“Ayurveda” (the “science of life”) is the most ancient complete system of natural medicine in the world. It was developed in ancient India and refined over the ages. It combines physical, psychological and spiritual therapies in an approach to health that is as relevant to the modern world as it was to the ancient. Utilizing herbs and minerals, proper nutrition and purification and, above all, affirmative ways of living, Ayurveda treats not just the ailment but the whole person and emphasizes prevention of disease to avoid the need for a cure.
One of the principles in Ayurveda is that each person is made up of their own
particular mix of the three fundamental elemental energies, or ‘doshas’. Although we can’t see them, the three doshas are responsible for all processes of the mind and body. They affect our physical makeup and our mental and emotional qualities. These underlying forces determine who we are, what we like to eat, how thirsty we get, how much sleep we need, etc. They influence our reactions to stress and our predisposition to various illnesses. The doshas even affect how compassionate, relaxed, or talkative we are. Knowing a person’s dosha is very valuable in determining which foods, herbs and lifestyle changes will be most beneficial for their healing and overall balance. An example of this is a person who is skinny and runs around extra busy
and worrying about everything. In this person the ‘vata’ dosha is dominant.
Balance can be brought with warm and soothing activities and foods. Gentle yoga and relaxation massage are perfect. For an intense, high pressure, athletic person the ‘pitta’ dosha is dominating. Balance can be brought with cooling and calming activities and foods. This person should avoid things like eating spicy food everyday and going running in the middle of hot summer days.
Different doshas predominate in the different seasons as well. Therefore
it is helpful to have a basic understanding of them so you can self regulate your
diet and lifestyle. For example, in autumn the vata dosha increases. During
these months it is best to reduce foods that increase vata such as raw vegetables, beans, cold foods and foods that are dry and rough like crackers and pretzels, It is more balancing to increase richer foods and warm, cooked foods like soups and casseroles. In spring and summer the reverse is true for the most part.
There also exists within Ayurveda a whole science of longevity. This has
to do with purification, healthy balancing routines and mind and body exercises. Various cleanses are recommended seasonally. Yoga and meditation are important not only for mind and body health, but to connect with your spiritual source as well. These add up to peace, health and life extension.
Principles from ayurveda can be easily incorporated into one’s life to
bring further health and balance. It has been very helpful in treating and
advising my patients for many years.
About the Author: Dr. Martin Orimenko is a Chiropractor, Naturopath and Nutritionist who practices a unique blend of different holistic modalities in treating patients of all ages for a wide range of health conditions. Dr. Orimenko is currently available for treatments at his MainLine natural health center, the Live Well Holistic Health Center in Ardmore, PA Acupressure and Auricular Therapy are just a few of the modalities that he employs to support health and wellness in his natural healing practice. Other modalities include kinesiology, nutrition and cleansing, neuro-emotional technique, ayurveda, and natural supplement prescriptions.