What is Ayurveda?
Put simply, Ayurveda means “science of life” (a Sanskrit word, ayur meaning life, veda meaning science or knowledge). It is an ancient philosophy based on a deep understanding of external truths about the human body, mind and spirit.
Although it originated in the East several thousands of years ago, Ayurveda could not be more appropriate for present-day Western society, where so many suffer from stress related conditions which conventional medicine has been unable to remedy. Ayurveda is the oldest healing system known and it also the most complete. Its logical, common sense approach to health and living is combined with philosophy, psychology and spiritual guidance.
In order to benefit from Ayurveda, patients do not have to subscribe to the spiritual beliefs on which it is founded. All they need to do is come with an open mind and a genuine wish to be healed. It is popular because it works, and it works with, rather than against Western medicine.
Ayurvedic practitioners obey the ancient medical injunction to do no harm. Although the remedies they prescribe are highly effective, none has adverse side effects and are all made from natural substances and are non toxic. No artificial materials or chemicals formulated in a laboratory are used.
A complete system of healing
Because Ayurveda is a complete system of healing, encompassing philosophy, psychology and spirituality as well as a deep understanding of the disease process, it often succeeds with lasting effects. A unique programme of treatment can be devised for every patient. The approach is never narrowly mechanistic. No two patients, even if they appear to be suffering from the same illness, are the same to an Ayurvedic doctor.
Most systems of medicine, ancient and modern, have attempted to divide the human race into types. The older the system, the more likely it is that the categories correspond to forces which are perceived to prevail in nature. In ancient China, yin and yang correspond to the passive female principle and the creative active male principle. In Europe in the Middle Ages, the humours were believed to be fluids secreted by the body and which profoundly influenced physical type, mental state and behaviour. The predominance of a person’s nature- if it was blood, the person was deemed sanguine (happy and positive), if choler, choleric (hot tempered and angry), if melancholy, melancholic (tending to sadness).
In more recent times, people have been characterised as extrovert (cheerful, positive and outgoing) or introvert (shy and reflective), passive or aggressive. The idea that our thought processes are influenced by bodily “humours” or “forces” or vice versa is considered by many to be outdated, but history reveals that principles such as these were established in ancient medical practises throughout the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda are based upon these principles of elements. Chinese medicine explains it as Ying and Yang, whilst Ayurveda described the 3 dosha’s (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) which are expressions of the elements in and around us (earth, water, air, fire and space).
In more simpler terms, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine asks- if a seed needs the right elements to grow into a tree, why dont we?
If we take a closer look at our environment and how nature works we will eventually understand that the microcosm of our body and mind and the macrocosm of everything around us are inseperable.
Ayurveda teaches us that those highly complex organisms we call human beings are made up of a mixture of matter and anti-matter and that it is the constant interaction between those two which determines the state of our physical and mental health. Ayurveda’s most powerful tenet is that nothing functions in isolation and where there is imbalance, the result is illness and disorder. The universe consist of five elements-Ether, Air, Earth, Fire and Water- and the human body is composed of a combination of them. Furtheremore, three principle bio-energies known as the doshas exist in all matter and are composed of different combinations of the five elements.
They are called vata, pitta and kapha (the tridosha principle). Their influence affects all mechanisms of the body. Most individuals have a predominant dosha, which then determines the body type and temperament. Although the concept of the doshas is unique to Ayurveda, it is not unlike the traditional Western idea of three basic body types- ectomorph (lean and delicate), mesophorph (compact and muscular) and endomorph (stocky).
Consultation involves a thorough analysis of your dosha balance (Prakruti and Vikruti) taking into consideration your past history, lifestyle, diet as well as personality. This includes tongue and pulse examination and giving you a treatment plan specific to your condition. Most often it will involve marmapuncture, herbs and panchakarma and diet.
I was lucky enough to have experienced the best Ayuvedic experience in London and Acupuncture session in Milton Keynes from Sumudu who is truly a master at what she does.
DirectorDr Shantha Godagama
Principle Acupuncturist & Ayurvedic DoctorDr Simi Godagama
Panchakarma & Ayurvedic Massage PractitionerMr Matthew Middleton
Panchakarma & Ayurvedic Massage PractitionerMr Jackson Ryan
Regents Park - The Hale Clinic
Located in the heart on the city, Dr Shantha Godagama has been consulting at this prestigious clinic for over 25years. It was opened in by HRH Prince of Wales and is at the cutting edge of complimentary health care with over 90 practitioners providing one of the widest ranges of therapies under one roof.
Southgate - The Cannon Hill Clinic
The Clinic was established 1988 in a leafy North London suburb. The Cannon Hill Clinic is a private treatment and referral centre and has been the proud home of a team of highly skilled professionals for many years.
Dr Simi Godagama runs her clinic exclusively from Emerson Valley...
The Lakeview has been running for over 10 years.
It is also the residential home of Dr Godagama. Guests can retreat into the tranquil surroundings of the clinic, with scenic views over Furzton Lake.
“By knowing one science alone one cannot arrive at a proper conclusion. Therefore a physician should study other sciences in order to arrive at a correct diagnosis”
(Ayurvedic classical text: Susruta Samhita Sutrasthana 4.6)