It is said that the ancient sages of India developed Ayurveda more than 5000 years ago. Translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The science of life’ and it exists as a body of wisdom designed to heal people on a deep level and prevent illness and disease. The focus of Ayurveda is to balance body, mind and spirit and to do so, it includes disciplines such as massage, meditation, yoga, diet, herbal medicine, special oils and unique age-old treatments that marry science and nature in perfect union.
Ayurveda and Ayurvedic healing retreats have enjoyed a recent resurgence in the wellness world. No longer do you need to travel to India to experience traditional Ayurveda treatments and their special healing benefits. Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach to western medicine, Ayurveda takes into account individuality when prescribing holistic treatments. Ayurvedic practitioners will determine your individual constitution before administering treatments to ensure that you are receiving exactly what you need to find balance and good health.
Ayurvedic medicine is based on the premise that there are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha and that disease and illness originate from an imbalance in these three energies. The idea is to balance the doshas so that the body can exist in harmony. According to Ayurvedic medicine, everyone has some vata, pitta and kapha, but usually one or two of the doshas are more dominant— and this ultimately governs body type, appetite, energy levels, moods and tendencies.
Ayurveda’s effectiveness has been shown to help treat everything from inflammation to hormonal, digestive and autoimmune conditions. Rather than just treating the symptoms, Ayurveda looks at the root causes of disease or distress in the body and works at fixing these issues to prevent ongoing illness. Dietary advice, lifestyle suggestions, specific herbs and physical activities will be prescribed to the individual as part of a holistic treatment plan.
Below are some of the most common benefits of Ayurveda.
Most of Western medicine is focused on the treatment of disease. However, the best way to combat disease and illness is from a preventative stand point. The ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine offers the means to maintain health and stave off disease. It has been shown that Ayurveda has the potential to actually regenerate cells, proving that we have the power to heal ourselves of certain ailments simply by the way we treat our body. Following a diet and lifestyle that creates balance and harmony in the body, mind and spirit, can work to maintain good health and lead to a long and fruitful life.
Clarity of Mind
In our contemporary world, with the focus on speed, the information overload, and the constant, noise that pervades our lives, it is easy to become distracted and anxious. When we adopt a slower and more mindful pace and approach to life, it is easier to step out of the hustle of life and come back to a place of balance and clarity. Certain Ayurvedic herbs and scented oils are often used and administered to assist concentration. With a big focus on sleep, meditation and mindfulness practices, Ayurveda helps to both quieten the mind and promote overall clarity.
In a similar way as to how Ayurveda can help improve concentration and mindset, it can also assist to reduce stress. Working under pressure, or placing constant deadlines on ourselves 24/7, aggravates the vata dosha and produces stress in the body. Ayurveda, through diet and lifestyle, offer practices that help to alleviate stress, calming the vata imbalance and promoting ways to approach life from a more relaxed state. Meditation, yoga, herbal treatments, and breathing exercises are some of the many techniques that can help reduce stress and anxiety in body and mind. Ayurveda practitioners might also prescribe various herbs that help lower cortisol such as holy basil or ashwagandha. Ayurvedic techniques also have been shown to lower cholesterol naturally and naturally lower blood pressure.
There are so many habits and routines that we do in modern life that steal away our precious energy. Things like coffee disrupt our sleep patterns, we eat meals out of sync with our bodies natural rhythm, we live in a constant state of fight or flight, and we choose to veg out after a long day with a glass of wine rather than getting some fresh air or an early night. All of these things throw our body and mind out of balance, and this leads to sluggishness and lethargy. Coffee and other stimulants might work short term, but Ayurveda has a comprehensive, long-term approach to revitalizing energy levels. When we understand our natural dosha and our constitution, we can utilize the right tools to regain stamina and reenergize our body naturally in a sustainable way.
Relaxation and Self-Care
With balance such a key part of Ayurveda, taking time to ground, relax and restore is crucial for every constitution. These nurturing activities and routines can help to maintain both physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Massage and special massage oils are a huge part of Ayurveda and are so important for nourishing the body and instilling a deep sense of wellbeing. Whether using self-massage practices or pursuing a therapeutic massage, these practices, especially when enhanced with Ayurvedic oils and various heat sources, helps shift stagnant energy and return the body to a place of equilibrium.
Once you understand your particular constitution, it is easy to determine the best skin care regime for you. Vata skin types tend to be very dry, Pitta skin types tend to be quite red or combination skin, while Kapha skin types verge on being oilier. Once you determine your skin type, you can find which ancient, natural skin treatments will best balance these qualities and promote healthy, beautiful skin. In addition, by following a healthy diet and lifestyle, your skin will respond to these Ayurvedic practices, and will naturally balance itself as the entire body is eased into greater health and radiance.
Our inner wellbeing shows in our physical appearance. Taking the time to nurture your inner health and wellness has a dramatic effect on our outer layers too. By maintaining a healthy relationship among vata, pitta, and kapha, we can lower stress and aggravation in the body that causes so much of our physical wear and tear. This harmony not only promotes a healthy, youthful body, radiant glowing skin, bright eyes and silky smooth hair; Ayurvedic medicine also promotes a vibrant, dynamic mind, even as we age.
Ayurveda has been shown to help balance hormones naturally, resulting in a regular menstrual cycle, improved fertility and a healthy natural pregnancy. Studies have found that using Ayurvedic essential oils can help with balancing hormones and supporting the body through the various stages of life. Pranayama, a series of various targeted breathing exercises, also helps calm nerves and results in better energy, restful sleep and improved hormonal function. Studies have shown that various therapeutic effects of Ayurveda have been effective in helping to treat subfertility due to PCOS, amenorrhea or infrequent menstruation, and assist with the various symptoms of PMS, including acne and oily skin.
Reduce Inflammation and Boosting Immunity
Inflammation can be caused by inadequate sleep, poor diet, and deficient digestion. The Ayurvedic method of healing reduces inflammation to regulate the heart system and digestive tract by eliminating waste. Consuming a combination of herbal treatments, exercise that gently boosts metabolism, and antioxidants can help lower inflammation and increase energy. By targeting inflammation, which is the root of most diseases, Ayurvedic medicine can help lower pain and swelling, improve blood flow and help fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. With a keen focus on herbal treatments, antioxidants and gentle yet effective physical exercise, many people experience lower levels of inflammation, increased energy and superior healing.
Assist Detoxification and Digestion
Practicing Ayurveda can help manage bloating and poor digestion by expelling the buildup of waste in the body. Spices, herbs, and roots like cumin, cardamom, fennel, and ginger are commonly used for digestive distress. In Ayurveda the most common toxin in the body is called Ama. Ama is the waste-product that builds up in the digestive tract that stems from eating too much of the wrong food. If not cleared up, it will build up over time and will begin to circulate through the body, causing major imbalances. As you begin to eat for your dosha, your digestive system will strengthen. General dietary guidelines of Ayurveda emphasize consuming fresh and easy to digest foods. Foods with natural probiotics and also foods that are warming in the body are also utilized heavily in Ayurveda. Having optimal digestion also helps you to keep a healthy weight and feel less agitated and lethargic. Certain practices also increase circulation and liver function, for example, Abhyanga is the practice of rubbing the skin with herbal or essential oils to increase blood flow and help draw toxins out of the body through the skin.
Reconnection to spirit
Ayurveda reminds you that you’re much deeper than just this physical body. There is an essence and energy to you that is great and profound. Ayurveda teaches us of our inner spirit which embodies all of the elements of our environment. While Ayurveda practices have a profound effect on your physical health, it also unites your mind, body, and soul. Ayurveda teaches us that healing begins from within, and taking care of our spiritual wellbeing is crucial for our sense of happiness, purpose and fulfillment as human beings.
At The Palm Tree House, our Ayurvedic Healing Retreat offers four Ayurvedic treatments offer by our experienced Ayurvedic practitioners. Treatments are administered in our special Ayurvedic spa Shala and utilize the best oils and herbs that are essential for a profound healing experience. Our Ayurveda retreat in Bali can be booked at any time of the year and is suitable for all levels. This healing retreat is perfect for anyone looking for a more therapeutic experience to add to their retreat week in Bali.
Escape Haven Bali Retreat, supporting women on year making wellness experiences.
We invite you to come and experience for yourself our award winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and shrug off all the roles that you wear and all the balls you juggle in your busy life, we’d love to pamper you. From transformational yoga and meditation classes, to exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness in our tropical gardens to restorative healing and pampering sessions, how much or little you do is all up to you.