Ayurveda: a mind-body health system

Ayurveda: a mind-body health system
Ayurveda was developed thousands of years ago in India and continues to be practiced today as a popular mind-body health system. Ayurveda is more than just a treatment plan and can be described as a ‘science’ or ‘philosophical’ approach to life. The name ‘Ayurveda’ literally means 'science of life’.

Ayurveda is structured on two foundational principles. The first celebrates the connection between the mind and the body, which is seen according to Ayurveda principles as an inextricably strong link. The second principle believes that there is no system with more power to heal the body than the mind itself.

These Ayurveda principles combine to form the key belief behind Ayurveda practice, which is that health and wellness can be achieved by mentally expanding one’s awareness, achieving mental balance, and then extending this mental health to the body.

One example of Ayurveda healing is meditation. Through the expansion of mental awareness during meditation, one achieves an inner peace and quietness that restores mental balance, and therefore, bodily balance due to the mind-body connection.

Ayurveda doctrine states that each person has a personal mind-body type that describes their particular relationship or connection between their mind and body. Unlike conventional medicine, which believes that a particular disease is the same in any person, Ayurveda places an emphasis on the individuality and the unique experience of each person, even in illness. By determining a person’s specific mind-body type, Ayurveda aims to accurately pinpoint the individual experience of each person in order to come up with a customised treatment plan and developed personalised lifestyle recommendations.  

Ayurveda recommends general lifestyle strategies such as eating a colourful and flavourful diet, sleeping as much as one needs, exercising regularly, and practising techniques to aid digestion, such as eating slowly, only eating when one is hungry, and making use of detoxifying herbs such ginger or turmeric.