In Search Of Perfect Health
I know when I feel my best, I can give so much more to those around me. I can give so much more love in my relationship with my boyfriend. I can give so much more support to my friends, family, and coworkers. I can be more creative in my career. I can give back to society. I can be my highest self.
While previously, I was chasing new diets for losing weight and looking good, now I feel driven toward not only perfect physical health, but perfect mental and spiritual health… and I’m learning it’s the same thing.
It all started exactly two weeks ago while at brunch with my gal friends. My friend Melissa, a Yoga teacher, brought up the topic Ayurveda and eating right for your Dosha type. I had no idea what she was talking about but nodded along. That night I looked up the Ayurveda practitioner she mentioned, Sahara Rose, and took the Dosha quiz. This wasn’t a normal health quiz. It asked me questions about my dreams, digestion, and physiology. My calculated result displayed Pitta Mind and Vata Body.
As I began researching, I discovered Ayurveda is the oldest system of medicine originating in India over 5,000 years ago.
I quickly realized… this is the missing piece to the health puzzle I’ve been trying to assemble for 20 years.
In ancient times, before the inception of technology, shamans and apothecaries used earth’s natural resources (plants, herbs, minerals, food) and intuition to heal and maintain health.
Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with what they believe to be a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.
Apothecary is someone who formulates and dispenses materia medica; knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing (i.e., medicines).
The ancient Mesopotamians had no distinction between "rational science" and magic. When a person became ill, doctors would prescribe both magical formulas to be recited as well as medicinal treatments.
China also developed a large body of traditional medicine. Much of the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine derived from empirical observations of disease and illness by Taoist physicians and reflects the classical Chinese belief that individual human experiences express causative principles effective in the environment at all scales.
These causative principles, whether material, essential, or mystical, correlate as the expression of the natural order of the universe. One of the basic tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that the body's vital energy (ch'i or qi) circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions.
Deriving from Taoism, a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao.”
Ayurveda, meaning the "complete knowledge for long life” was born out of the communities of thinkers which included Buddha and others dating from 600 BCE onwards.
Ayurveda derived from Hinduism, an Indian religion and dharma (or way of life) and the oldest religion in the world. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (desires/passions) and Moksha (liberation/freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth/salvation); karma (action, intent and consequences), Saṃsāra (cycle of death and rebirth), and the various Yogas (paths or practices to attain moksha).
Some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa (monastic practices) to achieve Moksha.