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The Four Ways in Ayurveda

22 May 2016   Shanti Gowans
Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, is said to have been divinely bestowed on humankind. Though ancient, its therapeutic effects can still be seen, and are validated by modern methods in our sciences today. Ayurveda is a holistic science, because it takes care of the mind and soul together with the body. 
Unlike modern methods of treatment, Ayurveda primarily works on the concepts of functional, structural and waste elements, known as doshadhatu and mala. According to this science, the human body comprises 3 doshas, 7 dhatus and 3 malas, which, when are working properly, maintain good health.
When the balance of these elements gets disturbed in any way, one experiences a disorder, and the body is ill at ease i.e. dis-eased, and hence requires treatment to regain the balance of these elements again. 
Ayurvedic treatment works on balancing these elements mainly by four methods:
Diet, ahaar
Lifestyle, vihaar
Medicines, aushadh 
Detox programs, panchakarma 
Diet, Ahaar
The food we eat every day, can either make or break our health. If you have a healthy diet, you don’t need medicines. And if you don’t have a healthy diet, then even medicines cannot help you. This is the importance of diet in Ayurveda. This is why, before giving medicinal treatment, the dietary habits are observed and corrected. Everyone requires a different kind of diet, depending upon the dosha, dhatu and mala prevalent in the body.
Lifestyle, Vihaar
Most of the diseases prevalent today arise from a sedentary lifestyle. Nevertheless, there are some diseases which occur because of overuse of a particular muscle group, or over exhaustion. For each disease, the lifestyle of the patient has to be corrected according to needs. Early rising, various yogasanas, exercise before meals, sleeping during the day, keeping up late at night, are a few criterion where lifestyle is checked and corrected.
Medicines, Aushadh
After reducing the dis-ease with correct lifestyle and dietary habits, the disease is totally removed with the help of natural medicines.
Bahukalpam bahugunam sampannam yogyam aushadham!
The four qualities of a good medicine are:
- medicine that can be given in several forms, bahukalpam, such as tablets, powders, liquids and so on, 
- a medicine that can be used in a number of diseases, bahugunam
- a medicine replete with the nutrients expected to cure the disease, sampannam
- a medicine which has the capability to cure the disease, yogyam
Detox Program, Panchakarma
Panchakarma is an intensive treatment which takes out all the hidden toxins of the body, on a cellular level. Because the toxins are being taken out, panchakarma removes the disease from its root, thus preventing recurrence.
Why is panchakarma important? 
Of all the machines in the world, our body is the most incredible and important machinery. Just as all machines require timely servicing, so does our body. Panchakarma, is a kind of servicing of the body. Even if we take very good care of it by healthy eating, timely sleeping and regular exercise, our body still needs detoxing from time to time, to take care of the normal wear and tear.
The detox program in Ayurveda is known as panchakarma because it has pancha, which means 'five', and karma which means 'procedure', namely:
emesis, vaman
purgation, virechan
oil saturation, basti
enhrine therapy, nasya
blood letting, rakta mokshana 
One or a combination of these procedures, based on the disease and condition of the body, is prescribed for the patient.
These are the four ways in Ayurveda which add years to your life and life to your years.  


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Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

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