Today's age has witnessed a number of illnesses inflicting mankind. These include those that have plagued primitive men, to those that have arisen in modern times. Modern healthcare progressed infinitely but there still is room for improvement. There still are dozens of millions of afflicted who have not been cured of their chronic illnesses and have tried unsuccessfully to make their peace with it.
This continuous need of betterment has led to the recognition of Ayurveda as an alternative practice of medicine. Now it would be naive to think that Ayurveda has gained popularity just now. Ayurveda has been predominant in the Indian subcontinent for more than centuries.
History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda began in India with deep roots ranging on across the whole subcontinent. Ayurveda can boast of the fact that modern medicine has used many of its therapies and practices for its own benefit.
Some scholars are of the opinion that Ayurveda originated in prehistoric times and most of its concepts were in circulation during the age of the Indus Valley civilization. It was further honed and polished during the Vedic system and later on, some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism worked on a significant number of medical concepts and therapies which were later on instilled in the classical Ayurvedic literature and textbooks.
Philosophy of Ayurveda
The Ayurvedics believe in the Dosha balance, which teaches that suppression of normal and natural urges leads to illness in man and should be discouraged. It is based on three elemental doshas which are the: Vata, pitta and kapha. In reference to these doshas, it is believed that any state which encourages imbalance of these doshes will lead to disease (visamatva), while a balanced situation will lead to health (samyavatva).
Guiding principles of Ayurveda
The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body have a special connection
2) nothing has a more powerful healing effect on the body than the mind.
Freeing our body from illness requires placing emphasis on our own awareness, balancing it extending it in sync without body processes. For example, meditation and circular breathing bring about a state of deep meditation, awareness in relation to one's surroundings and an inner peace that restores balance and refreshes the mind. It has been noted that this state of meditation reduces high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, and regulates the production of neurotransmitters which enhance well-being such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Ayurveda is the unique and personalized approach towards achieving maximum health. Finding out your mind and body type with understanding details of its mechanism can help a person achieve optimal health through Ayurveda by balancing diet, exercise, sleep, supplements and in general the lifestyle of a person.
Diet and its importance in Ayurveda
Next to breathing, diet holds a special place in Ayurveda. Since eating is our most important body function which vitalizes the body and the mind and provides nourishment, it should be given special consideration. Optimal nutrition can be achieved when healthy food items which are fresh are chosen and processed with special care and methods.
The aim of ingestion of a balanced diet should especially be kept in mind. A balanced diet can be formed by the six Ayurvedic tastes which include: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent tastes for our taste buds. It is also suggested that all six taste groups be included in the meal. This will make the body feel full for longer and the person will be less likely to overeat and snack needlessly later on.
Apart from these taste groups, it is also encouraged that one should fill their plates with all colors of the rainbow to promote healthy eating. It is thought that you ingest the information of the universe along with each bite of your colorful food. Deep purples, blues, oranges, yellows, and greens are the major source of antioxidants which are responsible for rejuvenation and fighting old age and getting rid of carcinogens that lead to chronic illnesses.
Sleep is an essential part of Ayurveda, which has been stressed upon again and again. Sleep gives time to the body to rejuvenate and heal itself. It slows down the aging process, makes the mind sharper and preserves memories. Human beings need around six to eight hours of uninterrupted and peaceful sleep every day. Caffeine and alcohol intake has the power to disrupt this normal cycle. Sleep produces natural hormones which are produced only at night such as Melatonin which is essential for the human body and regulation of its systems.
On an ending note, it would be best to point out that Ayurveda is all about bringing natural processes to work in harmony rather than to force them to work against their mechanisms.
This guest post was written by Hassan Khan Yousafzai, he is passionate about Digital marketing. Along with educational background in Software Engineering he is bridging gap between marketing and development department. At Techvando, he has been consulting brands all over Pakistan to gain online traffic and profitable leads.