Ayurvedic Medicine: East meets west in search for optimal health
In recent years we have seen a societal focal shift in the way we take care of ourselves. While Western society has always enjoyed the pleasures of aesthetic perfection, the last decade has seen a surge in interest in ancient, holistic approaches to well-being and health, and achieving balance from the inside out.
Quite possibly the most notable of these therapies has been the traditional practice of yoga, infiltrating the mainstream and allowing practitioners to embrace the concept of mind, body and spirit. Also adopting an accompanying rebirth is “the sister science” of yoga; one of the oldest holistic systems in existence, Ayurvedic medicine.
| Ayurveda … is a natural healing system that believes overall health and wellness is achieved through the balance and harmony of the mind, body and spirit. |
Originating in India over 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda quite literally means the knowledge, or science of life. Fundamentally, it is a natural healing system that believes overall health and wellness is achieved through the balance and harmony of the mind, body and spirit. It is believed that there are three main Doshas, or energies, that dictate both our inner and outer environments. The disposition of these elements characterize our nature, which when unbalanced, can create problems for both the mind and the body. The governing concept of Ayurveda is that when we understand our individual composition, we are able to take the appropriate measures to restore the body’s natural equilibrium.
The concept of energies is one of the founding principles in all Eastern philosophy, so it is no surprise that Doshas appear in this approach. Imagine trying to balance a tray of drinks. If they are evenly weighted, placed appropriately given the strength of your own hand, then you will be able to move with the tray without spilling or dropping the drinks. The placement of the drinks is unique to you, and should something happen that disturbs this balance, something else will inevitably be countered, and a mess made. The same idea applies to Doshas in the sense that we each have our own unique and ultimate balance of these energies, and when this is disturbed, we experience a negative impact on our health.
Andrea Olivera, an Ayurvedic Specialist in downtown Toronto sums it up in a simple, practical approach. “When we are in stress, or we are in difficulties or struggles, we go to nature to replenish, to rejuvenate and to rejoice in the wonder of her nurturing, caring love.”
A consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner may involve a range of varying tests to determine your level of imbalance. These tests include assessing your eyes, tongue, nails and listening to your pulse. The goal is to establish your full-health profile (energy, diet, sleeping habits, history, etc.), so that a customized treatment plan can be created to get you back to where you need to be. This may include plant-based medicines or treatments, an evaluation of diet and exercise, mantras or self-care practice, or the recommendation of integrating yoga or meditation to your life.
Whichever the outcome, you can be rest assured it will fulfill all five senses and look at your health as a whole: mind, body and spirit.
Discover Ayurveda in the neighbourhood at: The Ayurveda Rituals – Studio, Spa & Boutique, 1081 Bathurst Street – ayurvedictouch.com