, elimination. Pitta governs metabolism, digestion and absorption. Kapha is responsible for growth and the immune system. The seat of all doshas is in the gastro-intestinal tract. Therefore, an imbalance in any of the doshas will impact digestion and can result in illness or disease. Western medicine now realizes the connection of the gastro-intestinal system to illness and often refers to it as “the second brain.”
By observing the tongue, eyes and posture, and feeling the pulse and skin, an Ayurvedic practitioner can determine if the doshas are out of balance, with one excessive or depleted. This, along with a discussion about lifestyle, environment, stressors, work, relationships, etc., will determine how to correct the imbalance. The healing process is supported in three ways: first – purifying the body by excreting waste products (digestive or metabolic); second – calming the excessive dosha so that the disease process ceases and/or providing rejuvenation herbal therapy to compensate for dosha depletion; third – reinforcing the power of the mind and body so that a healthy state is maintained.
Ayurveda has been used successfully to treat major health conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, and diabetes, as well as anxiety, allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, migraines, male/female issues, skin disorders, ulcers, and many more.
Treatment also takes into account the fact that Vata, Pitta and Kapha are present in the food we eat and our environment. And so, a healing regimen might include specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines, vitamin/ mineral supplements, herbs and homeopathy and a detox or cleansing program. Breathing techniques, yoga exercises and meditation might also be suggested. When back in balance, and with health restored, one’s outlook is in sync with life and the well-ordered universe.
Ayurveda is a healing regimen as well as a health maintenance program. And, since imbalances can be detected before the manifestation of illness, Ayurveda is an effective prevention program as well. Overall, Ayurveda is a way of life—a path to fulfillment, health, happiness, harmony, and bliss.
It is important to remember that to avoid any complications from self-medicating, a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner should be consulted when embarking on any health or wellness program.
Dr.Kaushik’s Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic is located at 792 Rte. 35, in Cross River, NY. For more information, call 914.875.9088, email [email protected] or DrKaushik.com.
Some herbs used in Ayurveda:
These herbs are anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-allergenic, anti-mutagenic and assist with digestive, immune, and cardiac function.