Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Overview - Ayurveda the Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad

Ayurveda is concerned with 8 prinicpal branches of medicine

Ayur = life, Veda = knowing

It has been practiced in India over 5000 years

2) Gynecology
3) Obstetrics
4) Ophthalmology
5) Geriatrics
6) Otolaryngology
7) General Medicine
8) Surgery

Uses 5 element theory and the tridosha, the seven dhatus, three malas, trinity of life

In Ayurveda the whole life's journey is considered to be sacred

All Ayurvedic literatur is based on Samkya philosophy of creation
(sat=truth and khya=to know)

Ayurvedic science of daily living was developped by the rishis. They perceived a close relationship between man and the universe  The considered Cosmic Consciousness the source of all existence

The rishi Kapila discovered 24 principles/elements of the universe

Purusha is male energy - formless, colorless and beyond attributes
Prakrati is female energy - form, color with attributes

3 Gunas concerened with
satva (essence)
rajas (movement)
tamas (inertia)

Ayurveda teaches that wo/man is a microcosm, a universe within his/her self

every person as 4 biological and spiritual instincts
1) religious
2) financial
4) instinct towards freedom

Ayurveda is the foundation, Yoga is the body, and Tantra is the head
Ayurveda, Yoga and Tantra form an interdependent trinity of life

5 Basic Elements exist in all matter using example of water
- ice (earth principle)
- ice liquifies (water principle)
- steam (air principle)
-steam disappears into space (ether principle)

In the human body the source of fire is the metabolism
In the body earth is the bones, cartilage, nails, muscles, tendons, skin and hair

The Senses:
Ether related to hearing
Air is related to touch
Fire is related to vision
Water is related to taste
Earth is related to smell

Ayurveda regards the human body and its sensory experiences as manifestations of cosmic energy expressed in the five basic elements. The ancient rishis perceived that these elements sprang from pure Cosmic Consciousness.  Ayurveda aims to enable each individual to bring his body into perfect harmonious relationship with that Consciousness.

The tridosha are responsible for arising of natural urges for individual preferences in food; their flavors, temperatures, etc,  The basic constitution of each individual is determined at conception. According to Ayurveda, the first requirement for healing oneself and others is a clear understanding og the three doshas.

Vata is the principle of movement
The bodily air principle
Vata is formed from the two elements Ether and Air

Kapha is responsible for emotions of attachment, greed and long standing envy it is also expressed by the tendency toward calmness, forgiveness and love.
The chest is the seat of kapha

Health is order, disease is disorder
within the body, there is a constant interaction between order and disorder
Order is inherent in disorder and that a return to health is this possible

In Ayurveda diseases are classified according to origin: psychological, spiritual or physical. Also the site of manifestation.  Diseases can occur in a site that is not the locus of origin

Agni is the biological fire that governs metabolism

Pitta and Agni are very similar (Pitta is the container and Agni is the content)

Longevity depends on Agni

The root of all disease is ama

Toxins are also created by emotional factors

People with kapha constitutions are very sensitive to foods that aggravate kapha (like diary)

Malas/Three Waste Products: Feces, Urine and Sweat

The color of urine depends on the diet. Ayurvedic looks at color, smell and quantity of urine


Rasa (plasma)
Rakta (blood)
Mamsa (muscles)
Meda (fat)
Ashti (bone)
Majja (marrow)
Shukra and Artav (reproductive tissues)

Attributes are called gunas

Ayurveda uses day to day observation of pulse, tongue, face, eyes, nails, lips

5 elements are represented in the fingers

ether - thumb (brain)
air - index (lungs)
fire - middle (intenstines)
water - ring (kidneys)
earth - pinky (heart)

The pulse changes depending on time of day, appetitite and emotions

Tongue is diagnoses by: size, shape, contour, surface, margins and color

Facial Diagnosis: lip diagnosis, eye diagnosis

Nail Diagnosis

There are 2 types of treatments in ayurveda: elimination of toxins, and neutralization of toxins

Ayurveda teaches if we repress emotions they will cause imbalances and disease causing toxins in the body

There are many types of therapies

Panchakarma: vomiting, purgatives, medicated enemas, nasal adminstration of herbs, and purification of the blood

In Ayurveda each individual has the power to heal themselves we do this by understanding the body and its needs

Portion control is important
1/3 stomach filled with food, 1/3 with water and 1/3 with air
Food portion should be 2 handfuls
eating should be done with discipline as a meditation

fruit juice not with meals, water with meals

There are 6 tastes

Ayurvedic Pharmacology is based on: rasya, virya and vipak

Routine is important to health

Sleeping position including what side of the body you sleep on is very important

There is a basic ayurvedic routine discribed on page 101

Ayurveda looks carefully on the time of day
Time regulates the movements of the planets
The planets are closely related to the bodily organs
The human nervous system is most affected by astrological time

essence of seven dhatus
It is the vital energy that governs the hormonal balance
Ghee helps to enhance ojas

Tejas is the essence of a very subtle fire that governs metabolism

Things that need to be in balance for a healthy life
- tridosha, dhatus, and three malas
- prana, ojas and tejas

Ayurveda and Yoga are sister sciences
- in India it is traditional to study Ayurveda before practicing yoga
- yoga brings man into the state of equilibrium
- Yoga is the science of union with the ultimate being

Other practices
- Breathing and Meditation (Pranayama)
- Mantra
- Meditation

So Hum Mantra is the union of individual consciousness with cosmic consciousness
so is feminine
hum is the masculine

- The purpose is not to suppress the effects of illness but to bring what is out of balance into harmony.  Ayurveda treats the disease not just the symptoms.
- There is a kitchen pharmacy of herbs
- Also use metals, colors, and gem stones

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