The word Ayurveda can be translated to “The Science of Life & Longevity” or the “The study of Life & Longevity”
‘Ayur’ in the Sanskrit language translates to ‘Life’ or ‘Longevity’. ‘Veda’ translates to ‘Science’, ‘Knowledge’ or ‘Study’.
The Basic Principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a holistic health and healing system that draws its insights from nature & how we relate to nature itself. Ayurveda offers organic & ethical transformations for those who embark on the Ayurveda journey and its teachings.
Ayurveda understands that we are all individuals with unique needs and imbalances, as such, it helps you as an individual to navigate your way back to a more balanced state of being. It helps you to understand yourself more deeply so that you feel more connected to Self and at home in your mind & body. With this Wisdom, you will realise your true potential & be guided on the path of holistic wellness to achieve your goals.
Ayurveda empowers people to get to know themselves and make their own choices relative to the context of their own life.
As a holistic science Ayurveda combines the theory & concepts of physical health, psychology, spirituality, nutrition, lifestyle medicine, herbology, pranayama and bodywork (physical asana practice and body therapies/treatments). It also follows a set of fundamental concepts:
- The 5 Elements: Ether, air, fire, water & earth. The qualities (gunas) of the elements are found in all organic matter. The elements make up the doshas.
- The Doshas – Vata, Pitta & Kapha. The doshas are an energetic concept that is made up of the elements. You may have already heard of the Dosha’s. All three Dosha’s are present in all living beings in varying degrees. When one or more of the doshas become aggravated, an imbalance in our mind &/or body will occur. This is the start of dis-ease manifestation. (Find out what your dosha is by doing this quiz: Dosha Quiz)
- The Maha Gunas – Sattva, Rajas, Tamas. These are the energies of the mind and the qualities that govern all organic and inorganic matter in the universe. ‘Maha’ means great, ‘Gunas’ means qualities. Therefore, the 3 Maha Gunas are the 3 great qualities.
- Conscious living – Living a conscious & balanced way of life. Continuously growing your awareness, oneness and making choices that enhance your life & longevity. Understanding your environment, relationships, ethics and values. Being of service whilst living your most inspired life. According to Ayurveda, there are four basic goals of human life – Kama (pleasure), Artha (Prosperity), Dharma (service) & Moksha (liberation).
Knowing Ayurveda will help you to understand and align with your higher self & purpose.
History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda originated in India over 5000+ yrs ago. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic & integrated Health systems. Documentation was 1st discovered in the ancient texts of wisdom, the Vedas. It is said that Ayurveda is actually much older than 5000 yrs. as its ‘secrets’ & practices were handed down orally prior to being documented in the Vedas.
The 8 Branches of Ayurvedic Medicine:
1. Kaya chikitsa is general medicine – whole body treatment, Agni, digestion, metabolic disorders, fever.
2. Aphrodisiac therapy – reproductive medicine & sexology
3. Toxicology – treats toxins (ama) and poisons including poisonous animal/insect bites. Toxins in the environment. Build-up of toxins in the body and mind.
4. Surgery – Sushruta was the 1st Ayurvedic surgeon – written in the text 1000’s of yrs. ago.
5. Psychiatry – Mental & emotional health
6. Ear, nose & throat – overuse, misuse & underuse of the senses are believed to be one of the main causes of disease.
7. Paediatrics, pregnancy and gynaecology – “nurturing a child from birth to adolescence” & modern Ayurveda times saw Gynaecological medicine fall under this category.
8. Rejuvenation therapy, aging, geriatrics – treatments to deal with aging, brain health and longevity.
What are the Roles & Scope of Practice of Ayurvedic Doctors, Practitioners, councillors and lifestyle coaches
’Ayurvedacharya’ or Vaidya is an official qualification for those persons who have earned their bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) in India.
Ayurvedic Doctors understand disease from an Ayurvedic perspective while possessing a working knowledge of Western medical pathology, pharmacology, diagnostic reports, and treatments, in order to interface with the Western medical community and modify the Ayurvedic management of cases accordingly.
Hold a qualification of an Advanced Diploma in Ayurveda/Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurveda practitioners are professionals with additional training in pathology and disease management beyond that of the Ayurvedic Health Councillor.
An Ayurveda practitioner will create a treatment plan for the individual taking into account their current signs, symptoms, disease manifestation, unique physical and emotional makeup & dosha.
These professionals also practice preventive healthcare and health promotion, using diet and lifestyle, bodywork & herbal medicine.
As an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Registered Nurse & TCM student, I integrate my knowledge & skills to achieve the best possible outcome for my clients.
Ayurveda Health Counsellor:
Ayurvedic professionals are trained to focus on preventive healthcare as well as health promotion, with a specific focus on diet and lifestyle through traditional Ayurvedic medical science principles and practices.
Ayurveda Bodywork therapist:
- ● Not necessarily a practitioner, but trained in Ayurvedic Bodywork therapy such as:
- ● Abhyanga
- ● Ayurvedic Lymphatic Drainage
- ● Shirodhara
- ● Mama Therapy
- ● Nasya
- ● Dry massage/exfoliation (Urdvatana)
- ● Kati Basti (Dough)
- ● Swedana (Sweat therapy)
- ● Sneha (oliation)
Ayurveda Lifestyle & Wellness coach:
A professional who guides individuals on their health & wellness journey through Ayurvedic principles, empowering them to achieve their health & wellness goals.
- ● Offers ethical and organic transformation
- ● Educating clients through ayurvedic lifestyle wisdom
- ● Provides education on basic Ayurvedic nutrition principals
- ● Understands the principles of Ayurvedic Psychology & Philosophy to guide their clients toward their goals.
- ● Supports behaviour and lifestyle changes
- ● Help others shift unhealthy beliefs
- ● Offers support and accountability so that their clients can achieve their wellness vision
- ● Can refer to other ayurvedic health professionals
- ● Accredited certificate program through Harmony Inspired Health Academy – Graduates can
If you have considered studying Ayurveda and becoming a certified Ayurveda Lifestyle & Wellness, I invite you to learn more about our accredited program here: AYURVEDA ALCHEMIST ®
If you would like to learn more about Ayurveda via a self-paced online program, you can register for our Intro to Ayurveda course here: Intro to Ayurveda