Ayurveda: The Science Of Healing
Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing science known to mankind. It originated some 5,000 years ago in the Indian Peninsular and has been passed down to generations through oral traditions and manuscripts, most of them inaccessible to the current day. Ayurveda is a healing process putting heavy emphasis on the removal of doshas (faults) by correcting one's thinking & diets, by implementing a certain kind of lifestyle with the end goal of finding balance in body's constitution (prakriti).
Doshas are components of either physical, mental or emotional disturbances. Firstly, the epicentre of imbalance is singled out, then it is cured with the help of special diets, medicinal therapies and transformation of mental, physical & emotional states, propagating a positive attitude towards welfare of one's self by re-establishing order.
Ayurveda is based on creating balance in one's body & mind by identifying the functional principles of energy, vāta, pitta, and kapha. Now, Vata is the energy of movement, Pitta is the energy of metabolism and digestion, whereas, Kapha is the energy of overall structure and lubrication of internal anatomical systems.
Hair & Skin Wellness
Ayurveda provides a holistic and rejuvenating approach when it comes to hair & skin wellness with the help of conventional home remedies and herbal formulations. Our basic hair & skin care is prominently interrelated with the doshas in our body constituents(prakrtiti). Again, the three functional principles of ayurveda, vāta, pitta & kapha determine the overall health & structure of our hair & skin.
If we're talking specifically about hair care, vāta symbolises dryness and coolness. Vāta imbalances tend to strip off the moisture from the scalp making the structure of hair weak, thin and rough with porosity. It attracts pollutants leading to dandruff and other hair damage making it seem wavy and unmanageable. This type of hair requires extreme moisturisation on frequent occasions to soothe vāta. Pitta hair is generally silky and smooth in nature. It administers the levels of metabolism and nourishment to the hair. Pitta imbalances can lead top premature greyness and early onset of baldness. Kapha hair is more prone to oiliness due to excess sebum generation leading to acne and clogged pores. The basic structure of the hair is curly and requires frequent detoxification. After evaluating your hair type and its requirements, it is easy to follow a personalised ayurvedic hair care routine by correcting our the imbalances prevailing in the body. There are countless herbs & remedies leading to strong and lustrous hair: Indian Gooseberry or amla, bhringarj, and brahmi are full of rich antioxidant components to ensure hair nourishment and treatment of hair disorders.
For skin care, the same rule of principles applies. Vāta skin has dominant doshas in dryness and flakiness. This type of skin is more prone to skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. The dryness tends to make the individual look older than their age with prominent wrinkles and blemishes. Vāta skin deteriorates in cold weather conditions. It can be pacified with the help of specific diets with more water intake for hydration of skin cells. Pitta skin is more warm to touch and reddish in appearance. It is correlated with pitta fire(agni) and increases with the heat accordingly. People with pitta skin are intolerable to hot weather conditions as it results in skin rashes, acne and inflammation. A milder diet sans spicy and hot food is ideal for this condition. Kapha skin is thicker in comparison to the other two and is mainly pale in complexion. This type of skin is more prone to oiliness leading to zits and pimples. Frequent detoxification is favourable to reduce the effects of kapha in skin. A special diet should be implemented with avoidance to sweets and fried food for kapha skin improvement. In terms of combination skin, vāta-pitta is dry & sensitive in nature while kapha-pitta is oily and acne-prone, and requires extra care for maintaining this type of skin condition. Ghritkumari (aloe vera), chandana (sandalwood), manjista (Indian madder) are herbs with various properties to improve skin health with hydrating & cooling factor, anti-inflammation properties, etc.
In ayurveda, obesity is termed as sthaulya composed of accumulated fat meda (fatty adipose tissue) and the muscle tissue, mamsa. Various techniques and therapies are implemented to aid reduction of excessive fat in the body and maintaining it with good metabolism and healthy diet. This is achieved with the help of palliative treatment or purification process.
Shamana or palliative treatment is based on the principles of langhan (fasting), ama pachan (oral decongestants), ruksha udwartan (dry powder massage) along with special diet and exercise routine. Samshodhana chikitsa or purification of the body with the help of therapeutic procedures to augment fat metabolism. Panchkarma, vamana, virechana, lekhan-vasti, are performed for the management of sthaulya.
Infertility is inherent in a human being whether male or female due to age-related factors, reproductive organ disorders, physical & emotional instability & other imbalances. In women, ovarian, fallopian tube problems, PCOS, endometriosis and menstruation can factor can exert an hormonal imbalance resulting into instability in fertile reproduction. In cases of ovulation disorder & premature ovarian failure (POF), ashoka, dashmoola, shatavari, guggulu, etc. are used to soothe diseases. Infertility in males is often caused by sperm production or decreased viability, varicocele, tubal and ejaculation defects. A healthy ojas is vital to regulate digestion, reproduction & hormonal balance.
Vamana is one of the panchakarma technique. It is a process of medicated emesis for therapeutic and purificatory reasons. It is used to soothe aggravated kapha dosha and expurgate toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. Increased kapha dosha in the body leads to cold & cough which has to be expelled by inducing vomiting in order to augment healing of the body. Several precautions has to be undertaken before and after performing vamana. Kapha inducing fermented food such as yogurt and root tea on the morning of the action. After vamana, fasting is recommended to allow the body to return to the normal state.
Virechana is a purgatory process for inner cleansing of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and the gall bladder. It provides a relief from excess toxins accumulated along with pitta waste by usage of aperient medication. A prominent lightness is experienced in the chest, with enhanced digestion and metabolism. It also activates the lymphatic system and help manage paraplegia, hemi plegia and other joint disorders. In cases of chronic diseases like fever, diabetes, hyper acidity, asthma the effects are minimised. People with poor digestive and purgative system must steer away from this ayurvedic method.
Basti is one of the techniques of panchkarma. It is a form of medicated enema performed with the help of oils and herbal decoction. It is primarily executed to relieve vāta dosha which harbours the manifestation of diseases. Basti can be performed exclusive of the ayurvedic procedures in cases of anaha (distended abdomen), constipation & neurological disorders. It is also administered in management of weight induction or reduction by enacting brihan basti or lekhan basti.
Lumbago or Slipped disk
Nasya is the cleansing of the nasal passage to remove any mucus debris and to promote good respiration. It is often performed with the help of a neti pot. It lubricates the nasal membrane to relieve nose bleeds and other allergies. It is also beneficial in treating migraines, sinuses, and insomnia.
Sinus pain and congestion
Toothache, loose teeth, receding gums
Uvulitis, Tonsillitis, Laryngitis, Pharyngitis
Speech disorders and loss of speech
Bell’s Palsy (facial paralysis)
Abhayanga is a form of oil massage & therapy. It is performed from the tip of your head to the soles of your feet to relieve the body from any tension residing in the muscles while promoting blood circulation and drainage of the lymph. It can be done by self or with the help of a practiced personnel. Sarvanaga Swedana is a form of ayurvedic passive heat therapy. It is performed to cause systematic hemodynamic changes and is recommended to patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Firstly, steam is passed into a closed chamber with ayurvedic decoction preceded by a minimal oil massage of the whole body. Immediately after the procedure, there is a significant rise in blood pressure and pulse rate, however a systematic reduction of systolic blood pressure is notable.
Shirodhara is an ayurvedic technique involving pouring herbal decoctions, medicinal oils, or milk over the head region in a rhythmic pattern in order to stimulate the pituitary gland for 45 to 60 minutes. 'Shiro' meaning head and 'Dhara' meaning flow. It is performed to ensure relaxation of the cerebral system and is a tool to relieve stress, anxiety, depression. It should be avoided by people with prevailing
head injuries, tumours and in pregnancy.
Marma Abhyanga is an ayurvedic technique which revitalises the nervous system by stimulating marma (sanskrit: hidden or secret) points, which are usually juncture of bones, muscles and tissues. There are believed to 107 marma points in total residing in our bodies. Marma therapy is performed to access the body, mind & the spirit. This was historically used in battle fields to treat ailments and rejuvenate physical & mental trauma. Currently, athletes, trainers and dancers commonly use this technique to relieve muscle tension.
Soundarya Vardhini is traditionally performed to enhance inner beauty in connection to outer beauty by nourishment of cells and cleansing of skin tissues giving out a healthy and glowing skin. Mukha Soundarya Vardhini and Keshini are enacted individually for skin & hair respectively with the help of various herbal masks and lepa therapy. Detoxification of the skin is achieved through facial rejuvenation removing all sorts of ama (toxins) from the skin and reduce acne, wrinkles, ensuring anti-ageing and collagen induction of the skin. Most prominently, honey, turmeric, rose water, aloe vera etc. are synthesised in various combinations to achieve this facial treatment. Keshini is practiced with the help of herbal masks for lustrous and strong hair.
Kesh-Vriddhi Lepa Kalpa
Kesh-Vriddhi Lepa Kalpa is essentially done for people with hair complaints such as, dryness, flakiness, frizziness, reduction of hair follicles, hair thinning, premature greyness etc. Natural herbs like amla, bhringraj, shikakai and fenugreek. Various oils like coconut, almond, eucalyptus, tea tree are massaged into the scalp and each shaft of hair to promote hair growth and circulation.
Lavaynariddhi is a process of beautification of the skin. 'Lavanya' literally means beauty or grace. Lavaynariddhi encompasses a range of herbal facials and treatments to enhance natural beauty of the skin.
Shastik Shali Pinda Swedana or Navarakizhi is a sweat-inducing ayurvedic treament enacted with the help of shastik(sixty) shali (rice), pinda(kizhi or bag), milk and other decoctions. A special type of Indian brown rice which matures in sixty days is used in this process. The rice-filled bolus is soaked in milk and then massaged ekangam or savrangam (parts of the body or whole). It enhances flexibility, muscle movement and promotes blood circulation.
Netra Tarpana is an ayurvedic treatment specifically designed for the eyes (netra). Medicated ghee is poured in a wall made of up black gram dough around the periphery of the eye. For a couple minutes, the lukewarm ghee is allowed to seep into the eye by blinking and rhythmic rotational movements. This leads to the extrusion of pitta and revitalises natural eyesight. It fully rejuvenates the eye treating minor errors in visibility such as dryness, cloudiness, wateriness due to excessive screen time and other prevalent reasons.
Dry eye syndrome
Tunnel vision or Retinitis pigmentosa
Padabhyanaga is an anatomically associated with the foot or pada. Here, the focal points or sandhis, along with nervous and arterial plexus are concentrated on essentially. The basic aim of this therapy is to relieve muscle tension and relaxation of the body. A specific organ of the body is stimulated via sandhis located on the feet. The central or peripheral nervous system is enhanced by improving nerve function, immune system and other internal systematic processes.
Sarvanga Dugdha Dhara
Sarvanga dudh dhara is the rhythmic flow of medicated milk over the entire body followed by a mild massage.