NATURAL APPROACHES- We have talked a bit about Chinese Medicine’s approach to health. This time, we want to go over Ayurveda’s approach.
Ayurveda is the natural health care system of India. It is very similar to Chinese Medicine. In fact, there is evidence that long ago there were yearly health conferences held in Tibet that were attended by the Chinese, the people of India and even the Greeks.
Natural health care was a common subject, considered to be the first step in treating disease, but harsher treatments and even surgeries were also topics of discussion. Health care in these areas used to be a complete field, and Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and Greek medical systems were very similar.
AYURVEDA- In Chinese Medicine, the main breakdown in trying to understand health and disease is Yin (female energy, structure), Yang (male energy, heat), Qi (energy) and Blood. The organs and every possible illness are described by variations in these constituents.
In a very similar manner, Ayurveda breaks down the understanding of the body into three main categories- Electrical (Vata), Chemical (Pitta) and Structural (Kapha). Your personality, the type of disease or disorder you have, everything is broken down into an understanding of these main three types.
For example, if you have indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, or something along those lines, in Western medicine we tend to treat everyone the same. But in Ayurveda, the question is this: is your digestive issue due to a malfunction in the Electrical or Nerve Input to the stomach (Vata), is it a chemical problem, like the body is making too much acid (Pitta), or is the problem that the mucus lining that protects the stomach is too thick or too thin (Kapha).
LIKE THE SEASONS- According to Ayurveda, the outdoor weather is made by Wind (Vata), Temperature (Pitta), and Moisture (Kapha). The weather you are having is simply a mixture of a certain amount of each of these three constituents- windy or stillness, hot or cold, damp or dry. There are infinite variations in how these three things can be mixed together- creating your weather.
In the same way, the body is a mixture of electrical input (nerves), chemical metabolism, and structure, which can also be explained by movement, temperature and moisture. There are infinite ways these three aspects can be mixed, creating your overall health or lack thereof.
In order to restore health, Ayurveda seeks to understand which aspect of your internal climate is off, then correct that aspect. If you are too dry, then you are given moisturizing herbs. If you are too cold, you are given heating herbs, and so on.
The practice of Ayurveda is, of course, more complicated than the simplified explanation above, but for the most part it is a simple method of restoring health to the body by taking individual needs and imbalances into consideration. For those of you who are interested in natural health and healing, we recommend finding a natural health care ‘system’, such as Ayurveda or one of the others, and learn the basics and how to apply it to your everyday life.
Hope this helps,
Dr Matt and Dr Robin
This week’s bit of Useless Information: A ‘butt’ was a Medieval unit of measure for wine. Technically, a buttload of wine was about 475 liters, or 126 gallons.
This email is courtesy of Matthew Barnes, D.C. and Robin Barnes, D.C. Neither this nor any of our emails are intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such. They are opinion and are for informational purposes only. None of the nutrients discussed here are meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.