What is Ayurveda?

Like yoga and meditation, Ayurveda, ”the science of life”, is also an invaluable gift of the ancient sages of India to mankind. It is one of the oldest scientific medical systems in the world with a long record of clinical experience to validate it. It not only deals with the treatment of disease, but also teaches us how to maintain and protect health and promote longevity. It is a truly holistic and integral medical system and surpasses all modern healthcare systems in its range of therapeutic modalities.

It’s Philosophy of Healthcare

The five basic elements, space, air, fire, water and earth (called Panchamahabhutas) are the ultimate physical constituents of the physical worlds as well as of the human body. Hence man”s oneness with the universe and harmony with nature is the basis of his healthcare. Originating from the five elements, the three bio-energies corresponding to the active elements of Air (Vata), Fire (Pitta) and Water (Kapha) are the ultimate all-pervasive metabolic principles governing the psychosomatic structure and processes of growth and decay of all organisms. Keeping them in balance is the key to health. No two individuals have identical combination of the 3 bio-energies or identical constitution, therefore what is wholesome in terms of diet, lifestyle and medication would vary from individual to individual. Life means a combination of body, sense organs, mind and soul and their healthy harmonious functioning is ”true health”. For true health Ayurveda insists on holistic healthcare.

Key Principles of Ayurvedic System of Healthcare. Holistic healthcare involves:

a) maintaining good health by observing the prescribed rules of healthy living, dietetics and moral conduct.
b) regular use of rejuvenate therapy to promote health and to improve immunity against disease. The key principles of therapy are: avoiding the cause; making sure it is contrary to etiology; treating the whole person; treating any disorder while it is still in its infancy; making sure pacifying one disorder does not trigger another one and ensuring against their recurrence by elimination rather than suppression. Generic concomitance is the cause of augmentation of all beings/things; the variant factor of their diminution, therefore any metabolic disorder could theoretically be restored through rational and targeted used of natural substances.

Popular Ayurvedic Therapies

Types of Abhyanga or Massages

For Relaxation:

In case of mental or physical strain, anxiety, insomnia, weakness of muscles, cramps and for the elderly.

Synchronised Full Body Massage:

Completed by two masseurs in simultaneous and synchronised movements for maximum benefit and relaxation.

Udavartana for beauty (herbal body scrub):

For detoxification and nourishment of body tissues, activation of skin’s natural metabolism and improvement of lymph flow.
It gives the skin a soft healthy texture and a lustrous glow.

Udavartana for reducing body fat:

Completed by two masseurs with special herbal powders applying reinforced friction and pressure.

Shiro Abhyanga or Head Massage:

Provides nourishment to all the vital organs and promotes their normal functions.

External Oil Basti

Holding warm medicinal oil on a specific part of the body.

Kati Basti

(EOB on lower back) Excellent for sciatica & back pain.

Kukshi Basti

(on epigastric region) Useful in hiatus hernia, bloating, gulma.

Janu Basti

(on the knees) Very effective in the early stages of Osteoarthritis and in preventing its deterioration.

Greeva Basti

(base of the neck) For cervical spondylitis & neck strain.

Other Therapies


Running a fine stream of warm liquid on the forehead. It is an excellent therapy for diseases connected with the head, neck, eyes, nose, ears and nervous system.


Nasal administration of medicated powders or liquids for clearing the channels in the head and the neck region and for nourishing the sense organs.

Netra Tarpana

Bathing eyes with medicated oil to relieve eye-fatigue and to treat various eye-ailments.

Karna Purna

Filling ears with warm oil. This helps to treat earache, deafness, tinitus, headache, lock-jaw, giddiness as well as certain diseases of gums and teeth.

Preliminary Detoxification

Necessary as a first stage of almost all healing processes. Most individuals suffer from an accumulation of toxins (Ama in Sanskrit). Without first clearing this accumulation, medication and nutrients cannot be absorbed properly.

Special Treatments


Deep tissue nourishing fomentation & massage combined; very effective in chronic muscular pain and neuromuscular disorders.

Pinda Sweda

Fomentation with a hot bolus of dry medicinal herbs ; very effective in rheumatoid arthritis.

For details visit www.ayurananda.co.uk

Prayer to Lord Dhanvantari

I bow down to the lotus feet of Dhanvantari, the foremost celestial being whose feet are prostrated by both gods and non-gods. The destroyer, in the world, of old age, illness, fear and death, master and giver of various herbal medicines, curer of all diseases. I bow down to the founder of Ayurveda – the nectar of immortality.

Ayurvedic Herbs

Here you can find a guide to some of the herbs used in the practice of Ayuveda.