Mayu ~ Veda
Evolving Ayurveda
Why Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic meaning of Health
Definition of Health
Aim of Ayurveda
Branches of Ayurveda
Globalisation of Ayurveda
Pancha Karma
  Concepts (Fire, Earth, wind, water, space)  
  Concepts (Fire, Earth, wind, water, space)  
Science is universal and medical science is no exception. We do not believe that there can be separate systems of western and Indian medicine. In Western medicine the person is viewed as an amalgamation of cells and tissues forming organs.

However in Ayurveda we view them as a unique individual made up of five primary elements. These elements are ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Just as in nature, we too have these five elements in us. When any of these elements are present in the environment, they will in turn have an influence on us.

The foods we eat and the weather are just two examples of the presence of these elements. While we are composed of these five primary elements, certain elements are seen to have an ability to combine to create various physiological functions.

Ether and Air combine to form what is known in Ayurveda as the Vata dosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination. If we have mostly a Vata dosha, we tend to be thin, light and quick in our thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of our lives. When Vata is balanced, we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.
Fire and water are the elements that combine to form the Pitta dosha. The Pitta dosha is the process of transformation or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a Pitta function. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism. If Pitta dosha is most lively in our nature, we tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, Pitta can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.
Finally, it is predominantly the water and earth elements, which combine to form the Kapha dosha. Kapha is what is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. Another function of the Kapha dosha is to offer protection. Cerebral-spinal fluid protects the brain and spinal column and is a type of Kapha found in the body. If we have mostly a Kapha dosha in our nature, we tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely and are stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion and resistance to healthy change.

We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ratios of the doshas vary in each individual; and because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity. Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas and to thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person's health challenges. When any of the doshas (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha) become accumulated, Ayurveda will suggest specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the dosha that has become excessive.

We may also suggest certain herbal supplements to hasten the healing process. If toxins in the body are abundant, then a cleansing process known as Panchakarma is recommended to eliminate these unwanted toxins. This understanding that we are all unique individuals enables Ayurveda to address not only specific health concerns but also offers explanation as to why one person responds differently than another. We invite you to explore Ayurveda to enhance your health and to gain further insights into this miracle we call life.

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