Traditional healing systems: What is Ayurveda?

Ayruvedic herbal medicines

Ayruvedic herbal medicines

There are many ancient forms of traditional healing that are indigenous to cultures around the world. Some examples are Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and shamanism. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian tradition of holistic wellness and healing. The word Ayurveda means “the wisdom of a long life." This science is focused not just on healing illness, but on holistic preventative health for optimal living.

Believed to be over 5000 years old, Ayurveda has spiritual, philosophical, and scientific roots as well as connections to the yoga tradition. According to Ayurveda, the physical universe is comprised of five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Each person is made up of a unique proportion of these elements and Ayurveda strives to rebalance the 5 elements when they stray from their original pattern.  Since we are all unique, we will have our own Ayurvedic prescription for a lifestyle that will support optimal health and prevent disease. In this way Ayurveda is individualized and does not prescribe the same treatment for everyone who has the same condition. The treatment will vary depending on the patient’s constitution. There is no firm distinction between mind and body in Ayurveda, so an imbalance in any one of the elements will affect both mind and body.

While Stephen is not a medical doctor or an Ayurvedic doctor, he completed a year of training at the Rishi school of Ayurveda and his work is informed by its core concepts to help his clients find balance in all areas of life.

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