What is Ayurveda?
The word "Ayurveda" derived from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India is composed of the words "Ayur" meaning "life" and "Veda" meaning "knowledge, wisdom". Ayurveda therefore means nothing less than "knowledge of life".
This fundamental knowledge is the basis of the science of the globality of life (holistic approach). According to the Ayurvedic concept, the body should not be examined separately from the soul and the person should not be cut off from his environment. Between the two exist countless complex interactions and associations. As a result, Ayurvedic diagnosis and therapies take into account all interactions in all areas of human life such as emotions, reason, body, behavior, living environment, social life and seasons.
The uses of Ayurveda are varied. They are based on established dietary rules, adapted to the individual constitution of each individual, on a phytotherapy of 3000 different aromatic plants. It includes a wide variety of purification techniques (e.g., Panchakarma), massages and many beneficial treatments - all combined with a spiritual practice of yoga and meditation.
The main goal is always to bring wellness and prevent disease; However, as part of an authentic Ayurvedic cure, certain diseases, including chronic diseases such as rheumatism or tension, can also be relieved or cured - Ayurveda is a panacea!
A Millennial Healing Method
The roots of Ayurveda date back to the age of Vedic civilization in ancient India 5000 years ago. The contemplative meditation of the Rishis, sages who transmitted their knowledge orally is the starting point of a small number of texts dating back to this period. It is only at the time of the birth of Christ, the Upanishads period, respectfully called the "golden age" of Ayurveda, that what we still call Ayurveda develops.
The most important classical texts were written at that time: the Charaka-Samhita and the Sushruta-Samhita, which still form the basis of Ayurveda. With the spread of Buddhism (about 6th century BC) Ayurveda has grown and many Ayurvedic universities and hospitals have emerged. During the 200 years of British colonial domination, from the middle of the 18th century, the Ayurvedic teachings were denigrated, considered retrogressive and then completely suppressed. All Ayurvedic universities were closed. It was only in the 20th century, in the 1920s, under Mahatma Gandhi, that new Ayurvedic schools were created. After independence from India in 1947, Ayurveda was officially recognized as a medical method.
The Pillars of Ayurveda: The Doshas - Bioenergetic principles
The key to the understanding of Ayurveda lies in the knowledge of the three doshas. According to this theory, in the human body there are three fundamental energies whose balance ensures health. They control all the physical and mental functions of a person and are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
The different functions of the three Doshas derive from their own characteristics, which come from the five basic (cosmic) elements aether (sky), air, fire, water and earth. Associated two by two they form the three Doshas.
VATA is composed of elements air and aether, and is considered the vital energy par excellence. Its characteristics are: lightness, mobility, speed, subtlety, coldness, drought and roughness.
Control of all processes of voluntary and involuntary movements (somatic and vegetative); It affects the muscles, regulates internal organs, circulation, breathing, and all elimination processes, it influences intellectual ability, clarity and alertness.
PITTA is associated with the elements "water and fire" and is considered the metabolic principle. Its characteristics are: heat, lightness, fluidity, liquid, spicy, spicy and slightly oily.
Regulation of body temperature, digestion and metabolism, formation of blood, skin, visual acuity, intellect and emotional expression.
KAPHA is formed from the elements "earth and water". Based on this Dosha depends our resistance to the disease. Its characteristics are: hardness, cold, sweetness, sweetness, stability, slowness, oily, smooth, firm and inertia.
Responsible for body structures and fluid balance, regulates psychic stability, mental balance and memory.
Who am I? - Types of constitutions
Each person combines the three Doshas. One or the other or all three can be predominant. The dominant Doshas determine the tendencies of an individual as well as his physical and mental strengths and weaknesses. Thus, there are in Ayurveda different types of constitutions.
There are seven:
The constitution describes the strengths and weaknesses, which makes it possible to anticipate the predisposition to illnesses and to explain the different reactions to diet, sensory impressions, climate sensations or the circumstances of life. Determining the type of constitutions thus plays a large role in the treatment and prevention of diseases.
Type Vata Main characteristics: Slim body, low weight, dry skin, sensitive to cold and wind, irregular hunger and unregulated digestion, tendency to constipation, enthusiastic reaction, quick comprehension and good short memorization, tendency to anxiety and insomnia.
Type Pitta Main characteristics: Rather average body size, normal skin, sensitivity to heat, strong feeling of hunger and good digestion, prefers cold foods and cool drinks, does not skip meals, tendency to red hair, freckles and birthmarks, works in a systematic and organized way, assimilation and average memorization, good speaker, vivacity of spirit, enterprising and courageous character with a tendency to be impatient, easily irritable.
Type Kapha Main characteristics: Rugged and rather heavy body, tendency to have smooth and oily skin, little feeling of hunger, slow digestion, rather dark thick hair, shows strength and endurance, tackles things methodically and slowly, calm and balanced personality, good long-term memory, long and deep sleep and, difficult to get out of her hinges.
The features and characteristics of the different types of constitutions listed here are only a sampling. Only an experienced Ayurvedic doctor can establish a more accurate analysis of your constitution.
"Panchakarma" is the name of a specific Ayurvedic cleansing (five forms of purifying therapeutic actions) that cleanses the body of accumulated toxic waste and restores the Dosha balance. The preferred areas of application for a Panchakarma-oriented Ayurvedic cure are: rheumatism, heart and circulatory diseases, chronic headaches, anxiety states and sleep disorders, stress, burnout, chronic bronchial and sinus infection, metabolic disorders, hyperglycemia, adult diabetes, allergies, post-operative treatments and after chemotherapy, tinnitus, high blood pressure.
In order to achieve an ideal result, we recommend that you take at least two weeks, preferably three, to follow Panchakarma therapy.
As soon as you arrive at the hotel or at the treatment center, an Ayurvedic doctor will perform a thorough examination using various methods, such as pulse diagnosis. By the pulse, the Ayurvedic doctor will determine exactly the state of your Doshas and if there is an imbalance. It will also determine your type of constitution through an interview and by evaluating physical characteristics such as skin, hair, nails and eyes, and will establish on this basis a program of individual and personalized treatments. Its task is to select from the many treatments available Panchakarma therapy one that suits you, to control it and to adjust it constantly during the cure.
Phases of the Ayurvedic cure
Panchakarma therapy is divided into three main phases:
Purvakarma - preparatory phase
Panchakarma - the five main treatments
Paschatkarma - post treatment phase
Puvakarma - preparatory measures
In the first phase, the preparatory phase involves activating the Doshas in the tissues as well as the associated metabolic waste (Ama). This is done first with medicinal plants and Ayurvedic spices (Agni Diepana-Pachana).
In addition, oily substances are administered internally and externally. For internal use, it is a matter of taking in the morning clarified butter, purified and prepared according to the Ayurvedic tradition, called ghee. The ghee enters the cells where it repairs the disturbed Doshas. External Applications
Consist of massages with soothing oils. Thanks to these oil massages, the toxins accumulated in the tissues are eliminated.
Essential massages are the synchronous massages of the body, by 2 therapists (Abhyanga): whole body scrub-massage, made with a mixture of barley and chickpea flour (Udvartana) and complete dry body synchronous massage with Silk gloves (Garshana). In addition to these forms of massage, a whole series of oil treatments are also part of the preparatory measures to be taken as the Shirodhara, frontal massage carried out using a hot medicinal oil and full body massage (Snehana ). At the end of the first phase, the toxins released by the oils are evacuated from the tissues by aromatic steam-based care resulting in intense sweating and draining the toxins to the gastrointestinal tract (Swedana).
Panchakarma - quintuple purification
Then all excess Doshas dissolved in the cellular tissues such as toxins will be evacuated, using the effective purification techniques of Panshakarma. To do this, five different methods are used:
Vamana - Therapeutic vomiting
Virechana - Purgation
Vasti - Enema
Nasya - Cleaning the nose and sinuses
Raktamokshana - Blows
It should be emphasized that some methods are rarely applied to western patients, such as therapeutic vomiting or bleeding blood purification therapy. In the vast majority of cases, the purifications are carried out in the form of Enema (Vasti) and purgation (Visherana).
Paschatkarma - Post treatment
As part of Panchakarma therapy, diet plays a key role in the balance of the Doshas. Ayurveda attributes to digestion (agni) an important therapeutic power. It is called "biological fire" which transforms food into constituent elements and endogenous energy.
The fire "Agni" has a more important role than the type of food to digest; - food which must be balanced and above all correspond to the type of constitution of the person. In the Ayurvedic sense of the term, balanced means that all flavors (sweet, acid, salty, spicy, bitter, acrid-or astringent) must be included. To do this, your therapist will elaborate within the framework of the Ayurvedic cure a diet specially adapted to your type of constitution.
Health, vitality and joy of life through Ayurveda
No matter the reasons why you want to take a genuine Ayurveda cure, whether you want to eliminate fatigue due to everyday stress and recharge your body and soul, whether you suffer physically or simply want to discover the fascinating traditions of extreme, an authentic Ayurvedic cure will bring about positive changes in your life and will be an unforgettable experience for you. Thanks to its thousand-year-old knowledge of the interactions between body, mind and nature, Ayurveda will help you regain health, vitality and joy of life.