Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old healing system from Ancient India. In this system, the human organism is viewed as a whole, inseparable from its organs and organ systems. All tangible life forms contain five essential elements or building blocks, ether, air, fire, water and earth.
In every living being the five elements of the universe combine to give three distinct individual constitutions called doshas:
Ether and air compose the Vata dosha, responsible for movement (ie: gastrointestinal tract).
Fire and water compose the Pitta dosha (internal fire- digestion, body heat).
Water and earth compose the Kapha dosha, filling intercellular spaces – connective tissue (ie: mucous, tendons, synovial fluid).
Each individual is a combination of the three doshas. However one dosha is typically dominant. This dominant dosha determines one’s unique physical makeup or Prakruti. When any or all of the doshas develop imbalances, or Vikruti, the body ceases to be nourished and ill health develops- imbalances can be from poor diet, lack of exercise, high stress or external causes such as weather.
The Ayurvedic approach to healing is threefold:
- Determining one’s predominant constitution of Prakruti.
- Determining the Vikruti, the root cause of illness (which doshas are imbalanced)
- Applying therapeutic recommendations to balance elements causing the illness- diet and lifestyle recommendations, yoga therapy, herbology, Ayurvedic massage, Marma point therapy as well as specific cleansing therapies.
What is YOUR Constitution?
Download Dr. Melanie’s Ayurvedic Dosha Questionnaire
(Dr. Melanie uses this form as part of her functional medicine evaluations.)
Dr. Melanie has been utilizing Ayurvedic principles in her nutrition practice for several years. It takes patience, a willingness to learn and the ability to have an open heart and mind to this traditional Indian system of health… quite different from Western Medicine. She is currently studying through the Kerala Academy of Ayurvedic Medicine to further her skills and knowledge.
My parents and grandparents lived Ayurveda back in India. To them it wasn’t medicine, it was simply just the how they lived. When I called my grandmother years ago to tell her I discovered a fascinating healthcare system called Ayurveda, she laughed at me and said “What are you talking about? That’s not medicine. That’s just the way we lived back there. Simply and naturally!” Then I realized all her cooking techniques and tips she shared with me growing up were based on the science of Ayurveda.