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What Is an Ayurvedic Treatment?

By M. West
Updated May 17, 2024
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Ayurveda is a field that encompasses a broad spectrum of holistic medicine practices. Ayurvedic treatment may include dietary and herbal recommendations, as well as detoxification. Other modalities may involve meditation, body postures, and breathing exercises. Still another part of the ayurvedic system is yoga, which is valued for its many health-enhancing effects.

Ayurveda is a part of Indian traditional medicine, and is the oldest natural healing system in the world. Central to this system is the belief that illness is caused by an imbalance. The key tenet of ayurvedic treatment is to promote balance in the body and mind through correct lifestyle practices. The practices employed are drawn from a large array of health-promoting modalities.

The philosophy behind the balance focus of ayurvedic treatment is that each person has a unique fingerprint and individual pattern of energy. This energy is a composite of their physical, emotional, and mental attributes. Ayurveda believes that factors which create an energy imbalance, such as anxiety or a poor diet, can eventually lead to disease. Once the imbalances are pinpointed, ayurvedic practitioners seek to rectify them.

The health modalities used in ayurvedic treatment have different benefits. Breathing exercises can promote a feeling of calmness, while the combination of meditation and herbs can promote rejuvenation. Rubbing the skin with oils that have been infused with herbs can aid circulation and also promote detoxification through drawing out harmful chemicals from the skin. Herbal remedies are used to restore balance, and bowel cleansing is employed to rid the body of toxins. Yoga can lessen anxiety and pain, as well as enhance circulation and digestion.

This healing system of ayurvedic treatment has been studied in clinical trials and found to be beneficial for many maladies. Respiratory disorders that can benefit include asthma and bronchitis, while emotional ailments that can be relieved involve anxiety and feelings of stress. Ayurveda has proved to be helpful in cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It has also assisted in the alleviation of low immunity, irritable bowel syndrome, and Parkinson's disorders.

Most of the therapies involved in ayurvedic treatments are not likely to cause adverse effects. The exception is the area of herbal remedies, which can have side effects and interact with some medications. Another problem with herbs are that some have been contaminated with heavy metals like lead and mercury. Healthcare practitioners should be consulted about where to buy safe supplements. Patients should also check with their doctor before altering their diet or adding a herbal remedy to their daily regimen.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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