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.
Andrea Stewart Roa, M.S.
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