The wisdom of life – Ayurveda

Ayurveda has been practised in India for over 6000 years and is regarded at the mother of all healing systems. Based on the sacred book of Hindus which was written about 1800BC, Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and  based on a holistic approach to managing disease and illness focusing on the root cause of the problem rather than western style medicine which is a symptoms based approach. When we manage to combine the benefits of Ayurveda and the benefits of western style medicine we have a powerful union.  A beautiful marriage to help prevent disease and illness from occurring in the first place and to control the symptoms once there is a diagnosis. The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning the “The science of health”. 

What is the science of health?  

This concept is based on five critical elements being in balance or harmony. When these are out of balance the body is susceptible to disease and illness. The five elements are Space, Water, Fire, Earth and Air. Every person alive is a unique version of these five elements. The sequence of massage techniques calms the mind and lowers stress and tension that we can experience based on using the many of the same pressure points used in acupuncture. These energy pathways are concentrated at these points which when massaged, can relieve tension and lower stress levels and restore the natural balance in our bodies. We are interconnected, our body, our mind and our spirit. Ayurveda looks to balance these pillars in harmony through the modality of diet, exercise, herbs, meditation and yoga massage to provide balance or health.

The Five Critical Elements of Ayurveda

Ether or Space projected through the sense of hearing and is seen in the expansion of the consciousness

Air projected through the sense of touch and represented through movement and direction

Fire projected through the sense of sight and represented in the transformation of heat. Fire is responsible for digestion, absorption and assimilation.

Water projected through the sense of taste, in balance and cold. Water is found in many body fluids such as our plasma, serum,  and saliva.

Earth projected through the sense of smell and represented in the crystallization of the consciousness. Earth is found in the body in hard compact tissues like bones hair teeth and skin. 

Case study

In researching Ayurveda and Indian head massage I must admit I was a bit of a sceptic. Sure the evidence is there to suggest that it is a powerful healing tool used throughout the ages yet it was hard to determine such an unusual set of techniques can provide healing and relief to so many. So as I normally do, I practice the theory on unsuspecting family members who are as uninvested in the practice as I am.  I  start the 20 minute session perfectly in time with my study notes and I notice immediately that there is an absence of communication from my client. This could be a good or a bad thing. The breathing rate slows and the person relaxes into a deep dream like state.  After 20 minutes I finish up my treatment protocol and I ask for feedback on the massage. As the eyes open there is a glazed look similar to a person waking from a beautiful night’s sleep, an almost trance like state. At distance from any anxiety or tension.  This is the balanced state of harmony that I have been reading so much about.  The alignment of the Chakras –  the wisdom of life…

Chakras

Chakra is anther Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disk. In the terms of Ayurveda it means that there are seven spinning wheels of energy that are aligned to the spine. It is imperative that these Chakras remain spinning as any blockage can impact the entire body. They lie about 2cms from the body and a subtle energy fields that link our emotions, matter, and the conscious mind.  When these seven spinning wheels rotate evenly the body is in balance and we would expect to feel relaxed contentment with our lives and satisfaction with who we are.

A blockage of  a chakra can resemble the peak hour traffic through the Purfleet round about at 9 o’clock in the morning.  One subtle bottle neck can destabilise  the entire trip to work or school in the morning.  This is the same for Chakras one blockage will impact the flow to all the other chakras which over time has the potential to make us sick or unwell.  As we have discovered, many of our behaviours are linked to our hormone levels, our diet, our health. If we could all just take a moment in our busy day for ourselves, to hit the reset button and release us from the burden of expectations, take a moment to be grateful for all the positive things in our lives we would realise that stress itself is a root cause for so many diseases and illnesses.  Understanding Ayurveda is understanding ourselves.

Marma Points

The use of pressure points to aid in relaxation has been documented to date back to the 16th century in European civilisations and even further in China and Egypt. These pressure points are centres of energy and aid to relieve stress and tension.  Marma means “sensitive or vulnerable area” and some of the most valuable information documented on marma points through history has been lost due to foreign invasions through India. Today there is a resurgence in the importance of marma points.

The body has a subtle electrical energy field and when the marma points are not functioning well there is a sluggish or stagnant build up of energy which limits the flow of prana (energy) and can contribute to health issues.  This plays a vital role in overall health. When the prana is flowing well there is a limitation of health concerns and the body is in the best possible position to heal itself.

By lightly massaging these marma points you will be able to increase the flow of prana down the channels of the body which will assist in maintaining good health.  The below information depicts the correlation between the marma point and the impacts it can have on the body. The marma points are depicted in their original Sanskrit text of ancient India.

Marma point Role

Adhipati
Assists with mental clarity, calming the mind, improving perception and spinal cord alignment.

Brahma Randra
Eases headaches, enhances moods and helps clients with insomnia.

Shiva Andra
Assists with memory and alertness. Lowers blood pressure and therefore relieves dizziness.

Vidhura
Relieves muscle tension particularly in jaw and facial muscles. Lowers level of anxiety. Relieves congestion in the ears.

Krikatika
Relieves neck and shoulder tension allowing the body to relax and assume correct posture.

Simanta
Relaxes all of the body. This marma also assists sleep.

Arshak
Aids digestion by stimulating energy to liver and spleen, Stabilises blood sugar levels.

Manya
Eases sore throat and upper chest congestion. Enhances facial blood and lymphatic circulation.

Sthapani
Harmonises the mind and brings peace.

Shankha
Nourishes the brain. Calms the mind.

Avarta
Centres the person. Enhances energy flow to the head.

Bhruh
Relieves eye strain and headaches

Apanga
Clears upper sinuses. Relieves puffy eyes and eye strain.

Gandu
Clears the eyes and the sinuses

Phana
Balances the right and the left side of the brain, improving functioning. Also, clears lung energy, sinuses.

Oshta
Assists with mental clarity. Enhances sexual desire.

Hanu
Connects your head with your heart. Increases circulation to the face

Kathanadi
Relieves sore throat and upper chest congestion.

Kantha
Mood regulator. Balances the thyroid gland and assists the expression of inner feelings.

Nila
Also helps with the voice. Relieves sore throat symptoms.

Sira Matrika
Enhances circulation and improves the voice.

Sanskrit is one of the oldest documented languages dating back to the 1st millennium encompassing orally transmitted compositions of exceptional complexity. It is the predominant language of Hindu philosophy and forms some of the principle texts of Buddhism and Jainism.  

Ayurveda should be used as part as a healthy lifestyle plan and any specific health concerns should be communicated to a health care professional.

For more Information contact
Jason at Cherry’s of Tinonee

(02) 6515 0567

And don’t forget a gift Certificate to Cherry’s is a great Christmas present! 

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