Ayurvedic Treatments by Barbara Iacoviello

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ABOUT AYURVEDA

Āyurveda is an Ancient Indian traditional form of natural, holistic medicine that uses herbs, diet, Yoga, exercises, mantra, aromas, meditation, oil treatments and Ayurvedic massage to promote good health and wellbeing.

The word ĀYURVEDA is composed of two sanscrit word AYUS (Life) and VEDA (science, knowledge): the knowledge of Life, longevity.
Āyurveda claims that most people are born in a perfect state of balance but quickly lose it due to a variety of man-made factors, such as a poor diet and a stressful lifestyle. Āyurveda offers everyone the chance to rediscover for themselves what their optimal condition might be and thereby begin the journey towards achieving and maintaining good health.

Āyurveda states that nothing exists in isolation, so everything you interact with on a daily basis; your diet, family, work or relationships, has an effect on your health and wellbeing. One guiding principle of Āyurveda is that the mind and body are connected and that the mind has a profound influence over our health and wellbeing.

Āyurveda holds that health is more than the absence of disease; it is a dynamic state of balance and integration of body, mind, and spirit.
Āyurveda is a science of self-understanding. By understanding our own unique nature or constitution through knowledge learned from Āyurveda we can begin to understand how we interact with our environment and thus make choices that will lead us towards better health.

Āyurveda believes that an individual’s constitution (prakṛti) is recorded at the time of conception as a genetic code that can be expressed physically and mentally as disease proneness and emotional response. This constitution is determined by three ‘doṣa’, or psycho-physiological functional principles in Āyurveda; Vāta, Pitta and Kapha. According to Āyurveda , we each have constitutions that include all three doṣa, but the proportions and dominance of doṣa varies from person to person.

Āyurveda defines disease as the natural end result of living out of harmony with our original constitution. Therefore, the Āyurveda approach is highly individualised since the path to optimal health is different for each person depending upon their unique constitution of doṣa balance:

Vāta Doṣa
If we are predominantly Vāta doṣa , we tend to be thin, light and quick in our thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of our lives. When Vāta doṣa is balanced we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if the Vāta doṣa becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.

Pitta Doṣa
If Pitta doṣa is most lively in our nature, we tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, the Pitta doṣa can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.

Kapha Doṣa
If we have mostly Kapha doṣa in our nature, we tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely, and are stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha doṣa can cause weight gain, congestion and resistance to healthy change.

Doṣa balance can be disturbed by many factors, both internal and external, and bring about changes in one’s original constitution leading to ailments, disorders and disease. Some of these factors include emotional and physical stresses, improper food combinations and choices, physical trauma or seasonal and weather changes. Once we understand how these factors affect us on a constitutional level, we can take appropriate actions to nullify or minimise their effects and eliminate the causes of imbalance.

AYURVEDIC TREATMENTS

Ayurvedic massage is a key part of Ayurvedic therapy.
The Ayurvedic all body massage is known as Abhyanga.
The Ayurvedic word for oil is sneha; a term also synonymous with love, kindness and tenderness; all the feelings that should engulf you during an Ayurvedic body massage. If love is the panacea, then an Ayurvedic oil massage is a great way to get a good dose of unconditional love.

It is a part of the daily routine suggested by Āyurveda . It is used for relief of pain, stiffness and tiredness. Abhyanga not only prepares the body for pancakarma, but also helps to mobilize the doṣa or morbidity from the periphery toward the core in order to get them eliminated through the body orifices.

Abhyanga is considered an important treatment modality for balancing the doṣa.
The massage is meant to soften any dryness, lubricate your joints, decrease anxiety and depression levels, as well as nourish the entire body. In addition, it assists in the elimination of impurities, calms nerves to promote deeper sleep, and, many report, relieves chronic back pain and enhances vision.
”Abhyangam therapy is helpful for all tri-doṣa body constitutions, it is meant to pacify Vāta and Pitta doṣa and stimulate Kapha.

Ayurvedic massage has tremendous benefits to the mind, body, skin and immune system. It involves copious amounts of oil
1. Increased circulation
2. Improved elimination of toxine from the body

3. Nourish the whole body
4. Movement of lymph, aid in detoxification of all the tissues
5. Increased levels of stamina through the day
6. Reduced body fatigue and exhaustion
7. Better ability to handle strenuous physical work and avoid injury or stiffness after exercise
8. Promotes sturdiness of the body by toning the muscles and connective tissues which gives vigor to the the muscles and dhatus (tissues) of the body
9. Imparts firmness to the limbs
10. Stimulates the nervous system and the internal organs of the body
11. Stimulates antibody production which boosts the immune system
12. Calming for the nerves and provides better sensory and motor integration
13. Lubricates the joints giving greater flexibility
14. It controls Vāta (Vāta vitiation/aggravation can influence neurological diseases)
15. Gives longevity, pushing and correcting the effects of aging
16. Keeps the body trim and less likely to gain excessive weight because it helps balance appetite and supports digestion

17. Gives a sense of comfort which produces a state of relaxed or restful alertness 18. Better, deeper, less disturbed sleep
19. Improved memory and power of concentration
20. Better ability to handle mental stress and deadlines

21. Reduces anxiety generally
22. More connected to our body and our heart-felt feelings
23. Improved self-esteem
24. Greater smoothness and improved luster of the skin
25. Reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging
26. Prevent premature graying and hair thinning
27. Makes hair on the scalp grow luxuriantly thick, soft and glossy 28. It improves vision, hearing and skin sensations
29. Relieves fatigue and numbness of the feet
30. Supports clarity of vision
31. Improves tone and blood flow
32. Soothes the sense organs
33. Increases cheerfulness and happiness
34. Can help with headaches

Ayurvedic Massage Contraindications

Ayurvedic massage should not be done in the following conditions according to Āyurveda . 1.Fever, flu and cold
2.Indigestion
3.After surgery

4.In ‘ama’ (intoxication) conditions
5.Immediately after Ayurvedic detox therapies like vamana (induced vomiting) and virechana (induced purgation)
6.In any acute illness (unless permitted by your doctor)
7.During menstruation
8.Blood clots (like deep vein thrombosis) or bleeding disorders
9.Hangover
10.In extreme emotional states
11.Dehydration
12.During chemotherapy

 

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