Growing up in an Indian household, one might think that Ayurvedic remedies would have been the first line of defense against illness. However, I rarely heard this term, never understood the concept of “food as medicine” and was seeing my doctor every time I felt the least bit unwell.
Congestion? Doctor’s visit. Upset stomach? Doctor’s visit. Feeling a bit warm? Doctor’s visit. Up until my mid-20’s I thought these routine doctor’s visits and walking out of each appointment with a new prescription was normal.
The truth is even in India, the country where Ayurvedic medicine originated 5000 years ago, more and more people are yearning for quick-fix pills before going down the path of natural healing. As a society, we have been conditioned to desire and seek out instant gratification and quick results, even if it means they come with harmful side effects or don’t last.
I do believe that times are changing though. People are getting more frustrated by the increasing costs and side effects of pharmaceuticals and disheartened by not seeing lasting relief from their symptoms. Interest in alternative healing practices such as Ayurveda are growing more and more every day.
Now, I want to be clear that I’m not against Western medicine. There is a time and place for it for sure. However, always using medication as the first line of defense against illness undermines the intelligence and power that our own bodies have to heal. Although shortcuts to feeling better may seem like the most ideal scenario because they enable us to go back to our daily non-stop lives much quicker, they also interfere with our body’s natural healing process and can weaken it in the long run
Yes, natural healing often takes longer – but it can also lasts longer with much less harmful side effects.
After years of being on prescription medication every time I didn’t feel good and going to see my doctor more often than I was seeing most of my friends, I knew something had to change.
I began to research and experiment with natural remedies. I changed my focus from how to stop feeling sick all the time to learning how to strengthen my body to feel and stay healthier. I found myself immersed in this new world of wellness and I couldn’t get enough.
This eventually inspired me to get my Holistic Health Coaching certification and a few years later, my Ayurvedic Practitioner’s Certification.
I can’t say enough about how incredible Ayurveda is as a holistic healing system and how much it has changed my health and the health of my clients. However, today I want to share information on Ayurveda that will hopefully help spark your interest to dive deeper into this holistic healing science and embark on your own
Below are three incredibly important aspects of Ayurveda and what I believe make it stand out from other types of healing modalities and what has inspired me to share this knowledge with as many people as I can!
1) It stands the test of time
Ayurveda, which translates to “the knowledge of longevity,” is a 5000-year old system of medicine that originated in India, but is now practiced around the world. There aren’t many other diets or healing modalities that can make this claim.
2) It uses the laws of nature to heal
The ancient sages that cognized Ayurveda, discovered that everything in the Universe was made up of the energies of the five elements: earth, air, fire, water and space. In human beings, these energies combine to create the three doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We each have a unique combination of these doshas present in our body and this makes up our constitution or Prakriti. Your prakriti can help determine what foods, exercises, daily practices, jobs and environments are best suited for our wellbeing.
When there are imbalances in any of the five elements, this creates the optimal environment for illness and disease to manifest. Through specific diagnostic tools such as pulse diagnosis, tongue analysis and interviewing, an Ayurvedic Practitioner can determine where the imbalances are in the mind, body and spirit and what specific dietary and lifestyle practices need to be implemented to bring balance back to the entire system.
3) It treats the whole person
As mentioned above, Ayurveda recognizes that we are more than just our physical body. I can tell you firsthand, that any time I felt physically ill, there was also something emotional going on. Because of this, when we aren’t feeling well or when we are trying to maintain good health, it’s important that we are looking at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factors that may be affecting us.
4) It focuses on health, not disease
Ayurveda is about enhancing life, not just treating disease. It focuses on getting to the root cause of illnesses and even stopping many of them before they manifest. Traditional Western medicine focuses on treating illnesses after physical symptoms are already present. In many cases, the body is already so weak by this point that treatments need to be incredibly aggressive and invasive to help fight off the disease. Ayurveda, on the other hand, gives us the opportunity to avoid many diseases by strengthening the mind, body and spirit so you don’t get sick.
5) It’s about progress, not perfection
Ayurveda is not about perfection, rules and looking outside of yourself for the answers. It’s about reconnecting to your body and soul’s inherent intelligence and capacity to heal so you can develop a more trusting relationship with yourself and learn how to become your own healer. Ayurveda encourages you to learn from and enjoy the process as much as possible, not stress about getting things perfect. Anytime there is an opportunity to learn, there is an opportunity to heal.