Āyurveda simply means the science of life. It is a comprehensive natural healthcare system that originated in India. The evidence of early Āyurveda texts dates back to 800-500 BC, however many of its fundamental principles are mentioned much earlier in the Holy Scriptures and literature of ancient India.
In 1948, the World health organization defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Since then, due to the changes in population and disease patterns, it has been argued that the emphasis should be on adaptations and self-management in the presence of physical, social, and emotional challenges (Huber et al, British Medical Journal. July 2011). It is only for the past twenty-five years or so that conventional western medicine has begun to address the “bio-psycho-social” model of health care as opposed to the “biomedical “ model.
In contrast, by its very name, Āyurveda is life-oriented rather than disease-oriented.
The Āyurvedic definition of health is:
sama dosāh samāgniś ca sama dhātu mala kriyāh: I
prasannātmendriya manāh svastha ityabhidhyīate II
One who is established in Self, who has balanced energies ( doshas), balanced metabolism(Agni), properly formed bodily tissues ( dhatus), proper elimination of malas ( waste products), and whose mind, soul and senses are full of bliss is healthy.
Sushrut Samhita, 15.38
Āyurveda regards life as a four-dimensional entity consisting of the physical body ( sharira), the senses ( indriya) , the psyche ( manas), and the soul ( atman). A healthy state in Āyurveda terms consists of a fine balance of physical and physiological functions as well as sensorial, mental, and spiritual well-being. Āyurveda is a function-oriented science rather than structure or organ oriented. It considers the entire individual as a total undividable being which has to function as a whole in order to exist as a whole. It emphasizes the promotion of good health in healthy people and restoring health in those who are ill.
Due to the advances in medical research and technology, it is possible to treat many health conditions effectively and rapidly. However, following a successful medical or surgical intervention, the responsibility to restore the health to its optimum remains on the individual. Thus, the wisdom of Āyurveda is more relevant and essential today than ever before.
Sherwood Ayurveda believes and treats patients using this unique integrative approach of healing and rehabilitation. Whilst utilizing the advances in medicine that are available, we bring forward the Ayurvedic wisdom of health and wellbeing.