“Because we can not scrub our inner body, we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda.” – Sebastian Pole
The unique combination of the three doshas in each individual has a specific influence on our physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. Determining which dosha(s) are dominant for you can help guide diet and lifestyle choices that will help you maintain balance and promote health and well-being on all levels.
An Ayurvedic health counselor, through in-depth studies in Ayurvedic principles and practices:
- Provides lifestyle consultations and administers holistic therapies
- Gains knowledge of Ayurvedic assessment tools and healing protocols for the health and well-being of all clients
- Provides personal consultations that focus on optimizing physical, mental, and spiritual health from an Ayurvedic perspective
- Works one-on-one with clients to develop an individual plan for health
- Reads the Ayurvedic pulse to determine doshic qualities and imbalances
- Uses natural spices, teas, and herbs to improve overall health, digestion, assimilation, and elimination
- Has knowledge and exposure to a diverse range of Ayurvedic therapies
- Has knowledge of pathologies and the disease process
- Employes strategies for preventing and managing many of today’s chronic health conditions
- Provides lifestyle tips for longevity, vitality, and health
- Offers stress-management techniques for all clients
- Interfaces with modern health-care models and other health-care professionals
- Creates community classes on health and vitality
With the increase in physical and mental illnesses brought about by modern living, more and more people are now looking for the right guidance to lead healthy, contented lives. Ayurveda and its principles of living have gained tremendous popularity in the recent times. As a result, there is a great demand for authentic Ayurvedic knowledge and lifestyle guidance.
Ayurveda is the instruction manual for healthy and natural living. It describes diet and hygiene, as well as lifestyle, conduct, and attitude that can bring total health. Spiritual growth, mental balance, and the maintenance of physical well being are complementary and equal aims of this science. Understanding this philosophy of life enables you to become your own “healer”.
Complete health and genuine contentment are obtainable with Ayurvedic principles as they provide guidance on physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects. It is essential to understand both the needs of your mind and soul when attempting to obtain complete health, as they are equal partners with your body in determining your welfare. Ayurveda teaches you how to live in both society and the natural universe without disturbing the natural balance, and how to live in harmony with each other and the Earth.
The Ayurvedic health counselor provides an opportunity to educate clients on various aspects of healthy living expounded by Ayurveda, such as diet, lifestyle, conduct, and attitude. An Ayurvedic health counselor can:
- Enhance a client’s personal, professional and social lives
- Help a client learn about their body, its functions, and how to treat it
- Advise and provide simple home remedies and exercises for common health problems
- Refer clients to authentic Ayurvedic treatment centers for conditions that require expert intervention
- Provide Ayurvedic dietetics and nutrition, Yoga, and herbal remedies
- Provide Ayurvedic counseling and direction on psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects
- Educate clients on the benefits of an Ayurvedic lifestyle and healing therapies
- Introductory 10 minute phone call
- An Intake Form and Statement of Understanding are sent to you to fill out and bring with you to the first appointment.
- At the first appointment, there is a review of the forms and answers to any questions you might have. There is an assessment which is mostly questions and discussion. The Ayurvedic health counselor observes your tongue, your eyes and takes your pulse.
- The counselor will give personal suggested recommendations and educate you on diet and lifestyle practices, such as daily and seasonal routines for your constitution and self-care techniques.
- Ayurvedic counselors are educators; they do not diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe.
- Ayurvedic counselors will not interfere with your current medical protocol and are not substitutes for your regular medical care.
- If necessary, the consultant will refer you to an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Doctor or your healthcare practitioner.
- Consultants and clients agree on the next follow-up visit and check in by email between appointments.
Ayurveda is a science for practical living and strives to teach through basic understanding of cause and effect and the harmonious balance of the body and mind. It gives us practical, everyday tools. We also delve into the meaning of life, longevity, and the simple truths of self-awareness, self-realization, happiness, well-being and our life’s purpose.
Ayurveda grew from its ancient roots in India and spread into Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Europe. It is considered to be the oldest continuously practiced form of medicine in the world. Ayurveda is considered the sister science to Yoga as they are both concerned with the development of the soul, and as a means to that end, the proper care of the body and the mind. It is considered to be the original BodyMind medicine. The main components or Pillars of life are body, senses, mind and soul. Without their constant connection, life cannot exist.
Ayurveda understands that the same rules and laws which govern all other natural beings, also govern human beings. If we choose to ignore these same rules and laws, then imbalances will begin to appear. These imbalances are the precursor to disharmony and disease in the mind and body. It also understands our deepest connections with the whole universe and the influences of the energies that make up the universe.
Ayurveda teaches us that humans are considered the microcosm of the macrocosm. The entire universe is comprised of the five elements of ether (space), air, fire, water and earth, and so are humans, as we are governed by the same laws of nature. When we step out of daily and seasonal rhythms that nature provides, then imbalances will begin to appear. We are made up of all these elements, but each individual has a slightly unique combination of the elements. These combinations of elements make up the dosas, the biological humors of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
An Ayurvedic approach treats each individual, taking into account unique psychological, emotional and physical conditions. By focusing on living in harmony with the rhythms of nature and practicing correct diet and lifestyle, these are the key principles in preventing imbalance. The goal of Ayurveda is to educate people on how to attain optimal health through a deeper understanding of themselves and their particular nature in relationship with the world around them. It concentrates on prevention and how the outer world and environment effects one’s life. Through strengthening the body, mind and spirit while allowing the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to work, we can achieve our fullest potential.
What does an Ayurvedic health counselors do?
An Ayurvedic health counselor is considered an Ayurvedic educator and counselor. They suggest daily lifestyle, routine, and dietary adjustments according to doshic theory and simple self care techniques including self-massage, netti, nasya, yoga, pranayama, and meditation. They do not interfere with the client’s current medical protocol. They will refer clients to Ayurvedic Doctors or Practitioners, if needed.
Does one have to take off their clothes for the evaluation/assessment?
No. It is an office visit, all is done with clothes on. They may look at your tongue, eyes, nails, how you stand and walk, and take an Ayurvedic pulse.
Do I have to follow a certain religion to incorporate Ayurvedic principles into my life?
No. Ayurvedic principles are universal, not religious. Ayurveda is a science of life, a blueprint of how to live your life in a way that maintains health and well-being. It is a form of holistic and integrative healthcare from India. It is spiritual in subject, especially in matters of mind and spirit, but does not follow any particular religion.
Do I have to be a vegetarian to follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle?
No. Ayurveda recommends foods that are ideal for your unique body and mind. Ayurveda does recommend a healthy seasonal vegetarian diet; and also recommends specific meats of several animals, fishes and birds. What you eat will depend on which food serves your health and energy needs best, and what can you digest.
How is Ayurveda related to Yoga and do I have to practice yoga to have an Ayurvedic consultation?
Ayurveda and Yoga are sister sciences and work harmoniously together to deliver sound body, pure mind and free spirit. But, no, you do not have to practice yoga to have an Ayurvedic consultation.
What is an Ayurvedic pulse?
Ayurvedic health counselors feel the radial artery at the wrist, with three fingers to evaluate the balanced and imbalanced conditions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in mind and body. It is a skill that your Ayurvedic health counselor has been taught, and can employ to read the subtle condition of your bodily Doshas.
What is the Ayurvedic understanding of the concept of ‘balance’?
Ayurveda is concerned with maintaining true balance in ourselves. This balance is not only a correct functioning of systems and organs, psyche and spirit but also, balanced and creative relationships with our fellow creatures, nature as a whole, family members, our climate, the civilization we live in, our ideals and customs, truth, our true-selves, Spirit, etc. Ayurvedic teaches details on right behavior, right thinking, right action, right response, right eating, right lifestyle, etc. It believes that a healthy individual makes for a healthy society. A body that is balanced holds a spirit that is free – free for spiritual advancement.
What does “healthy” mean in Ayurveda?
“Healthy” is termed as “Swasthya” in Ayurveda – “one who is situated in their own self”. This “self” involves the total personality of a human including consciousness, body and mind, emotions, senses. Ayurveda regards each individual as unique, a brand new painting with its own set of colors. What may be normal to one, concerning their health, may be quite abnormal to another. Ayurveda provides empowerment and tools for self analysis, to understand one’s own nature and when that is out-of-balance. Ayurveda recommends a return to one’s nature, to what is simple and intrinsic to a person’s life, and provides information to make responsible choices which promote good physical and mental health.
These books were used as sources of information in writing this page:
What is Ayurveda? by Hilary Garivaltis
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