Ayurveda is where the term "Food as Medicine" started, and is the oldest form of medicine known to man dating back over 5,000 years to India. Ayurveda is the traditional form of medicine from India and it focuses on the daily routine of the individual, how and what they eat, and digestion. In Ayurveda, we learn that the opposites help to create balance and that each individual has an individual "doshic" or elemental make-up, which gives us clues and guides to how to be in optimal health.
"You are not what you eat, instead you are what you digest." - old Ayurvedic saying
In our office, we offer only the basic aspects of Ayurveda practices, like food & diet --- what is better to eat for you to keep you in balance, various daily practices or routines like Oil Pulling and Abhyanga, how to accomplish them and how they are customized for you, mudras, and more. We may also suggest basic Ayurvedic herbs and formulas as well, or other aspects of Ayurveda that we have studied in. If we feel that you could benefit from more in-depth aspects of Ayurvedic Medicine, for example, therapies like Pancha Karma or Marma Massage, we will refer you to practitioners who have done specialized training in that.
The doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are essentially the base principles of Ayurveda, and through the doshas we are guided through everything. The Doshas talk about the basic elemental makeup and energy of something. Keep in mind, no one dosha (or element) is more important or better than another... what is important is that they are in the correct proportion for you.
The Vata Dosha talks about the elements of Ether (Space) and Air. This dosha we find tends to be cold, light/thin and always moving. When thinking of Vata, think of the wind, blowing, moving and cooling things off. It is never ending and endless like the space above. Travel, movement, being rushed increases Vata. In the human body, we see Vata most obviously in the nervous system and the home of Vata is the colon (thinking of being gassy). In the world we can see Vata in the birds and feel it from the wind.
Pitta Dosha is all about Fire (and Water). This dosha tends to be very warm or even hot, strong and intense, and always transforming. When thinking of Pitta, think of the fire changing a substance from one to another. The summer heat, intense emotions and spicy foods increase Pitta. In the human body, we see Pitta most obviously in the digestive system (both food and knowledge) as well as the immune system and the home of Pitta is the small intestines. In the world we can see Pitta in things like campfires or the Sun.
When you have Pitta coming from your mouth and you are spouting fire from it, hold water in your mouth until the fire is calm again.
Kapha Dosha is the mixture of Water and Earth. This dosha tends to be steady, more mass, slower moving and cooler. Heavy foods, sluggish lifestyles and over sleeping increase Kapha. In the human body, we see Kapha most obviously in the tissue (physical substance) and the home of Kapha is the stomach. In the world we can see Kapha in things like the boulders, rocks and Mountains, the lakes, ponds and all the physical substances we touch.