Frequently Asked Questions about Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Therapies

How does Ayurveda work?

The foremost effort of our organism is to keep us alive and active. That is its function, its duty. Every cell has the intelligence to support that duty, but it can be a difficult task due to social, environmental, emotional, nutritional, and genetic factors.

These factors can affect the doshas and bring about ailments and disease. Ayurveda main objective is to balance the doshas according to your original constitution. When the doshas are in balance, the organism can function properly.

Ayurveda focuses on removing the underlying cause of symptoms, which are the result of doshic imbalance. For that purpose, Ayurveda uses medicinal herbs, cooking methods, rejuvenating therapies, and daily routines (called dinacharya). Diet and lifestyle that are in harmony with the original constitution will strengthen the body, mind, and consciousness, and prevent disorders at all levels.

Is Ayurveda safe?

Ayurveda is a really holistic natural system of health and herbal medicine for all ages, and even for animals. Since Ayurveda considers food to be medicine, it focuses on diet and lifestyle as the foundation for good health, allowing you to take more control over your health and well being. Along with proper nutrition, it uses Ayurvedic herbs and therapies that have been utilized for thousands of years.

Medicinal herbs have many properties and potential actions, and, when manufactured and used properly, they achieve the desired results without creating further imbalances. So, as with any type of health care, it is important to have the guidance and close supervision of a trained clinician through regular follow-ups and good communication.

How effective is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a very effective system of alternative medicine that is gradually being recognized in the West. It is one of the primary systems of health care in Sri Lanka and has been used for thousands of years for all sorts of ailments and disorders.

Its full effectiveness will depend on various considerations, including your age and state of health, how much effort you are willing to put into making the necessary changes toward better health, and how disciplined you are with taking your formulas and following the recommended guidelines.

Since an Ayurvedic regime is very personalized, its results will depend on specific factors and on follow-up treatments, since alterations and close management are absolutely necessary to obtain optimal results.

Can Ayurveda help me with chronic or serious diseases?

As a holistic system of medicine, Ayurveda does not focus on disease or pathology individual. Rather; it maintains that all life must be supported by energy unevenness.

It views health as the harmonious functioning of the organism as a whole and states that no system can work in isolation. Therefore, its goal is not just to treat or suppress symptoms, but to bring balance to the doshas so as to restore the natural harmony of the organism as a whole. When the flow of energy is harmonious, everything works properly and there is a sense of well being.

In other words, when the balance of the doshas is restored, the root cause of imbalance is uninvolved, and the organism works properly (symptoms disappear).

Furthermore, Ayurveda uses the cleansing and rejuvenation program known as panchakarma to detoxify and rejuvenate the organism at a cellular level, further promoting overall health and longevity.

Can I keep taking my medication when using Ayurveda?

Ayurveda can be used in combination with Western allopathic remedies. Drugs can save lives, but because of their toxicity they can also deteriorate or harm the body. Ayurveda can help protect and make the body stronger after or along with drugs or surgery. It is very important to let your Ayurvedic practitioner know what medications you are on, so he can recommend the appropriate regime for you.

Can Ayurveda help me with acute ailments and first aid?

Yes. Ayurveda offers many practical and simple treatments for acute and first aid ailments with medicinal substances you may even be able to find in your own kitchen. Most people are amazed at how simple preventing and treating common ailments can be with basic Ayurvedic knowledge.

How soon will I see any results with Ayurveda?

That would depend on your individual state of health, your lifestyle, and how disciplined you are in following an Ayurvedic regime. Often times following an Ayurvedic regime can have rather quick effects, but since Ayurveda is a holistic science, patience and self-effort are important. We believe that slow change is a lasting change.

Do I have to completely change my lifestyle to follow Ayurveda?

It really depends on what your health state, age, lifestyle, and objectives are. Ayurveda describes imbalance as the end result of living out of harmony with your original constitution. Your constitution is the inherent balance of energies within your body-mind complex. It determines everything from your bone structure and temperament to your predisposition toward certain health challenges.

Since we all have a different balance of energy, the path to optimal health will vary from person to person. How close you are to your constitutional balance will determine how many changes you need to make to get the results you want from your health program. Ayurveda is practical and can be flexible, but you are responsible for achieving the results you want through common sense and discipline.

What is the difference between an Ayurveda massage and a regular massage?

In general, Ayurvedic recoveries employ two main fundamentals to promote healing and relaxation: herbal oils and heat to help the medicated oils extra infiltrate into the tissues. The most common type of Ayurvedic massage is known as Abhyanga. It consists of two therapists vigorously massaging warm oil onto your body from head to foot, using specialized strokes in synchronicity.

This kind of massage takes you into a state of deep relaxation, both physical and mental while nourishing your bodily tissues and promoting cleansing and healing. The use of specialized herbal oils helps bring your body back into balance.

Another form of Ayurvedic massage is Shila Abhyanga or Ayurvedic Hot Stone massage. In this case, the use of heated basalt stones helps the herbal oils further penetrate into the tissues. Yet another form of Ayurvedic massage is Marma Massage, which consists of utilizing vigorous strokes while focusing on specific vital energy points (marmas) to release tension, stimulate your blood circulation and energize your whole body.

What are medicated oils and why are they used in Ayurveda?

Medicated oils are oils pervaded with medicinal herbs that have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic clinics. They are used according to your specific needs and dosha imbalance.

Warm oil has a penetrating quality that helps the body absorb the substances infused into the oil for health purposes. They are applied in many Ayurvedic Ayurvedic therapies and are also used for self- massage as a part of a daily routine for self-healing and maintaining health (called dinacharya).

How does Shirodhara nourish my nervous system and promote mental rejuvenation?

Pouring warm oil on the forehead has a tremendously soothing and relaxing effect. This therapy quiets both the mind and the senses, allowing your body’s natural healing mechanism to release stress and impurities from the nervous system. When deep relaxation is achieved, the subtle “imprints” of imbalance or disease are also released.

This therapy calms the subtle aspects of the doshas in the region of the head, thus promoting mental rejuvenation. It is done with herbal oils and other medicated liquids that nourish the nervous system and the subtle channels in the head. Because of the profound effects, it has upon the consciousness, it has often been called “Bliss Therapy.” Most people go “out” during this therapy, especially when it is performed after an Ayurvedic massage.

Is Marma Therapy similar to acupuncture or acupressure?

Marma point therapy is similar to acupressure in that it triggers energy to different organs and parts of the body, but it differs from it in that marma points follow different pathways of energy (called nadis) and usually cover a bigger area than Chinese meridian points. There is no use of needles.

Our Marma Therapy session includes a blend of massage and acupressure focused on marmas, passive yoga therapy to free blocked energy and promote flexibility, the use of Ayurvedic essential oils, and application of mild heat over specific areas, depending on your individual needs.

If you have other questions about Ayurveda and therapies that haven’t been answered here or any questions about our services, therapies or workshops, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will get back with you promptly.