What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedic Medicine?

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In Ayurveda, perfect health is defined as “a balance between body, mind, spirit, and social wellbeing.” In fact, the twin concepts of balance and connectedness echo throughout Ayurvedic texts, thought, and practice.
Like all holistic health systems, Ayurveda emphasizes the unshakable connections between the body, mind, and spirit. However, Ayurveda’s connectedness extends far beyond the individual, reaching into the universal.
Basic tenents include:
All things in the universe, both living and nonliving, are joined together. In fact, everything in the universe is actually made of the same five gross natural elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
There is a deep connection between the self and the environment.
We are all initially connected within ourselves, to people surrounding us, to our immediate environment, and to the universe. This balanced connectivity ensures good health.
We remain healthy if we retain balance, interacting with our environment in an effective and wholesome way.
However, our initial balance is often disrupted by our lifestyles. Choices about diet, exercise, profession, and relationships all have the potential to create physical, emotional, or spiritual imbalances.
This imbalance causes a lack of harmony, and makes us more susceptible to disease.
Human beings are responsible for their choices and actions. We can attain and maintain good health if we make balanced choices that promote connectivity and harmony.
What are the Ayurvedic concepts of prakruti and doshas?
Ayurvedic philosophy maintains that people are born with a specific constitution, which is called the prakruti. The prakruti, established at conception, is viewed as a unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics that affect the way each person functions.
Throughout life, an individual’s underlying prakruti remains the same. However, one’s prakruti is constantly influenced by various internal, external and environmental factors like day and night, seasonal changes, diet, lifestyle choices, and more. Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention of illness, and recommends maintaining health through following daily and seasonal regimens which create balance.
Sample prakritiAyurveda teaches that three qualities, called doshas, form important characteristics of the prakruti, or constitution. These doshas are called vata, pitta, and kapha, and they all have a specific impact on bodily functions.
Adherents of Ayurvedic medicine believe that each person has an individual, “tailored” balance of the three doshas. Individual doshas are constantly “in flux,” and are influenced by eating, exercising, and relating to others.
Ayurvedic adherents believe that dosha imbalance produces symptoms that are related to that dosha and are different from symptoms of another dosha imbalance. (For example, if the aggressive and “hot” pitta-prominent person aggravates pitta, he/she may develop prickly rash or an acidic stomach.) Many factors can cause imbalance, including a poor diet, too much or too little physical or mental exertion, chemicals, or germs.

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