Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health and wellness originating from the Indian Hindu scriptures called Vedas. It is thought to be the oldest known medical system, dating back over 5,000 years and consisting of eight clinical branches:
- Kaaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine)
- Baala Chikitsa (Treatment of Children / Pediatrics)
- Graha Chikitsa (Demonology / Psychology)
- Urdhvaanga Chikitsa (Treatment of disease above the clavicle)
- Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery)
- Damstra Chikitsa (Toxicology)
- Jara Chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation)
- Vrsha Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy).
From the Sanskrit, “Ayu,” means “life or long life” and “Veda” is “knowledge or wisdom.” Thus, Ayurveda is translated as “the wisdom of long life,” and aims to promote health, relieve illness and prevent disease.
The theory of Ayurveda comes from the Samkhya philosophy of creation, which focuses on re-establishing harmony with nature and the universe by balancing our physical, sensorial, mental and spiritual bodies. In Ayurveda, “Swastha” is health in each of these four dimensions and literally means, “to be seated in oneself.” When we listen to our bodies, tune into our senses, calm our minds and nourish our inner spirit, we promote Swastha and balance. When we fall out of sync with this human-environment continuum (Loka Purusha Visamya) we create disease from within.