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Guide to Ayurveda by Wunderwell
Our friends at Wunderwell (www.wunderwell.com) have produced a series of incredible guides to wellness that might be helpful in these stressful times. Please see their latest post on the benefits of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a form of holistic therapy based on a simple wellness principle: that one’s health is affected by all areas of life.
Ayurveda was first written down over 5,000 years ago in sacred Veda texts. Before that, the practice began as an oral tradition.
About 3,000 years ago, Ayurvedic medical books were known to be widely circulated. These guides included both the practice and its history and incorporated a broad variety of content ranging from body diagrams to holistic health recommendations, as well as the advanced procedures of skin grafting and reconstructive surgery.
Today, the practice is extremely widespread in India across all classes and age groups. In the US, there are only a few state-approved Ayurvedic training schools. The majority of practitioners are trained through cultural exposure to the Ayurveda tradition.
Ayurveda healing is the ancient Indian tradition of promoting health by closely monitoring the relationship between the mind, body, spirit, and the environment. The guiding beliefs include the understanding that health problems begin for an individual when they fall out of sync with their surroundings.
Ayurveda is underpinned by some additional philosophical principles. There is a belief is a universal connectedness. In addition, Ayurvedic practices focus on the interactions of the body physicality (pakriti) and the doshas.
Herbal medicine is also commonly used in Ayurveda.
A NOTE ON AYURVEDIC MASSAGE
The Ayurvedic massage method is fundamentally the same as it was 5,000 years ago. Like other forms of message, Ayurdevedic has identified target areas called marmas as places to apply pressure to or another form of stimulation meant to amplify the therapeutic effects felt across the body. Of the main marmas, 7 are central to Ayurvedic health. Referred to as “chakras”, these loci focus on parts of the body central to the endocrine system including the thymus, thyroid, pineal, pituitary, ovaries, and gonads.
There are many types of Ayurvedic massage, the most popular being the Abhyanga method to promote circulation.
While Ayurveda is considered on par with Western medicine in India where it is state-sponsored and licensed, Ayurveda in the West is popularly seen as a lifestyle supplement to be undertaken alongside conventional medicine and traditional primary care.
Treatments might focus on several goals such as:
Removing impurities (detoxification)
Strengthening the body’s natural resistance to disease
Treatments often include products, diet, exercise, lifestyle, meditation, bowel cleansing, and massage.
Studies on the effectiveness of Ayurveda are limited in both scale and design. However, it is suggested that Ayurvedic treatments help with pain and mobility in osteoarthritic patients. Ayurveda was also indicated to be helpful in the management of type 2 diabetes.
The NIH is currently funding research to expand on previous studies into the field of Ayurveda in order to get a more rigorous understanding of how treatments might be incorporated into quality of life interventions.
AYURVEDIC MASSAGE EFFICACY
Extensive research into Ayurvedic massage is a relatively new phenomenon and few studies have been completed and published. This massage method is known from smaller studies to have an observable effect on stress
Like other forms of message, recipients of the Ayurvedic treatment report a deep feeling of relaxation and wellbeing, as well as improved sleep after sessions.