In today’s day-and-age, if you ask anyone how to be healthy and how to gain mental clarity, it’s likely everyone will have a different answer for you. Some will say to take a specific vitamin or pill, some will say to eat certain foods, some will say to do specific exercises, etc. With the unlimited range of suggestions on what’s considered “healthy” and “unhealthy” to do, you’re probably left with more confusion than you entered into your health journey with.
And this is where ayurvedic medicine comes in. The reason that there are so many potential answers is because every individual person is different. What foods might bring one person to optimum health might lead to bloating and an upset stomach in another. Ayurvedic medicine helps an individual determine essentially what the healthiest lifestyle approach would be for them specifically.
As someone who agrees with the holistic approach to medicine, in combination with Westernized medicine as needed, I was fascinated by the philosophy that ayurvedic medicine follows and was excited to speak more with Balance Spa’s massage therapist Paige Guifoyle about it.
What is Ayurvedic Medicine?
Ayurvedic medicine stems from its traditional roots as an alternative medicine in India. Paige says it “seeks to treat and integrate body, mind, and spirit using a comprehensive holistic approach especially by emphasizing diet, herbal remedies, exercise, meditation, breathing, and massage.” Instead of waiting for disease and then treating it, ayurvedic medicine essentially functions to promote balance and health as a prevention of disease. The idea is that in order to achieve health, you need to achieve balance among the mind, body and spirit.
How Does Ayurvedic Medicine Work?
What primarily distinguishes this form of alternative medicine is that it’s not based on an estimation of what everyone needs, but based on what your specific mind, body and spirit needs. Think of meditation. There is no one form of meditation that works for everyone. For some, chanting mantras might help take them out of their head and relax, whereas for others mantras may actually bring on anxiety. Ayurvedic medicine recognizes these differences in individuals, but the end result is the same – to seek balance.
What are the 3 Doshas of Ayurvedic Medicine?
So how do you identify what would work best for you to achieve balance? Ayurvedic medicine utilizes the concept of 3 doshas, that Paige says “are life forces that control the body’s activity. One must keep all 3 doshas in balance to experience optimal health and wellness. They are in constant depending on the person’s environment.”
- Vata – Associated with movement. Brings into your life energy and imagination.
- Pitta – Associated with metabolism. Brings into your life comfort and acuity.
- Kapha – Associated with water and healing. Brings into your life love and compassion.
Paige says, “Everyone has all 3 doshas but one of them is usually dominant within each person.” Therefore, by understanding which doshas you are dominant in and which ones you are out of balance with, you can determine what areas in your life you may need to put more focus on.
How Ayurvedic Medicine Promotes Diet & Nutrition, & Helps Cultivate Balance
Once you’ve identified what areas of your life you are out of balance with, Paige says, “The way to keep balanced is by being disciplined in an ayurvedically defined daily routine of self-care and nutritional consumption.” Essentially, you find ways to incorporate the ideals of that dosha into your daily routine.
For example, if your main dosha is Vata, yet you are in need of more Kapha in your life, it may be important to drink more water to stay hydrated. Therefore, if right now you are only drinking 4 glasses of water a day, or are not sure how much water you are drinking, you may want to start tracking your water on a daily basis to reach your desired amount.
To incorporate ayurvedic medicine into daily living, Paige says, “It works by keeping key concepts and modalities at the forefront of the treatment every single day. There’s a definite ebb and flow incorporating its multifaceted approach into [the] American lifestyle for [the] best results.”
The addition of ayurvedic medicine into your life should be exactly that, an addition. Always express caution when purchasing products online and make sure to combine ayurvedic medicine with the American lifestyle as opposed to replacing it. It’s always good to double check with a doctor regarding lifestyle changes, especially if you have medical conditions or are pregnant.
How is Ayurvedic Medicine Used at Balance Spa?
Now that you understand the concept of ayurvedic medicine, how do you start implementing it into your life? Paige Guifoyle at Balance Spa incorporates the concepts of ayurvedic medicine into her massage techniques so that you get the best massage experience for you personally. Paige says, “Certain techniques in massage is a better fit depending on the person’s constitution. Vata types need to be compressed and movement must be very slow since the Air and Space/Ether elements dominate them. Stretching and quick moving petrissage are great for Kaphas to enhance blood flow and circulation since Earth and Water dominate them.”
To learn more about ayurvedic medicine and experience your personalized massage, give Balance Spa a call at 561-208-8111 and request a massage with Paige!