It seems that every day a new health or fitness regimen comes along promising to change your life. Well, move over fads and trends because we’re transporting back to a system that has been around for over 5,000 years.
Reintroducing, Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term that means “the science of life,” and it originated in northern India 5,000 years ago. It is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems and is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. In Ayurveda, everything on earth is connected, according to WebMD.
Ayurvedic medicine is a medicinal system that is similar to traditional Chinese medicine, also a major influencer today in Western culture. Ayurvedic medicine includes herbalism, dietary regulation, yoga, bodywork, and detoxification, according to Dr. Weil’s website. Ayurveda helps promote good health, but conventional medical interventions can still be necessary at times. Ayurvedic medicine, according to Dr. Weil, can be helpful for chronic conditions like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive disorders, and skin disorders.
According to Medical Daily, Ayurvedic medicine is a complementary health care practice that allows Americans to treat conditions through massage, meditation, or cleansing therapies. Pamela Quinn, an Ayurvedic specialist, says Ayurveda is “the mother of healing,” and Ayurvedic philosophy “contains very practical routines to maintain health and prevent disease.”
There are many things we can learn from Ayurveda in addition to believing that our mind, body, and spirit are all connected. When one is off balance, our entire being is off balance. By being aware of this, one can increase health on all levels.
1. Drink warm water with lemon every morning
Before you eat anything, consume lemon water. Lemons help remove toxins from the body and prevent toxic build-up. Lemon water will have a similar laxative effect to coffee, but in this case, it is pushing away bad things. Cold water in the morning is thought to shock the system, so be sure that your water is room temperature or warmer. Lemon also balances pH in the body, reduces pain and inflammation, and aids your digestive system.
2. Oil pulling
Oil pulling has recently made headlines, though it’s not always attributed as an Ayurvedic technique. Swishing coconut oil in the mouth for five to 20 minutes helps remove bacteria that is congregating, including the Strep bacteria. This is perfect for incorporating into your daily routine this winter, when sickness hits its peak. The mouth is the main entrance for bacteria to get to other parts of our body, so by removing these straightaway in the morning, there is a smaller chance of getting sick. Oil pulling is also thought to benefit overall oral hygiene and whiten teeth.
3. Massage therapy
Another huge part of Ayurveda, massage therapy is important because it helps to relax us and release toxins from the body. Ayurvedic massage, which is becoming profoundly more common, is done with the use of warm Dosha oil. This oil is massaged for about an hour. A study conducted by Dr. Hari Sharma from the Ohio State University College of Medicine showed that after three months of Ayurvedic massage, the patients’ blood showed a significant decrease in the free radical lipid peroxide and an improved immune response. This is convincing enough to get yourself a massage every now and then.
4. Meditation and yoga
Ayurveda or not, meditation and yoga are fantastic ways to repair our mental and physical health. Meditation allows us to focus on everything but the stressors in our lives, and yoga increases our physical health, flexibility, and overall well being. In Ayurvedic tradition, meditation and yoga are major aspects of thriving within this ancient system. This combination of physical health and mental health, connecting the mind to the body and to the spirit, relates to the foundation of the whole system.
5. Oil your body with plant-based oils
Moisturizing with natural oils may sound bizarre to those who just reach for unscented lotion and call it a day. But people who practice Ayurveda know oiling your body with plant-based oils actually has major benefits. Before bathing, one should massage oil on the body for about five minutes. In Ayurveda, it is believed there are seven layers of skin tissue which must be penetrated. In order to hit the deepest layer, the oil should be rubbed in for five minutes. Even if you don’t believe it, oiling your body sure can’t hurt. Not only does oil nourish the skin more than lotion, but it also lacks toxins and chemicals. Rubbing in oil also helps to increase circulation.
Other Ayurvedic techniques you can apply to your life include lifestyle and diet changes, including healthy, natural foods, exercise, positive relationships, and an overall healthy lifestyle. Ayurveda is said to save people from developing illnesses, so by incorporating these methods, you can do much more for yourself in the long run.