Ayurveda, which means “Knowledge of Life” is much more than an alternative system of medicine. It is the science that suggests the ideal way to live, to have a lengthy and healthy existence. It is in fact a holistic system that considers health in a multidimensional perspective.
Ayurveda’s perspective on effective health care is divided into two dimensions – maintenance of health using discipline in daily life and rejuvenation therapies and treating diseases through medication.
One of the most important things in maintaining health is observation of systematic daily routine, especially in food habits and sleep. Also a well planned schedule of exercise. Ayurveda details this under the head Dinacharya.
Ayurveda asks us to live life in accordance with seasons. Eat foods that suit the seasons and do therapies that are more effective in that particular climate. Personal hygiene is a must for good health. But Ayurveda goes beyond that and says social and civic hygiene are equally important.
Long before modern science understood the power of the mind in the treatment and cure of diseases Ayurveda studied the phenomenon in detail. Health happens when everything inside the body and the mind is in equilibrium. Mind and body are not independent entities and therefore if one is affected it has an effect on the other also. Likewise all body parts are interconnected and a dissonance in one could create a problem in another.
Most of the Ayurvedic medicines and therapies are aimed at boosting the human immune system. For it believes that the innate strength of the human body is capable of warding off most of the diseases. All that is needed is to give it the necessary support and right nourishment. Periodic purification treatments like Kizhi, Pizhichil, Vasti and Dhara which cleanses, rejuvenates and relaxes the body and mind are also part of the methods to ensure good health.
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