Many years ago, in the search of what I felt was missing in my understanding of the human body and how to help people heal, I came across the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. It is a Sanskrit term meaning “ Knowledge of Life” and it is the world’s oldest holistic medical system that is preserved. Some of the ancient texts are over 2000 years old and legend has it, that rishis, or sages, received this knowledge in meditation directly from God. The study of Ayurveda starts with the (vedic) philosophy of creation and the fundamentals of the relation between of energy and matter are the basis for the understanding of health, as well as the manifestation of disease.
I often think back now, as I am working with holistic principles myself and I cannot help but notice, how much the principles of the old wisdom still applies, even tough we have moved forward and developed to a society that is a far cry from India a couple of thousand years back.
Food, eating and digestion are central principles to Ayurvedic medicine, as it is written, that digestive fire (agni) and digestive capacity are indicative of good health and that the presence of metabolic waste products (ama) could play a pivotal role in the genesis of a disease. Moreover, what we eat can directly affect the proper balance of our bodily energies and contribute to the creation of heath, which is an expression of a perfect energetic balance.
My Ayurveda teacher often said: “ It is food that is killing us. But not eating is not an option either”. I did not understand that many years ago, but I get a sense of what he meant now.
A very effective treatment method in Ayurvedic medicine is called “Panchakarma” and it is a thorough purification of body, mind and spirit. It is prescribed for people with chronic conditions and / or exhaustion and I have seen it working wonders. There are three stages to this treatment – preparation (oleation and formation), the treatment (elimination of ama through purgation) and the after treatment. Such a treatment takes about three weeks and you get to do nothing but fast (tea, rice and mung-beans) rest (no reading, day-sleep, tv, visitors, distractions) and pray ( mantra and meditation).
What happens in this 3 weeks is a complete reset and a rebalancing on all levels of being.
I have seen miracles following a panchakarma and even tough I would not recommend a classical panchakarma treatment it to just anyone, it still points us to the elements of a healing:
- Purging the body of waste products
- Energetic treatments to assist the body while recalibrating
- Fasting to rekindle agni
- Praying to establishing a connection with the divine
What it really shows us tough is one of the greatest wisdoms in leading a congruent life – it is never about adding something. It is all about letting go of the garbage we have collected on all levels of being – physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically and spiritually.