Welcome to Ayurveda: A natural way to stroll through life—without a pebble in your shoe.
The goal of psychologists is to assist our clients reach their full potential, to feel as good as possible, to behave in ways that enhance contentment, and to think as clearly as they are able. Of course we also desire these same things for our friends, our family, and ourselves.
However, as a practicing psychologist I’m aware that therapy is composed of words, and that emotional distress is lodged in the entirety of the physiology. To remove the tentacles of depression, anxiety or chronic anger we need holistic interventions. These, I believe can be found in Ayurveda.
Several years ago I became acquainted with this ancient yet ultramodern system of medicine. I learned that the word “Ayurveda” is Sanskrit for “science of life.”
Ayurveda is ancient. It comes to us from the Vedic civilization of India. However, its gems of wisdom are timeless. Ayurveda is ultramodern, ahead of its time, because its fundamental concepts are currently being explored by those at the cutting edge of science and technology: quantum physicists and molecular biologists among others.
So are you scratching your head now, wondering why you’ve never heard of it? Maybe you have.
Ayurveda is the tree of knowledge from which many popularized therapeutic interventions have grown. As a complete system of health, however, Ayurveda has been introduced to the Western world only in recent times. I, and many other people who have experienced its benefits believe it is here to stay.
Ayurvedic theory and it’s practical interventions are based on the knowledge that the human physiology is a manifestation of the natural world, and that human beings are, in effect, a reflection of the universe and subject to all the laws that govern it. This is heady stuff, and I know from experience that Ayurveda offers a different way of viewing health than is familiar to most people.
At the same time, modern medicine is beginning to agree that the human physiology is a seamless energetic system. As such whatever affects one aspect of the physiology affects the totality. Mind, body and spirit are not separate entities.
According to Ayurveda, the same natural intelligence that controls the rhythms of the seasons also regulates the inner workings of our physiology: our digestive, circulatory, endocrine, reproductive, respiratory, and nervous systems. Our life-energy becomes blocked when the flow of natural intelligence transmitted through our mind, our body, or our spirit is impeded. In this way disease is created. But rather than focus on the treatment of a symptom, Ayurveda addresses the underlying cause that created the fertile ground for an ill condition to flourish.
Every day, through every action we take and every decision we make, we are guiding the flow of this life-energy. Our decision to live in accordance with the laws of nature or against them brings consequences. It determines the health of our physiology and the well being of our mental and emotional life.
Teaching us about these laws and, therefore, restoring the flow of connection to natural intelligence is the goal of Ayurveda. A well-trained Ayurvedic practitioner can suggest interventions that restore vitality—life energy.
This science of life and living truly can help us to begin to stroll through life without a pebble in our shoe—-to feel as good as possible, to behave in ways that enhance contentment, and to think as clearly as possible. It can do this because its diagnostic techniques and interventions go beyond the study and treatment of symptoms to an understanding that the human physiology is an ecosystem and itself an aspect of the natural world.