Our colleague Sonja Breuer, who is an Ayurveda practitioner wrote this:
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system of India.
It is popular today because it works well for chronic conditions, which occur as a result of lifestyle damage. It is an entirely natural medicine system, utilising herbal products and medicated oils. Ayurveda is mainly concerned with the following three things: a) Removal of toxins, b) Immunomodulation (improving the immune system) and c) Lifestyle change. There are two parts to Ayurveda: I) Intervention; when disease has occurred (called kaya chikitsa) II) Proactive lifestyle change for health maintenance (called svasta rta)
The approach is based on individual body types.
Intervention and health maintenance may look different from one person to the next. It is not a “one solution fits all medical system”. I think there lays the main difference. Today, we expect living bodies to fall under a one fits all brush, but Ayurveda acknowledges the fact that we are all the same, and yet that we are also all different.
We don’t all have the same level of normal.
Some bodies are naturally with more fire (heat) than others, others are with (or with a tendency to accumulate quickly) more mucus (water), and others are with a dryness, which also affects the nervous system (space) – and all of that can be normal, provided all is in balance. Knowing this, an element of predictability appears to the trained practitioner. A hot person using a hot substance increases their level of hot even further and with regular use, this can lead to the associated symptoms.
Most people do not live according to the needs of their body type.
The problem when people don’t live simply and according to the needs of their body types is that toxins can accumulate. They get stuck in body cavities and are sticky (comparable to the infamous “bogey” of which we know inhabits some noses). There is a detoxification programme, called pancha-karma, which is done in India and in the hospital under supervision. This detoxification method is very effective in improving chronic conditions. We don’t do this here in England, but instead we can support you with a gentle lifestyle detox programme at home, which is suitable for many reasons.
In addition, stress can produce endotoxins, making you feel unwell.
Stress and an unhealthy lifestyle can make you feel unwell, and start a degenerative process in the body. Coupled with an existing ‘weak spot’ or an old injury, it can make matters worse. There will be a time-delay before your doctor will be able to diagnose you with a disease, but you don’t need to wait.
Ayurvedic treatments are enjoyable and you get an hour+ consultation time.
If you are feeling unwell you can have an in-depth ayurvedic consultation, which can last up to 90 minutes. You might also benefit from herbal supplements and a course of ayurvedic treatments.
Luckily, the ayurvedic treatments are actually very pleasant and don’t hurt. They are a bit like massage therapy, and include various types of oil or herb treatments. They are really recommended to make you feel better. My experience is that they reduce pain, help with detox, improve functioning of bones, muscles, increase circulation and reduce anxiety, stress and help with depression plus many more benefits besides..
Ayurveda wants to help kick-start your body’s own healing response, as your body has a desire to return back into it’s natural state, a healthy balance.