Ayurveda is India’s ancient traditional medicine system that has been practiced for over 5,000 years. It is actually one of the oldest sciences! In fact, the original Ayurvedic doctrines were rooted in 4 main types of evidence, including observational evidence, logical analysis, experiential wisdom and tactical analysis . Ayurveda means “science of life,” and thus focuses on treating mind, body, and spirit.
Is Ayurveda Alternative Medicine or the Original?
The Ayurvedic sciences that are still prevalent today date back to texts written from 300-600 CE, which was India's Golden Age and a period of scientific, artistic, and literary prosperity . The invasion of India hundreds of years later led to the destruction of many of these ancient bodies of knowledge. During the beginning stages of colonization, the British East India Company actually relied on Indian medicinal knowledge to treat the new, unfamiliar diseases they encountered. British botanists began to compile texts detailing Indian medicinal herbs. In fact, information about these herbs were shared with British colonies in other parts of the world as well . However, as the British settled into India, they began to disregard and undermine the knowledge of these practices. Eventually, British laws were established to stifle Indian traditional medicine and Ayurvedic practices. But they were unsuccessful! Today Ayurveda is practiced by over 80% of India and growing numbers in the Western world.
Whole Person Health
Have you noticed that Western medicine talks a lot about “whole person health”? Well, Ayurveda has been doing this for thousands of years. Ayurveda acknowledges the connection between mind, body, and spirit, and seeks to maintain balance between the three. Essentially, it looks as the person as a whole when providing healthcare strategies versus looking at organs and body systems as separate from each other.
Prana Life Force in Ayurvedic Healing
We each hold a life force. You might have heard of “chi” in Chinese medicine, which refers to a similar concept of life force. In Ayurveda, your life-giving force is known as your prana, or “breath of life”. Prana is a force that pulsates through both your body and the world around you. It is what keeps your body alive and working in unison. Thus, Ayurveda views disease as the result of decreased or stagnant prana in your body.
Interested in learning more on how to increase your prana? Learn how your specific health type impacts your body’s constitution and health.
May the prana (life force) be with you!
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