Ayurveda has a great way of approaching your health and wellness to help you achieve balance. It offers easy to implement ways to improve sleep and digestion, as well as helpful thoughts on weight-loss and menopause. Ayurveda is by no means a quick fix or a fad. As with all things done naturally and in balance with nature, it takes some time. Ayurveda asks that you be responsible for your lifestyle choices and make changes based on what your body needs. For instance, it does not give me a way to eat as much chocolate as I want without consequences. It does, however, give me some ideas about how to effectively deal with my sugar cravings so that I can be healthy and in balance, while still enjoying my love and appreciation for chocolate.
Great question! Ayurveda is the oldest form of continually practiced medicine in the world. How cool is that? It has been estimated to have been around at least 2,000 years (some of my teachers have said 5,000 years).
Ayurveda is a holistic wellness system, which means that it is interested in viewing you as a complete individual, including your mind and body. Ayurveda offers diet and lifestyle considerations to help you achieve balance in your life.
An elementally based system, similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine (interestingly these two paradigms evolved concurrently), Ayurveda considers the world to be comprised of ether (space), air (movement), fire (transformation), water (assimilation), and earth (structure). Each of these elements has specific qualities associated with them. For example, earth is both hard and dry. How in does this relate to you? Another great question!
Ayurveda believes that, while each person is composed of a unique combination of the five elements, there are one or two of the elements that are dominant. Consider for a moment that friend of yours who is skinny, full of energy and creative ideas, constantly forgetting where their car keys are, a little flighty but in a wonderful way…. that person probably has a lot of ether and air in their constitution. Or the friend that is unflappable in the face of the chaos around them, always calm and stable, totally huggable and easy-going. They probably have more earth in their constitution. Every combination is awesome. Every combination is unique.
Ayurveda states that people are born of one constitution and then begin to become imbalanced as they begin to live their lives. Since your body has to figure out how to digest everything it encounters (not only food and liquids, but emotions and what you see/hear - that person that yelled at you yesterday and the tragedy you watched on the news last night), it's easy to understand why we no longer in balance and harmony with ourselves and the world around us.
Ayurveda offers a way to view these individual constitutions:
Vata dosha - Vata is comprised of ether and air, with the qualities of dry, light, cold, clear, subtle, mobile, and rough.
Balanced Vata dosha - easily excited and full of joy and creativity
Imbalanced Vata dosha - anxious, nervous
Pitta dosha - Pitta is comprised of fire and water, with the qualities of hot, mobile, liquid, sharp/penetrating, oil, and light.
Balanced Pitta dosha - strong metabolism and sharp mind
Imbalanced Pitta dosha - anger, criticism
Kapha dosha - Kapha is comprised of earth and water, with the qualities of cold, heavy, dense, static, soft, cloudy, oily, and slow.
Balanced Kapha dosha - calm and consistent, stable and loving
Imbalanced Kapha dosha - depression, lethargy, obesity
*the above are generalized examples of characteristics of the doshas and do not completely represent an individual's subtleties and complexities
What does an Ayurvedic Consultation involve?
The initial consultation
The initial consultation includes an introduction to Ayurveda, pulse and tongue evaluation, and determination of your personal mind/body constitution (dosha). We will work together to address your imbalances and determine a basic plan concerning diet and lifetstyle, including a daily regimen.
During follow-up visit we can adjust the initial plan to incorporate the changes in your life and re-evaluate based on your successes. This will also be an opportunity to explore more deeply in the many options available through Ayurveda.