Ayurveda: Truly Ancient Medicine

By Laura Gordon

Ayurveda is the oldest known continuously practiced system of health care. This ancient tradition has been studied and practiced in India dating back 6,000 years. Over time this approach to health has gained acceptance far and wide. Today it is an acknowledged form of health maintenance by countless millions around the world. The premise of this system is to help the individual maintain a healthy balance of body and mind through a wholistic approach of exercise, diet and lifestyle.
Each person has their own individual signature or dosha.  Your dosha is a specific blend of physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Ayurveda has identified three basic types of doshas.   In Ayurvedic medicine the medical treatment protocol is based on that dosha.  Everyone has either one dominate dosha or a combination of two.
An Ayurvedic practitioner looks at each individual with careful scrutiny. By observation, palpation and answers to specific questions the practitioner can determine the dominate dosha and the best treatment for the imbalance. The practitioner must also have an understanding and be able to link the five primary elements in Indian philosophy (Fire, Water, Earth, Ether, and Air) as they relate to the governing forces of each dosha.
The following is a brief explanation of the doshas and their elements:
Vata controls body motion energy (i.e. blood circulation, respiration, and elimination). The elements are ether and air. In balance the Vata person will feel creative and vital; conversely when out of balance that same person will experience the feelings of fear and anxiety.
Pitta controls body metabolic energy (i.e. digestion, absorption, nutrition and temperature). Pitta’s elements are fire and water. In balance the feelings are contentment and intelligence; conversely out of balance the individual can have ulcers and be quickly aroused to anger.
Kapha controls body growth energy (i.e. cerebral-spinal fluid, intestinal mucosal lining) Kapha’s elements are water and earth. In balance the feeling is love and forgiveness; conversely out of balance the feeling is insecurity and envy.
As confusing as this may seem to the Western mind, a thorough study into these doshas combined with the elements reveals much about the human condition and insight into assisting the client into a balanced and healthful state of being. “Ayurveda holds that health is more than the absence of disease; it is a state of balance and integration of body, mind and spirit.” Deepak Chopra

1.  Go to the following site and take a very brief quiz that will tell you your individual dosha.  

2.   Comment and tell us all about your dosha and your opinion on the correctness of the  dosha quiz.  http://www.whatsyourdosha.com/quiz/


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