Known as an ancient healing system originating in India, Ayurveda is a holistic medical system that focuses on a spiritual way of life. Highly individualized the Ayurveda treatment can incorporate a wide variety of methods such as changes in diet, exercise, herbal therapy, massage and meditation.
Written between the second and fourth centuries the first recorded book of Ayurveda is believed to be based on an older oral tradition. Focusing most of its attention on digestion the book discusses all the principles of Ayurveda. Ayurveda tradition influenced the development of traditional Chinese medicine which only furthered the development of Ayurveda.
Discussing the principles in any depth is far beyond the possibility of this article but what this article can give you is just a small taste of the vast medical system of Ayurveda. Ayurveda states that the body contains three forces known as the tri-dosha. The dosha are vata, pitta, and kapha and work in unison. It is said that each person is dominated by one of these dosha. Other aspects of the body that Ayurveda considers are 5 sub-dosha, 7 tissues, 4 states of agni, and 14 body systems.
The principle of Ayurveda is that all of these body systems must be working in balance in order for the body to be healthy. It is believed that disease occurs in the body when one or more of these systems is out of balance. For example excessive kapha is said to cause people to suffer from obesity.
Some people are blessed with naturally good skin which has small pores, even tone and is neither dry nor oily. Others have good skin as children, but when they hit puberty, their skin condition worsens. Through adulthood, a combination of hormones, bad eating habits, bad sleeping habits and ingestion of substances such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol all contribute to worsening skin conditions. Women especially are prone to erratic skin conditions because of falling or rising hormone levels brought on by their menstrual cycle or by perimenopause.
What do doctors say are signs of aging and damaged skin?
Aging and damaged skin usually refers to skin that has uneven skin tone: either it has dark spots or it is red and irritated. The skin is also damaged when it is overly dry, oily, rough or when there is acne. Skin that is wrinkled and sagging may be signs of premature skin aging.
What may be the causes of premature skin aging and damaged skin?
Causes of skin aging and skin damage may be external or internal. External causes are exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun such that the skin gets burned. Skin is also damaged by exposure to pollutants such as those found in cosmetics, soaps and cleansers, fuel particulates from vehicle exhaust and factories, and allergens such as pollen, dust and insects bites.
Internal causes are the lack of necessary nutrients, vitamins and proteins which help maintain the elasticity of the skin. Taking medications and ingesting substances such as alcohol and caffeine damage the skin in the long term. Undiagnosed and untreated allergies, infections or diseases may also cause inflammation which affects the skin. Stress, emotional and psychological distress often affect the hormonal levels and can also affect the skin.
Andrea Stewart Roa, M.S.
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