Complimentary Health Practice: Alternative medicine, holistic practices, complementary therapies, natural healthcare, integrative medicine are a few of the terms denoting a wide range of healing practices apart from purely pharmaceutical or surgical treatments. Some examples are Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Homoepathy, Yoga, Meditation etc. The above therapies and practices are collectively grouped under complimentary health practices and also referred to as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). One of the popular branches among CAM is Ayurveda which is considered by many scholars to be one of the oldest healing sciences. In Sanskrit Ayurveda means “The Science of Life” which originated in Indian subcontinent more than 5,000 years ago. The principles of many of the natural healing practices now prevailing in the West have their roots in Ayurveda, including Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy.
The main emphasis in Ayurveda is on prevention and maintenance of health using right knowledge of diet, lifestyle and use of herbs. Knowledge of balance of body, mind and consciousness is the key to a healthy life and well being according to Ayurveda. Ayurvedic science is based on the theory that the whole world is made up of five elements as follows: 1) Aaakash – which means space 2) Jala – which means water 3) Prithvi – which means earth 4) Teja – which means fire 5) Vayu - which means air.
Dosha: The term ‘Dosha’ means ‘that which can cause problems’ - literally meaning "fault" or "defect”- and is present in body in the form of three categories. These three categories are vata, pitta, kapha. Vata: This is characterized due to the properties of dry, light, cold, minute, and movement. All the movements in a human body is due to properties of vata. For example, pain is the characteristic feature of deranged vata. Few examples of the diseases connected to unbalanced vata are gout, flatulence, rheumatism, etc.
Pitta: This represents metabolism and is characterized by heat, moistness, liquidity, and sharpness and sourness and the main quality is heat. It is the energy principle that use bile to direct digestion and enhance the metabolism of body. The unbalanced pitta is mainly characterized by body heat, burning sensation and redness. Pitta in Sanskrit means "bile." In Sanskrit word pitta refers to "yellow."
Kapha: It is a watery element. kapha a combination of earth and water and characterized by heaviness, tenderness, coldness, softness, lubrication, slowness, and the carrier of nutrients. It denotes the nourishing element of the human body. All soft organs are made up of Kapha. Kapha plays a vital role in the perception of taste together with nourishment and lubrication. Kapha in Sanskrit lexeme means "phlegm."