Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic health care is a relatively new concept to the west though this system of health and healing comes from ancient India. It is believed that Ayurveda began about 5000 years ago, yes 5000 years. Chinese medicine is also ancient, about 3000 years old and most likely had its’ roots in Ayurveda. Ayurveda believes that our cells/bodies have the inborn or innate ability to heal the body. Ayurveda is based in achieving balance within ourselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are seen as micro representatives of the larger sphere of nature. Ayurveda is not yet a regulated health care system in the US; in India, ayurvedic physicians exist and work in hospital care as well as outpatient care. These same physicians practice as ayurvedic practitioners in this country. There are 3 levels of care now in the US; the diploma level which allows lifestyle and wellness counseling and treatment, the practitioner level which allows for further treatment especially with complex ayurvedic herbal formulas and again the physician level where deeper more complex problems are treated. There are multiple colleges of Ayurveda now in the US and there is a national organization to help oversee and guide the development of this system in our country. Deepak Chopra MD is an ayurvedic doctor from India who has helped bring Ayurveda to the west; many people are familiar with his name and his many books on Ayurveda. There is a rapidly growing interest in Ayurveda in this country as many people are beginning to see that western medicine alone may not be the only way to achieve better health. Ayurveda strives to provide preventive guidance based on one’s own individuality so that we can prevent disease from occurring; it can also treat when disease has occurred. I feel that Ayurveda is an elegant way to look at our physiology in a way that is different from my western training.

We are made up of 5 elements, ether, air, water, fire and earth and these are represented within the organs and tissue systems of our bodies. Certain combinations of these elements give an individual their own constitution from the time of conception. This genetic constitution however becomes imbalanced over time by multiple factors. These may include poor dietary choices for a particular constitution, medications, toxins, drugs and alcohol, stress and our modern lifestyle. Ayurvedic practitioners aim to re-balance a person to help bring them back to their optimal state of health. This can be achieved by using herbs, culinary spices, dietary changes, meditation and yoga and more advanced ayurvedic cleansing treatments. In Ayurveda, pulses are examined along with tongue and facial examination, urine or stool exam and extensive history taking, especially around diet. Much of one’s health issues may be resolved by bringing our digestion back to its’ most efficient state. Of course if someone has a serious illness, more involved evaluation and treatment would be offered or advised. Many vague and persistent complaints that elude western diagnosis may be treatable through utilizing Ayurveda. Choosing to utilize ayurvedic care takes commitment on a deep level to address the changes one may need to make in order to achieve better health. I am very excited to be able to bring this care into our community and to my patients.