Ayurveda is from the roots "ayur" meaning life and "veda" meaning knowledge. Ancient Vedic texts indicate the system is the oldest being practiced prior to 4000 B.C. and some believe it is even 8000 years old.
Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are very similar being based on universal natural bi-polar concepts that matter and energy are one. There are several aspects of this system of medicine which distinguish it from other approaches to health care:
The focus of Ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit, rather than focusing on individual symptoms. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness by balancing the three subtle energies known as Doshas - individually they are Vatha, Pitta and Kapha.
Ayurveda philosophy posits people, their health, and the universe are related. It is believed that health problems can result when these relationships are out of balance.
Ayurveda, herbs, metals, massage, and other products and techniques are used with the intent of cleansing the body and restoring balance. Some of these products may be harmful when used on their own or when used with conventional medicines.
Ayurveda recognizes the unique constitutional differences of all individuals and therefore recommends different regimens for different types of people. Although two people may appear to have the same outward symptoms, their energetic constitutions may be very different and therefore call for different remedies.
Ayurveda is a complete medical system which recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flows from one Absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by promoting harmony between the individual and Nature by living a life of balance according to her laws.
Ayurveda describes three fundamental universal energies which regulate all natural processes on both the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. That is, the same energies which produce effects in the various galaxies and star systems are operating at the level of the human physiology - in your own physiology. These three universal energies are known as the Tridosha.
The ancient Ayurveda physicians realized the need for preserving the alliance of the mind and body and offers mankind tools for remembering and nurturing the subtler aspects of our humanity. Ayurveda seeks to heal the fragmentation and disorder of the mind-body complex and restore wholeness and harmony to all people.
Unlike Traditional Western Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine is non-invasive and focuses on the individual's needs and prevention versus treating symptoms as one-size-fits all. Taking OTC and prescription drugs for symptoms that might have a different source than someone else makes as much sense as buying a hat sized for someone else.
During the last century, Ayurveda Medicine has completed a rebirth and continues to evolve its holistic approach to health in accordance with modern needs and scientific advances of the day.
Established in 1982 by Scott Gerson, M.D., PhD, who is the nation's only medical doctor to hold degrees in both Ayurveda and allopathic medicine, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine (NIAM) is recognized as the largest and most authentic resource of information on Ayurveda in the United States.
Ayurveda Medicine conceptualizes and practices eight major sub-specialties of medicine in addition to numerous adjunctive specialties.
The eight major sub-specialties continue to be taught today include:
For every disease, there is information about: definition, etiology, prodrome, clinical symptoms, pathophysiology, prognosis, principles of treatment, medicines, diet, lifestyle recommendations, and even etymology. This approach is similar to modern western medicine and even more comprehensive.
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Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Hypnotherapist, Author, International Speaker and Inspirational leader specializes in: Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical/Sexual Abuse Prevention and Recovery. Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life's challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening.