Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means "the science of lifespan." The word ayurveda is made up of two roots: ayur means life and veda means knowledge. According to ayurveda, every human being was created by the cosmos as either male energy, Purusha, or female energy, Prakruti. Purusha is choice less passive awareness, while Prakruti is choiceful active consciousness. A person's self-identify, called Ahamkara, is affected by three universal qualities: satva, rajas, and tamas. Satva equips an individual with the ability to have clarity of perception. Conversely, tamas is responsible for periods of confusion and deep sleep, as well as the tendency towards inertia and darkness. Rajas causes movement, sensations, feelings and emotions, everything that makes us human beings.
The most outspoken proponent of ayurvedic medicine has been Deepak Chopra, M.D., Western-trained endocrinologist who recently appeared on Larry King Live on CNN to discuss with several alternative medicine advocates and conventional medicine physicians the importance of his discipline as well as alternative medicine in general. He has written many books in an attempt to introduce ayurvedic medicine to the public at large.
Structurally, the human body is composed of five basic elements: space, air, water, fire and earth. Man is considered a miniature of nature.
Functionally, however, there are three body types, or doshas, that explain the actions, gestures, and metabolic activities of an individual. These three body types are analogous to both western medicine's body types of thin, fat, and muscular, or Sheldon and Krethchmer's psychosomatic body types of endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. The three doshas of ayurvedic medicine are called vata, pitta, and kapha, respectively.
Ether and air together constitute vata; fire and water make up pitta; water and earth, kapha. Although vata, pitta, and kapha exist in every cell, tissue, and organ of the body, including the male's sperm and the female egg, each individual has one dominant metabolic body type (dosha). Most people are a mixture of dosha characteristics (such as vata-pitta). All in all, while there are only three doshas, there are really seven body types in ayurveda: mono-types (vata, pitta, or kapha predominate), dual-types (vata-pitta, kapha-pitta, or vata-kapha), and equal types (vata, pitta, and kapha in equal proportions). Health occurs in an individual when he or she develops a balance or equilibrium among the three doshas. This equilibrium prevents disease and gives the individual a peace of mind.
At Columbus Polarity, we practice polarity therapies which are based on the principles of ayurveda healthcare.
The first national data to answer this question are from a survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). More than 31,000 adult Americans were surveyed about their use of CAM, including specific CAM therapies such as Ayurveda. Among the respondents, four-tenths of 1 percent had ever used Ayurveda, and one-tenth of 1 percent had used it in the past 12 months. When these percentages are adjusted to nationally representative numbers, about 751,000 people in the United States had ever used Ayurveda, and 154,000 people had used it within the past 12 months.