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About Sri Lanka Ayurveda

   

In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “life-knowledge”. As one of the oldest approaches to medicine in the world, the Ayurvedic medicinal practices have evolved through many generations over thousands of years. As a traditional system of medicine birthed from the very deep rooted Hindu culture and based on the essence of healing found within the natural environment, Ayurveda is widely regarded by many as an effective healing system.

One of the main focuses of Ayurveda is the mental and physical balance of the human being. Therefore the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda has gathered numerous practices of bringing the mind and body to state of balance even as the modern medical sciences have agreed on the necessity of 'homeostasis' for the human body and mind to properly function. Therefore in the very first phases, Ayurveda focuses on removing unbalancing factors like toxins which through prolonged exposure may have lead the body to a state of confusion. Generally, Ayurvedic treatments involve daily massages with various herbal oils and numerous heat therapies including herbal baths and steam treatments. Ayurveda is not only a wonderful experience you could have on your journey but it could really make a big change in you and improve your health allowing you complete refreshment with a perfectly balanced body and mind.

What can Ayurveda do for you?

  • An Ayurvedic health cure is a preventive measure for the preservation of durable health up to old age.
  • It also cleanses the body and is appropriate for well-being during post-convalescence and recuperation from acute or chronic illnesses.
  • Consequences of Ayurveda treatment are clear eyes, a refined skin tone, a robust nervous system, revitalization and regeneration with an increased zest for life.

Conditions successfully treated by Ayurveda include,

  • Obesity
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Addictions
  • Back pain
  • Candidiasis
  • CFS
  • Colds & Flu
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Menopause
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Amenorrhea
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Headaches
  • Ear ache
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Impotence
  • Prostate problem
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Asthma, Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Herpes
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Stress Vision Disorders

Principles of Ayurveda

The most fundamental and characteristic principle of Ayurveda is called "Tridosha" or the Three Humors. All matter is thought to be composed of five basic elements ( panchamahabhutas ) which exhibit the properties of earth (prithvi), water (jala), fire (tejas), wind (vayu) and space (akasha).


The structural aspect of our body is made up of five elements, but the functional aspect of the body is governed by three biological humors.

  • Ether and air together constitute VATA
  • fire and water, PITTA
  • Water and earth, KAPHA

They govern psycho-biological changes in the body and physio-pathological changes too. Vata - pitta - kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organ.


Doshas are to be seen as all pervasive, subtle entities,

  • Vata regulates movement and is represented by the nervous system.
  • Pitta is the principle of bio transformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body.
  • Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids.

In every person these three doshas differ in permutations and combinations and thereby determine the physiologic constitution (Prakriti) of an individual. Vata, pitta and kapha are distinctly present in every individual and express in each human being differently according to predominance of their different qualities (gunas).


 

  1. VATA - THE AIR OR NERVE SYSTEM HUMOR

Vata is dry, light, cold, mobile, active, clear, astringent, and it is dispersing. Vata season is autumn, time of day is afternoon and early morning.

VATA - Types and their Functions:

Vatadosha is further divided into 5 types according to its seat and the different functions it carries.

  • Prana Vata      : Governs the senses, creative thinking, reasoning, enthusiasm,
  • Udana Vata     : Governs quality of voice, memory, movements of thought
  • Samana Vata   : Governs movement of food through digestive tract
  • Apana Vata     : Elimination of wastes, sexual function, menstrual cycle
  • Vyana Vata     : Governs blood flow, heart rhythm, perspiration, sense of touch Useful Tips to Balance Vatadosha

DO's:

  • Abhyanga (ayurvedic massage with sesame oil)
  • Stay warm in cold, windy weather
  • Consume warm, cooked foods (less raw foods)
  • Go to bed early have lot of rest and sleep.
  • Favour warm, oily, heavy food with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.

DON'Ts:

  • Avoid light, dry, cold, pungent, bitter and astringent foods
  • Avoid raw foods, juices, fasting
  • Avoid stimulants ,smoking ,alcohol
  • Refrain from excessive aerobic activity

Medication for Vata

Medicines and herbs that are demulcent, emollient, warmly diaphoretic, nerviness, antispasmodic, warming and carminative are appropriate for treating Air imbalances. They are also particularly amenable to the internal and external application of herbal medicated oils. Castor oil because of its thick viscosity is considered the strongest oil for treating excess vata conditions. Herbs and substances that are bitter and astringent such as cascara bark and bayberry bark, increase Air, while those that are sweet and demulcent, such as slippery elm, marshmallow root and comfrey, ameliorate it. The primary Panchkarma therapy for vata derangement is the use of medicated oils usually applied externally.


 

  1. PITTA - THE FIRE HUMOR

Pitta has hot, sharp, light, liquid, sour, oily and spreading qualities. Pitta has a strong smell, like a fleshy smell, and has a sour or bitter taste.

PITTA -Types and their Functions

  • Alochaka Pitta : Controls functioning of the eyes
  • Bhrajaka Pitta : Responsible for healthy glow of the skin
  • Sadhaka Pitta : Controls desire, drive, decisiveness, spirituality
  • Pachaka Pitta : Responsible for digestion, assimilation, metabolism for healthy nutrients and tissues
  • Ranjaka Pitta : Responsible for healthy, toxin-free blood

Useful Tips to Balance Pitta dosha

DO’s:

  • Keep cool. Avoid hot temperatures and hot food
  • Favor cool, heavy, dry, sweet, bitter and astringent foods
  • Keep activities in Moderation.
  • Keep regular mealtimes, especially at noon

DON'Ts

  • Avoid sesame and mustard oils, fish, buttermilk, mutton, acidic fruits, alcohol, meat and fatty, oily foods.
  • Restrict pungent, sour, salty, warm, oily and light foods
  • Avoid over work
  • Avoid fasting

Medication for Pitta

Medicines and herbs that are cooling, purging, laxative, antipyretic and blood detoxifying, cholagogic (releasing bile) are appropriate for treating Fire imbalances. Laxative herbs such as cascara bark, rhubarb and senna are used to clear excess Fire. When there is no constipation, one can use alterative or cholagogic herbs such as red clover, sarsaparilla, oregon grape root, barberry root and dandelion root. The major Panchkarma therapy for excess Fire is bleeding. Generally such patients who are not predisposed to anemia should make it a point to regularly donate blood at a local blood bank.


 

  1. KAPHA -THE WATER HUMOR

Heavy, slow, cool, oily, liquid, dense, thick, static and cloudy qualities. These are the important qualities of kapha, and kapha is sweet and salty.

KAPHA - Types and their Functions:

  • Tarpaka Kapha         : Responsible for moisture for nose, mouth, eyes and brain
  • Bhodaka Kapha       : Governs Sense of taste, which is essential for good digestion
  • Kledaka Kapha        : Controls moisture of the stomach and intestinal mucosal lining
  • Avalambaka Kapha : Protects the heart, strong muscles, healthy lungs
  • Sleshaka Kapha        : Lubricates the joints, Keeps skin soft and supple

Useful Tips to Balance Kapha

DON'Ts:

  • Do regular exercise, Begin with Sooryanamaskara to warm up your body, which should be followed by a Vigorous activity
  • Prefer warm temperatures, Stay warm and dry in cold, damp weather
  • Use Fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes
  • Favor pungent, bitter, astringent, light, dry and warm foods

DON'Ts:

  • Reduce heavy, oily, cold, sweet, sour and salty foods
  • Avoid heavy meals.
  • Sleep promotes Kapha hence avoid excessive sleep,
  • All frozen desserts are to be avoided.

Medication for Kapha

Medicines and herbs that are diuretic, warming diaphoretic, warming stimulant, expectorant, carminative and aperient (mildly laxative) are appropriate for treating Kapha imbalances.


 

Conditions successfully treated by Ayurveda include,

Panchakarma

This five-fold purification therapy aims at correcting the imbalance of the body's Doshas or bio energies (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in order to maintain their inherent equilibrium and Ama, which forms as a result. Panchakarma therapy has three main stages : Poorvakarma, Pradhanakarma and Paschatkarma.

  • Poorvakarma, the first stage, comprises essential preliminary procedures for preparing the body to unload stored toxins. The treatments help to loosen Ama (toxins) and move it out to the deep structures into the gastro-intestinal tract, where Panchakarma's cleaning therapies can then eliminate it.
  • Pradhanakarma is the second stage and includes the main cleansing therapies.
  • Paschatkarma is the final stage and describes the measures employed after the main treatment, such as diet, medicines and daily routine.

 

Abhyanga

A synchronized full body massage performed by two therapists using specific herbal oils prescribed according to the body type. Improves eyesight, promotes sleep and gives a glow to the skin.

 

Udwarthana

A deep, dry massage using herbal powders to stimulate hair follicles and tissue in order to break down the subcutaneous, stored fat. Slimming of the body is the significant effect.

 

Choornaswedan

A vigorous massage, with a cloth bundle containing herbal powders. Induces profuse perspiration leading to relief of neurological disorders, rheumatism, arthritis and sports injuries.

 

Navarakizhi

Massage with small linen bags filled with cooked Navara rice. This procedure is highly rejuvenating, nourishing and prepares the body for the stress and strain of a busy lifestyle.

 

Pizhichil

A combination of two classical Ayurvedic treatments: Snehana (oliation) and Swedana (sudation). Pizhichil is considered to be the most natural way to purify different body systems, to protect from illnesses and build up immunity for a healthy life.

 

Sirodhara

Lukewarm herbal oil is poured in a continuous stream on the forehead, while a gentle massage is simultaneously given, also on the forehead, for rejuvenating and revitalizing the body and mind. It relieves stress and strain related problems, slows the aging process, improves memory, and is known to have a curative effect on paralysis and other neurological malfunctions.

 

Takradhara

Medicated buttermilk (takra) is poured in a stream (dhara) on the forehead to calm and give relief from conditions like insomnia, depression and other stress related problems.

 

Tarpana

Medicated ghee made with black gram powder, is smeared on the eyes. This has a cooling effect on irritated and stressed eyes.

 

Gandusa

Retention of medicated oil / decoration in the mouth for several minutes. Lends a radiance to the face, improves lines and wrinkles, tones the skin and assists with any kind of mouth, voice or teeth disorders while cleansing the ear, nose and throat pathways.

 

Kaval

Holding in the mouth and gargling with medicated oil/decoction. Is highly beneficial for ear, nose, throat disorders; improves the voice and brings a glow to the face.

 

Vamana

Administering herbal decoction to induce therapeutic vomiting. Very beneficial for Kapha imbalances such as asthma, cough, psoriasis and other skin disorders.

 

Virechana

Administration of Virechak Aushdhi, a purgative, in milk or warm water. Alleviates excess Pitta in the body and helps treat dermatitis, chronic fever, heartburn and jaundice.

 

Sneha Vasti

An oil enema. The main seat of the Vata Doshi is Pakwashaya (large intestine), therefore Vasti is the main therapy for all Vata disorders such as constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache, gout and rheumatism.

 

Kashaya Vasti

This therapy is usually taken after a course of Sneha Vasti. A cleansing enema of honey, oil and herbs leads to nourishment and rebuilding of the Dhatus (body tissues), strengthens their respective functioning, restores and fortifies the body's immune system.

 

Nasya

The face, shoulders and chest are massaged with specific herbal oils, inducing perspiration. The medicine is measured out in the exact doze and poured into the nostrils while inhaling. A highly effective treatment for headaches, sinusitis and migraine.

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