Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems and is still widely practiced today, not only in India but also in other parts of the world. The word “Ayurveda” is derived from the Sanskrit words “ayur,” which means life, and “veda,” which means knowledge or science. Therefore, Ayurveda can be translated as the “science of life” or the “knowledge of longevity.”
Ayurveda is the ancient science of medicine that originated in Kerala, India. It can boast of a heritage of 5,000 years. It is still practiced in Kerala adhering to its age-old tradition.
Kerala is the home of Ayurveda. It is known as the Science of Life. In Kerala, Ayurveda is passed on from generation to generation by expert doctors in this field. Its main focus is on generating health as well as curing the disease. Not only a healthy body, but a healthy mind and a healthy spirit are the main focus of Ayurveda.
The word Ayurveda had its origin in the Sanskrit language and it refers to the knowledge of life, where ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ means science. Ayurveda aims at creating harmony in everyday life by applying self-knowledge and self-care. The basic concept of the Ayurvedic principles is that you are the only person who can control your life and healing.
Ayurveda pays heed to the exclusive needs of the body, balances the emotional and mental states, and helps to connect with your inner spirit. According to Ayurveda, there are basically three energies that control the entire life of the universe. These three basic forms of energy are present in the entire process of growth, maintenance and decay.
Vata, pitha, and kafa are the three basic energies. They combine in innumerable ways to create a unique individual. Ayurveda helps you to acquaint yourself with these energies that help in cleansing and purifying the inner self, mind, and body. We can control our body and mind by the nature of the food we eat, how we eat, exercise, relaxation and massage, and the five sense therapies.
The treatments of disease in Ayurveda are classified into four namely shodan (cleansing); shaman (palliation); rasayana (rejuvenation), and satvajaya (mental hygiene).
Tablets, Powders, boiled teas and medicated oil made from medicinal plants and minerals are used for Ayurvedic treatments. As the medicines are naturally made, they are easily absorbed by the body without any side effects. Along with the medicines, strict diet, exercise and lifestyle are also apart of the Ayurvedic treatment.
Major Ayurvedic Treatments
The meaning of Panchakarma is ‘five treatments’. It is used to remove the toxic substances that has entered in our body through disease and malnutrition. Doshas that are not balanced will produce waste matter. Through Panchakarma the doshas are get rid of by means of sweat glands, intestines and urinary tracts. It is a rejuvenating experience with daily massages and oil treatments. Ayurveda advices Panchakarma treatment once in a year for strengthening body, mind and soul.
Swedana (Sweat Treatment)
Sweating helps to remove doshas as fluid. It helps us to remove the impurities through sweat glands. Swedana is done through active heating done within heated chamber, medicated steam, sauna, sunbathing, and exposure to fire, hot baths and hot packs.
Abhiyanga (Oil Massage)
It is the treatment of massaging the body with medicated oil. It is done by expert massage therapists. It is done with force to eliminate the doshas through the eliminating system. It is a pleasant and refreshing experience.
Shirodara is a treatment related to this in which balmy medicated sesame oil is poured over the forehead to calm down the nervous system and the Prana Vata (a dosha).
It consists of two basic treatments ‘snehana’ and ‘Swedana’. Swedana involves massaging medicated oil in the body to eliminate doshas. It is used to treat stress, insomnia, depression, arthritis, rheumatism etc. There are specific herbal oils prepared for each disease. Snehana involves lying in an oil bath which makes it easy for your body to absorb the medicines. Sometimes a combination of both these methods are used.
Samana (Herbal Cures)
After the toxins are removed from the body, the Ayurveda doctor may advise herbal cures to balance the doshas. They are advised in liquid form, as dried herbs or as powders or tablets. The blend of each herb is prescribed separately for a unique individual.
Ayurvedic treatment is a rejuvenating and refreshing experience.