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About Ayurveda 

In recent years, due to the increasing pressure of urban life, there are more people pursuing a healthy life than before that perhaps the term of "Ayurveda" becomes more familiar. The history of Ayurveda can be traced back to the "Vedas", which originated five thousand years ago in the Indus Valley. It is believed that the knowledge of Ayurveda comes directly from God and was instilled to sages in India during deep meditation. It is still widely adopted in South Asia and begins to be recognized by Western countries. Just like if the Chinese were unwell, they would visit a Chinese doctor and while Tibetans could see Tibetan doctor, for South Asians,  their first choice is to visit Ayurvedic doctors.

The term "Ayurveda" is considered to be the oldest health guide by many people. It is derived from the Sanskrit. "Ayur" means life, and "Veda" means knowledge or science. Therefore, Ayurveda is known as "The science of life". Ayurveda put forward a series of life guides to help people adopt natural methods to restore health, including daily habits, diet, exercise, work and rest, nursing, mind, and behavior patterns.

Ayurvedic Philosophy 

Ayurveda is a kind of holistic therapy. It is a very useful health guide. It not only deals with physical problems, but also relaxes the mind and balances the three states of body, mind and mind. It is like a health code.

Ayurvedic therapy is both scientific and philosophical, moreover, there is also a religious understanding of life itself. They believe that the life journey experienced by a person is unique and holy, and we can find the truth of being a person through everything we have experienced in this life. In Ayurveda’s doctrine, the so-called truth is very simple. It is the "Being" at this moment, a "Pure Existence" and the source of all lives. Through this life experience, we comprehend the truth.

Ayurveda believes that men and the universe are inseparable, and mankind is only a small part of the manifestation of the entire universe. Everything in the world, even the manifestation of mankind, comes from Cosmic Consciousness, which is a combination of the conscious energy of male and female. It has the ability to create, balance, destroy and rebirth. Therefore, Ayurveda believes that health and disease are actually the balance between human beings and the earth and even the universe. It is oneness.

When we are in good health, Ayurveda helps us maintain our health in our daily habits; if the body loses balance, it will exercise conditioning to regain health and restore our body, mind, and soul to a healthy and happy state.

 

 

 

Ayurveda and Western Medicine 

Ayurvedic therapy aims to improve the overall health condition. In addition to the body itself, it also cooperates with the cognition of the mind and the philosophy of life in order to regulate from outside to inside.

When we try to understand the difference between Western medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, we discover that Western medicine’s understanding and treatment of diseases tend to adopt the "generalization method", that is, they believe "common phenomena" are applicable to most people, they do not focus to treat each person as a unique individual. However, each person has different causes of disease and it is difficult to use generalization method to treat cases cases with different causes. On the contrary, since Ayurveda itself has an understanding of the philosophy of life, when they try to understand disease, they apply "personalized" evaluation for each person.

In Eastern society, most of us understand things in an accepting attitude. Ayurveda believes that diseases are "products of internal imbalances" and are caused by unhealthy or unbalanced lifestyles. When understanding diseases, we should focus on observation and disease. The feeling of the person’s own body; while the West focuses on rational analysis, adopting the method of questioning and excluding the pathological features one by one to understand the disease, and tends to treat the symptoms of the disease as an "independent individual", and deal with the independent symptoms of the disease. It can be seen that the concepts, treatment methods and effects of the two are completely different.

 

The Five Basic Elements of Ayurveda (Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth)  

In the Hindu scriptures, everything in the universe, no matter how big or small, even our body, is composed of five basic types of elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. Composed of basic elements. These five basic elements all exist in our bodies:

Ether: The place where there is space in the body is the point of Ether, such as: mouth, nose, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, abdomen, chest, tiny blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, tissues and cells.

Air: All the movement in the body is dominated by the element of Wind, including muscle movement, heart beats, lung expansion and contraction, peristalsis of the stomach wall and intestines and excretion.

Fire: Fire is used for metabolism in the body, which plays a key role in the digestive system. In the gray matter of brain cells, Fire is manifested as intelligence and can also activate the retina that perceives light.

Water: Water is present in the body in the form of secretions such as digestive juice, salivary glands, mucous membranes, plasma and cytoplasm.

Earth: Earth element exists in the body in the form of solid structures such as bones, cartilages, nails, muscles, tendons, skin and hair.

People are born with the above five basic elements but the proportions of each person are different. From the perspective of Ayurveda, when we are still inside mother before birth, the proportional distribution of the basic elements have already been affected by such as the mother’s words and deeds, lifestyle, emotions , even the preference for music. Other factors also include genetic genes at conception, parental health condition, and even from a macro perspective, the changes in seasons and planets can also make an impact. The state of these five elements in the body determines our physical attributes.

The following are the corresponding senses of each element:

Ether - Ear: Ether is the medium of sound transmission. It is related to the hearing function. so it corresponds to ear. 

Air - Skin: Air is related to the sense of touch.

Fire - Eye: Fire is presented through light and is related to vision.

Water - Tongue: Water exists in the digestive juice and salivary glands. It is related to the taste.

Earth - Nose: It is related to the smell. When the body's excretion function is not good, it can be distinguished through smell.

 

 

The Three Doshas of Ayurveda

Based on the five basic natural elements, Ayurveda constitutes three major Doshas:

Vata: Composed of Air and Ether

Pitta: Composed of Fire and Water

Kapha: Composed of Earth and Water

By understanding these five basic elements you can find out your own physique. Then you can start from daily aspects such as diet, work and rest, and living habits, to improve your health from day to day.

When understanding your own Dosha, please remember that the description of each Dosha is only the main feature of that single physique. In fact, we are all a combination of three Doshas. At the same time, one or two Doshas are usually dominant in proportion. Some even have three average Doshas. Through a simple test, you can easily find out your main Dosha type.

 

Source:
1) Centre of Excellent Diploma in Ayurveda Course Content
2) Ayurveda - The Science of Self-healing - A Practical Guide by Dr Vasant Lad