The most commonly cited English translation for Ayurveda is “Science of Life”. It is the 5,000+ year old medical and life science also known as the “Sister Science” of Yoga who of course we all know and love and ideally…practice. No doubt Yoga is the more well-known and popular of the two Indian Sciences, primarily because not too many “Westerners” know of Ayurveda and its living and healing sciences. Familiarity with Ayurvedic medicines and the practice of Ayurveda is growing quickly in many Western countries and more colleges are established teaching the discipline and graduating both doctors and practitioners. Also pushing Ayurvedic awareness along quickly is frequent mentions of Ayurveda by both Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Oz both online and on television. It will take time, but even Yoga wasn’t known well by most non-Indians cultures prior to the 1950s.
.. editing…and we all know Yoga much more well known and practiced here in the Western World a more well-known form of Indian science Yoga, Ayurveda is an ancient system of healing that takes into account the whole person– body, mind, and soul. It says that each person expresses the five elements of nature (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) in his or her own unique way. Perfect healing for each of us will come as we correct the imbalances in our basic energies. Ayurveda works from within the individual; as it corrects energy imbalances, it helps energy to flow more freely and abundantly in the body, bringing true healing and transformation.
There are three basic manifestations of life force (or doshas) in people: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha expresses the five elements of nature (mentioned above) in particular ways. Each person will be a blend of Vata, Pitta, and/or Kapha, with one or two of the doshas being dominant. When our doshas are in balance, they express their strengths, and those strengths are reflected in our overall wellness. When they are out of balance, health challenges arise.
Ayurveda gives you the do’s and the don’ts for the health of your particular body. Treatments begin with an examination of the individual (including a pulse reading and an in-depth personal interview). Therapies unique to the individual are prescribed: massages, cleansing treatments, healing herbs, diet suggestions, yoga postures, breathing and meditation techniques, and lifestyle changes.