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What is Ayurveda?

The story goes, that Ayurveda was born some 5,000 years ago along the foothills of the Himalayas. It was given to the people by the Rishis or wise Sages of the time, because when they visited the settlements they discovered that the human beings had fallen out of balance with nature and had begun to experience various forms of disease. They retreated and prayed for guidance to the Gods and what was given to them was a system that would enable the people to restore balance to their lives, using foods, herbs and exercise.

According to Ayurveda each human being is made up of a specific combination of the elements that we see in nature. They are: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The elements manifest in the physical body in what is known as the Doshas. In Sanskrit the word Dosha translates as fault or humour. These are the governing forces behind the elements in the physical body. There are three main doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata Dosha is a combination of space and air, the qualities of these elements being light, dry and cold. Vata is known as the King of the Doshas, due to the fact that it governs all movement in the body. Without Vata, the human body would perish. People with a dominance of this dosha tend to be irregular in their lifestyle and habits. They are fleeting like the wind moving and have a disliking to the colder elements.

Pitta Dosha is a combination of fire and a small amount of water, the qualities of course are hot, sharp and oily. Pitta is the principal of digestion and metabolism in the body. The digestive fire (AGNI) relates to Pitta. People with a dominance of this dosha will tend towards intensity and leadership. There biggest nemesis is over stimulation, which happens very easily causing fiery imbalances.

Kapha Dosha is a combination of water and earth, the qualities of these being heavy, cold and slimy. Kapha, being the earth principle, is all about nourishment and protection in the body. People with a dominance of this dosha tend to be very caring individuals, if not a little lazy, due to their heavy set. They thrive on being stimulated and motivated.

We are made up of the three doshas, yet the specific combination varies from person to person. There may be a person with a dominant Kapha dosha, with only small amounts of Pitta and Vata. Or there may be two doshas of equal measure within an individual, which is very often the case. There are even those with all three doshas of equal measure, they are known as Tri-doshic.

Understanding our own unique constitution can create a great shift in our awareness of what makes us who we are and also shed light on many areas of our physical health. Many disease processes and imbalances can be understood from the perspective of Ayurveda, which explains why we are prone to certain imbalances and also why certain foods and lifestyle choices are not suited to our particular constitution. By using Ayurvedic methods of healing, one can restore themselves to their original state of balance and gain knowledge about natural healing and also the pitfalls that hinder their wellbeing.

**To book an Ayurveda consultation with Terry McDonald please contact the Framar Health clinic on 028 9068 1018.

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