Ayurveda often referred to as the “mother of all healing” is about a holistic approach to overall health. This article focuses on one of the basic principle, “Ignoring one’s particular body type and environment disturbs the harmony of body and results in the lack of strength, health, and immunity”.

The 3 doshas and how it influences health

According to the theory of Ayurveda, any living organism, including human body constitutes an unproportioned mix of five elements, Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Space(Ether). Some of these elements are seen to have the ability to combine and thereby create various physiological functions categorized as Vata, Pitta &Kaphawhich are also referred to as doshas. Every human body has a primary dosha.

Vata governs Movement and Communication. Pitta for Digestion and Transformation. Kapha provides Cohesiveness, Structure, and Lubrication.

All three of the doshas can be found in everyone and everything, but one of them is usually primary, the other secondary and the third one is the least prominent. According to Ayurveda, if the proportion of doshas in your current state is close to your birth constitution, then you are a healthy person whose appetite is good, whose body, mind and senses remain full of bliss. When there is an imbalance of doshas within our body or in the environment, they will influence our health and make us sick.

Imbalances in the doshas are generally caused by diet and lifestyle choices which are unsupportive for the right mix of dosha of the body. The stress, as well as emotional trauma, aggravates the situation. When the doshas become aggravated, each of them disrupts the body in its own unique way causing health challenges and tendencies toward disease.

How imbalance of doshas affect the body

Dosha Name Imbalance condition impacts
Vata Muscles&Joint pains,
Paralytic attacks,
Stiffness,
CrampsRetention,
Constipation,
Weight loss,
Convulsion,
Headaches
tremors,
ColicDryness
Pitta Burning sensations,
Hyperacidity,
Skin rashes,
pimples,
boils,
Inflammations,
Bleeding,
Hypertension,
Excess eliminations,
Mania
Kapha Depression,
Obesity,
Water retention,
Swellings,
Excess mucus production,
Extra growth

The conditions that arise from the impact of doshas tend to affect organs and tissues throughout the body causing the diseases.

Treating doshas

ayurvedic principles

Imbalances are treated with their opposites—dry with wet, cold with heat and lightness with heaviness. The diet during the treatment is also adjusted to provide the opposite of the doshas.

For example, Vata is considered cold, rough, light, dry, subtle, flowing, changeable and irregular. Therefore, excess Vata requires moisture, grounding, calm, warmth and stability.

To our five senses, this means warm colors and aromas, soothing music, grounding activities such as yoga and meditation, hot and nutritious foods and soothing body therapies that help restore the equilibrium of the body.

Similarly, other doshas are treated with their opposite qualities.

During the treatment, Ayurveda practitioners often recommend one or more of the luxurious therapies that are easy medicines to take. Some of them are briefly explained below

Abhyanga Massage

Specific oils for doshas rubbed on the body in rhythmic motion from scalp to toes.

Uzhichil

An Ayurveda deep tissue massage, which is highly recommended for blood circulation.

Shirodhara

Shirodhara is the process of pouring warm oil dispensed from a copper bowl over the forehead in a continuous stream for about 20 to 60 minutes.

Marma Therapy

Prana is the life force that is the key to our physical and mental well-being. Marmas are pressure points on the body that act as gateways for prana. This therapy is gentle manipulation of marmas alleviate pain, soothe mental agitation, strengthen digestion, calm the nervous system and improve many other typical symptoms.

Swedana

A therapeutic process of inducing sweat with the help of medicated steam that helps in removing accumulated toxins from the body.

Pizhichil

It is a whole body bath in streams of lukewarm medicated oil in, alongside a soft massage, which is effective for relaxation of joint stiffness and pain.

Vamana

It is a procedure where toxins in the upper part of the body (till the diaphragm and respiratory tract) are removed by medicated emesis.

Kati Vasti

A special treatment by retaining medicated oil in the affected area for chronic back pain.

Great books on Ayurveda for further reading

  1. Ayurveda–A Life of Balance: The Complete Guide

    This book is famous for being written by a cancer patient. The author, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, took up Ayurveda, which cured her completely. Apart from dealing with all the fundamentals of the system, where she helps you identify your “body type” through questionnaires and charts and recommends menus and vegetarian recipes.

  2. Practical Ayurveda

    Written by Atreya and published by Weiser Books (1998), this book demystifies Ayurveda in fourteen chapters. It claims to teach you “how to recognize your own body type and what you can do to maintain a healthy balance in your life.” It also discusses weight loss, beauty care, Pranic healing, psychology and meditation and various methods of sexual rejuvenation.

  3. Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition

    This book describes how to apply the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to everyday life.

  4. Ayurveda for Women: A Guide to Vitality and Health

    This book by Robert Svaboda published by proves how an age-old medical tradition can help a modern woman keep healthy. Today’s women can benefit from Ayurveda’s practical advice on exercise, diet, beauty care, massage, sleep, sex, childcare, and menopause. This book is suitable for women of any age, from childhood to old age.

Briefing the basic principle of Ayurveda for wellness

The balance of the doshas is an absolute necessity for wellness. Knowing your own dosha and adapting the dosha suggested lifestyle can have a transformative impact on your overall health and well-being. If you are witnessing any condition of imbalance that impacts the doshas mentioned above, contact an Ayurvedic doctor. He/She will help you to restore the balance in your doshas by effective Ayurvedic remedies and a suitable diet. Medicineinbalcony would love to help you to achieve the right balance of doshas and thus, achieve a healthy and happy life.