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What is Ayurveda?

By April 11, 2012 TOR posts

Ayurvedic treatment at Tor Spa RetreatAyurveda is a holistic system of Indian medicine that provides guidance regarding food and lifestyle. It is as much about prevention as it is about cure and there are several aspects that are unique to Ayurveda.

  • Each person will have their own set of recommendations regarding which foods and which lifestyle they should follow.
  • Everything in Ayurveda is derived from ancient texts and validated by observation, inquiry and direct examination.
  • Ayurveda depends on energetic forces (Tridoshas) that influence nature and human beings.
  • The practice of ayurveda relies heavily on the link between mind and body. It is not just a physical or a psychological treatment but one that concentrates on both in tandem.

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Ayurveda originated in India thousands of years ago. We know this because of evidence in the Vedas – the ancient books of wisdom. The Rig Veda, written six millennia ago, talks about 60 treatments that could be used to overcome various ailments. Ayurveda predates even this time, though. It has always been practised as a belief system and part of daily life, with practitioners believing we are integrally linked with nature. By understanding the laws of nature we create health and balance within ourselves.

The word Ayurveda actually comes from the combination of two Sanskrit words – “Ayu” meaning life and “Veda” meaning knowledge or wisdom. Therefore, ayurveda simply means “knowledge of life”. There’s more to it than that though, because in the ancient understanding of “ayu”, life is comprised of four parts – mind, body, senses and the soul.

Just as every person has a unique fingerprint and a unique DNA structure, so Ayurveda seems every person as unique, therefore Ayurvedic treatment has to be tailored to the individual.