We sat down with Madeleine to find out more about Ayurvedic Medicine.
Could you explain to us the Elements & Dosha?
"Two of the foundational principles of Ayurveda are the five great elements (pancha maha bhutas) and the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). You cannot truly grasp the essence of the latter without the former. Ayurveda observes that everything in the Universe contains the elements of ether/space, air, fire, water, and earth.
That's right - everything is made up of these five seemingly trivial elements. But let's dig a little deeper...the elements are energetic metaphors that we are all instinctively meant to understand. For example, you can understand that water puts out fire, and that the combination of spacious ether and air would be incredibly light, whereas earth is contrastingly heavy. So, the Universe and all its parts, like you and me, every environment and unique living being, are composed of varying ratios of ether, air, fire, water and earth. When we understand energetically how a greater amount certain elements can manifest in a physical and emotional form, we can begin to recognise their energic attributes within ourselves and/or the world around us – in both balanced and imbalanced proportions. If we isolate the fire element as an example – excess heat can manifest as inflammatory conditions, irritability, acne, hot flushes, and more.
So, if we then zoom in from the five great elements (macro scale), we can then explore the three energetic humours called ‘doshas’, known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The doshas are all dominant in two elements each. As mentioned earlier, the elements possess specific qualities, known as gunas. The qualities of their dominant elements are what give the doshas a unique expression of form and function in our external and internal environments alike.
Vata is the lightest, airiest dosha that's dominant in the very mobile elements of ether and air and governs movement. Pitta consists of fire and water and governs transformation. Kapha is the heavier, grounded dosha with the two most nourishing elements: water and earth.
What is Shirodhara treatment and the benefits?
"Shirodhara, or I call it shiro (sheer-oh) for short, is an esteemed Ayurvedic therapy for bringing calm and clarity to the mind and disorders of it. ‘Shiro’ meaning head, and ‘dhara’ meaning flow, Shirodhara is the process of medicinal liquid (herbal oil, milk, or buttermilk) poured continuously over the forehead – targeting the third eye, the pituitary gland. The oil varieties are kept warm, while the milk and buttermilk are kept tempered or cool – depending on the client’s doshic imbalances.
You can think of Shirodhara as an induced form of meditation. This treatment is traditionally used, and regularly prescribed, for stress management, fatigue, insomnia, emotional unrest, excessive thoughts, hormonal imbalance, digestive disorders, hair loss, skin issues, and detoxification. "
When is it a good time to try Ayurvedic Medicine?
"When you feel ready and you have an open mind to ancient sciences. I find a lot of my clients come to the clinic searching for self-empowerment in the management of their health and wellbeing. They’re looking for a more tailored approach and are ready to change their lifestyles – knowing that there must be elements of it that are linked to their ailments. What's refreshing to clients is the emphasis Ayurveda has on learning about the timeline in one's health concern, understanding and addressing the root-cause, strengthening the digestive system and correcting complaints, and re-balancing holistically layer by layer. Most clients will book in for a free intro-call, followed by an initial consultation, or they are ready to take the plunge into a 3-month Wellness Journey – where we dig a little deeper and work together over an extended period with herbs and treatments."
If you want to learn more, click on the button below to test your Dosha with a 3 min quiz from Modern Ayurvedic.