What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda Treatments in Sri Lanka
Image: Amuna Ayurveda Retreat Sri Lanka

Ayurveda, which means “The Science of Life”, is considered to be an ancient system of natural healing that has its origins in India. Ayurvedic knowledge originated more than 5,000 years ago and was taught for thousands of years in oral tradition. The principles of many of the natural healing systems, such as homeopathy, have their roots in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda emphasises on prevention and encourages the upkeep of health through maintaining balance in one’s life. An Ayurvedic treatment will never simply look at acute physical symptoms and treat one particular area. The process includes right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs for treatment. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body and mind. The awareness of Ayurveda makes one follow lifestyle changes to maintain this balance. Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic incorporation between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.

Identifying that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that control our inner and outer environments. Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these three primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water), and Kapha dosha (water and earth). Ayurveda considers a person as a whole, determining that much of the disease we may experience in the body starts in the mind.

An Ayurvedic practitioner will create a treatment plan specifically designed for you. He’ll take into account your unique physical and emotional structure, your primary life force, and the balance between all three of these elements.

The goal of treatment is to cleanse your body of undigested food, which can stay in your body and lead to illness. The cleansing process, called “panchakarma”, is designed to reduce your symptoms and restore harmony and balance.
To achieve this, an Ayurvedic practitioner might rely on blood purification, massage, medical oils, herbs, and laxatives.

There are many ayurveda retreats in Sri Lanka offering ayurveda holidays complete with accommodation, ayurveda treatments by licensed doctors,