What is ayurveda and why do I want to know?

Behavioral Health Services
Ayurvedic face massage with oil on the wooden table in traditional style made by asian women.

Ayurvedic face massage with oil on the wooden table in traditional style.

Written by: Anne Miller, MD, Psychiatry, Agnesian HealthCare Outpatient Behavioral Health Services

Ayurveda literally means “the science of life.” Rooted in ancient tradition, Ayurveda (eye-ur-VAY-duh) describes self-care practices, such as self-massage, that are based on biologic constitution or dosh (DOH’sha). There are season-specific and dosha-specific ways to reduce contemporary issues, such as insomnia, poor digestion, fatigue and poor concentration. This involves timing meals and bedtimes according to the Ayurvedic clock and cooking to include the Six Tastes.

Ayurveda is based on the idea that disease is due to an imbalance or stress in a person’s consciousness. Ayurveda encourages certain lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to regain a balance between the body, mind and the environment.

Daily cleaning of ama (toxins) by tongue scraping, Neti pot and nose oiling, self-massage, dry brushing and seasonal food-based cleanses are  basic self-care practices that benefit all doshas. Specific types of oil, yoga and breath practices benefit different doshas.

Ayurveda can have positive effects when used as a complementary therapy in combination with standard, conventional medical care and for health maintenance/disease prevention.

Want to know more? Attend the upcoming seminar at Journeys: a health resource center. Powered by Eventbrite

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