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The role of Ayurveda in health and well-being

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  • Date: 19-10-2021

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest healing system that originated in India and is still practiced for over 3000 years. Ayurveda literally means the Science of Life with “Ayur” being the Sanskrit word for “life” while “Veda” means “science” or “knowledge”. Traditionally passed down to selected Ayurvedic physicians of one generation to another, Ayurvedic teachings comprise a range of practices and natural remedies. Today Western medicine is the most conventional form of treatment across the globe, however, the role of Ayurveda in health and well-being has started gaining worldwide acceptance after it was recognized by WHO as a Traditional medicine by virtue of its essential elements of health, qualitative strength, and important clues for consistent functioning of life. The fact that Ayurvedic medicines are purely herbal and use only natural ingredients, makes it a practice with one of the least side effects to the human body. It is a holistic approach to cure the underlying cause and not just the superficial symptoms. 

Concept of healthy living in Ayurveda

Ayurveda believes that our bodily ailments are caused due to the accumulation of toxins that hinder the proper flow of the prana which is the source of all movement in the body and affects the quality of our emotions, thoughts, and ultimately consciousness. Energy is distributed throughout the body depending on the capacity and quality of the Nadis energy channels and the Chakras energy centers. A sedentary lifestyle and improper nutrition lead to an unhealthy body. Many aspects of Ayurveda including herbal remedies, mind-body connection, and massages have been embraced by the modern wellness industry. 

The balance of energies known as doshas is believed to be responsible for our health and wellbeing. As defined in Ayurveda, the three doshas relate to the elements of the universe. The Vata dosha is air and space, Kapha dosha is earth and water and the Pitta dosha is fire and water. According to Ayurvedic principles, these doshas are actually responsible for bodily functions, and individuals who practice Ayurveda regularly balance their doshas will have a better chance at maintaining their health.

Relevance of Ayurveda today

Fight against COVID-19: Many renowned medicines have failed to shield ourselves from the global pandemic of COVID-19. Ultimately a strong immunity power has proven to be the need of the hour to survive this virus. Ayurveda is renowned for building a strong immunity system. A person with higher immunity power has fewer chances of being affected by the COVID-19 and higher chances of survival as well. There are Pranayama (breathing exercise), Ayurveda Rasayana herbs, Yoga sessions, and daily routines that include a clean personal hygiene routine that helps in boosting the overall wellness. 

Fight against Depression: The role of Ayurveda in health and well-being transcends way beyond just a means to fight diseases. The pandemic has restricted our movement across the globe. Also, more than ever, depression and anxiety seem to be constant companions for many people. Ayurveda in its true essence promotes the love for yourself and encourages a nurturing approach to Being Healthy.

Fight against Obesity: A love for your body will help you realize the mal effects of consuming piles of junk food just to satisfy your unhealthy cravings. Practising Yoga will help you gain control over your mind and give you the strength to say no to unhealthy eating habits. Following the principles of Ayurveda, one can understand the Prakruti of the body for being healthier, happier, and living a longer life.

Ayurvedic principles of healing

Just like in Western medicines, there are both Preventive medicine and curative medicines in Ayurvedic principles of healing. Curative medicine involves treatments that seek to heal an existing illness, which may be achieved by one or more of the following approaches:

  • Internal measures, including Shamana (methods used to improve the quality of life using palliative care) and Shodhana (detoxification of accumulated impurities).
  • External measures, including the use of herbal pastes, Snehana(medicated oil treatments) and Svedana(steam therapy involving herbal steam).
  • Surgical methods, including removal of harmful growths, tissues and malfunctioning organs.
  • Daivya Chikitsa, the Mental and spiritual therapies that help to heal the mind and soul.
  • Medicated Herbal measures, that include Rasa Shashtra which is the use of various herbal and trace metal formulations.

The preventive approach seeks to maintain health and longevity within the individual by emphasizing each person's Prakturi (constitution) and creating periodic regimens to balance that Prakturi. These health routines focus on everything from diet and exercise to massage, meditation, herbal therapies, and even social behavior & how positive relationships can affect your well-being. As the old saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. There are numerous Online Ayurveda Courses that help to get a deeper understanding of our body and its associated functioning. 

The School of Ayurveda and Panchakarma is the best Ayurveda college in Kerala that provides quality education about the benefits of Ayurveda. Taking into consideration the global pandemic, they offer a plethora of Online Ayurveda courses for students across the world.