The word 'Ayurveda' literally means 'the science of life'; 'ayus' means 'life' and 'veda' means 'knowledge'. So Ayurveda represents a
way of living that brings mind, body and soul into harmony and results in extremely good health and longevity. Ayurveda emerged in the
Vedic age (1500-500 BC) and became the traditional medical system of India. It addresses all aspects of health and wellbeing.
In Ayurveda, health is defined as the balance between three fundamental Doshas (bodily humours): Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The three Doshas are made up from the five elements - earth, water, fire, air and space. All physical, mental and emotional problems can be traced back to an imbalance in the Doshas and elements. Imbalances can occur at any time in one's life and can be 'stored' in our mind/body. Stress, poor diet, pollution and many other factors in our everyday life can also contribute to an imbalance in our bodily systems.
In Traditional Ayurveda which is also known as Siddha Medicine, the body is defined not just in terms of bones, muscles, ligments, blood, nerves, organs etc. but it is also said to be composed of energy pathways called 'nadis' which carry the various bodily 'vayus/energy winds'. These vayus are responsible for all our bodily functions. This includes all movement and it's opposite - inactivity (resting/sleeping), digestion, elimination, reproduction, the ability to interact with our environment (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling), as well as speaking, sneezing, coughing, blinking, hiccuping etc. If the body's vayus are not flowing freely in the correct nadi pathway then imbalances will occur in the Doshas and the person will not feel right/well. The energy pathways or 'nadis' have very precise routes within the physical body and they intersect with the physical body at 'marma points'. Marma points can be thought of as similar to Acupressure points.
In Western countries Ayurveda is often seen as a pleasurable treatment for relaxation. Traditional Ayurvedic treatments reach deep into
old blockages and toxins which may have been in the bodily systems for many years. Such powerful cleansing is an intense experience.
Ayurvedic treatments purify the physical and energetic body as well as the mind and they rebalance the Doshas by correcting the flow of the vayus. This potentialy gives one the capacity for self healing. In Ayurveda Self-healing is the greatest form of Self-realisation.