by Kimberly Allen R.N.
Ayruveda is a system of medicine that is holistic and means to have knowledge of life. It has been practiced in India for thousands of years. There has even been documented evidence of this practice in the Vedas, ancient books of wisdom. These books were written over 6,000 years ago and contain more than 60 different formulas used for healing the sick.
Ayruveda is considered more life science than medicine, believing we are all part of nature and that just as the plants and animals live in balance with nature so should we. It’s goal is to provide a plan of care that includes food and individual lifestyles to create a balanced treatment plan utilizing the laws of nature creating the health and balance needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The plan of care works in 2 ways. It helps the healthy people maintain their health and it improves health problems in others.
There are aspects to Ayurveda that make it unique.
1. It uses a constitutional model so the plan of care including the types of foods and lifestyle changes needed to achieve and maintain optimal health will be different for each individual.
2. It validates everything in the plan of care either by observation, examination, inquiry or knowledge obtained from the Vedas.
3. It believes energetic forces known as tridoshas influence the nature and human balance.
4. It also believes there’s a strong connection between mind and body.
Ayurvedacombines the mind, body, senses and soul to create individual treatment plans.
The mind, body and senses all work together to maintain the daily functions like breathing, circulation and digestion, all things we do without thinking or realizing it. Our senses are used to gather the information and sends it to the mind and the mind tells the body to act. When one of these areas becomes impaired it impairs the function between the whole team.
The soul is believed to be an energetic essence that comes before inhabiting our physical bodies by the ancient ‘seers’ of India. In order to maintain a a healthy and happy lifestyle the mind, body, and senses must remain in balance to maintain the soul.
Ayurvedalooks at each individual as uniquely comprised of 5 elements, ether which is space, air, water , fire and earth. These elements have the ability to create different physiologic functions when combined. For example, air and ether together form the vata dosha. The vata regulates movement and directs the nerve impulses as well as cardiac, respiratory and e3limination. The pitta dosha is formed when fire and water combine. The pita is responsible for metabolism in the tissues and organs as well as the cells. The Kapha dosha is formed when earth and water combine and is responsible for growth and protection. The cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord as well as other mucous membranes meant to protect our tissues and organs ore examples of kapha.
The ratios of vata, pitta, and kapha doshas are unique to each individual. When any of them become out of balance with the other Ayruveda creates a plan of care with lifestyle and nutritional components unique to the individual to achieve and maintain balance.
Because Ayruveda see’s us all as unique individuals it is able to not only address specific he3alth problems but explains why individuals respond differently to treatment plans.
Kimberly Allen is a registered nurse with an AND in nursing. She has worked in ACF, LCF and psychiatric facilities, although she spent most of her career as a home health expert. She is now a regular contributor to HealthAndFitnessTalk.com, dispensing advice and knowledge about medical issues and questions. You can reach her with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.