Ayurveda Bluefield WV
North Tazewell, VA
North Tazewell, VA
American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA)
Ayurveda: Tailor-Made Health
India’s traditional healing system, in which each person’s unique makeup
By Lisa James
You’ve gone for the usual physical exam and blood tests, and have been told there’s nothing abnormal—what a relief. But you still don’t feel quite right. So you consult someone trained in Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of healing.
The practitioner carefully notes your physical attributes, such as the texture of your skin and hair, the shape of your chin and nose, the appearance of your eyes and teeth, and your overall size and weight. He or she then asks questions that you would expect—about your typical food preferences, waking/sleeping schedule, appetite level, digestive patterns and emotional state, for example—and several that you wouldn’t—whether your meals are rushed or relaxed, what you tend to dream about, whether you’re a spender or a saver, how you approach matters of spirit or connectedness. These answers help determine your fundamental constitution (prakruti) in terms of vata, pitta and kapha (abbreviated VPK), Ayurveda’s three basic body-mind-spirit types known as doshas. The practitioner then asks if any of these factors have changed recently, and in what way. This determines your vikruti, or current state.
In most people’s constitutions, one dosha predominates. For you it’s vata; your fundamental VPK ratio is V3P2K1. But your current state is V4P2K1—your vata is too high. To counteract this imbalance, the practitioner suggests that, in addition to keeping warm and avoiding drafts, you eat fewer salads and instead consume more vegetables cooked with moderate amounts of spices such as ginger and turmeric. The two of you discuss ways to calm your anxiety. You receive an herbal oil to rub into your dry skin (good for those achy joints, too) along with an herbal laxative for your chronic constipation. In two weeks you and the practitioner will go over your progress and look at other issues you may need to work on.
A Sanskrit word that translates as “science of life,” Ayurveda holds that “every individual is indivisible—undivided, total, complete, a unique expression of consciousness,” says Vasant Lad, MASc, executive director of The Ayurveda Institute ( www.ayurveda.com ) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The goal of Ayurveda is not just to take care of disease but to deal with every aspect of life.”
Ayurveda views health and disease through the prism of energy, specifically the life force known as prana. “Western medicine sees the body basically in terms of chemistry,” says David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies
According to Ayurv...