Simply put: Ayurveda is a form of lifestyle adopted to maintain perfect balance and harmony within the human existence. The crux of this ancient healing system lies in preventing ailments, instead of prescribing medicines when you fall sick.
Stress and emotional distress are part of modern living and Ayurveda, through a blend of healing foods, yoga and meditation, helps in dealing with emotionally and physically stressful situations. In Ayurveda, spirituality and a holistic view of life are integral to the healing process, with an emphasis on living in sync with nature’s rhythm and its cycles. Nature, in fact, is at the core of the Ayurvedic healing process. A variety of plants, medicinal herbs and food with healing properties, which are drawn from a knowledge system followed over thousands of years, are part of Ayurveda’s complex healing system.
The first reference of Ayurveda as a highly evolved form of healing and prevention can be found in Atharva Veda. Ayurveda, in fact, is considered an Up-Vedas (auxiliary themes) of the Vedas. The clinical aspects of Ayurveda were enumerated in Charaka Samhita, a compendium or medical treatise written by Charaka, often referred to as the father of Indian medicine.
The Five Elements
Ayurveda believes that the Universe is a harmonious balance of five elements: Vayu (air), Jal (water), Aakash (space or ether), Prithvi (earth) and Teja (fire). Dr. Arun says these Pancha Mahabhootas combine to form the tridoshas of the human body. “Human body is a microcosm of the universe and a combination of these five elements. They combine to form three bio-energies or tridoshas: vata (air and sky), kapha (earth and water) and pitta (fire and water). Everyone has at least one of these compositions in excess at birth and that makes up his or her Prakriti, or basic body constitutional type. Ayurveda helps in maintaining the balance of these doshas.”
Besides the doshas, the stresses associated with urban living leads to an emotional and physical imbalance that needs to be corrected. “There is a release of Ama or metabolism toxins within your system. Ayurveda describes Ama as the underlying cause of many health issues,” reveals Dr. Arun.
The purification processes in Ayurveda to balance the doshas are brought about by panchakarma therapies. “You will also find changing seasons leave your doshas in imbalance. When summer changes to monsoons, you go from extreme heat to sudden exposure to cold. The spring to winter change is gradual. Monsoons are recommended as an ideal time for panchakarma therapies, though of course you can undertake the therapies anytime during the year.”
At Niraamaya Retreats, several Ayurvedic therapies are recommended to bring the doshas back into balance, from short interventional programmes that help guests detox, manage stress and deal with weight issues which are often the result of stress, as well as intense Ayurveda immersion programmes. “They are a blend of diet and various traditional therapies such as Shirodhara, Pinda Swedanam, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhy, Udwarthanam, Nasyam, and several such.”
Dr. Arun and his team devise holistic wellness treatments that follow the principles of Ayurveda and encompasses holistic wellness practices. Every guest is put through a consultation before a highly personalised programme of massages, therapies and diet is put together.