The philosophy of Ayurveda asserts that each human being is born with a unique constitution, or prakruti. This constitution is a combination of physical and psychological characteristics that determines the way a person functions. This prakruti remains constant throughout one’s life, but can be affected by the day and night cycles. As a result, Ayurveda focuses on preventative medicine, or maintaining health through daily regimens.
Ayurveda has 8 disciplines that focus on the prevention and treatment of diseases. Each discipline has a specific focus. In general, Ayurveda focuses more on preventive measures than curative measures. The treatment methods used are both holistic and herbal, and aim to improve the overall health of the body.
Shalakya Chikitsa, Graha Chikitsa, and Damstra Chikitsa are all branches of Ayurveda that focus on the prevention and treatment of toxins in the body. These disciplines developed as a result of studies of medicine and the prevention of toxins from plants and animals. In ancient times, these disciplines focused on the prevention and treatment of poisons, as well as the treatment of injuries and diseases.
Vata energy in Ayurvedic medicine is composed of air and ether, and is closely linked to movement, impulse, and creativity. Vata-dominant individuals are more susceptible to imbalances, but by following a few simple Ayurvedic guidelines, they can achieve balance and stay healthy.
As a general rule, each person has three types of energy in their body: vata, pitta, and kapha. These three types of energy work together to maintain balance in the body. When one or more of these energy types is imbalanced, a disease may result. In this case, diet, environmental modifications, and lifestyle changes can be helpful.
The Pitta energy governs the metabolism of the body and is responsible for digestion, assimilation, and body temperature. When in balance, Pitta promotes understanding and compassion. However, if out of balance, Pitta causes attachment, greed, and jealousy. The opposite of Pitta is Kapha, a balanced form of water and earth that provides the body with water and maintains immunity.
In Ayurveda, there are three basic types of energy that the body needs to function. These three types are known as Doshas in the Sanskrit language and relate to the basic biology of the body. The body needs energy to create movement, metabolize nutrients in the cell, and maintain the cell’s structure. All of these functions require energy, and each type of energy has its own role.
Kapha energy is a very important part of our health and vitality. It’s found in bones, muscles, tendons, and joints, and provides the ‘glue’ that holds our cells together. It’s also associated with stability, substance, and oiliness. Despite its many positive properties, Kapha can also cause us to have jealousy and greed. Nonetheless, people who have a strong Kapha energy may be calm, loving, and sensitive.
Ayurveda explains that we all have a balance of the five elements: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Understanding these three elements can help us steer our lives in healthier directions.