Is Ayurveda the Key to Longevity?
The individual who seeks longevity should embrace Ayurveda says practitioner, Tomaz Mueller B.A.,D.A.Med.
At around 5000 years old, Ayurveda is probably the oldest system of health still being practiced today. Originating from India, Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, roughly translating as Science or Knowledge of life. Being an ancient, traditional health system, Ayurveda is based on wisdom and experience gained over many, many years, and as such could be regarded as the first evidence-based system of health. Ayurveda incorporates all aspects of life and includes advice on diet and lifestyle, exercise and yoga, daily and seasonal routines, social and mental health, herbs and spices, body therapies and even detox at appropriate times of life and season.
Ayurvedic knowledge has survived because it was an oral tradition, passed from physician to student in the form of sutras. Even today, Ayurvedic doctors trained in India will often quote from Sanskrit sutras when coming up with treatment protocols for a patient. One such sutra explains the aims of Ayurvedic health care:
Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam Aturasya Roganut
‘Protect the wellbeing of the healthy
Curing the disease of the sick’
Today, fully trained and qualified Ayurvedic practitioners are readily available to assist clients in the west using a range of tools and techniques to help everyone stay in optimum health. Ayurveda is safe and non-evasive, and simple aspects can easily be incorporated into everyday life. However, it is not a magic solution and unlike pharmaceuticals, will not work overnight. If you are considering Ayurveda, be prepared for changes to happen gradually rather than quickly.
Clients need to be committed to explore new ideas, try new spices or alter aspects of their lives. A practitioner will work with you to gradually introduce changes, perhaps suggesting herbs, lifestyle changes or body treatments. A good comparison to visiting an Ayurvedic Practitioner is like taking yourself for an MOT, which after all, we are required to do with our cars once a year to check they are roadworthy.
Ayurveda looks for balance and harmony of the elements both within an individual. Therefore, it considers which elements may have become depleted or in excess depending on the individual circumstances and season. This is easier to understand if we look at the seasons and how they affect us. In autumn the weather becomes unpredictable, the wind blows and the leaves dry and fall from the trees. During this transition time from summer to winter, many people feel unwell and may become sick with coughs or colds, especially if this is their weak area, others may feel unsettled or notice dryer skin. Each season brings a change and with each season, to remain in optimum health, we may need to boost our immunity or make changes to our diet or lifestyle in order to help keep illness away and remain in balance.
Ayurveda sees everyone as a unique individual, it is certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to health, which is why it is essential to work with an Ayurvedic practitioner whenever possible.