Before there was Zoloft—before the days of a trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry and modern neuropsychology research labs—we had to rely on elements of the Earth as medicine for both the mind and the body. One of the dominant ancient civilizations to harvest the understanding of natural healing began in India. Presenting in Sanskrit in 2nd Century B.C., Ayurveda was born out of Hindu philosophical teachings and remains amongst the most celebrated traditional systems of medicine in the world today.
The term “ayurveda” can be translated from Sanskrit to mean “the science of life” (“ayu” meaning life and “Veda” meaning knowledge). It is based on the goal of creating balance through diet, herbal remedies, and yogic breathing. If all disease is the results of stress or imbalance, Ayurvedic medicine seeks to restore equilibrium among a person’s mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thus, strongly promoting the idea that the human body is designed to heal it’s self, allowing for a self-monitoring immune system, when given the proper elements.
Ayurveda recognizes that everyone and everything possesses three fundamental types of energy: Vata, Pitta, and Khapa.
• Vata = The Energy of Movement
• Pitta = Energy of Digestion/Metabolism
• Khapa = The Energy of Lubrication and Structure
According to The Ayurvedic Institute, “energy is required to create movement so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, enabling the body to function. Energy is also required to metabolize the nutrients in the cells, and is called for to lubricate and maintain the structure of the cell.” This truth is what drives the understanding of all disease and ailment. In Ayurvedic science, people become sick or unwell because of there is a lack of proper cellular function due to an excess or deficiency of vata, pitta or kapha.
So, how do you maintain a balance of Vata, Pitta, and Khapa and heal?
This is where Western and Eastern medicine start to sector off from one another. Western medicine tends to be more focused on symptomatology and how it can most easily and quickly numb the symptoms of disease—typically with the use of synthetic, pharmaceutical medications or surgery. Whereas Eastern medicine tends to focus more on the root cause of disease and why the body’s immune system is failing itself.
It is important to note that western medicine saves countless of lives and is, undeniably, a pivotal character in the world of healing. It has advanced the human lifespan by decades and either prevented or eliminated numerous forms of potentially-fatal diagnoses. Therefore, it should be equally respected and used in conjunction with more homeopathic remedies whenever necessary. However, lab-created drugs do contain a toxicity level that, especially if taken long-term, can weaken the body. And surgery can absolutely eliminate diseased tissue and organs, but it does not necessarily change the body’s functioning that created the illness in the first place.
While it takes years of training to fully understand the practice of Ayurvedic medicine, there are a few basic behaviors that can help you implement healing practices into your life right now. This an example of what a day would look like:
- Arise before the sun
- Drink a large glass of warm water with lemon
- Scrap your tongue
- Empty the bladder and bowels
- 15 Minutes of Yoga or 30 Minutes of Walking
- 5-10 Minutes of Pranayama (breathing exercise)
- 5-10 Minutes of Meditation
- Bathe/Wash your face with cool water
- Perform Abhyanga (Massage body with oil)
- Relax and Eat breakfast (on the lighter side, but filling enough to get you to lunch without craving snacks)
- Take a moment to RELAX. Simply Be.
- Eat lunch (preferably your largest meal of the day)
- Rest and lay on your LEFT side after for 10-15 minutes after eating lunch
- Walk a little
- Eat dinner as early as possible (something light)
- 10-15 Minutes of Bed Time Yoga
- 5-10 Minutes of breathing
- Turn off electronics, lights, and WIFI signals
- Eyes closed and sleeping by 10PM
For more information on Ayurvedic medicine and how it can help transform your health, visit the The Ayurvedic Institute. For those who would like some inspiration on how to live a beautiful life through Ayurveda, follow @radhidevlukia on instagram. She is a natural teacher and example of how Ayurveda can heal.
Written by Aubrey Koel, LCPC
Additionally, here is a quiz to explore what your Dosha Energy may be.