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  1. Ayurveda Dr. Laina Karthikeyan Associate Professor ( Biological Sciences) New York City College of Technology Brooklyn , NY

  2. OPTIMAL HEALTH • Practice of ayurveda dates back to 5000 years • Officially recognized by the World Health Organization in 1976 • Ayurveda gives a comprehensive knowledge about spiritual, mental and social health • Ayurveda can be used in conjunction with Western Allopathic Medicine to help a person recover faster after being treated with drugs or surgery

  3. FOCUS • This ancient healing system has three main focuses: 1) Healing illness2) Prevention of disease 3) Longevity • In essence, Ayurveda explains the laws of nature that cause health or disease. The main factors that cause poor health (also described as imbalance) are 1) Poor digestion 2) Weak immune systems

  4. HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK? • Ayurveda’s emphasis is on prevention of disease • Each person has a particular pattern of energy-an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics which comprises their own constitution • Tridhosa Theory:The basic view of Ayurveda is that all life are combinations of three energy-elements: air (called Vayu or Vata), fire (called Pitta), and water (called Kapha)

  5. WORKING • When these elements are balanced, one is healthy. • Illness is defined as an imbalance of these elements; all disorders are excesses of one or more element.

  6. THE THREE DOSHAS • Vata or Vayu meaning wind, is composed of the elements air and space. Vata is the subtle energy of movement • Pitta, or bile, is composed of the elements fire and water and is the energy of digestion and metabolism • Kapha meaning phlegm, is composed of the elements, earth and water. Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure

  7. WHAT MAKES AYURVEDA SO UNIQUE? • This spiritual science offers numerous unique benefits: • It looks at people as individuals, not as a generic group • It heals the root-cause of an illness, not merely treating the symptoms • Only natural therapies are offered • No side effects develop from the therapies • Therapies are inexpensive and effective

  8. PEOPLE AND ELEMENTS • A person's constitution (dosha) is predominantly one or more of these elements • Each element relates to certain body types, foods and health concerns • By nature, whatever a person's constitution is, they have a tendency for it to become excessed

  9. VATA • The subtle energy associated with Movement (SPACE AND AIR) • Governs breathing, pulsation of heart, and all movements including in the cytoplasm and cell membranes • CHARACTERISTICS: • Physically Thin • In Balance – Creative, Enthusiastic and Adaptable • Out of Balance – Fearful, Anxious

  10. KAPHA • Principle of Stability (WATER AND EARTH) • Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems • CHARACTERISTICS: • Physically Strong - Good endurance, Muscular • In Balance -Steady, Consistent, Loyal, Loving and Content • Out of Balance- Greed and Envy

  11. PITTA • Principle of Transformation (FIRE AND WATER) • Governs digestion, absorption, metabolism and body temperature • CHARACTERISTICS: • Physical appearance- Medium Built • In Balance – Bright, Good decision maker, Sharp intellect • Out of Balance – Angry, Judgemental And Jealous




  15. WHAT THERAPIES DOES AYURVEDA OFFER ? • Using a holistic approach, Ayurveda offers therapies for each of the five senses because different people learn better through different senses Therapies include: • Taste: Herbs and nutrition • Touch: Massage (abhyanga), Yoga, exercise • Smell: Aromatherapy • Sight: Color therapy • Hearing: Music therapy and spiritual therapies like mantra meditation and chanting

  16. MEDITATION • Knowing yourself as an energy field • Tool to quiet the mind • All diseases begin because we unconsciously make bad choices, eg. smoking, overeating and wrong diet • Over a period of time this manifests in diseases • Key is to cultivate consciousness (awareness) that is to quiet the mind, so we can evaluate what we’re doing • Being present in the moment

  17. REVIEW • Health means balance. Each constitution has a natural tendency to become imbalanced or excessed. By eating foods and living a lifestyle that reduces the excesses, one remains balanced. Balancing produces healing, prevention, and slows the aging process • Many people have two or even all three elements in their constitution. In these cases, both elements tend toward excess. Thus foods and lifestyles that reduce both elements need to be followed

  18. BIBLIOGRAPHY • Lad, Vasant. Ayurveda: The science of self healing. Lotus Press: Santa Fe, 1984 • Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Harmony Books: New York, 1998 • Morrison, Judith H. The Book Of Ayurveda: A Holistic Approach to Health and Longevity. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1995, A Fireside Book. • Special thanks to Dr. Rakesh Kumar for his invaluable contribution