“A person is deemed healthy when his physiognomy is balanced, his digestion and metabolism are in good working order, his tissue and excretory functions are normal and his soul, mind and senses are in a state of constant inner happiness”
Maharshi Sushruta, Ayurvedic doctor, 1000 BC.
Ayurveda is a philosophy of life concerned with the preservation of a healthy life-style. It arose about 5,000 years ago in India and is considered the world’s oldest documented system of medicine. The earliest written records go back 3,000 years.
The term “Ayurveda” has its origin in Sanskrit. “Ayus” means life or life-span; “veda” means knowledge or also science.
The composite term Ayurveda therefore means not just “knowledge of life”, but embodies an aspiration to live one’s life in the best-possible state, physically and mentally. The Ayurvedic philosophy aims towards a long and above all healthy life in the sense of a balanced style of living – based on the three pillars of body, mind and soul.
The emphasis here is not only on the treatment of disease, but also on prevention through purification and revitalisation.
The person is seen as a unity of body, soul and mind – and any course of treatment must therefore be geared to the patient’s individual needs.
Any course of treatment therefore starts with an initial examination by the doctor in charge. This includes not only recording the case history and the current living habits, but also a pulse diagnosis and a physical check-up. In this connection, deciding on the Dosha type according to the Ayurvedic Tridosha model plays a very important part.
Doshas exist in every person in his or her own personal mix from birth. They ought to always be in harmony with each other – even if their relative strengths can shift in the course of a lifetime.
The right balance of the Doshas is essential for physical and mental health. An unhealthy and unbalanced life-style or changes in the person’s circumstances cause a shift in the natural balance. This disturbance of the equilibrium is seen in Ayurvedic teachings as the cause of disease.
The goal of any Panchakarma treatment is the restoration of this balance. The elementary features of any course of treatment are oil massages and various herbal and purification treatments as well as yoga and meditation. The precise treatment programme has to be drawn up individually for each guest. The same applies to the Ayurvedic diet plan. Depending on the Dosha constitution, the same spice or ingredient affects the balance of the Doshas in different ways.