The word “disease” very literally dissected is “dis” and “ease” or, “lack of ease.” Ease, in regards to health and well-being, occurs when the body is in balance and all systems are operating well and without strain or struggle. When one element or system is not functioning properly, the rest of the body has to compensate, throwing the balance off. For example, consider an all-wheel drive vehicle. If one tire is misaligned, the three other tires wear unevenly in an effort to keep the car running smoothly. Eventually, all the tires will need to be replaced.
The concept of balance is one of the main principles of an ancient medical system known as Ayurveda. Ayurveda is one of the oldest known medical methods in the world. Ayurveda originated in India but is now commonly practiced in many other parts of the globe. Not only does Ayurveda promote equilibrium of the body, mind and spirit; it also takes into account the connection of the physical body and consciousness with the universe and surroundings. External factors that may impact balance and well-being include changes in season or temperature, diet, and activities or lifestyle choices.
The doctor-patient relationship in Ayurveda is particularly noteworthy. It is generally recognized that Ayurvedic doctors or health counselors hold themselves to incredibly high ethical standards. Not only do they provide medical treatment, they often go much further than that – offering empathy, advice and compassion to their patients. Because Ayurvedic medicine treats the whole being, guidance provided by Ayurvedic doctors or health counselors may become more personal. Professional integrity is of upmost importance.
The Whole Being
Establishing or re-establishing equilibrium in an effort to promote wellness is a primary goal of Ayurvedic medical treatments. Some may feel this concept varies greatly from western medicine which many believe focuses on treating a specific ailment or injury, rather than the whole being. The integrative Ayurvedic approach to health involves many different methods. A combination of herbs, diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations are often made to keep patients healthy and prevent disease. Ayurvedic Health Counselors will often encourage patients to take ownership of their own well-being. Patients may be encouraged to be more proactive in maintaining their health, as to not fully rely on medical treatment. Again, argument could be made here that this approach varies greatly from western medical treatment which some feel is mostly reactive in nature.
Do Your Research
One area of Ayurveda that may require a level of caution is known as Rasa Shastra. Rasa Shastra is a traditional Ayurvedic medical practice that combines herbs with metals, minerals and gems. Studies show that some of these Ayurvedic products sold over the internet contain levels of heavy metals that exceed daily intake standards and may be considered toxic. Some Rasa Shastra practitioners say that if these products are prepared correctly, they are safe.
Though not all Ayurvedic practices may be exactly right for you, the overarching concepts of Ayurveda give us much to consider in terms of wellness. The idea of preventative care, as opposed to waiting for something to go wrong, is a proactive approach to health that could aid in scaling back the need for expensive and invasive medical attention. Furthermore, treating our bodies, minds and lifestyle choices as equally important aspects of our overall balance and well-being may be more preferential to you than looking at each element as unrelated to one another. Remember – whatever you decide is the right approach for your individual healthcare, it is always important to do your research and discuss your plans with a medical professional.