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  2. Do you have any experience with Ayurveda?

  3. What does Ayurveda mean? • The term “Ayurveda” combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). • Thus, Ayurveda means “the science of life.”

  4. What is Ayurveda? • Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India, which originated there over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda emphasizes re-establishing balance in the body through diet, lifestyle, exercise,body cleansing and on the health of the mind, body and spirit. • In North America, Ayurveda is considered a form of alternative medicine. Like traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda is a whole medical system, meaning that it is based on theories of health and illness and on methods of preventing and treating health conditions.

  5. How popular is Ayurveda in the US? • In the last decade, Ayurveda has been growing in popularity in North America, partly due to the work of Deepak Chopra, M.D., a physician who combines western medicine with Ayurveda. • In 2004, the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) released the results of a survey of 31,000 people in the United States. Four-tenths of one percent of the respondents had used Ayurveda in the past. One-tenth of one percent of respondents had used Ayurveda in the last year.

  6. What does a typical Ayurvedic assessment involve? • An initial assessment with an Ayurvedic practitioner may last an hour or longer. The practitioner will ask detailed questions about your health, diet and lifestyle. He or she will listen to your pulse. Unlike mainstream medicine, 12 different pulse points are assessed in Ayurveda. • The Ayurvedic practitioner also examines the tongue; its appearance is believed to provide clues about areas of the body that may be out of balance. The appearance of the skin, lips, nails, and eyes are also observed.

  7. What does a typical Ayurvedic assessment involve? (cont.) • After the assessment, the practitioner will determine an individual's unique balance of doshas, or metabolic types. One dosha is usually predominant and may be imbalanced, usually due to poor diet and unhealthy habits. • The practitioner also determines your prakuti, also called your constitution or essential nature. From there, the practitioner can create an individualized treatment plan, which often includes diet, exercise, herbs, yoga, meditation, and massage. The treatment plan generally focuses on restoring balance to one particular dosha.

  8. What are the doshas? • According to Ayurveda, everything is composed of five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and space. • These elements combine to form the three doshas, vata, kapha, and pitta, or metabolic types. • In Ayurveda, doshas account for some of our individual differences.

  9. VataDosha • The vatadosha is a combination of space and air. It controls movement and is responsible for basic body processes such as breathing, cell division and circulation. Vata body areas are the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears, and thighs. • People with vata as their main dosha are believed to be quick-thinking, thin, and fast, and are susceptible to anxiety, dry skin, and constipation.

  10. KaphaDosha • The kaphadosha represents the elements of water and earth. Kapha is believed to be responsible for strength, immunity, and growth. Kapha body areas are the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid. • People with kapha as their main dosha are thought to be calm, have a solid body frame, and are susceptible to diabetes, obesity, sinus congestion, and gallbladder problems.

  11. Pitta Dosha • The pitta dosha combines fire and water. It is thought to control hormones and the digestive system. Pitta body areas are the small intestines, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood, and eyes. • People with pitta as their primary dosha are thought to have a fiery personality, oily skin, and are susceptible to heart disease, stomach ulcers, inflammation, heartburn, and arthritis.

  12. An imbalanced dosha… • An imbalanced dosha is believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana, or vital energy. The disrupted energy flow is then thought to impair digestion and allow the build up of body waste, or ama, which further impairs energy and digestion.


  14. What might an Ayurvedictreatment plan involve? • Diet: Recommendations are individualized to a person's dosha and the season. Foods can either balance or cause imbalance to each dosha. See a list of foods thought to balance each dosha. • Cleansing and detoxification: This may be done through fasting, enemas, diets, and body treatments. • Herbal medicine: Examples of Ayurvedic herbs are triphala, ashwaghanda, gotu kola, guggul, and boswellia. • Yoga • Meditation • Exercise: Individualized to a person's constitution • Massage: Medicated herbal oils are often used.

  15. How are Ayurvedicpractitioners trained? • In India, there are many undergraduate and postgraduate colleges for Ayurveda, where the training can involve up to five years of study. • Outside of India, some people who have been trained in another health profession (e.g. medical doctor, nurse, naturopathic doctor) study Ayurveda before or after their training. Other practitioners attend Ayurvedic college only.

  16. How are Ayurvedicpractitioners trained? (Cont.) • Currently, there are no national standards for the certification training or licensing Ayurvedic practitioners in the United States or Canada. • Because of its growing popularity, Ayurvedic treatments, particularly at spas and salons, are increasingly being performed by people who have not received formal training in Ayurveda. That's why if you are interested in consulting with an Ayurvedic practitioner, it is important to seek a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and learn about his or her training.

  17. Are there any potential concerns with using Ayurvedic medicine? • According to NCAAM, in 2004, 14 out of 70 Ayurvedic herbal remedies tested were found to contain lead, mercury, and/or arsenic at potentially harmful levels. All products were manufactured in South Asia. • A lack of research exists on the effectiveness, safety, side effects, and potential drug interactions of Ayurvedic herbal products. Although some research has been done, there have generally been problems with the design of the studies. • In the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received 12 reports of lead poisoning linked to the use of Ayurvedic herbal products. • In North America, the use of traditional Ayurvedic practices, such as emesis, enemas, and blood cleansing, is considered highly controversial and the safety of such practices is unknown.

  18. What should people do if they are considering or using Ayurveda? • Talk with your doctor first if you are considering Ayurveda for a health condition. • Ayurveda should complement, not replace, conventional care. If you are experiencing any new symptoms, consult your doctor as a first step. • Consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner, rather than trying to treat yourself with Ayurvedic products. • Be sure the Ayurvedic practitioner knows your full health history and is aware of all medications you are taking.

  19. Ayurvedic Yoga for Pitta: To Calm and Cool (Sample) • Please find a comfortable seated position on the floor •

  20. The Importance of Six Tastes in Ayurvedic Diet • Ayurveda recognizes six tastes and it's quite important to have all of these 6 tastes in your diet every day. The six tastes are: • Sweet – sugar, honey, rice, pasta, milk, etc.
Sour – lemons, hard cheese, yogurt, vinegar, etc.
Salty – salt, any salty food
Pungent – chili peppers, cayenne, ginger, any hot spice
Bitter – leafy greens, turmeric, lettuce, etc.
Astringent – pomegranate, beans, lentils, etc. • These six tastes are listed in the order they are digested in your body. Sweet gets digested first, that's why it's not a good idea to have a dessert at the end of the meal, which is typical in our culture, but rather at the beginning (how is that for an Ayurvedic diet tip!). Salad, on the other hand, is perfect at the end of the meal.

  21. The Importance of Six Tastes in AyurvedicDiet (Cont.) • Including all six tastes in your diet contributes to feeling satisfied at the end of a meal. Cravings are often caused by not having all of the six tastes in your daily diet. Many people often omit the bitter and astringent tastes (don't be one of them!). When you have something bitter or astringent at the end of a meal, it actually reduces your desire for sweets. • Including all 6 tastes is a great way to incorporate Ayurvedic diet into your lifestyle and at the same time improve your health.

  22. The Ayurvedic Diet • The KaphaDosha • From a diet standpoint, Kapha people should reduce oil/fats, sweets and salt as much as possible due to their sluggish digestion. Instead, they should focus on cooking with lots of spices, eating large amount of vegetables, and high fiber foods such as legumes. 

  23. The Ayurvedic Diet • The Pitta Dosha • In terms of their diet, Pitta people should avoid hot spices, alcohol, coffee, vinegar, and acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes. Of course, these are typically their favorite foods! They should eat sweet juicy fruits such as mangos and melons. They should also include lots of cooling vegetables with high water content, such as cucumbers, kale and lettuce, in their diet.  

  24. The Ayurvedic Diet • The VataDosha • The dietary recommendations for Vata individuals are to avoid dry/crunchy foods, carbonated beverages, and cold/raw vegetables. Their ideal diet consists of warm, cooked, soupy foods; cooked cereals; nuts; cooked vegetables; and hot milk. Also, ghee, which is clarified butter, is particularly good for Vata individuals.   

  25. TOP 10 AYURVEDIC HERBS • Ashwagandha-antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and has immune-boosting properties. • Boswellia-pain remedy, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. • Coriander (Cilantro)-treat indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, fevers, respiratory infections and allergies. • Garlic-antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.

  26. TOP 10 AYURVEDIC HERBS • Ginger-arthritis and migraines. • GymnemiaSylvestre-treating and preventing type II diabetes • Triphala (Amla, Bibhitaki and Haritaki)-Together these three herbs make a powerful internal cleansing remedy. • Turmeric-anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system.

  27. Ayurvedic Self Massage •

  28. Meditation • Ayurveda: Guided Meditation on the breath

  29. REFERENCES • • • •