Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient traditional medicine practice that dates back thousands of years. The word “ayurvedic” is Sanskrit for “knowledge of life”, and it involves taking a balanced approach to wellness through detoxification, mental/emotional health, herbal treatment of pre-existing medical conditions, and bodywork.
This type of medicine is practiced widely in India and surrounding countries, with over 90 percent of people taking up some form of Ayurvedic treatment to improve their health and wellbeing. Though its practice is quickly spreading Westward and gaining popularity, it is still considered an alternative therapy, causing many insurance companies to deny its use in the conventional treatment of patients.
Nonetheless, many mainstream medical practitioners are now choosing to earn Ayurveda certification to teach it to others in the medical field in hopes of spreading Ayurvedic wisdom and principles in ways that benefit the entire medical community. It is possible for you, as well, to earn certification in Ayurvedic medicine as a means of becoming more proactive with your own health and wellness; consider doing so simply because of the additional knowledge that could help you make more informed decisions about your own care.
Basic principles of Ayurveda
One of the driving principles behind Ayurveda is that medical intervention should be highly individualized, taking into account the whole health and wellness of a patient, before treatment plans are created. Every individual has a unique Prakriti, or constitution, that determines physical, mental, and physiological characteristics, as well as predicts disease vulnerabilities. Prakruti is determined by three main energies, or “doshas”, as they are called. Combinations of these energies according to strength are what determine a person’s medical predisposition and tendencies. The three main doshas are as follows:
1. Pitta energy–pitta energy is linked to fire, and it is said to be linked to the digestive tract and endocrine system. People with lots of pitta energy are known to have fiery temperaments, and they can have problems with digestion, elimination, and endocrine system function if issues with anger are not addressed.
2. Vata energy–Vata energy is associated with air and space; respiratory function and circulation are governed by Vata energy. If you have a great deal of Vata energy, you are said to be creative, innovative, and problem-solving. When Vata energy is out of balance, it can manifest as skin issues, poor circulation, joint pain, and anxiety.
3. Kapha energy–Kapha energy is linked to earth and water. It is believed to control growth and is associated with the chest, torso, and the back. Kaphas are the strong, silent type, and they remain calm under pressure. When Kapha energy is out of balance, however, it can manifest as obesity, diabetes, sinus issues, and gallbladder issues.
In the practice of ayurvedic medicine, factors such as stress, unhealthy diet, strained relationships, and poor sleep patterns can all affect the balance of the doshas. When these doshas are unbalanced, they can manifest as illness and disease, and it is by bringing the doshas back into balance that a patient can then regain vibrant health.
Benefits of Ayurveda
Unlike conventional medicine, Ayurveda does not treat disease; it aims to treat the whole individual and bring a patient back into balance, eliminating disease at its root cause. Ayurvedic treatments do not have harmful side effects, and they can be customized to order health for the individual in ways that help to promote total well being. While no claims are made regarding curing disease, Ayurveda principles aim to restore health to an individual and improve quality of life. Many people who have undergone conventional medical treatments for years, when undergoing ayurvedic therapies, are able to reduce or eliminate their dependence on prescription drugs and other medical treatments as a result of bringing the body back into a state of harmony and balance once more.
Ready to try it?
With the growing popularity of ayurvedic practices in the Western world, it is likely that you’ll be able to find an ayurvedic practitioner who can give you more insight into how your individual constitution works and what you must do to maintain balance in life. Understanding a little bit about the wisdom of ayurvedic medicine will put you in a position to collaborate with your practitioner; you will be able to co-create and design a wellness plan that can take your health to new heights!