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Understanding the Concept of Ayurveda and Its Benefits for the Bodywork Professional

02 Apr 2014

03mar11e5a14If you are a bodywork professional or a student on your way to pursuing a career in massage therapy and you’re seeking a fresh, unusual approach to health rejuvenation that has its basics in ancient medicine, ayurveda may be just what you’re seeking. 

Let’s begin with the basics of ayurveda and the primary benefits of this Eastern approach to health. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of health maintenance that is traced as far back as 3000 BC. The term “ayurveda” comes from two words: “ayus” (or “life”) and “veda” which means “knowledge.” The purpose of this approach to massage therapy is to harmonize the body with nature.

Here are the eight branches of ayurveda:

  • Internal medicine- Kayachikitsa
    Pediatrics- Kaumarabhritya
    Psychology/Psychiatry- Bhuta Vidya
    Ears, eyes, nose, and throat- Shalakya Tantra
    Surgery- Shalya Tantra
    Toxicology- Agada Tantra
    Rejuvenation- Rasayana tantra
    Fertility therapy- Vajikarana tantra

The primary idea behind ayurveda is that there are three elemental substances. In theory, each person has an innate combination of “dosas” that defines their identity. Optimal health is achieved when there is a proper balance between all three.  Here now is a list of the three doshas as well as their role in determining optimal health:

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha

“Vata” (which translates to “wind/air”) is the impulse that is needed to assist the functioning of the nervous system. among the aspects of health it impacts are flatulence, gout and rheumatism. An individual deemed of a vata dominance typically has the weakest body build, but the strongest ability to change to adapt.

Pitta (or “fire”) is the principle that uses the body’s bile to facilitate digestion and metabolism. Its most significant quality is heat. Those who are are primarily pitta are regarded as having moderate bodily strength and stronger than average emotional and intellectual forces.

Kapha (or “Water”) is the principle related to mucus, lubrication and the delivery of nutrients. Those ruled by kapha tend to have the strongest body build, but can lack the wherewithal to use it appropriately.

At our Minneapolis MN massage school, we draw on the traditions of natural health care from may different Eastern and Western cultures.  Having an understanding of the concept of ayurveda can help bodywork professionals adapt their techniques to the specific needs of the individual client.  For those with a deeper curiosity of the ancient roots of wellness and its application to massage therapy, check out our blog post on the Ancient Roots of Massage Therapy

CenterPoint’s curriculum offers a compelling combination of the healing arts from both Western and Eastern traditions.   If you’re a massage or shiatsu therapist looking to add another Eastern techinque to your repertoire, check out our continuing education class on Qi-Yoga coming in June. But hurry our classes fill up quickly!

Call us today at 952-562-5200!