The name Ayurveda comes from ancient Indian and is composed of two words: Ayus (life) and Veda (science). According to an old definition, the purpose of this science is “to maintain the health of the healthy and treat the sick”. Ayurveda sees itself as a comprehensive health teaching.
Ayurveda, also called “knowledge for a long life”, is part of the four holy scriptures (Vedas) of Hinduism and is based on the idea that the cosmos is reflected in the human organism with its five elements “fire, water, earth, air and ether”. The human being is thus seen as a reflection of the universe. From the Five Elements, three complementary regulatory systems (doshas) are said to govern the human organism and regulate all physical and psychological processes in the human being.
The three doshas are:
- Vata (air / ether): regulates movement, breathing and nervous activity
- Pitta (fire / water): regulates the heat balance, metabolism and digestive performance
- Kapha (water / earth): regulates fluid balance and the immune system
Each person is said to carry a different weighting of these doshas. Their individual distribution should determine the personality and health of the person. The aim of the treatment is to create a balance between the doshas.
This can be achieved through various components of Ayurvedic therapy, including synchronous massages, forehead oil casts, or the herbal sweat bath (also called Svedana), as well as relaxation exercises (yoga). External oil applications are widely used in Ayurveda. According to Ayurvedic ideas, they serve to remove toxins from the skin or mucous membranes.
Ayurveda has shown healing success in stress-related diseases and mood disorders as well as migraine, neuralgia and gastritis. Ayurveda is not recommended for patients with acute illnesses or heart conditions, as the massages and heat treatments in particular could have a negative effect.