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Ancient Cure for - MODERN LIFE

 
 

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. With our fast-paced lifestyle, junk food is forming a major portion of our life and pollution levels reaching an all time high, the toll on health around the world is on a dreadfully alarming rise. Perhaps that is the rationale why people today are becoming more health conscious than they were two decades ago. Lifestyles have changed and people rarely have time to pamper their body or to devote time to it and the best way is to go back in time and perform the ancient methodology of curing lifestyle disorders, even it is as petty as stress. India is inherited with such medical treatments. Ayurveda, Rejuvenation therapies, Meditation, Yoga are some of those medical treatments, which provides wholesome rejuvenation to the stressed mind and a healthy mind, body and soul is the answer.


 
 

AYURVEDA


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AYURVEDA, the more than 5,000-year-old traditional system of healing from India, is justly enjoying a widespread resurgence in popularity today. Savvy, health-conscious individuals all over the world are taking more responsibility for their own health and well-being. The old adage “prevention is better than cure” makes increasingly more sense in a time when health-care is exorbitant and fraught with risks such as dangerous side effects of drugs that often lead to more problems instead of treating the illness they were taken to address.

In a world that offers more choices than ever before, more and more individuals are reserving allopathic medicine for those situations where it is superior-intensive care types of situations, cases involving state-of-the-art surgical techniques, and “salvage” type situations, where people are so sick that all one can do is try to salvage the physiology-and exploring alternative health systems such as Ayurveda to help them lead a healthy lifestyle and stop disease before it ever has a chance to take root in the physiology. According to the ancient books of knowledge, health is considered as a prerequisite for achieving the supreme ends of life consisting of righteousness, wealth, artistic values and spiritual freedom. Preventive and curative aspects of diseases are considered as important components of the concept of positive health.

 
  A tourist undergoing massage for relaxation

As per ancient Hindu scriptures “Sharirendriya sattwa atma samyogo ayuhu”, is the Sanskrit verse that describes the purpose of Ayurveda. The verse means that when all i.e. body (sharir), senses (indriya), heart and mind (sattwa), and spirit (atma) – are in proper balance and function in a harmonious, coordinated manner that is true life – “the living body.” The Vedic word Ayurveda has two root words – ayu and veda. Literally and concisely, ayu means “life” and veda means “science.” According to this translation, Ayurveda means “the science of life.” And it works on the two principles, first is to educate people on how to lead a healthy life (i.e. the maxim prevention is better than cure) and secondly imparting knowledge of how to keep healthy to persons who are unwell (i.e. providing a proper cure to ailments). Hence, it is a system of medicine that deals with both the preventive and curative aspects of healing in a comprehensive way.

Life in Ayurveda is conceived as the union of body, senses, mind and soul and all humans are made up of a unique proportion of three humors or doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), seven body tissues and a number of waste products and an imbalance or accumulation of any of the humors or life processes (metabolism etc) causes diseases and health disorders.

Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the doshas that have accumulated on the body. Ayurveda may also suggest certain herbal supplements to hasten the healing process known as “Pancha Karma”. It is recommended to eliminate these unwanted toxins. In fact, the ‘Pancha-Karma’ is the cornerstone of the Ayurvedic healing of disease. While diet, lifestyle and herbal supplements play key roles in creating and maintaining health, Pancha Karma is the process, which gets to the root cause of the problem and corrects the essential balance of mind, body and emotions. It is used to achieve an increased efficiency of medicines, foods and rasayana (tonics).

Ayurvedic treatment is carried out through the internal and external use of herbal medicines in a coordinated or integrated manner, as well as through surgery. Herbs are used to eliminate excess toxins and strengthen deficiencies. While they may posses a powerful nutritive impact on a weakened body, their primary action is to stimulate particular organic functions. Thus, through adjustment of diet only, Ayurveda aims to solve many health problems. Such an approach has proven effective over the centuries and as a result, many of Ayurveda’s healing regimes have been adapted and refined by people all over the world. The rejuvenate plan of Ayurveda massages that relax each tendon, medicated baths that revitalize every nerve and diets that restore you to sound health, all this is gaining quick popularity all over the world. The rejuvenation programs of Ayurveda are designed to improve your vitality, enhance immunity and increases longevity.

 
  (L) A tourist having Ayurvedic treatment to cure herself; (R) A tourist having foot massage for relaxation

Rejuvenation Therapy (Rasayana Chikitsa)

This is the oldest scientific system for detoxification and re-nitrifying the body. Although an ancient system, it is commonly regarded as one of the most thorough available, achieving transformative results at all levels. It rejuvenates the whole system, bringing youthfulness and calm openness to the mind.

Ayurveda tones up the skin, rejuvenates and strengthens all the tissues, so as to achieve ideal health and longevity. Increases ‘Ojas’ (primary vitality) and improves ‘Sattva’ (mental clarity) and thereby increases the resistance of the body. It includes head and face massage with medicated oils and creams, body massage with herbal oil or powder, internal rejuvenate medicines and medicated steam bath and herbal baths are also used. Traditionally undertaken as a preventive therapy at the change of seasons, both winter to spring and summer to fall, the aim is to cleanse the body not only of waste materials that may have accumulated in the body, but also excess in subtle energies or doshas thereby promoting positive health and longevity and balanced beauty through changing climatic conditions. It is an excellent, completely fresh start in the process making health-supporting lifestyle changes.

Body Immunization & Longevity Treatment (Kayakalp Chikitsa)

Prime treatment for retarding the aging process, arresting the degeneration of body cells and immunization of the system. This treatment includes intake of Rasayana (special Ayurvedic medicines and diet) and comprehensive body care programmes. It proves most effective for both sexes, if undertaken before the age of 50.

Herbal Steam Bath

This is an exudation process using medicated steam to reduce high blood pressure, stiffness, pain and swelling. During this steam bath medicinal particles present in the herbal oil are absorbed by the body and impurities within are excreted through sweat glands, kidneys and liver.

Body Sudation (Sweda Karma)

Medicated steam baths eliminate impurities from the body, improve the tone and complexion of the skin, reduce fat and are recommended for certain rheumatic diseases, particularly for pain. Precious herbs and herbal leaves are boiled and the steam is passed over the entire body for 10-20 minutes daily. Hand massage with herbal oils or herbal powder improves blood circulation and tones up the muscles.

Body Slimming

Medicated herbal powder and medicated herbal oil massages and an Ayurvedic diet of herbal juices are part of the programme. Ayurvedic holidays are best experienced in the state of Kerala. Here, an entire range of experiences awaits body mind and soul with options for rejuvenation and therapy. India has moved forwards in advocating global usefulness of Ayurveda contemporary scenario of health care through global networks. As a result of this, many foreign countries have begun looking to India for understanding Ayurveda and incorporating it through education, research and practice to meet the overwhelming desire of consumers to access complementary and alternative medicine. Indian Missions in foreign lands like U.S.A., U.K., Russia, Germany, Hungary, South Africa have played an effective role in channeling the information of Ayurveda, the general public awareness building about Ayurveda and opening up new opportunities for the spread of Indian Medicine.

Ayurveda deals elaborately with measures of healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Besides dealing with principles for maintenance of health, it has also developed a wide range of therapeutic measures to combat illness. These principles of positive health and therapeutic measures related to physical, mental, social and spiritual welfare of human beings. People today are becoming more and more aware of the importance of healthy living and that is the reason for the growing popularity of this ancient art of healing. Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but the individual as a whole. The stress is on prevention of bodily ailments and not just curing them. People believe that unlike the western system of medicine, there are no distressing side effects of it. Generally, people find themselves energetic after having such treatment.

MEDITATION


 
 

MORE and more doctors are prescribing meditation as a way to lower blood pressure, improve exercise performance in people with angina, help asthmatics breathe easier, relieve insomnia and generally ease the everyday stresses of life. Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person’s physical, emotional and mental states. The concept of meditation works on the principle that when the mind is calm and focused on the present, it neither reacts to memories from the past nor is being preoccupied with plans for the future, two major sources of chronic stress known to impact health. There are several techniques of meditation but they all have one thing in common – focus on quietening the busy mind. The concept is not to remove stimulation but rather to direct concentration to one healing element: one sound, one word, one image, or one’s breath.

All forms of meditation can be broadly classified into concentrative meditation and mindful meditation. Concentrative focuses attention on a breath, an image, or a sound (mantra), in order to still the mind and allow greater awareness and clarity to emerge. The simplest form of concentrative meditation is to sit quietly and focus attention on the breath.

Yoga and meditation practitioners believe that there is a direct correlation between one’s breath and one’s state of mind. For example, when the mind is calm, focused and composed, the breath will tend to be slow, deep and regular. As one focuses one’s awareness on the breath, the mind becomes absorbed in the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. As a result, breathing will become slower and deeper, and the mind will become more tranquil and aware. Mindful meditation, involves becoming aware of the continuously passing parade of sensations and feelings, images, thoughts, smells, and so forth without becoming involved in thinking about them. The person sits quietly and simply witnesses goes through the mind, not reacting or becoming involved with thoughts, memories, worries, or images. This helps to gain a more calm, clear and non-reactive state of mind.

Studies show that after meditation, reactions are faster, creativity greater and comprehension broader. In addition, by silencing the mind, meditation can also put one in touch with the self, allowing the body’s own inner wisdom to be heard.


Naturopathy


 
 

The nature cure movement started in Germany with the ‘’water cure” (Hydrotherapy). The credit of Making water cure goes to Vincent Priessnitz (1799-1851), who was a farmer.

The nature cure movement gained momentum in India as Mahatma Gandhi, “Father of the Nation”, became interested in this system and included it in his programmes. He also established a nature cure Hospital in Uruli Kanchan in Pune, Maharashtra which is still functioning.

Naturopathy believes that nature is the greatest healer and the body has the capacity to prevent itself from diseases and regain health. The treatment can include consultations on lifestyle and diet, recommendations of mantras and meditation, moxibustion (burning of the herb mugwort), use of supplements and massage with specially formulated herbal oil, and occasionally, acupuncture.

The practice of nature cure is based on the three principles: accumulation of morbid matter, abnormal composition of blood, lymph and lowered vitality. The system of nature cure states that the basic cause of disease is not bacteria. Bacteria developed after the accumulation of morbid matter when a favorable atmosphere for their growth develops in the body.

All diseases rise due to this morbid matter in the body, and if latitude’ is given for its removal, the body provides a cure. It is also believed that human body possesses inherent self constructing and self-healing powers.

Nature cure takes into account the totality of factors responsible for diseases such as habit in living, thinking, working, sleeping, relaxation, sexual indulgence, and considers the environmental factors involved, which on the whole disturbs the normal functioning of the body and leads it to a morbid, weak and toxic state.

A nature cure physician helps in nature’s effort to overcome disease by controlling the natural forces to work within safe limits. The five main modalities of treatment are air, water, heat, mud and space. The recent development of nature cure advocates the practice of drug less therapies like massage as these therapies do not give any harmful side effect and people get long lasting benefits.

 

(For full story read SAFARI INDIA)