Posted on June 19, 2018July 15, 2018What Is Ayurveda Really About? Ayurveda is at least 10,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life, Ayur = life and Veda = science or knowledge. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. Although suppressed ever since the years of foreign occupation, and the creation of the current medical system despite originating from Ayurveda. In addition, Ayurveda offers 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 states that health is a balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit. Ayurveda has eight ways to diagnose illness, called Nadi (pulse), Mootra (urine), Mala (stool), Jihva (tongue), Shabda (speech), Sparsha (touch), Druk (vision), and Aakruti (appearance). Ayurvedic practitioners approach diagnosis by using the five senses. For example, hearing is used to observe the condition of breathing and speech. The study of the lethal points or marman or marma is of special importance. 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. In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. Dosha means "that which changes." It is a word derived from the root dus, which is equivalent to the English prefix 'dys', such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc. In this sense, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others and are required for life to happen. Vata is the air principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system. Pitta is the fire principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism into the venous system. Kapha is the water principle which relates to mucous, lubrication and the carrier of nutrients into the arterial system. A Dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living thing in nature is characterized by the doshas. Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. That said, one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick and the health issues you develop are linked to the imbalance of your doshas. According to Ayurvedic translations, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort and attention to lifestyle. As per Indian heritage and science of Ayurvedic system, prevention of all types of diseases have a more prominent place than treatment, including restructuring one's lifestyle to align with the course of nature and four seasons, which will guarantee complete wellness. Ayurveda believes that everything in the universe is either dead or alive and both are connected. If your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe, you have good health. When something disrupts this balance, you get sick. Among the things that can upset this balance are genetic or birth defects, injuries, climate or seasonal change, age, lifestyle, habits, and your emotions. The basic premise of Ayurveda is that the entire cosmos or universe is part of one singular absolute. Everything that exists in the vast external universe (macrocosm), also appears in the internal cosmos of the human body (microcosm). Humans are the epitome of the universe and within them, there is as much diversity as in the world outside. Similarly, the outside world is as diverse as human beings themselves. In other words, all human beings are a living microcosm of the universe and the universe is a living macrocosm of the human beings. These are the 8 components of Ayurveda: Kāyacikitsā: general medicine, medicine of the body Kaumāra-bhṛtya: the treatment of children, pediatrics Śalyatantra: surgical techniques and the extraction of foreign objects Śālākyatantra: treatment of ailments affecting ears, eyes, nose, mouth Bhūtavidyā: pacification of possessing spirits, and the people whose minds are affected by such possession Agadatantra: toxicology Rasāyanatantra: rejuvenation and tonics for increasing lifespan, intellect and strength Vājīkaraṇatantra: aphrodisiacs and treatments for increasing the volume and viability of semen and sexual pleasure. The 5 Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta) of Ayurveda are: Prithvi or Bhumi (Earth) Ap or Jala (Water) Agni or Tejas (Fire) Vayu or Pavan (Air or Wind) Akasha (Ether) The Seven Body Tissues (Sapta Dhatus) are elements that form the pillars of the body, means of nourishment and growth while providing support to the body as well as the mind. Rasa (fluid) Dhatu - Derived from the digested food, it nourishes each and every tissue and cell of the body and is analogous to the plasma. Rakta (blood) Dhatu - Regarded as the basis of life, it is analogous to the circulating blood cells. It nourishes the body tissues and provides physical strength or color to the body. Masma Dhatu - The muscle tissue, its main function is to provide physical strength and support for the meda dhatu. Medha (fat) Dhatu - Consists of adipose tissue providing support to ashti dhatu. It also lubricates the body. Ashti Dhatu - Comprising of bone tissues, including cartilages, its main function is to give support to the majja dhatu and provide support to the masma dhatu. Majja Dhatu - Denoting the yellow and red bone marrow tissue, its main function is to fill up the ashti and to oleate the body. Shukra Dhatu - The main aim of this reproductive tissue and fluids is to help reproduction and strengthen the body.