by Michelle Bense
Ayurvedic medicine, commonly called Ayurveda, is an ancient healing system from India that focuses on the prevention of illness and the body’s ability to naturally heal itself. The term Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means “life knowledge.” The more we know about our specific type of body, the better and healthier we may lead our lives.
A central focus of Ayurveda is that healing starts from within. Ayurveda is designed to reduce the stress on the mind and body and bring it into balance, creating clarity. This clarity allows one to see the causes of physical imbalance and fix the source of the troubles, eliminating various symptoms that stem from it.
Dr. John Douillard, teacher and lecturer of Ayurvedic medicine for more than 25 years and author of six books, believes that Ayurveda is for everyone. “It is my mission to help us transition from a culture of expensive and complex health care to a culture that seeks optimal health through natural mind-body medicine, leaving us more self-sufficient, rather than dependent on a medical system or a pill,” Douillard has said.
Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson, a food and health author of Bucks County, attended one of Dr. Douillard’s seminars focused on healing anxiety and depression. “Dr. Douillard combined the wisdom of Ayurveda with modern science and created a program to help those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression,” says Spicer-Jacobson. “Anxiety and depression seem to plague members of my family, including myself.”
In Ayurvedic medicine, each person has one of three body types—vata, pitta, or kapha. Knowing an individual’s body type can determine his or her weaknesses, strengths, type of diet and activities best suited for them. Douillard offers a body type quiz on his website, plus fact sheets for each of the three types. Armed with this knowledge, it is suggested that anyone can live an Ayurvedic lifestyle, balancing the body and mind naturally.
“Dr. Douillard taught me that by lightening the body with good digestion, burning unnecessary fat, eating according to our body type and in season, and practicing compassion, kindness and joy, we can lighten the mind and free it of old patterns that no longer work for us,” says Spicer-Jacobson of her experience.
Michelle Bense is the managing editor of Natural Awakenings BuxMont. Connect with her at Hello@NABuxMont.com. For more information on Ayurveda and John Douillard’s programs, including his DVD series and eCourses, visit LifeSpa.com. February 2014.