Though you may not know it, Ayurvedic medicine goes hand-in-hand with the principles a day spa works on. Massage, facials, and even newer explorations of naturopathy all come together under the umbrella of traditional medicine. Indeed, it’s widely believed that traditional Indian medicine, since it has not been exhaustively explored, will likely lead to the development of more traditionally medical systems and enhanced medicinal treatments in things like medicine as well as different treatment techniques.
It is widely acknowledged that the misunderstanding about the differences between plant-based medicinal techniques and traditional medicine is the major barrier between the two of them being more merged completely and allowing the wider medical community to benefit form literally ancient knowledge. So what does Ayurveda have to offer us and how does the history of this ancient medicinal philosophy effect what are now considered “spa day treatments?” Let’s take a look.
The History of Of Ayurveda
It’s known as “the eternal science,” and it’s believed that this eternal science was passed through meditation from the universal consciousness to ancient Indian mystics. There has been, however, historical and scientific evidence that the staples of the Ayurveda medicinal philosophy have existed in the cradles of civilization since around 3300 BCE. Indeed, they’ve found evidence that the Bronze Age was rich in the Ayurveda philosophy and ingredients that we still know today. Between 3300 to 1300 BCE the civilization that occupied the Indus Valley used the spices traditionally associated with Middle Eastern, and indeed, Eastern cuisine to this day in medicines served through foods.
The Ingredients of Ayurveda
Much like the gut health gurus of today, Ayurveda has always been about healing from the inside out and the presence of this philosophy throughout the Bronze Age is fascinating, yet it increases the credibility of the medicinal properties and ideas behind these same ingredients we use today. Things like rice, urad dal, ginger and turmeric, as well as mung beans and other Eastern cuisine staples were not just being cultivated, but experimented with for medicinal purposes at the same time they were figuring out that you didn’t have to use rocks to cut things with. It’s not as if we’ve stopped using bronze metals, why stop using the basic medicinal values of the same period?
The Evolution of the Philosophy
The founding tablets, or rather written down ideas of the Ayurveda were found in the ruins of a civilization new the Ganges basin. The people who crafted and finally wrote down the philosophy described themselves as the Arya and their medicinal and spiritual philosophy as the Veda, hence the term Ayurveda. In this written form of their ideas, they included their thoughts about the earth and the elements and how those interacted together, but also included various uses and different types of herbs they used in their rituals, both for healing and religious purposes. This was the predecessor to the idea of Eastern medicine finally finding its footing among scientists and the philosphers of the coming eras.
By the time the Greeks, Hebrews and other parts of the Eastern world started turning to logic, Ayurveda was ready to be revamped and taken seriously. The new Indian scholars and doctors that prescribed to this line of thought shook off the layers of superstition and old-world fears and found reasonings behind the uses and thoughts behind each herb and technique used.
The Founding Documents
This made way for the philosophy to be written down in a more complete form in two parts. One part goes by the name of the “Charak Samhita” and the other by the name of “Sushrut Samhita.” Together, they still represent the basic ideas of the treatments and thought processes behind the use of various herbs and other medicinal uses for the Ayurveda. These two texts arose from the period of 320 to 550 BCE, also known as the Golden Age of India. From then on, Ayurveda continued to be the medicine of choice for most people, even throughout various cultural integrations caused by invasions and conquerings from other peoples and cultures.
The British Empire
Fascinatingly, one of the periods of openness between Ayurvedic medicine and traditional medicine was during the reign of the British Empire. Once the British built the Indian Medical Reserve and shipped doctors and scientists alike down to this corner of the world, British botanists began to notice the benefits of Ayurvedic philosophy and began to appreciate why it had been followed with such reverence in the region since the Bronze Age. For at the time in 1763, this ancient medicinal strategy was still unfathomably old, yet still somehow effective. Thus, British botanists and scientists alike began to study the properties of the various medicinal herbs gathered and used for the Ayurvedic methods. While this did end up muddying the waters and confusing much of the Ayurvedic principles, this is as close as modern and eastern medicine have got to becoming combined and appreciating the need for the other.
What is Ayurveda?
Essentially, it’s the careful exploration of mental and physical health. It’s the first whole body health system, and indeed, the first system to focus on the mind as being a part of the body’s health and vice versa. Ayurveda is based on connecting your life energy to the universe. In a sense, it’s based on creating a symbiotic and rewarding relationship between the different states of your mind and the different ways your body needs to be fed and cared for. It is believed that you are made in three parts that are called “doshas”.
These parts in traditional Ayurveda were regarded as the way your body was created from air, fire, water and earth. The three doshas that make up you are the Vata dosha, which is space and air, the Pitta dosha which is fire and water, and the Kapha dosha which is water and earth. Every person is believed to have all of these inside them, however, one is more prominent than the other and dictates how you often fall ill. The belief is that when your doshas are not balanced, you fall ill in a certain manner.
Treated Via the Ayurvedic Methods
Many of the treatment plans rely on pushing toxins out of your body that are causing imbalances in your doshas. These can sometimes be from food and need to be pushed out in a variety of ways. One of the main ways is through deep massage, others are through uses of different purifying medical oils and spices too. Through purification, it is the hope that you’ll be able to re-balance and feel better about your illness.
Schedule With Radiance Day Spa to Find Your Balance
Apart from offering thorough, relaxing massages, we offer other services that are meant to help you do what Ayurvedic medicine suggests: purify and balance yourself. Through the pursuit of better mental health, like we’ve discussed in previous blogs, you can explore better health for your body as well as the connections between your mental and physical health. However, to accomplish that, you’ll need to start fresh.
A purifying massage, flotation therapy and other spa day treatments might be the perfect way to start your journey into understanding the symbiotic relationships around your body and how you can foster a better sense of health in different ways. Reach out to us today to find out more about how you can start clearing your mind and pursuing wellness on your own terms in the Sioux Falls area today.