Ayurveda is the science of healthy living. The word is made up of the Sanskrit terms ayus, meaning ‘lifespan’ and veda, meaning ‘knowledge’. Strictly speaking, it is a definition for the restoration and preservation of our health. It aims to rejuvenate body and soul in cooperation with natural elements. To achieve this aim, extensive knowledge about our way of life is of great advantage.
In order to create a spiritual and contented balance, ayurvedic massage is a welcome way to enhance your physical and mental well-being. As this type of massage is based on a combination of empirical values and philosophy, it is not classed as a medical massage. The masseur has a relatively free rein when it comes to the massage techniques, and the combination of warm oil and gentle movements can also be used for erotic stimulation. Ayurvedic massage requires no equipment other than the body of the masseur and the use of sesame seed oil. In top-class massage parlours, the oil is heated and refined with essential and ayurvedic oils.
However, Ayurveda is not only limited to massage and cleansing techniques for the body. Additional areas of application include dietetics, herbal medicine and spiritual yoga. Health-conscious followers of this science believe that the soul does not require a human body and may be born again as a different life form. The aim of an incarnation is to achieve balance in the three life-giving energies which are known as doshas. The three doshas are called vata (mobilisation dosha), pitta (metabolic dosha) and kapha (structural dosha).
In the area of nutrition, Ayurveda puts food into three categories. Fruit, vegetables, cereals and dairy products are classified as sattva guna. These foods are partially oily or juicy and, according to ayurvedic science, extend the human lifespan and create inner contentment.
Sour, spicy, bitter, hot, salty and dry foods are classified as rajas guna. According to ayurvedic teachings, they heat the psyche and the body, and consuming too many of them can lead to aggression.
Mouldy and overripe foods fall into the category tamas guna and ayurvedic teachings warn against their consumption. Stagnant drinks, drugs, alcohol and reheated food should also be avoided.
In summary, the term Ayurveda describes the best way to achieve a balanced diet and create a balance between the three life energies by performing certain physical sequences of movements. In Europe this knowledge is seen as spiritual, even though in India it is clearly separate from other philosophical teachings.