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The benefits of natural Ayurvedic therapies for holistic balance and wellbeing
Since its emergence several millennia ago, Ayurvedic medicine has sought balance. Many medical systems also seek balance, but the Ayurvedic sages went further, understanding health as more than the absence of disease.
The intuitive understanding that the ancient sages reached about the physiology of the organism led them to create a complete medical system that defines life as the intelligent coordination of four parts: the soul, the mind, the senses, and the body, all in harmony with nature and the cosmos.
For the Ayurvedics, health was not just a condition of the body. They believed that as we interact with other people, with the seasons and planetary changes, everything has the power to impact our health. According to Ayurvedic doctrine, bringing all these elements into balance is the key to a healthy life.The oldest written codification of Ayurvedic principles appears in the Rig Veda, India’s most ancient knowledge-based text. Its fundamentals are set out in several important treatises, such as the texts of Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata, the great classical writers of Ayurvedic medicine. There are also smaller works, written later to explain the various branches of Ayurveda, which include disciplines such as general medicine, paediatrics, surgery, toxicology, fertility, and rejuvenation.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, each of us has our own unique balance, governed by three forces or doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha which manifest themselves to a greater or lesser extent. The predominant force, or dosha, is the conductor that determines constitution, appetite, energy levels, mood and character.In India, an Ayurvedic doctor must attend (at least) a five-year postgraduate programme to obtain a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery.
The benefits of Ayurvedic therapies have survived to the present day and modern medicine incorporates these principles and techniques to achieve balance and wellbeing.One of the most effective techniques of this ancient approach is Ayurvedic massage—the abhyanga massage is its most complete version—which not only serve to relieve pain or muscle cramps, but have an important preventive function as they stimulate blood circulation, strengthen the lymphatic system, and cleanse and revitalise the body.
Essential oils are just as important as the movement and pressure of massage. They nourish and detoxify the skin, and relax the mind, which benefits from the positive emotions and reduced stress triggered by their aromas.
The benefits of Ayurvedic massage include skin rejuvenation, readjustment of bone and muscle structure, accelerated lymphatic circulation and detoxification of the body, increased joint flexibility, oxygenation of the body and improved functioning of the capillary and lymphatic systems. In addition, it decreases muscle fatigue and is very effective in releasing toxins from the body to combat the stress and mental tension of modern life. Reduced swelling and bloating is another benefit of Ayurvedic therapy.
In Ayurveda, a diet poor in nutrients and vitamins, poor quality sleep, and incorrect breathing cause inflammation and oxidative stress, throwing the doshas out of balance. Ayurvedic medicine uses different methods to reduce inflammation by regulating cardiovascular, digestive, and excretory functions. By regulating stress, food intolerance, and nutrient deficiencies, inflammation levels are reduced, energy levels are increased and healing processes are accelerated.
Ayurvedic medicine is very effective for weight loss. Among its strengths is the flexibility to design a unique and personalised diet protocol for each individual.Finally, interestingly for women, this ancient medicine helps to alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and promote healthy pregnancies. Ayurvedic therapies aim to maintain hormonal balance in a natural way, resulting in pain-free menstrual cycles and healthy pregnancies. In 2010, a study conducted by the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka found that the use of certain carrier oils, medicinal plants, and healthy diets help to balance hormonal function. For centuries, Ayurvedic medicine has also helped women regulate menstrual cycles and experience menopause in a serene and natural way.