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Ayurvedic Treatments - A Brief Introduction

Different Types of Ayurvedic Treatments

The science of Ayurveda is thousands of years old. Ayurveda treats any ailment without any side effects, cures disease by removing its root cause and provides permanent relief to the patient. 

The holistic approach of Ayurveda is based on the law of balancing the five natural elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) that make up the body. Moreover, Ayurveda states that these elements are kept in perfect harmony by three bio-energies called tridoshas, which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. 

Each person has a unique pattern of these doshas with one or two doshas in a dominant state. These energies are in a perfect proportion in the body and when imbalanced give rise to a disease. 

The reasons for the imbalance of these doshas could be improper diet, undue stress, weather and a hectic lifestyle. Ayurvedic treatment mainly comprises of balancing these doshas and getting rid of the disease. 

The main aim of Ayurveda is to balance your doshas. Any Ayurvedic practitioner would examine you and check your pulse, feel your abdomen, examine your tongue, eyes, nails, and skin. Ayurveda pays a lot of attention to your lifestyle, diet and habits and determines why your doshas are imbalanced.

Learn more about the doshas

After the problem has been recognized, the practitioner would then recommend ways to restore the balance of the dosha, which almost always includes changes in lifestyle, especially diet.

This form of treatment mainly comprises of powders, extracts, tablets, and oils etc. that are prepared from naturally-found herbs, plants and minerals. Since these medicines are natural and not synthetic in nature, they have no side effects and only provide relief to the suffering person. The herbal medications are very beneficial and have a lot of nutritive and healing properties. 

The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining a right balance between the body, mind, and soul through factors like dietary changes, use of herbal medications, massage, yoga, Panchkarma and Meditation. All these factors in combination can - 

1. balance the body with the mind, 

2. decrease stress, 

3. increase blood circulation

4. prevent the onset of diseases or cure diseases 

5. increase the wellbeing and energy levels of a person

The most commonly prescribed Ayurvedic treatments include:

1. Diet -

Ayurveda believes that the food that we eat not only affects us on a physical level but also affects our emotional and psychological health. According to Ayurveda, the use of herbs like ginger, garlic and turmeric in the food is also very beneficial to the body and promotes faster healing. 

It is important to remember, that a person is determined based on what he eats! To ensure that we are having a balanced Ayurvedic diet, our food should comprise of the 6 tastes as defined by Ayurveda, which would include all major food types (i.e., sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent).

Ayurvedic Treatments - A Brief Introduction, Diet
Healthy Diet

2. Abhyanga

This form of treatment includes rubbing the skin with herbal oils (different oils for different doshas). Abhanga serves to not only reduce pain but acts as a preventive treatment to any disease by increasing the blood circulation, stimulation and strengthening of the lymphatic system, cleansing and revitalizing the body. 

Ayurvedic massage provides symptomatic stress relief and also generates positive feelings and emotions, thereby calming the body and mind.

Ayurvedic Treatments - A Brief Introduction, Massage

3. Rasayana –

This includes reciting mantras (phrases) during meditation in addition to the use of certain herbs for rejuvenation. It increases the concentration level and relieves anxiety and stress.

4. Yoga and Pranayama-

This form of treatment combines Pranayama, physical exercises, and meditation. Yoga improves blood circulation and aids in digestion. It also reduces blood pressure, cholesterol levels, anxiety, and chronic pain. Today, Yoga has gained worldwide popularity and is used daily for profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness. 

It enhances the breath control and core strength of the body. Along with the physical exercises, breathing exercises are also followed. Pranayama or meditation is a state where our mind is calm and relaxed and is free of wayward thoughts. 

This state helps us achieve peace, tranquillity and makes us more aware of our own self, and allows us to become serene, creative, and fulfilling.

Ayurvedic Treatments - A Brief Introduction, Yoga
A Yoga Pose

5. Panchakarma

Panchkarma is a Sanskrit word that means "five actions" or "five treatments". It is a process or a method of treatment that helps to cleanse the body of any accumulated toxins that are left behind in the body due to illness, stress, poor nutrition or decreased metabolism. 

In the process of Panchkarma, the imbalanced doshas can be corrected and the excess Ama (toxins) is thrown out of the body in the form of sweat, urine and stools. This 5-fold purification therapy is a classical form of treatment in Ayurveda, which includes the following specialized procedures:

• Therapeutic vomiting or emesis (Vaman)
• Purgation (Virechan)
• Enema (Basti)
• Elimination of toxins through the nose (Nasya)
• Blood-letting or detoxification of the blood (Rakta moksha)

6. Herbal medicines

This treatment includes prescription of herbs to restore the balance of the dosha. The use of medicinal herbs, herbal extracts and spices, is very well known in Ayurveda for a long time. A lot of research is being carried out for isolating and purifying the compounds present in the Ayurvedic herbs.

Ayurvedic Treatments - A Brief Introduction, Herbal Medicines
Herbal Medicines

Due to its numerous benefits, Ayurveda has thrived in the past thousands of years despite the onslaught of many treatment therapies. Ayurveda is a science that is in perfect sync with nature and uses the age-old form of yoga and meditation along with herbal supplements to cure the body of any ailment. It is actively encouraged as an inexpensive alternative to drugs. 

Ayurvedic medicines are extremely safe and do not have any side-effects. Ayurveda deals with a holistic approach to treatment and tries to erase the imbalance that gives rise to a disease, rather than only treating the symptoms. 

By following a regimen of a balanced diet - depending on your body constitution, exercise, herbal medicines, daily massage and Panchkarma, a person can strive to live a very healthy life, devoid of any diseases.

I have described these individual treatment therapies in more detail. Check them out below.

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