Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, “Ayur” meaning life and longevity, and “Veda” meaning knowledge or science. This holistic health care practice promotes optimal health and balance of the body, mind and spirit, by enhancing the quality of life and preventing poor health.
In the U.S., Ayurveda is considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine. Ayurvedic philosophy says that everything in the universe is connected and good health is achieved when a person’s mind, body, and spirit are in agreement with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the way the body works to keep a person healthy and their unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form the body's physical makeup, or “prakriti”. A person’s prakriti is believed to stay the same for their entire life. However, how a person digests food and eliminates waste can influence it.
For those who practice Ayurveda, everyone is made of a combination of five basic elements – space, air, fire water and earth.
These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how the human body works. The three doshas are:
- Vata dosha (space and air)
- Pitta dosha (fire and water)
- Kapha dosha (water and earth)
Every human has a unique mix of the three doshas. Usually, one dosha is more dominant than the others. Each dosha controls a different body function. Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. One dosha is usually more dominant. Each dosha controls a different body function. It is believed that a person’s chances of getting sick are linked to the balance of their doshas.
A comprehensive consultation with a professionally trained and experienced Ayurvedic practitioner determines your physical makeup (prakriti) and body type (doshas). Based on the results of your consultation, a customized treatment plan that includes Ayurvedic therapies is designed to meet a client’s individual needs and help restore balance.
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