Specifics of a holistic approach to health: Ayurveda

Before we decide to approach our health holistically, in this case, from the point of Ayurveda, it is important to note how alternative ways of balancing our health are specific in comparison to conventional medicine.

  1. We cannot expect results if we are not living in harmony with nature.

The first and the most basic fact is that we cannot expect alternative treatments, which are often gentler on our body, to work – if we don’t live in harmony with nature and harmony with ourselves.

That would mean – we can eat “healthy”, organic food prepared according to ayurvedic principles, consume various dietary supplements or herbs, but still live under stress, drink too much coffee, smoke, be in a dysfunctional relationship, sitting most of the days and going to sleep late. Unfortunately, that type of approach will slow us down, or even block any return to balance, and the changes we have introduced will not be effective.

A holistic approach requires us to consider all aspects of our being – on a physical, mental and emotional level. Usually, everything starts with a routine in harmony with nature. When we catch the rhythm of nature, when we feel rested, calm, and safe – only then our physical body starts to relax and the fertile ground for changes is being created. Then, the changes we’ve implemented to our daily routine can truly bear fruit, from physical to more subtle levels.

  1. “Illness” is not the enemy

When we start approaching our health holistically, we realize that all imbalances are calls for help. The body has formed a certain defense mechanism to protect us or warn us that something is wrong. Since in this case, we don’t want to simply put a plaster on the problem, but find the root of the imbalance – we must receive every message of the body with as much love and gratitude as possible, whether we like the message or not. By having an open mind and not putting labels on ourselves, we will be able to look at our current state from a broader perspective. Then any “illness” or imbalance can become an ally in finding harmony.

  1. Nature is not in a hurry

It is important to note that Ayurveda does not provide instant solutions to all our problems. However, if we are patient and persistent in applying Ayurvedic principles in our routine, we can expect long-term results and changes on a physical, mental, and emotional level. Just as the imbalance (at the level of the physical body, emotions or mind) does not occur suddenly, but accumulates over some time until it manifests itself (e.g. at the physical level), so do the positive changes, and returning to balance, take time to occur – they don’t happen immediately; but gradually.
There is no instant solution in nature. Nature is not in a hurry. She is patient, changing through cycles slowly, safely and at her own pace – that should be completely normal.

  1. Coping with uncomfortable feelings

The holistic approach towards health requires us to look deeply into our lives from every aspect. It requires our willingness to be honest with ourselves and sometimes, face uncomfortable feelings. We are the only ones who can discover the root of our patterns that sometimes hold us back and cause disbalance in the body, mind, emotions; even reflecting on relationships with others. These insights might be painful for us because we can see something that is difficult for us to face – which is completely normal! The very fact that we have stepped on the path of bringing our health into balance in a natural way is already a very brave move, it shows love for ourselves, faith in the intelligence of nature, in life.

  1. Active involvement of both: the therapist/counselor and the client

If we decide to approach health holistically with the help of a therapist or counselor, we must be aware of the importance of the whole therapist-client relationship. This type of therapy requires the equal active involvement of both sides.

The point of an Ayurvedic counselor is not just to recognize the pattern, prescribe dietary supplements or ayurvedic herbs, tell the person how to live, and close the case. The very essence of a holistic approach towards health is that each case, or person – is unique.

For this reason, it is important that the client is very sincere, first with themselves and then with the counselor, so that together they can get to the root of the problem and the best solution at a given time. This type of therapy requires the active involvement of both sides. The client must be willing to open the mind and make changes in the daily routine, and the counselor must know how to listen, really hear the client, and gradually adjust the therapy to one’s needs. Sudden and drastic changes are not for everyone and are often not sustainable.

  1. Trusting the body’s intelligence

The point of Ayurvedic practice is to educate the client in a way to remind the individual of the knowledge that he or she already has inside but often forgets. We are our own best “doctors”. For this reason, the client mustn’t expect a magical solution or salvation from the therapist. We must believe in the strength and power of our spirit, mind, and body; and always listen to ourselves first – but not from the state of mind that may have brought us to the problem in the first place, but from that deeper place within us, where we know that our truth lies.

  1. Ayurveda is not against modern medicine

Although being firmly grounded in its roots, Ayurveda integrates and recognizes other aspects of healing, such as the modern conventional medicine we know. However, it still differs significantly from modern medicine – primarily because it is rooted in Vedic philosophy which does not limit human life only to physical experience. Ayurveda pays a lot of attention to the subtle levels of our being through which we discover our uniqueness and eternal connection with Nature.

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