Ancient Indian Healing Arts
for the Modern World
Ayurveda is the oldest holistic medical system in the world. Its timeless teachings and methods enable us to lead healthy, fit, and happy lives—even today. In Ayurveda, the primary focus is on the human being and his/her individual needs.
What is Ayurveda?
The Sanskrit word Ayurveda literally means the “knowledge of life” and is often translated as “the science of a long and healthy life.” The holistic medical system was developed over 5,000 years ago on the Indian subcontinent. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized Ayurveda as “traditional medicine” in 1976.
Ayurveda encompasses a variety of prophylactic (preventive) and healing (curative) methods. The emphasis is on proper nutrition and dietetics, purification and drainage procedures, massages and manual treatments as well as yoga and meditation. The effectiveness of many of these methods has been scientifically proven by Western standards.
In addition, Ayurveda includes comprehensive herbal medicine, which was applied in ancient India and is also still prevalent in India today. In the European Union, however, the sale of such Ayurveda products is permitted only as nutritional supplements or food products.
What Are the Principles of Ayurveda?
The ultimate goal of Ayurveda is the balance between inner and outer or—in other words—of body, mind, soul, and environment. When we are balanced, we are and remain healthy and productive. In order to achieve this, the ancient Indian art of healing treats each human being in accordance with his/her personal conditions.
All Ayurvedic treatments are based on the innate, individual, physical, mental, and emotional constitution of the patient. This expresses itself as the relationship of the three doshas, which can be translated as “bioenergies”: vata (air and ether), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (earth and water)—the so-called Ayurveda type—are distinct in every human being.
What Do Health and Illness Mean in Ayurveda?
Medical treatment in Ayurveda does not begin only after symptoms of illness become apparent. It is also not just about “fighting” a disease. Instead, Ayurvedic methods aim to eliminate the causes of diseases. These causes are often due to an unhealthy diet and bad habits.
Ayurveda’s holistic view on the emergence of health and illness also means that the person is always considered within his/her personal environment, as personal development is only truly possible when we live in harmony with ourselves and our environment. Therefore, Ayurveda also provides tips on many aspects of everyday life, from architecture to cohabitation.
Why Is Ayurveda So Suitable for the Modern World?
Health in private and working life, personal fitness, and increasing mindfulness are among the largest trends of our time. Ayurveda offers solutions for all these needs, which have been successfully tested for 5,000 years: without dogmas, placing the individual at the forefront, and simultaneously considering the totality.
Ayurvedic methods can be easily integrated into everyday life. Constitution-based nutrition, meditation, yoga, and balancing dietary supplements are understandable and applicable to everyone.