What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a more than 2,000 year old comprehensive system of medicine based on a holistic approach rooted in Vedic culture. The word ayurveda means knowledge (veda) of life (ayur). This form of health treatment began in ancient India.

Before going unto some of the basics of ayurveda, some myths need to be dispelled. Ayurveda is not a bogus form of "alternative therapy". It is a tried and tested form of traditional medicine. Ayurveda was a health care system that had been supporting many cultures and large civilisations.

In fact some of the advancements made in ayurveda (for example, an ancient form of surgery) has led to the development of Western practice of medicine. The english equivalent of "ayurveda" is the "science of life". This in iteslf suggests that ayurveda is a form of science and had been developed and researched systematically. As a result, ayurveda can be an effective way to obtain a good health balance and improve an individual's quality of life.

There are now several universities and institutions that specialise in qualifications in ayurveda all around the world, such as in India and USA (for examples try searching ayurvedic qualification in google.com).There are recognised ayurvedic degrees and qualifications such as Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, and registers such as the British Register of Complementary Practitioners.

However, it must be recognised that the "science" defined in ayurveda is not what we mean by modern science today. Ayurveda is derived from a type of proto-science, in that there were trials of herbs and methods, and ayurveda is the knowledge derived from that. Therefore, the concepts described in Ayurveda must be understood in this context. Some of these concepts, such as doshas (which is described below), may not be compatible with the modern understanding of health and science. However, the application of certain aspects of ayurveda can provide very real positive health outcomes; for example, ayurvedic massage therapy. Massage therapy can help with various positive health outcomes such as improved circulation, rejuvenation of muscles and strengthened joints.

At our clinic, we deal with one aspect of ayurveda, which is the application of a specialised form of massage therapy. This type of massage is tailored around each individual and uses herbal oil sourced from Kerala. Different oils are used depending on the type of massage and what the individual wants to gain from the massage. The massage is performed by a therapist with several years of experience. At our clinic, you will also have consultations with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner, who will discuss with you the details of the massage therapy in accordance with your current needs.

To summarise, Ayurveda is an ancient indian system of health care and we provide one aspect of this in the form of tradition indian massage therapy.

For a flavour of the concepts behind ayurveda, we would like to briefly explain the concept of doshas. This may help give an insight into the health culture of ancient India. Please remember, that these concepts should therfore read in that context. In ayurveda there are 3 main doshas (medical humours), which are Vata (resembles the classical element air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water).All bodily processes are believed to be governed by a balance of the 3 doshas. Whichever dosha appears to dominate a person's behavior and physique is called his constitution type. Each constitution type has particular strengths and susceptibilities.

Vata, composed of air, governs all movement in the mind and body and must be kept in good balance. Too much vata leads to "worries, insomnia, cramps and constipation. Vata controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind." Vata activates the nervous system, hearing and speech; and expresses as enthusiasm and creativity. Vata also controls the other two principles, Pitta and Kapha, and is usually the first cause of disease. Another word for Vata is Vayu - it is the more traditional Sanskrit word for air.

Pitta is said to be composed of fire and water; it governs "all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. It controls how we digest food, how we metabolize our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong." Pitta must be kept in balance, too. "Too much Pitta can lead to anger, criticism, ulcers, rashes and thinning hair.". A balanced Pitta mind makes one a good leader with a warm personality.

Kapha is the watery humour. "Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure. This dosha maintains body resistance....Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity...Kapha is responsible for emotions of attachment, greed and long-standing envy; it is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness and love." Too much Kapha leads to lethargy and weight gain, as well as congestion and allergies.

Often a person is a dual dosha (e.g. Vata/Pitta) or even Tridosha (all three doshas).

In summary, Ayurveda represents a system that considers both the states of mind and body in its diagnosis and treatment. Ayurveda took into consideration the fact that many illnesses are caused by foreign agents and small organisms that may require intervention. Patients are classified by body types, or prakriti, which are determined by proportions of the three doshas. Illness and disease are considered to be a matter of imbalance in the doshas. Treatment is aimed at restoring harmony or balance to the mind-body system.

To get a free consulatation or to just get a better idea of ayurveda, please contact us. We hope your experience with us will be positive and will help broaden your outlook on holistic therapy. You can find more about us or find out why you should try us by browsing through the links.