Ayurveda - Traditional Eastern Medicine Rising In The West

Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word that literally means, "The science of life," has been the prominent type of medical practice in India for over 5,000 years. Before 2 decades, Ayurveda has been quickly gaining in popularity and practice in the United States, perhaps because foundations in holistic health and its perspective of each individual as an original entity. Let's explore a few of the tenets of Ayurveda and realize why this ancient medical practice is gaining prominence in the West.

The exercise of the Ayurvedic medicinal drug has its roots in the Vedic texts of ancient India. These 5.000 year-old texts focus on three primary regions of health that even today make Ayurveda unique:

1) Healing illnesses, 
2) Preventing diseases, and 
3) Promoting rejuvenation and longevity.

The building blocks of Ayurveda is that through understanding ourselves, the entire world around us and how these interrelate, we can prevent disease in just about any organ system, and live a lengthy healthy life in balance with nature. Compared to Allopathic Medicine, which predominates in the United States, Allopathy is primarily based on treatment of an existing illness by identifying symptoms, categorizing them, and then providing what's probably the most commonly used treatment, often pharmaceutical medications. It's possible to already theorize that Ayurveda is locating a home in western culture due to an increased exposure of prevention and treating the person and their symptoms on a far more holistic level.

Furthermore, Ayurveda can be conceptualized as a form of Integrative Medicine, the one that believes the mind and the body influence each other in profound ways in every human beings. Ayurveda further asserts that the mind and body not only affect each other, they're actually one entity acting in concert, paralleling the idea that singular events in nature affect the whole ecosystem, and eventually the organisms living within it. Therefore, in Ayurveda if you have an imbalance in the mind or body,'dis-ease'is expressed through certain symptoms and organ systems.

Extending this to treatment, Ayurveda must therefore focus on balancing the whole individual, their mind, body and spirit, in order to overcome disease. Lifestyle interventions and natural therapies have reached the core of Ayurveda for illness prevention and treatment of existing disease states. Strategies such as meditation, yoga, and visualization assist in strengthening the mind, while diet and lifestyle choices are examined closely intravenous vitamin and mineral benefit your health. In contrast to the pharmaceutical focus that predominates Allopathic Medicine, herbal preparations have now been employed for tens of thousands of years in Ayurvedic Medicine.

As a result of Ayurveda's long history, various laboratory and clinical studies exist on its pharmacopeia of botanical therapies. Beneficial effects have now been studied for preventing and treating certain cancers, treating infectious disease, diabetes, promoting health, and treating aging. Mechanisms underlying these effects may include free-radical scavenging effects, immune system modulation, brain neurotransmitter modulation, and hormonal effects. The Western research literature base keeps growing regarding the physiological ramifications of meditative techniques and yoga postures. Published studies have documented reductions in risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including cholesterol, hypertension, and a reaction to stress, in folks who practice Ayurvedic methods.

Moreover, another Ayurvedic premise is there might be no stability of mental health without the exact same in physical health, and vice versa. Within Ayurveda, symptoms and diseases that might be categorized as mental thoughts or disorders are simply as important as those of the physical body. Both are conceptualized as due to imbalances inside a person, and both are treated by restoring the natural balance mentally and physically. In Ayurveda, your life time and lifestyle must be acting in concert before you can enjoy true well being. The focus on lifestyle choices is one that's receiving less attention in Allopathic Medicine, likely another reason Ayurveda is gaining popularity in the West.

For most of the above reasons and more, Ayurveda is finding its place in western culture. In future articles I can look at a few of the primary medicinal botanicals utilized in Ayurveda and examine their uses in western medicine. Until then, it's at the very least safe to assume that when we base the efficacy of a therapeutic treatment upon its effectiveness in the clinical population, the 5,000 year history of Ayurveda speaks loudly for the importance of an integrative approach and refocusing our treatments on the elements present in nature.
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